How to increase construction materials sales by 30% using only a mobile app

Globus IT case
About the Project

The online-shopping gradually displaces a traditional shopping, and purchases made in the mobile apps increasingly prevail in this process. While in 2014 the share of those who purchased the goods via their smartphones at least once was below 2%, in 2020 over 77% of respondents said they tend to buy things online in the apps rather than from a PC. And among the group of users aged 30 every 2d user made the last purchase from his/her smartphone).

This is true not only for the sellers of garments, shoes and FMCG. The mobile apps are even more often required by the construction materials vendors.

In 2020 the online stores of construction and finishing materials demonstrated a 77% growth in the number of orders and a 55% growth of the sales revenue. And the share of purchases in the mobile apps reached 46%.

Given that only 3% of companies in 2020 had a mobile app in this segment of market.

So, let’s figure out why a construction materials vendor should have a mobile app.

1. Inventory and stock management

One of the most critical issues of a business engaged in the sales of construction materials is inventory management. The mobile app allows online tracking of the number and condition of the warehouse stock. You may easily add the new materials to the warehouse, remove the obsolete ones and make up an effortless inventory.

2. Ordering process and “field” sales

The mobile app will allow you and your employees to take the orders and make payments directly at the construction site. This saves the time for preparing the paper documentation, reduces the error probability and increases the speed and level of the client service. Paying with credit cards when making a purchase via a mobile app is another option that makes the buying process convenient for the clients.

3. Goods catalogue and prices

Your clients need information about availability of products and their prices. A mobile app may incorporate a detailed catalogue of construction materials with updated prices and photos of the products. This makes selection process much easier for the clients and your product line readily available.

4. Delivery tracking and schedule

The mobile app will allow online tracking of the deliveries. You clients will know when the delivery is expected.

5. Analytics and reporting

The mobile app will provide you with analytical data on sales, inventory and clients behavior. This will help you to take reasonable business-decisions and improve the processes.

6. Improvement of client service

Construction materials vendors who provide their clients with the up-to-date technology solutions generally have a higher rating. The mobile app contributes to an improved client service making the process of purchase faster and more convenient.

7. Competitive advantage

The use of a mobile app for business in construction materials industry may be your competitive advantage. This will demonstrate your readiness and ability to keep pace with the advanced technologies.

The mobile apps for construction materials vendors have already become an integral part of successful businesses. Investments in such apps are reasonable because of improved efficiency, client’s satisfaction and higher profit.

The mobile app for a construction material vendor may have the following functionality:

  1. Products catalogue. The app shall contain a full catalogue of available construction materials classified in categories and sub-categories. Each product shall have an appropriate description, image, price and status of its availability in the warehouse.
  2. Search and filtration. The users should have a possibility to easily find the needed construction materials through keyword searching and using parameters filters such as material type, size, color and etc.
  3. Shopping cart. The users should have a possibility to add the products into the cart, view the products added in the cart, change the number of products and remove them, if needed.
  4. Ordering. It shall be possible for the users to make an order in the mobile app, having indicated the required number of goods, way of delivery, delivery address and contact data.
  5. Order status tracking. After making an order the user shall have a possibility of online tracking of the order status — e.g., to know when the order was accepted, processed, dispatched and delivered.
  6. Orders history. The users should have an access to the history of their orders to see any previous purchases, repeat the orders or trace the delivery.
  7. Notifications. The mobile app shall send to its users the notifications on the status of order, special offers, discounts, promotions and any other important events.
  8. Feedback and ratings. The users should have a possibility to provide a feedback and make ratings of products that will help the other users to make a decision on purchase. The app shall provide a possibility to view the feedback and ratings.
  9. Contacts and support. The mobile app shall include contact data of the seller and provide a possibility to contact the support service to get help or answers to their questions.
  10. Sign-up and personal account. The users should have a possibility to create their personal account and sign in to the app using login and password, and also to restore the password, if required. The personal account will allow the users to save and view their data, delivery addresses, preferences and so on…
  11. Payments. It shall be possible for the users to pay online using various payment systems or payment procedures such a s bank cards, electronic wallets and etc.
  12. Warehouse inventory notification. If the product is temporary unavailable in the warehouse, the app may prompt the user to subscribe to notifications to get the product when it will be delivered to the warehouse.

Above is described only a general set of functions, and specific functions may differ depending on the demands and purposes of the construction materials vendor.

Problem and task

Now let’s have an insight into the mobile app that we have developed for a large company involved in production of construction materials, development and construction of real estate.

The company came out with an idea of developing a mobile app to increase the volume of construction materials sales, both, to individual entrepreneurs and legal entities, and, hence, to enlarge the segment and provide a wider market coverage.

Basic tasks of the app:

  • Aggregation of requests on one platform;
  • Arrangement and systematization of work with various segments of the target audience through a gadget the client is used to work with;
  • Creation of an additional sales channel and attraction of clients, including also repeated sales due to the use of convenient tool, which will give an advantage to the company compared to some other rivals.

To implement these tasks and objectives the following works shall be done as a minimum:

  • Generate a simple and user-friendly interface for searching and selecting the construction materials for the target audience;
  • Make the design complying with the company’s brand and guidelines from Apple and Google;
  • Work over the scenario of the user submitted request, its further processing and dispatch;
  • Provide the possibility of online payment using merchant acquiring services;
  • Prepare the client’s profile based on its personal account with the list of active and closed requests;
  • Provide the possibility of a prompt feedback with the company’s managers.

When developing the mobile app the focus was made on development of UX-mockups of screens (pages) in the mobile app.

The last but not least is certainly user-friendliness. The user interface shall be intuitive. And this is true indeed: the buyer shall have no problems on his way to purchase the required construction materials.

For this purpose, the screens interconnection and track chart was provided in details.

It is critical when the app correlates with the design and functionality of the company’s web-site, so that the Buyer who got used to purchase construction materials through a web-site could easily work with the mobile app.

The goods are classified in categories in the catalogue to easily find the required product. Also, search by the product name and section with discounts was added.

In his profile the Client may track the order and in case of any questions or comments the Client may promptly contact the company’s representatives.

Other helpful functions integrated in the mobile app:

  • Online payment of order;
  • Adding the product from a catalogue or a fly-page into Favorites;
  • Transfer of documents (files): viewing and downloading of documents at request;
  • Detailed information about the request: repeated request, list of transactions (number of request, date, cost);
  • Transfer of documents (files): viewing and downloading of documents on the request, available when entering the request window.

The launched mobile app demonstrated the following results in the first year of the mobile app operation:

  • Sales increase up to 30% after the mobile app integration. The sales increase became possible because the clients could make purchases in any time and any place, thus being inspired to buy more goods.
  • Average sales increase due to the mobile app was 15% to 25% after the first year of use. This is because the mobile app promoted the clients to buy more goods due to the easy process of goods selection and ordering.
  • Average purchase amount grew by 15%, since the company could offer personal recommendations and discounts to its clients through the mobile app promoting their interest in buying more goods.
  • The mobile app made the buying process easier and reduced the number of rejected goods in the shopping cart. The raise of conversion was from 10 to 20%, which means that higher number of clients completed their purchases after having placed the goods into the shopping cart.
  • Due to a smart analysis and processes improvement the rate of conversion increased and, hence, the sales increased by another 10%.
  • The launch of the mobile app also helped to cut the operational costs. For instance, automatic process of purchasing and payments allowed saving up to 15% of the operational expenditures.

So, based on the figures above it may be concluded that a construction material vendor may expect significant increase of sales if it has successfully launched its mobile app. The overall increase of sales may vary, however, based on various factors and other companies experience, such increase may reach 20–40% and higher. The mobile apps are becoming a powerful tool to boost the profit and competitive ability in construction materials sector.

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