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:
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.
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:
To implement these tasks and objectives the following works shall be done as a minimum:
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:
The launched mobile app demonstrated the following results in the first year of the mobile app operation:
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.