About a decade ago, a mobile phone was a tiny little thing you could use to make calls and send short messages, and over the years, it’s evolved into something entirely different. Just as in fashion, trends in mobile phone development have been extremely volatile, with some consumers favoring small handheld devices one day, and then scrambling for tablets the next. What has not changed, however, is how consumers and businesses alike are learning to depend on mobile phones for a variety of different uses.
In today’s increasingly modern world, mobile apps have become tantamount to the success of nearly every venture. The dining industry has seen many restaurants implement mobile and tablet solutions to their operations, with Chili’s leading the pack, introducing tablet ordering, which lets customers order their food right from their tables by using an app installed on a tablet. This has translated to a 20% increase in sales in appetizers and desserts.
The gaming industry has also seen the success that going mobile can bring. In a report published by the operators of online gaming portal Spin Genie, it was revealed that there were 2x as many people playing on their mobile devices as on their desktop computers, and this has prompted the developer to launch their games on a format that translates between different devices.
Why Fashion Brands Can’t Afford to Ignore Mobile
In the fashion industry, a multitude of apps have come on the scene in recent years. From shopping apps to individual fashion designers, and even style apps, there are over 200 fashion magazine apps on iTunes alone. A 2014 survey of the “millennial shopper”, a.k.a. “your future customer”, shows just how entrenched mobile shopping is for the future of fashion.
- 4 out of 5 millennials shop from a mobile device.
- 55% of millennials use both mobile and tablet devices to shop.
- 71% of women shop from home, 77% of men shop on-the-go.
But the process of creating a mobile app is very expensive, so how should independent fashion designers take advantage of the trends in mobile shopping, especially on a limited budget?
5 Tips for Creating an Affordable Mobile App for Your Fashion Business
- Make sure your website is “responsive”. All the latest WordPress themes are mobile responsive and your website needs to be as well. Responsive websites mean that the website is developed in HTML5 and the view adjusts to any size of device and is functional on a desktop computer to the smallest iPhone.
- Create your own mobile app. There are many platforms that let you create a mobile app and help get your app in the Android or Apple app stores.
- Develop a list of features. It’s not enough to have an app that showcases your designs – viewers should also be able to place orders or contact you should they want custom designs.
- Showcase your blog. An updated blog showing what you are working on would also help to make your viewers understand your process, and improve your credibility as a designer.
- Provide a map to your store. Interactive maps showing where your business is located, or boutiques that carry your collection will help drive customers who want to shop local.
Fashion Mingle converted our website to a responsive design in 2014 and mobile readiness will be a key marketing strategy as we roll out our series of online tools for fashion entrepreneurs over the next year.
With 57% of millennials still choosing to shop with a browser on a mobile device over a native mobile app, creating a mobile-friendly website is an obvious solution. Check your website on your phone right now. Is it mobile-friendly? If not, start planning a new website for 2016. You can’t afford to ignore mobile if you want to grow your business.
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