When the COVID-19 pandemic began affecting lives across the globe, technology advanced at a breakneck pace within the span of only a few months. As a result of stringent stay-at-home orders, the general public transitioned dramatically from in-person communication to social media and online ordering.
During this digital revolution, it quickly became a necessity for businesses to leverage technology to meet the needs of consumers. Seemingly overnight, every relevant brand developed a mobile app for quick and convenient online ordering, browsing merchandise, order tracking, messaging, and more.
In the past, mobile app development was considered a luxury reserved for large brands. However, the undeniable impact of COVID-19 has made it evident that small and mid-sized brands can benefit greatly from investing in mobile app development as well.
The Evolution of Technology in Response to Social Distancing
As COVID-19 altered our everyday routines, even non-techies who had previously resisted a digital way of life were forced to adapt. As scientists and healthcare professionals realized that the virus spread rapidly through human contact, people around the globe and from all walks of life transformed the way they interacted with one another.
Suddenly, sanitization, masks, and social distancing became the public standard. As a result, customers, employees, friends, and family members concluded that they must interact with one another using digital means. Although it’s true that the shift to digitization had already been underway for years prior to the pandemic, the virus rapidly accelerated this metamorphosis.
In a matter of weeks, businesses that failed to embrace digital transformation fell apart. No one was prepared for a global disaster of this magnitude, and the combination of decreased demand, broken supply lines, and health-compromised employees spelled the end for thousands of small businesses. However, companies that had digital strategies in place before the pandemic were much more likely to survive. Some even thrived, their tech-savvy Internet presence like an open door for the consumers now flocking online.
Screen time has been going up for years, thanks in large part to convenience and entertainment value. But as the general public swapped in-store shopping for online ordering, overall screen time skyrocketed out of necessity. Digital tools and technologies became critical for almost any aspect of life, from shopping to distance learning. And these shifts have created some seemingly permanent trends, such as:
- Remote Work: Before the pandemic, 6% of employees worked remotely. After the pandemic, this number rose to 30%. As companies and employees become more comfortable conducting business with a remote work model, digital collaboration is becoming increasingly sophisticated.
- Omnichannel Commerce: Since many brick-and-mortar stores have closed their doors for good, consumers transitioned to online shopping. When it comes to food and groceries, delivery apps like Instacart and Doordash have grown in popularity. For other shopping, many people find it most convenient to order other items from their phone or desktop with e-commerce sites like Amazon.
- Digital Content Consumption: While consumers were stuck indoors, they turned to digital content for entertainment. Overall, 51% of internet users have increased their use of streaming services like Netflix. In addition, mobile app spending has soared to $34 billion, with apps like Tiktok, Youtube, and Tinder leading the pack.
- Platformification: Nearly every institution or organization switched to a digital platform to stay afloat during the pandemic. People in the fitness industry began holding online virtual classes and educational institutions adopted online courses. In the corporate world, even large-scale conferences can now occur within an online space.
Mobile Applications Are More Relevant than Ever Before
The past few years have been extremely challenging for businesses everywhere. Brands in every sector have been struggling to quickly develop new products and services that can fulfill the needs of online consumers. Retailers began developing apps to make their products readily available to customers, while restaurants created apps that allowed customers to check the status of their meals and receive curbside delivery.
Prior to the pandemic, only large brands invested in app development. But since tech and app usage has rapidly increased, small businesses have now realized the value that an effective mobile app can bring to their brand. The benefits of mobile app development for every brand are vast, and it would be unwise for brands to miss out on this opportunity.
1. Mobile Apps Increase Your Brand’s Visibility
Prior to the pandemic, Americans spent an average of 3 hours and 43 minutes per day on their mobile devices. In 2020, the amount of time that Americans spent on their mobile devices increased by 30% in comparison to 2019. Offering an app is an excellent way to capitalize on the growing attachment to our devices, positioning your business as convenient, responsive, and easily accessible.
An app is also an easy chance to keep your business in the forefront of consumers’ minds — even if it’s not the app they’re using at the moment. Every time mobile device users unlock their home screen and scan the screen for the app they’re looking for, they will encounter a reminder of your brand. The simple fact that people have downloaded your app will increase brand awareness.
With an app, you can also implement app-based push notifications to help keep your brand’s visibility up, gently reminding users of all your company has to offer.
2. Mobile Apps Provide a Direct Marketing Channel
The functionality of your app will vary depending on the products or services that your brand offers. Your app may provide general information, pricing information, messaging, news, or online ordering.
But overall, the most impactful benefit of having a mobile app is that your services or products are readily available at virtually any time. With your app as a direct marketing tool, there’s no need for an intermediary or third-party seller. Customers can interact with your brand without even opening a browser, making the sales process simpler and cutting out chances for them to become distracted by a competitor.
3. Mobile Apps Demonstrate Your Brand’s Value
The success of most mobile apps is ultimately determined by their usefulness. So as you consider which features best suit your brand and customer base, consider what will provide added value to their experience with your brand.
It may be wise to digitize programs that you already have with your mobile app. For instance, if you have an old-fashioned collection card as a reward system, digitize the process by allowing customers to earn points with your mobile app. Or promote exclusive offers, sales, and discounts through your app. (To increase the number of downloads, you could also offer new customers a percentage off their order or a free item when they create an account on your app.)
And of course, mobile apps allow you to provide value simply by providing regular updates about sales, promotions, and business developments that appeal to brand loyalists across the board.
4. Mobile Apps Improve Customer Engagement
No matter what product or service your brand provides, your customers want the ability to reach your company at a moment’s notice. The implementation of chatbots and messaging within your app will improve each customer’s overall experience and uphold your brand’s image. And the streamlined checkout process of a mobile app is quick and easy to increase sales and boost customer engagement.
5. Mobile Apps Increase Customer Loyalty
One of the best results from investing in mobile app development is its ability to increase customer loyalty to unprecedented levels. A well-designed mobile app will allow each customer to enjoy a highly specific, personalized user experience. As your mobile app tracks user activity, it will give your brand the opportunity to leverage that data to understand your customer base in new and insightful ways. Data from Poq confirms that an enriched mobile app experience increased user retention at an average that is four times higher than that of a desktop.
Create a Game-Changing App with CodigoDelSur
It is clear that consumers desire high-quality mobile applications. The monthly time spent on mobile applications alone increased from a mind-boggling 375% from the end of 2019 to the middle of 2021. And even now, business, shopping, and social media app usage continues to increase. So if your company doesn’t have a mobile application yet, it is time for your brand to step into the digital era and engage with your customers like never before.
However, creating a visually appealing, fully functional mobile application is no simple task. Although some brands try to build with an in-house team, mobile app development is best left to experienced mobile app developers who have the expertise necessary to create an app that’s both reliable and beautiful. Professional UI/UX designers can ensure that your customers have an enjoyable experience, crafting a mobile application that is engaging and easy to navigate.
If your brand is ready for expansion, our experienced mobile app developers and designers at CodigoDelSur can assist you throughout the mobile app development process.
Since 2007, we’ve helped nearly 200 US-based startups design and develop a wide range of mobile apps and websites. Our team of software developers leverages years of usability, engagement, and growth hacking know-how to scale your business exponentially. We create innovative, cutting-edge digital products fueled by talent, thirst for knowledge, and supreme dedication to our craft.
Through the consistent creation of stunning, functional websites and mobile applications, CodigoDelSur is rising to the forefront of our industry. We’re always ready to apply the latest developments in new, exciting technologies for your brand and create valuable, engaging user experiences that will keep your customers coming back for more.
Ready to embrace innovation and make your app a reality? Contact our team today and find out how we can revolutionize your brand’s digital experience!