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Do you need an APP for your e-Commerce business?

Answer, "Case by case. But an absolutely no for new e-Commerce business."

It's not that hard to understand. Just look at your phone and see what e-Commerce app is installed. There should have a big possibility that there were only large shopping mall app, like Taobao, HKTV mall, Shopee, Amazon in it with very limited amount (if not nil) of SME e-Commerce app. The fact is only very limited amount of consumers will install an APP just to shop from a SME!

But it doesn't mean that having an APP is useless for SME e-Commerce business. It all depends on your business model. One of the example is direct sales business which is heavily relying on referral and commission system. We have implemented APPs for these type of business with features like business report, commission report, sales material distribution with e-Commerce system. In result, the APPs can generate more sales for their business and their sales representatives are highly engaged with the business through the APPs!

So, according to our understanding, given that our client's business is a standard e-Commerce business with no (or very limited) clients at the moment, we always suggest them to put more resources on marketing. This should be different from some of our competitors' opinion.

Another type of APPs that can help to engage customer and generate more sales is loyalty system. In which, merchant still need to have a certain client base to make this tactics work. While nowadays, many instant messengers, like Whats App, Facebook Messenger, Line, WeChat, equipped APIs for notification integration, it somehow not a must to build the APP in the first place to make a loyalty system to work.

In conclusion, let us share the reason why we do this passage sharing. Once, we have a client whom have engaged us to build an OMO e-Commerce system for her. After deployment, she asked for our opinion how to make her new business strike. We suggest her to do marketing as usual. Later, she ditched the system and engaged with another IT vendor just because the another vendor told her that an APP will help generate more sales for her. In result, we saw her colleagues other than closing the deals and get the customer data in an exhibition, they need to teach their customers and make sure they have downloaded and installed the APP at the same time. The sales process lead time is at least double and closing rate likely to dropped according to my observation. Let's pray for her business, and I hope sharing our view can let less businessman repeat the same mistake.

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