How Retail Software Solutions Help You Gain A Competitive Advantage
The retail industry has witnessed a tremendous transformation over the past few years. Innovative retail technologies have made the sector fast-paced and highly competitive. The advent of cloud technology has also disrupted the retail industry from the ground up. These technology changes accelerate the need for advanced and bespoke retail software solutions that can effectively automate most routine store operations.
Why should you adopt custom retail software solutions?
Fingent helps you develop custom retail software solutions that help you:
- Automate everyday retail store operations,
- Switch to e-commerce quickly,
- Enhance inventory management,
- Streamline payments and invoices tracking,
- Improve order fulfillment, and
- Serve your customers better and faster.
As several countries continue with lockdown measures, the digital shopping trend and the shift in consumer behavior are here to stay. Retailers are forced to address the rising consumer expectations with limited resources like transport restrictions, shortage of labor, out-of-stock scenarios, and so on. Contactless shopping has found a better place in today’s business landscape, and retailers need to adopt personalized retail software solutions to stay relevant and competent in the market.
A few stats that underscore the significance of custom retail software solutions
The following figures suggest why brick-and-mortar stores must adopt retail software solutions and digital transformation to stay ahead of competitors and attract loyal clients.
- 30% of consumers do not wait for more than two minutes to determine if the product they want to buy is in stock.
- 78% of the customers would not use a retailer again after three late or incomplete deliveries.
- 87% of buyers leave the store if the product they are looking for is unavailable and there is no assistant nearby.
Our custom retail software solutions are perfect for companies of different sizes. We help you build and integrate software tailored to your retail business. We create personalized retail software solutions that are scalable and meet the growing needs of a single shop or even a vast retail chain consisting of several Points of Sale (POS).
Benefits of custom retail software solutions
The most significant features and capabilities of retail software solutions include:
- Managing orders, products, and inventory,
- Handling financial transactions,
- Streamlining the supply chain,
- Helping human resources and marketing campaigns, and
- Managing customer relations.
Here are the benefits of custom retail software solutions.
1. Offers real-time visibility
Retail software solutions allow you to control warehouses and shop floors in online mode and identify if certain products are in or out of stock. Also, it helps you send instant alerts if something is out of order and thus avoid lengthy downtimes.
2. Automates in-store processes
Retail software solutions help automate all major store tasks such as billing, price regulation, inventory auditing, reporting, payroll records, returns processing, and more.
3. Improves customer service
As retail software solutions help automate most store processes, your employees can spend more time engaging with the customers and promoting your new products and latest arrivals. Customer reps will have the historical data in hand while attending a customer service call. This helps them save time, effort, and money, reduce returns and refunds, and direct customers to the optimal solution. Embedded analytics in the software allows your marketing team to send personalized recommendations to your customers based on their shopping history and online behavior.
Different types of retail software solutions
1. Point of Sales (POS) software
The software for shop management, implemented in brick-and-mortar stores, facilitates seamless transactions between customers and the store on the spot. The POS market is projected to grow at an annual rate of 14% from 2016 to 2024. Fingent helps you develop custom Point of Sales software that enables you to manage sales, inventory, and employees with ease. We build custom POS software for your single store or a retail network. It helps boost your customer engagement and revenue.
2. Inventory management software
We help you develop custom inventory management software for tracking, managing, and organizing product sales, material purchases, and other production processes. Typically, the inventory management software works with wireless tracking, barcodes, and radio-frequency identification to support inventory tracking and control.
3. Payment processing software
Payment processing software is a secure program that connects eCommerce sites via virtual terminals to other payment systems that acknowledge credit cards and other online payment methods. Payment processing software allows users to add their card or bank details and notifies financial institutions that approve or reject payments. We help integrate payment processing software into your retail software solutions.
4. Retail ERP systems
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems integrate modules for controlling all stages of business. An ERP system is a perfect software for shop management. ERPs are customizable and support integration with third-party systems. ERPs like Odoo and SAP allow developing specific modules to suit your business needs. For instance, SAP FICO (Finance and Cost controlling module in SAP) and SAP Ariba (sourcing, procurement, and financial supply chain solutions).
We are an Official Partner of Odoo as well as a Silver Partner of SAP. We are well placed to offer the best ERP consulting, implementation, and maintenance services for your business across these two platforms.
5. e-Commerce software
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the adoption of eCommerce among retailers. That said, retail software platforms are a must today. The software enables online store owners to add and remove products, process payments, fulfill orders, etc. Fingent helps leverage numerous eCommerce development frameworks such as Magento, Odoo, etc., to build B2B and B2C e-commerce software for your business.
You can deploy retail software solutions either in the cloud or on-premise according to your specific requirements:
- On-premise retail software solutions: An on-premise retail application is installed on your local computers or local servers. However, you may need the expertise of an IT specialist like Fingent to maintain the system and handle updates or fix issues.
- Cloud-based retail software solutions: Cloud-based retail software solutions do not require to be installed on your hardware. If you have a stable and reliable internet connection, you can deploy the retail software as a SaaS solution, which is managed by the providers automatically.
Steps to create custom retail software for your business
1. Choose the right vendor
Selecting the right software provider is crucial as well as challenging. Your choice will determine how positively a future system will impact your business performance.
2. Plan and budget
Create a detailed plan and discuss the key features your system should include. Whether to have an omnichannel solution, what function it should perform, what third-party system it needs to be integrated with, and the software development budget must be considered. You can opt for custom software development. At Fingent, we provide you with out-of-the-box retail software solutions within your budget.
3. Development and implementation
Here are a few best practices to take advantage of custom software development:
- Include an internal team of specialists having the needed expertise and experience to participate in the implementation process.
- Provide your team with adequate training to get started and explain the benefits. Your offshore software development partner can help you with this. At Fingent, we help ease your transition to custom software. We offer training and support and provide post-release maintenance and support to our customers.
- Eliminate inactive accounts and other documents that have not been processed for years to simplify the migration.
The retail software system implementation requires continuous control and testing. Thus, most companies rely on continuous testing to ensure the process will happen simultaneously with the integration.
Additionally, you must be prepared to address several issues. The primary purpose of the final testing is to simulate the lifecycle of your business with go-live processes. Fingent has a dedicated Quality Assurance & Testing team that ensures your application is bug-free, high-performing, and responsive.
After successfully implementing the custom retail software system, it needs support and maintenance that must be provided either by your technical experts or the software provider. As said above, Fingent offers post-launch maintenance support and change enhancement services for the custom software we develop.
With extensive experience in retail software development and eCommerce systems, we can become your reliable partner and make your company a front-runner in the retail industry.
If you are looking for custom software for shop management or tailored retail software solutions, please drop us a message.
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Mobile application development is the #1 priority for businesses and enterprises in 2021. Are you well-equipped to plan your requirements and develop a robust business mobile app?
Mobile app development in 2021: Practices you should follow
As consumer behavior continues to evolve, more and more businesses adapt their strategy to earn customer satisfaction. With the increased public usage of smartphones, e-commerce and mobile backing experience a significant boom. A mobile app is essential for running a business successfully, and its significance has been more than ever before.
A mobile app is not just a mobile version of your website but is a crucial engagement and experience-driven environment needed for a cohesive customer journey. A mobile app can help build a strong mobile presence and attract a large audience towards your services or products.
According to a survey, by 2021, there will be around 7 billion mobile users worldwide, and by 2022, it is estimated that the annual mobile app downloads will reach 258 billion.
According to the ContractIQ survey, roughly 62% of businesses already have an app or are in the process of developing one. 50% of these businesses use their apps for support and engagement, 30% for revenue generation, and 20% for branding. Many companies are investing in mobile apps as they help generate new or expand an existing business.
With many countries still under lockdown and others following social distancing, the demand for apps such as digital payments, groceries, and entertainment has increased tremendously. Many enterprises and businesses have resorted to digital platforms and are reaping their benefits.
Here, we have discussed the importance of investing in mobile apps for your business and how it can boost your business growth even during a pandemic.
Why invest in mobile apps?
With more people turning to mobile apps to interact with brands, businesses’ mobile presence has become necessary.
In general, mobile apps help boost sales, provide a better customer experience and become more competitive.
According to a research by Clutch, two main reasons by which mobile apps facilitate business growth are:
- Improving customer service
- Providing a return on investment
Read more: Mobile App Development: 4 Tips To Consider
Five ways mobile apps benefit your business
1. Adds value to your customers
Customer engagement is the most significant aspect of customer relations, interactions, and transactions. When someone looks for your product or service, it’s essential to keep the person engaged.
You will have to increase your interaction with the customers for better promotion of sales.
So how does a mobile app fit in here? Starbucks’ mobile app is the best example of successful digital engagement that’s both innovative and inviting. Its user-friendly mobile experience, engaging loyalty program, mobile pay and ordering, and integration with other platforms and services make the coffee chain a customer experience leader.
To put it simply, a mobile app like Starbucks can offer an outstanding and engaging digital experience to customers.
2. Boosts brand building
In the past, brands used to advertise their services through posters, calendars, refrigerator magnets, billboards, and hoardings. Companies imprint their brand logos on such mementos to increase their visibility.
Today, a mobile app is capable of replacing all these. A mobile application can promote brand awareness and recognition among customers and be an effective communication channel. By regularly interacting with your target audience through the mobile app, you can earn customer trust.
Customized mobile apps help educate your customers about your brand and engage them effectively. The more they listen to you and your sales pitches, the more they will commit to your brand.
Read more: Top Technologies Used to Develop Mobile Apps
3. Increases sales
You can incorporate different loyalty programs into your mobile app. It will make your customers revisit your store (digital/ physical) and spend more time. Offering rewards in tiered layers allow customers to earn better incentives as they move from one level to another. It will help boost brand recognition.
Gamification is another way by which you can reward winning customers and provide discounts and prices to pre-defined activities such as sharing pictures or a notification. Scratch-and-win is another feature that can help raise engagement among users. It can work well for both customers and vendors.
4. Improves efficiency
Integrated shopping carts with food ordering and scheduling allow the business to house these functionalities like a digital footprint within the app. For instance, if an eatery incorporates an online food ordering system within its app, it will more likely see a significant increase in online and in-app ordering. Similarly, if a retail business collaborates with an e-commerce system, it will see a productivity improvement and eventually overall sales. With mobile apps, companies can enhance user engagement with inbuilt scheduling software that notifies users about the schedule.
5. Build a loyal customer base
Having a loyal customer base is very critical for any business. A mobile app is one of the best ways to engage with customers and create a loyal customer base. An app allows customers to interact with your business at their convenience. With referral programs, you can encourage your clients to refer your products or services to others.
If you are not convinced with the above points, here are a few more reasons to consider incorporating mobile apps into your business strategy.
- Notify users about your new offers and products
- Reach out to younger audiences
- Sync email and social media accounts of users
- Stay ahead of the competition
View infographic: All you need to know before selecting a mobile app development method
Consider a few things before getting started
Planning your mobile app
Before developing your mobile app, you must plan. You need to outline details like objectives, budget, specifications, and scope. Get a clear picture of your app before sending it to a mobile app developer so that you can be quoted accurately, reasonably, and realistically.
Choose the right developer
We may sound a little biased here. However, we need to say that we’re helping brands worldwide to realize their visions w.r.t. their mobile apps. We provide consistent, high-quality, and cost-effective results with robust, agile teams and dedicated QA practices. Our experts can help you identify your requirements precisely, select the technology and framework needed to build your app, customize the app according to your requirements, and update and maintain it regularly.
Watch video: Fingent can help you choose the right mobile app development approach by evaluating your requirements.
If you’re not sure how or where to start with your enterprise or business mobile app, we’re here to help. Fingent’s mobile app development team has curated an app specification template that is simple and straightforward. Please fill out this template and share it with us. Our expert will get back to you with the answers.
Alternatively, you can send us your requirements and queries by clicking here.
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Address Your Parking Woes With Intelligent Parking Management
Many of you might have experienced the frustration of finding a spot to park your vehicle while going for shopping in the crowded shopping plazas. In today’s rapidly growing urban centers, the first touchpoint for a business to focus on is to eliminate the frustration that accompanies the search for a parking space. The objective of this blog is to help businesses enhance their customer experience with an intelligent parking system.
How Crucial is Parking Space in Enhancing Customer Experience?
Traffic congestion has been a major problem in many cities around the world. As a result, hours are lost in search of a parking space. A commuter in Sydney spends around 156 hours annually trying to find a parking space. This definitely adds to their frustration and creates a bad experience even before customers have stepped into your store.
One in three customers will walk away from their favorite brand after just one bad experience. Hence, it’s important to ensure that your customers have convenient parking spaces while they visit your store. This can go a long way in mitigating the risk of losing your customers and saving your reputation on social media.
The role of parking facilities in a customer’s decision to visit your store is emphasized in the Google Reviews feature as well, where visitors are prompted to mention if the store has parking facilities or not. Parking is, therefore, an important aspect of your customer experience.
What is an Intelligent Parking System?
An intelligent parking system uses technology to help drivers find and navigate their way to a parking space quickly and easily. It also helps them find alternative routes when there are traffic congestions. This way, intelligent parking systems offer your customers greater convenience.
An intelligent parking system draws customers to your business by using automated parking systems, mobile apps, and street-side sensors. The advent of smart technology has given rise to complex systems that can integrate with other connected systems. This means that businesses can now have a platform that uses relevant information to improve parking management.
What adds to the appeal of these sophisticated parking management systems is that they are extremely easy to use. They just have to download the application from app store to their smartphones. The intelligent parking management system enables parking operators to maintain real-time information on parking availability in street-parking locations, vertical parking structures, underground parking areas, and more. Your customers can access all of this information through the application on their phones.
How Does the Parking Management System Work?
A parking management system depends either on vehicle movement detection or vehicle video tracking. This uses technologies based either on sensors or on cameras. Each parking area can be installed with sensors or cameras at the access and exit points. This helps in tracking incoming and outgoing vehicles.
Sensors are being successfully used at a single level, multi-level and even on-street parking spaces. When these sensors are installed at each parking spot, accurate data about specific vacant parking spots can be obtained by the customer that delivers a hassle-free parking experience.
Five Benefits of Intelligent Parking Management
- Reduced stress leads to happy customers: Driving through the same street several times trying to find a parking spot increases stress levels. But with the intelligent parking system, a customer can navigate straight to a vacant parking spot and then into your store.
- Saves customer’s time: Your customer will have more time to explore your business offerings instead of driving around your premises looking for a parking space.
- Reduced fuel expenses and increased sales: Since your customer does not have to go in circles searching for a parking space, they tend to save more on fuel expenses. This can even prompt the customer to purchase more from you.
- Lowers pollution: Reduced pollution will contribute to better health for you and your customers.
- Reduces traffic snarls: When there are fewer vehicles on the streets, moving painfully slow searching for a parking spot, congestion on the roads is reduced. This, in turn, attracts potential customers.
The benefits of an intelligent parking management system are manifold. The most crucial factor is that it contributes to enriched customer experience and consequently to an improvement in sales and customer loyalty. At Fingent, we help clients develop applications with advanced technologies such as IoT, AI, cloud, AR, and VR. Reach out to us to discuss more.
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How Can You Successfully Build A Mobile App?
From the moment we wake up to the minute we fall asleep, mobile apps have become an indelible part of our lives. The number of mobile phone users is forecast to reach 4.68 billion this year! With a consumer-driven economy here to stay, businesses must adapt to what the consumer needs and where he needs it – at his fingertips and at his convenience. Understanding this need, businesses have got on to the bandwagon and are going full steam ahead on mobile app development. While this is the way to go, remember that not every mobile app is successful. There are a few vital points to keep in mind when developing a mobile app and this blog will discuss a few of them.
Top Points to Follow While Developing A Mobile App
Developing a mobile app isn’t a small investment. Research shows that it could take an investment of more than $270,000 to design, build and launch an app and could be much higher depending on the complexity of the app. Considering the investment involved, you would think that it would be an automatic success. Yet, experts say that two-thirds of apps will fail to reach 1,000 downloads in the first year. Even more alarming is the research which shows that 23% of those who download the application abandon the app after a single use!
Staggering numbers, aren’t they? Cost issues, bad tech, competition, failure to understand the actual need of the customer and other factors contribute to this failure. This is why it is vital to have all your ducks in a row before you get to mobile app development. Here are a few tips to ensure that your mobile app sees success and doesn’t join the numbers as a failure.
1. Understanding Need
Customers are not going to use your app if they do not see the value in it for themselves. That goes much beyond simply displaying your products or services and giving them a way to buy it through the app. The important question is: Why will the user download the app, make space for it on their phone and use it to engage with your business? This will only happen if they have a use for it and an emotional connection to it. That involves understanding customer behavior and how to cater to it.
The Fogg Behavior Model is often mentioned in this context. According to this model, “the behavior of a person is influenced by his motivation to perform a particular action, his ability to perform it and finally, the trigger.”
Understanding what the needs of your customers are, will help you determine the motivation factor. Recognizing the features that make your app more user-friendly, will help you influence the ability of your app. Finally, using technology like machine learning to understand the right time and the right way to introduce the right product will lead to greater success. This will push them to engage with your app and consequently with your business.
Preparing a proof of concept is an important factor in understanding if there is a need for your app and the motivating factor for customers to use the app. What are the challenges faced by your customers? Are there solutions to these challenges and how will your application provide it? These are the first questions to be addressed before you start on development. The research will help you determine who your customer is, what they need and how you can provide it. This will help you plan the functionality and design of your app in a way that will encourage downloads and engagement.
2. Selecting the Right Platforms and Database
As important as it is to get the design and the code for the mobile app right, it is equally important to decide which mobile platform you will need to build your app on. This is the foundation on which your code will rest. Of the many mobile platforms that came and went, iOS and Android have made their mark among consumers and it looks like they are here to stay. Now taking these two as the base point, you will still need to determine which mobile platform your app will be used on. You should also consider if your interests will be best served if you design for both or opt for a hybrid platform.
Since the language used by the developers will have to be natively supported by the platform you choose, this factor is vital. Your budget, the time and resources you employ, and the ultimate success or failure of the app will be influenced by this decision so tread carefully. Give careful consideration to your customer demographic. Are they predominantly Android users or iOS? What are the costs of designing the app on each platform? Will it be better to consider native app development or close-platform? Choosing the right database is also an important factor to consider as this will be crucial to the performance of your app.
3. Design Goals
This is where it all boils down to – Design and functionality. A mobile form design should be intuitive, clear and engaging.
Specification: The first consideration should be about what you want users to do once they have the app open. Decide what you want to include and what might be redundant to users. Listing functional and non-functional requirements clearly is the start line of the development.
Visual Design: Information presented in a clean and focused manner is vital to draw the attention of users in the direction you want to lead them. Using single fields of input and optimizing the information, appears like a conversation you are having with your client is important.
4. Security Considerations
With mobile applications, collecting sensitive information and gaining access to other information on their mobile device, consumers want to know that their information is safe. They want to know that adequate measures have been taken to comply with data protection laws. Integration of payment gateways in the application adds another level of concern when it comes to security.
This is why the onus lies on you to ensure security. For this, you will have to secure the app’s code from the ground up. Encryption of the code, files, and databases, securing network connections on the back-end, enabling authentication and identification technologies, and other robust security measures are vital in mobile app development.
The success of a mobile application highly depends on the strategies and approaches implemented. Check out our Whitepaper to know how to select the best approach for Mobile App Development.
Ensuring the Success of Your Mobile Application
If mobile application development is on your mind, we understand if you might feel bitten off more than you can chew. Mobile app development needs careful consideration, but with the right guidance, it can be the best thing that has happened to your company. Connect with our IT consultants today and let us simplify it for you.
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Which Is The Right Technology Choice While Developing A Client Mobile App?
In this digital era where mobile applications are omnipresent for every single requirement, and with the wide adoption of smartphones, more than 5.6 million mobile-specific software applications are available for download via the marketplaces, Google’s Play store, Apple’s App store and Microsoft’s store. Knowledge of niche technology is crucial for an enhanced mobile app development capability. Businesses require robust and efficient mobile applications. For this, they prefer cross-platform mobile app development to leverage all essential features.
Industry’s Perception Of Cross-Platform Development
In 2012, Facebook had an issue with their cross-platform mobile application due to its unique complexity, scalability constraints and also not being able to meet user expectations. This made Facebook abandon their Hybrid-based cross-platform mobile application and take up Native cross-platform mobile application development, making the reputation of Hybrid mobile app development a debatable topic altogether.
When it comes to mobile app development frameworks, React Native and Flutter are those that compete with each other at the technological forefront, to prove their worth. React Native was introduced by Facebook and Flutter is Google’s new fledgling.
Now, to gauge the current pros and cons of both, it is essential to deeply know the important features of the host of cross-platform mobile application development today – Flutter for hybrid application development and React Native for native. To know more about features based on critical factors, adoption, the popularity of these platforms, and other critical aspects, let’s get started!
1. Programming Language Used
Flutter is a cross-platform framework used for mobile application development. It uses Dart language and is reactive, that is, it solves the problem of responding to incoming asynchronous data. It supports the ‘Hot Reload’ feature where your mobile application can be rerun that accelerates development. Visual Studio Code, Android Studio and IntelliJ Idea are current official supporters of Flutter.
Flutter being a newbie makes everyone confused about implementing it for their mobile application development. With more than 1450 packages available on Flutter, it seems to pick up more momentum. The main architecture of Flutter is the Business Logic Component or BLoC. The Dart framework that is adopted by Flutter makes use of Skia C++ engine that includes all protocols, and contents.
React Native is no beginner and the main architecture patterns being Flux, by Facebook and Redux, the option most preferred by the user community.
Flutter has widgets as building blocks which are ready-to-use widgets, but since these are not adaptive in nature, the difficulty lies in the need to make its adaptation manual. These widgets propose a material design, prompting you with the need to make changes manually.
React Native, on the other hand, provides a library of web components for development. Development with React Native is pretty simple as it the create-react-native-package that needs to be installed has a provision for Expo Integration. This means that the code can be run on your device as simple as just having to scan a QR code that appears on the screen.
Key Point: React Native allows you to write code once and components will have to be loaded depending on the OS. So first the decision to be made is whether your requirement is for an app that has to look the same on both operating systems or take the advantage of individual features of each OS.
Related Reading: Check out the top technologies used for mobile app development.
Flutter, being fully compiled by the arm C/C++ library, Flutter has got a good performance though there are many factors involved.
React Native, on the other hand, is not compiled by C/C++. React Native performs much faster and better than other hybrid applications such as Cordova.
5. Level Of Ease To Start Learning
The documentation of Flutter is pretty good and helpful, but it is difficult to start learning, which is pretty obvious if you are a beginner into development and Google tells you so when you ask it how to Learn Flutter.
6. Clientele Support
Flutter clientele support is not as much as that is available for React Native. The team for Flutter is present at the rate of over 30k stars on Github, over 740 users of a Google Group, 4.5k users on subreddit and of course on Stack Overflow.
React Native, on the other hand, is backed by the huge community support of over 9000 users, 68k stars on Github, 14.5k users on subreddit and even has more third-party plug-ins and libraries than Flutter.
Summary – Is React Native Superior To Flutter?
In a nutshell, React Native is more stable for mobile app development than Flutter as it showcases its page of apps that enjoy the support of a very large clientele and Flutter is still new in the technological forefront. Also, considering the aspect of a mobile application that interfaces with banks or large enterprises as such, Native stands in the front row.
Also, Security poses a critical factor as hybrid applications can access all features from the device’s hardware layer such as camera, GPS, microphone, etc.
Native applications are up-to-date in terms of platform changes, whereas hybrid apps have a sense of uncertainty. Also business would consider the resale value as a key factor as it is important that a potential buyer gets the feeling that the platform adopted for his mobile app is future-proof and will not require frequent re-coding.
As for all these reasons, React Native is considered a more viable option and is highly recommended for cross-platform mobile application development than Flutter. To know which mobile app development approach suits your business, get in touch with our tech experts today!
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A niche business is no longer a term used often these days due to growing competition in every sector. In the world of startups and well-established enterprises, the companies that stand out clearly in front of their customers will only survive and succeed. Smartphones and fast data packs are beneficial to companies in terms of reaching out to their customers via desktop and mobile websites. But having such a front is a norm today and you will have to think of giving a little more to engage them. According to studies, business mobile apps have a higher rate of conversation when compared to desktop or mobile websites. You must be thinking how will a custom mobile application development help boost your business? Here’s how –
1. Better customer relationship
A custom business app offers customers a way to access your services and products directly. Especially, if you are a product-oriented company, you can have your products laid out better over the standard formats of e-retailers. Also, you can send offers, notifications, and even receive feedback from customers in real-time. You can even have a dedicated app team that offers support 24 x 7 and sorts query for customers with in-app emails and chat.
2. Creating and maintaining database
A custom app will give you the opportunity to access existing customer data and acquire new ones. Also, your app will have your own specialized security features that will safeguard your data against potential leaks and threats.
3. Integration with current services
If you are a software provider then a good way to offer more to your clients is by creating a custom app that syncs with your software. There can be reports, updates, and even a way to access information quickly and easily. To further improve client satisfaction, you can even hire a dedicated support team for app management. Such integration will definitely give your software some extra brownie points while marketing it.
4. Generate revenue
Apps are not just a great way to connect with your customers but can also work as a good revenue source for the business. You can charge customers a little extra for app services or an upgrade. Also, you can have in-app advertisements that add income to your kitty whenever your app is accessed by the customers.
5. Increase customer base
An app ensures that a customer is in your space and the only things they can surf around are your products and services. Having a custom app gives you a chance to put your case forward to new customers and even attract them with in-app offers. You can start giving them free trials and additional discounts via app downloads to add to your revenue. A custom app will define your uniqueness as it adds up to a brand identity for your business.
6. Project Management
Apart from seeking and retaining customers, your entire team can benefit from having an app that works for internal purposes only. Custom logins at each hierarchy can give them access to groups, documents, tasks, calendars, and more to run your business smoothly no matter where they are working from. This is beneficial especially if you have several teams working from different locations. Each team can receive updates regarding the project. Also, it helps in sending critical issues to all the personnel quickly.
Building a custom mobile app for your business is vital in this day and age of competition. Once you are clear about what you want, it’s a good idea to approach companies such as ours that build custom apps from the ground up.
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Small and medium businesses are discovering the value of mobile apps, both for the sake of engaging with customers better, and also for their internal business processes. As the practicality of mobile apps increases, way over “branding” for which apps were used not too long ago, the task of creating app has never been easier before.
Non-game app downloads are estimated to grow by 23% on average every year, until 2020, to touch $182 billion in revenue. The increased adoption of smartphones in emerging markets would result in an even greater popularity and adoption of an app. In fact, the number of downloads from mobile app store downloads is expected to double from 2015 levels, come 2020.
The Wind is Blowing in Favour of Apps
Several macro and micro level factors favor the development of enterprise apps.
App development kits are now very affordable and deliver high-quality apps in double quick time. No code and low code kits facilitate the development of apps without requiring any technical or coding expertise. Such kits automate several critical processes and offer intuitive templates which reduce the developer’s work greatly.
The success of any app depends on a sizable user base. The popularity of social media plays into the popularity of apps as well, with consumers now more open to engaging with brands on a day-to-day basis, even if they are not overtly loyal to the brand, or make regular purchases. As long as the app is entertaining and offers something of value, users will continue their patronage. Marketers can leverage the interesting or informative content with a strong call-to-action.
Customer demographics favor mobile apps. An average individual spends 174 minutes on mobile devices each day. Sales conducted through mobile devices are increasing at an exponential phase, and the figure is likely to get better with every passing year as the millennials show a greater affinity to purchase using mobile devices.
Apps Unlock Many Possibilities
The potential functionality possible with apps is also on the rise, making apps more viable than ever before. Enterprises increasingly find making a one-time investment in developing apps, say allowing customers to complete a booking, as well worth the effort, considering the increased business and savings from process efficiency such an app would bring about. If nothing else, apps enable push notifications that place the brand name and the marketing pitch directly in front of the smartphone owner.
The Red Hat Mobile Maturity Survey 2015 reveals about 35% of IT decision makers considering mobile apps as the best way to evolve the business, whereas 37% of them reveal the ability to automate routine tasks as the major motivation for developing apps. About 24% of decision makers developed apps to upgrade web-based processes to mobile. About 90% of enterprise increased their investment in mobile apps in 2016, with the average amount of investment rising by as much as 24%. In addition, a mobile app unlocks various possibilities, such as a field executive being able to present data or portfolio offline to a client, and close the sale immediately, without the risk of losing the prospect to a competitor.
All benefits notwithstanding, the underlying motivation behind enterprises adopting apps in a big way is the positive ROI it generates. About 74% of respondents in the Red Hat Survey attested to ROI from mobile app integration proving the value of implementation, and 78% of companies attest to mobile apps contributing to their success.
The Ease of Making Apps
Small businesses can now easily make both consumer dedicated and internal facing apps. Several services facilitate the creation of professional-looking apps, offering advanced features and functionality such as push notifications, location-based services, social media integration, e-commerce capabilities, mobile optimization, and more. Many services offer highly intuitive templates which allow even technically challenged users to create apps on the fly.
Several popular tools such as Xamarin, Appcelerator, IBM MobileFirst, and others make it easy to develop functional and working apps in double quick time. Rapid app development tools, backed up by databases, such as AlphaAnywhere, no code app creators such as AppPress, cloud-based drag and drop editors such as EachScape, template dominated development providers such as iBuildApp, ready-to-use sample app such as ViziApp, and scores of other options offer a host of ready-made options for enterprises.
Nevertheless, according to Gartner demand for enterprise mobile apps is outpacing development resources 5-to-1.
Enterprises seeking to ride the app wave by simply conjuring up an app and sitting back are in for a rude surprise. The success of an app depends largely on how well it is developed. A big reason for the widespread adoption of mobility is the device being easy to use and fun. Success apps are no exception. The best apps are highly focused. The UX especially make-or-break an app. Users seek powerful apps, yet prefer simplicity. There is also a need to consider the enterprise side of the equation, which is getting all stakeholders on board to reconcile what users want with enterprise requirements, and also ensure the app delivers positive ROI. Mobile apps cannot afford to remain static either, and require constant attention, upgrades, and feature enhancements, to stay relevant amidst an ever-fickle user base.
Only apps designed after understanding the needs of users and facilitating the same in the simplest and easiest way succeed. It takes the right blend of experience and talent to conceive such apps, and we have such experience and talent. Partner with us for your enterprise app development process, and leverage our highly resourceful team, who come with a wealth of experience cutting across industries.
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Mobile applications have been fueling the growth of the retail industry for quite some time. Retail giants like Walmart and Target have developed custom mobile applications to enable business growth.
So the new buzz for retail companies is around mobile applications these days! You can practically use mobile applications for almost all aspects in the retail industry, like customer service, payments, inventory management and the like. Technology itself has been improving the industry as a whole for quite some time now. Mobile applications are taking their turn now. Take a look at our article “How important is technology in retail: 4 focus areas”, to know how technology can be leveraged in different areas of a retail business.
Such being the level at which technology is used these days by retail companies, the benefits that accrue from it also have to be quite significant. And yes, there are massive improvements.
So what is all the hype about!?
Here we look at how mobile applications have benefited various retail companies in improving their business.
Target – Target’s mobile application enables customers to find products on their own, making their shopping much easier and quicker. It has a “My List” feature which allows customers to create their own shopping lists. You can make a list before you start shopping and also manage your lists and registries or even find your friend’s lists. It also allows you to search the store to find out if a particular item is available and get the exact aisle location of it. It has several other features as well, like a store locator, a barcode scanner to add products to a list or to get product details, and coupons for weekly deals. In addition, there is also a video online that explains how the app works. With this app, Target was able to increase their sales as well as customer base, as more people became convenient with their app. In a mobile-first era, they really understood the importance of an easy to use and powerful mobile app, and used it to gain competitive advantage. They ranked fifth in Comscore’s list of best mobile retailers this year.
Walmart – The world’s largest public corporation, Walmart, had their Savings Catcher Program as part of their mobile app for iOS and Android. The greatest value of Savings Catcher is its ability to link shopper data to personal accounts of customers. Along with that there are a number of features, like the ability to create smart lists and facility to navigate through aisles to find the exact location of a product, that make their app truly worth their efforts and expenses. What’s more, it allows customers to find in-store prices of products at their local Walmart stores ahead of time , without having to search for it. With all these features, the Walmart app is a total time saver and with its integration with their online store as well, they were able to increase sales both online and offline by a large margin. They came third in Comscore’s list of best mobile retailers.
Another example is the Best Buy App. It lets users scan QR codes in the store to access product reviews and compare product specs. And just like the other apps, it also lets you create a wishlist and find in-store availability of products, track past purchases, get reward points and also use special offers.
Some retailers also provide catalogs through their mobile apps. For example, Hollister provides a jeans fit guide in its mobile app, which displays the perfect fit for each style of jeans so as to assist customers in finding their perfect pair of jeans. It allows you to get front and back views of the jeans as well to make a more informed judgement.
Just like Target, Walmart, Best Buy, and Hollister, there are a number of retailers who have leveraged such mobile apps to serve their customers better and improve their business. These retailers have literally proved that mobile applications can do wonders for your business by being proactive in assisting customers.
Such being the level of benefits that accrue from using mobile applications, it is actually becoming mainstream these days. As the world moves to more mobile oriented shopping experiences, it would become a necessity for retailers to switch to mobile apps. It already has become old school to visit the regular brick and mortar stores, and pick stuff after long hours of search and enquiries. In the end, if an item is out of stock, then that’s it. Customers just have to live with it until they find it in some other store. This scenario is soon becoming a thing of the past. Retailers need to inevitably use mobile applications from now on, as otherwise, they stand the risk of losing their customers to other retailers that do.
Mentioned above are just a few retailers making big money through mobile apps. With time, these numbers are definitely going to grow and soon the entire retail world will be in the people’s hands, literally and figuratively.
Are you looking to build a mobile application for your retail business as well to stay in the game? Talk to our custom software experts and our mobile application experts for the perfect website and mobile app mix for your business.