At Emplate, we believe that, for shopping centers, native apps are the way to go, which is why we've dedicated our efforts to these.
Now, we're not ones to make a claim and not back it up. So, let's take you through the main reasons why:
Better user experience
- The better 'feel' of the native app with more pleasant user interface is especially important for shopping center apps, considering that a lot of different customers, with different level of tech skills should find it easy to use.
Easier to use regularly
- Do you know how to bookmark a web app on your phone's home screen? If no, then you're probably like most consumers.
- If you don't bookmark web apps, every single time you want to use them, you need to go into your phone's browser and manually find them - in contrast, a native app is available at the click of an icon on your home screen. And, that's an important distinction, because the more you can tap into your customers' normal behavior, the more naturally them using your app will be.
Many added features
- Native apps have the option to access other parts of your phone, like GPS. This can be crucial - if we consider the GPS as an example, a lot of shopping centers consider wayfinding to be a very important feature, which adds a lot of value to the customer experience.
But Emplate, you might wonder, didn't you just say that native apps are typically more expensive to develop than web apps and need to be continually updated?
Yes, we did! And, it's true. Which is why we're also making the case for a software as a service (SaaS) provider;
- Typically, a SaaS solution is already developed and just needs to be customized to your shopping center - which means short time to launch, despite being a native app.
- Often times, this also means that they're a cheaper option than a custom build - both initially and long term. The continuous updates and improvements are paid through the license, meaning no bad surprises with extra fees.
- The software has been tested and is in use, which means there isn't the same risk of failure due to the product quality, like when doing a custom build.
- A SaaS provider's bread and butter is that exact type of app, so they're not going to move on to another concept. They're continually involved and their focus is on always optimizing, as they want to see you succeed as much as you do.
- The long term collaboration and co-dependency with the client means they invest heavily in your success, as they only succeed if you do. Which is why, if we look at e.g. Emplate, there's a big focus and investment of resources on providing great customer success and an intuitive knowledge hub and best practices content.
And finally, while it is possible for a consultancy to build a shopping center app too, the specialized knowledge and lower risk that comes with choosing a SaaS provider who specializes in the field is, in our minds, something that is uniquely SaaS.
If you want to talk more about the possibilities of native apps and SaaS, book a call today.