During the age of smartphones, being able to access information and keep in touch on the go is incredibly important in our day-to-day lives. Apps are popular because they are a quick and easy way of accessing a user’s favourite platform, such as Instagram or Facebook. There are apps for everything nowadays- games, social media platforms, news services, magazines and even company websites. When businesses incorporate this reality into their marketing strategies, they can be extremely successful.
A 2016 article from Entrepreneurship mentioned that “Smartphone apps have become too important a marketing tool for small business owners to do without.” Some small business owners may be wary of creating a mobile app version of their business’ website because they doubt it can be successful. However, if you have any sort of social media following or online presence, creating an app can only increase the traffic to your business. Apps are much more convenient for people nowadays and if you cater to this trend, you can even gain followers by creating an app.
In 2014 alone, Apple's App Store generated over $10 billion in revenue for developers. With the continuous rise of mobile app usage, it's no surprise that everyone's working on developing trendy new mobile apps.
Are you not convinced yet? Let’s look at some more statistics:
- Based on research, the enterprise-mobile-app market is expected to grow to $101 billion by 2020.
- Smartphone penetration has reached over 60 percent in developed countries and global penetration is up to 34 percent, with an expected increase in 2018.
- The average smartphone user checks their phone at least 85 times per day.
Put yourself in the position of your competitors. They are probably looking at similar statistics, are most likely preparing to enter the mobile application arena, or have already taken the plunge. Going mobile is the best way to increase traffic to your website and get ahead of your competition.
The bottom line is this: you need an app. With the right strategy and a clear understanding of what you want your app to do how you want your app to function, the process of creating the app can be quite simple. Pretty soon you’ll wonder why you didn’t jump on the mobile app bandwagon earlier!
Here are 10 ways that building a mobile app can benefit your business:
1. Your customers will benefit
Your mobile app can do much more than aid in marketing and brand visibility. A mobile app can provide your customers with an alternative, easily accessible platform from which they can explore your business. Your marketing strategy most likely prioritizes customer satisfaction, but how are you accomplishing that? By keeping up with online trends, such as the development of mobile apps, you can cater to your customers ‘ needs. They are more likely to support your business if they can easily access it. The high traffic and conversion rates you will have as a result of using a mobile app will translate into a high ROI.
Additionally, customers can communicate with businesses much easier over a mobile app platform. When your customers feel that you are easy to reach and that your business enjoys interacting with customers, they will feel highly valued. Staying up to date with the latest trends, such as mobile apps, shows that a company cares about their customer’s lives. When a business stays stuck in the stone age and never adjusts their marketing strategy to adapt to these trends, it implies that they have no interest in their customers’ day-to-day lives. As we mentioned, mobile apps and smartphones are an inherent aspect of most people’s daily lives. When businesses are sensitive to this, they are exemplifying how much they care about their customers.
If you want your customers to feel particularly valued, you can use your mobile app to create a loyalty program. For example, you can reward customers who interact with your business or product on your app with points which they can then use to take advantage of deals or discounts on products.
Lastly, your customers can benefit from your company’s mobile app because you can make them feel special. You can use an area-sensitive push message within your app to make your customers feel valued. When clients walk near your store, they will receive a notification inviting them into to your store. This personal invitation shows that you pay attention to your customers.
You can also send a “thank you” notification to show your appreciation when your clients make purchases.
2. You will build brand recognition
Today’s market is more competitive than ever, and mobile apps are effective tools to enhance your brand’s visibility. If you are struggling to understand how this can be possible, think of apps like mobile billboards. Every time a customer opens their phone, they will see the name of your app and be reminded of your brand. When their friends look at their phone, these friends will also be exposed to your business via your mobile app.
Mobile apps are multi-functional and can truly capture your customer’s interest. Apps oftentimes allow users to play games, access audio and videos, keep up to date with a company’s news and chat via instant messages. Not only can app users have access to all of these features, but they can also directly interact with your brand. Mobile apps serve as a direct channel between your customers and your business.
In fact, you can leverage the sharing options on your mobile app where users can share your app’s content with their friends or social media network. This could be seen as a referral or third-party sales where they can tell their friends how great your products or services are, then get a special reward. Studies indicate that this makes for a valuable marketing strategy.
Overall, if your app functions well and is aesthetically pleasing, it will mesmerise your audience. You don’t even have to go as far as putting up an expensive billboard—simply build a functional app, and you can build brand recognition.
Your company’s mobile app will reinforce your brand by increasing your visibility. Apps give your brand more presence than your website can, because unlike a browser bookmark, your app is always visible on people’s phone screens—this then leads to customer loyalty as your business is, at all times, in front of them and only a tap away.
3. You will gain a competitive edge
Creating a mobile app for your business will help set you apart from your competitors. While some of your competitors choose not to take advantage of the power of mobile apps, you can get ahead by using this effective communication and marketing tool to attract a larger portion of the market. While it can sometimes be incredibly difficult to gain a competitive edge over your competition, embracing mobile apps is such an easy way to distinguish your business. You should capitalise on the benefits of mobile apps, of which there are many.
At the most basic level, mobile apps are fast, easy and simple to operate. This handiness will, without a doubt, drive customer engagement and loyalty to an unprecedented level. To build a solid foundation for your app’s success, make sure that you have a foolproof strategy for your mobile app and can integrate it with social media, all while keeping app development costs in a comfortable range.
You’ll be able to generate a customer experience that will give your users and prospective buyers value and purpose, in no time.
4. You will connect better with your customers
Interaction is important to the success of any business and apps can help with that. Your mobile app can be used as a platform where you provide customer support and encourage people to contact you or give feedback. Today, around 2.6 billion people have high-powered mobile devices within arm’s reach, which means that providing customer service on your mobile app can allow you to reach a very wide audience.
By providing customer service on your mobile app’s platform, your customers will be able to contact you with the click of a button. Most businesses have a customer service email or form that customers can access via their website, but they can be hard to find. Mobile apps can be easier to navigate than websites, which makes them an easier platform for your customers to reach you.
Mobile apps are truly the answer to increasing customer satisfaction. They are your clients’ gateway to every aspect of your business from your products to customer service. It is crucial to be available to be readily available, because if you are unreachable, you could lose a significant amount of prospective customers. A mobile app enables this kind of quick communication.
5. You can target your market more accurately
Through mobile apps, it has now become easier to target key customers with location-specific and time-sensitive messages. As mentioned above, you can integrate a geo-location technology into your app where your business can send special offers to customers who are in close proximity to your physical stores. This kind of approach will help you decrease your marketing budget, narrow your focus and deliver targeted ads to customers at the right place and time.
Additionally, your mobile app can give you valuable data about your customers that you can use to improve your marketing strategy. This data includes customer demographics, geographical locations and preferences that can help you meet their individual needs. Since you are marketing more directly, you’ll be able to provide useful information to your clients about your products and services.
6. You will reduce costs and boost profits
Mobile apps reduce costs by simplifying communication and allowing businesses to directly message customers. You no longer have to hire additional customer service staff as you can program your mobile app to provide specific answers to common customer service requests, rather than needing a call center full of customer service staff to answer every individual inquiry. While you will still need a few customer service employees to answer more detailed questions, your app can help you provide fast answers to simple customer service questions. Not only will you reduce costs, but this will also increase your customer satisfaction rates because customers won’t need to wait days for an answer to a simple question.
When you increase your customer satisfaction rates, your sales will increase as well. According to SalesForce, 70% of buying experiences are influenced by how customers feel they’re being treated. As more people become interested and pleased with your products, your consumer demand will flow positively as well.
Overall, a mobile app can reduce the amount your business spends on customer service staff and can boost your profits in relation to increases in your customer satisfaction rates.
7. Your customers won't have to wait
Customers no longer have to play the waiting game as today’s mobile apps provide a much quicker and easier alternative to mobile web browsing. Unlike web browsing where users are required to launch a web browser, enter a URL and wait for the website to load, mobile apps allow customers to access your business with the touch of a button.
In the past, customers had to wait until they had access to a computer before they could interact with your company. However, mobile apps also cut down on wait time because customers can use apps on their smartphones when they are away from home. No matter where a customer is, all they need is cell phone reception and they can instantly explore your app. Since there is a decreased waiting time, more users will be attracted to your business and could even be converted into potential leads.
8. Your app helps promote your business
You can create app-specific offers and deals to attract many prospective users to your business. If you provide perks to customers who download your app by giving them access to exclusive deals, early bird specials, or voucher or coupon codes, you can increase traffic on the app itself. If you have attractive offers that are only accessible via your app, your customers might even tell their friends, who will then download your app, which will in turn help promote your business.
When promoting your business, it helps to build personal relationships with your customers so they feel important and you can gauge which marketing strategies they best respond to. By rewarding your customers for accessing your app, they will feel valued and you can learn which rewards they prefer. This information can then help you to successfully promote your business both now and in the future.
9. An app is great for social media platforms (you can gain followers)
A research study done by the Pew Research Center indicates that the majority of people go on social media to see what their friends are saying. You can use this fact to improve your marketing strategy by integrating numerous social features into your mobile app. If your mobile app is both attractive and interactive, customers are more likely to be frequent users and to tell their friends.
You can include features like comments, in-app messaging, chat box, add a friend feature, likes and photo-sharing capabilities. Furthermore, you can enable users to log in to the app using their Facebook or Twitter accounts. Linking your app to social media platforms is a proven method to increase customer engagement and boost sales, retention and monetisation.
No doubt, today’s generation is obsessed with social media. By linking your app with social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, you can meet customers where they already are. If your mobile app can be shared on these sites, people will be able to talk about your products or services, which can increase sales.
Mobile apps are changing the way people buy, sell, and review products—making it more important for every business to provide their customers with a dedicated mobile app. If your customers share positive thoughts about your products, you can further expand your audience and increase sales.
10. An app complements your website
If your business operates on a tight budget, you may think that building a mobile app is a waste of money if you have a functional website. The truth is, a mobile app actually complements the features and capabilities of your company’s website. Your website helps attract new customers who may not have access to a smartphone, while your mobile app attracts younger customers and cultivates customer loyalty.
As we mentioned before, a customer can access your business much quicker from an app than from a website. Your website can be a great platform to offer valuable information and post content such as copy, videos, and photos but unlike mobile apps, it may not be able to provide the quick and efficient two-way communication that your customers need.
Living in the year 2018 means that we are surrounded by new technology. One of the most significant technological advancements made in the last decade was the switch from desktops to smartphones; to access information. Businesses must adapt to this evident shift in order to remain successful and maintain their ROI. Some businesses have yet to catch up with the times, so building a mobile app for your business can allow you to gain a competitive edge.
With many reputable businesses launching their own mobile apps, it is now considered to be the “new website” for most companies. Successfully launching your mobile app puts you on the cutting edge of the market, maintains customer loyalty and overall, improves the quality and quantity of the sales leads you generate.
Mobile apps have been a crucial part of marketing strategies for big companies, such as YouTube and Instagram, for years now. By creating an app as a small business, you can ensure long-term profitability, gain a competitive edge and increase your company’s exposure to both new and old customers.
Ready to build your business’ first app? We at Ordia Creative will be happy to assist you with all your questions and work with you to develop a game-changing app that will drive further success for your business.