Mobile apps harvest a lot of attention in the world of B2B eCommerce. Depending on your business goals, this decision could make or break the success of your strategy.
According to Gartner, B2B produces 19.4% of digital commerce profit from mobile channels. Although particular growth calculations for B2B mobile commerce are difficult to compile, mobile adoption, estimated by Forrester, will grow at a CAGR of more than 17% between 2015 and 2020. This rapid rate of adoption is sure to result in mobile commerce growth for B2B companies.
Mobile commerce apps are the next frontier for companies which prioritized B2B eCommerce. When you decide to start off with B2B mobile application, you should make a choice based on what you want your app to do – your B2B mobile app should focus on the value it brings to your business customers and delivery of improved experience to your customers.
Your B2B experience will be greatly improved through a mobile app which basically means that your customers will be more likely to stick around.
When building B2B app, you can choose between native, hybrid or web apps depending on your business needs, app requirements, developer skills and timelines.
So, is it a high time for your business to look at introducing B2B mobile apps?
In this article, I’ll guide you through a key mobile options – native B2B mobile apps – and some reasons why native mobile apps offer considerable advantages over a mobile website or hybrid apps.
Why do you need B2B mobile app?
As customers got used to make B2B purchases online and more and more acquire a habit of shopping on their mobile devices, having a strong mobile commerce app – the one that lets the brand to build a direct communication to their buyers – will be a key differentiator.
A rapidly growing section of eCommerce indicates “anytime, anywhere” habits of today’s buyers so mobile commerce apps should let customers order online from their smartphones. Mobile commerce apps are here to stay, and manufacturers and businesses should have already considered the change.
There are few reasons why native mobile commerce apps are particularly tailored for B2B buyers:
1. Performance really matters.
When a B2B customer places an order on a mobile device, it HAS to work. It is highly important that the user experience is flawless, with fast page loads and accurate order confirmations. If there are interruptions in the connectivity, you cannot assure a positive experience or an accurately placed order. This can be the key difference between getting or losing a customer.
Investing in a native mobile commerce app is the right choice if you want to provide an exceptional mobile commerce experience.
Mobile users report that the engaging with a mobile browser gives more challenges, such as having to pinch and zoom screens or the lack of push notifications to provide quick, important updates plus mobile sites are slower than apps.
2. Buyers are often without the Internet access.
Mobile commerce needs to be convenient, allowing the consumer to place orders anytime, anywhere and from any device. The ability to search for purchase and enter orders, even offline, is another crucial reason why mobile users prefer B2B mobile apps over mobile optimized sites.
As mobile devices are made to use on the go and frequently happens that a connectivity is lost while traveling – being able to continue working, even offline, is an important advantage of B2B mobile apps over an optimized site. A native mobile commerce app can exploit the mobile device’s camera as a barcode scanner, letting your buyer to quickly place an order whenever the need arises.
3. Increase brand awareness
For a business to survive in today’s competitive corporate world, the visibility and recognition is a must. A well-developed mobile app can boost a company’s visibility as well as help to create brand awareness.
Mobile apps should supply features attractive to its target audience and all elements of branding the company already uses through different channels such as their website and social network accounts.
4. Better personalization.
Personalization is another essential consideration for B2B mobile apps – it automatically sign users in at the tap of the button, providing instant access to their personalized site unlike website. For business users that have multiple accounts on multiple sites, the ability to quickly and easily log in, search for products, review past history and complete their transaction is a real benefit.
The cost of B2B mobile app can range from $25,000 to $200,000 and it is dependent on the extent of the services you wish to provide to your customers. B2B are often integrated into the business systems such as ordering database, so the cost of development and the launch of a mobile app is highly dependant on your industry.
(you can try out this app development cost tool https://www.appdevelopmentcost.com/ if you’d like a fairly accurate estimation)
Why Native Apps?
Native mobile apps are the most common types of app. They are developed for specific platforms and are written in languages the platform supports, for example, Swift and Objective-C for iOS apps and Java for native Android apps. Native apps are also developed using the specific Integrated Development Environment (IDE) for the given operating systems. Both Apple and Google supply an app developers with their own development tools, interface elements, and SDK.
Most companies would invest in native mobile app development because of the endless benefits offered in comparison to other types of apps.
A B2B native mobile app is essentially a total renovation of the user experience for the needs of a mobile user. It avoids elements that don’t work well on the small screen, such as pulldowns, opting instead of slider bars, large buttons that are easy to see and use on the small screen, and simple, consistent navigation.
Main benefits of native apps are that they are very fast and responsive since built for a specific platform and have the best performance. Native apps are more interactive, intuitive and run much smoother considering user input and output. Internet connection is not necessary and they have better user experience as the flow is more natural as there are specific UI standards for each platform. Native apps are delivered in app stores and give developers access to the full feature set of the given platform. Also, with native mobile app development, you get direct access to all native frameworks which otherwise may not be available.
Native apps are designed for the best mobile experience and bring a different approach on how to deal with content, discarding visual clutter and displaying content in the most intuitive way possible for the mobile users, even offline.
Native apps outrun the other apps because they are built in accordance with both, technical and user experience guidelines – they can also quickly access the inbuilt capabilities of the user’s device (e.g. contacts, GPS, camera, etc.).
Although the initial expenses may be higher with a native app, your end result will be saving a lot of time and money in the long run. By offering a great user experience, better performance, and leveraging the device features, you’re able to offer your users more personalized experience.
The combination of the native mobile app benefits will result in a higher conversion rates and will eventually increase your customers’ loyalty.
There aren’t such evident disadvantages with native apps except that you need experienced developers as those are difficult languages to learn and they are more expensive.
All things considered..
The decision to build either a native, web, or hybrid mobile app should depend on your business objectives. It’s important to work with an excellent app development company that specializes in platform specific design and development.
Since your competitors are likely figuring out ways to provide value to their customers through mobile apps, it’s high time for you to figure out your own mobile strategy.
We would usually recommend native app development as it is best to stay with native and not sacrifice on the design elements that are unique to each platform.
The preference for native mobile applications today is widely spread, especially as more and more businesses are implementing native mobile commerce apps for their B2B consumers.