Not so long ago, mobile apps were a reserve of large corporations and businesses. However, that ace in the hole for the big guys has changed rapidly over the past two years. Today, smaller companies are serving clients better and seeing much greater returns on investment thanks to mobile apps.
Any way you look at it, humans are wired to be social. Nobody wants to be secluded from what is happening in the world. The fact that mobile is social cannot be overemphasized. Just like in formal chatting and video calling, businesses can push sales through the mobile device. Creating a functional Facebook or Twitter account is great, but it is just not enough.
The bottom line today is very simple — you need an app. The fear of high priced developers does not need to be a deterrent any longer, so there’s really no need to put it off. The right DIY app builder can get your business on the path to a mobile presence is a matter of days.
With the right planning and a clear picture of what you want your app to do, you can simply plug and play your app right into existence.
Simply start by describing your objectives and then prioritizing them from the start. Following some serious thinking on your part, you can use any or all of the four main routes towards achieving a highly functional mobile app. These are:
- Customer engagement
- Service and support
- Online sales
After you are clear what you want, it will be no time until you discover why you needed to jump on the app bandwagon. Here are 10 reasons your business will start to profit more with an app.
The Benefits of Having an App
Increase Visibility to Clients at All Times
In the US, the average person spends over two hours on the mobile phone daily. Globally, there are more than a billion smart phones. So, the fact that people these days spend more time on phone than on PCs is great for businesses — if you adjust your marketing plan to match this shift.
Evidently, your business will be exposed to numerous eyeballs if you have mobile presence. Your image, name and logo needs to be seen when these masses scroll, unlock, and do whatever they do while on the go.
Humans have their devices either on their fingers, palms or pockets. We like using them when waiting at the bus stop, riding to and from work and even when watching TV in the evening. All these are suitable times to send a notification to prospective clients.
If you offer internet-based services or products, use a mobile app to make sales. Make it possible for clients to do the same things that they would conventionally do when sitting in their offices. Offer valuable solutions for customers remotely. The more opportunities you offer potential customers to reach you, the better off your business will be.
Market More Directly
Mobile apps bring a lot of information to your business about your customers. Examples are demographics and geographical locations. More importantly, you can give a lot of information to your clients about your products and services.
Examples are news feeds, product specifications, new features, prices, promotions and special rates. You can know the preferences of certain customers and meet their individual needs. The fact that you are marketing more directly is a huge advantage.
Provide Your Customers with Value
Do you have a loyalty program? Why not make it digital using a mobile app? You can move from the traditional reward collection to the smart phone and other mobile devices. As mentioned earlier, more people are glued to their mobile phones than ever before.
Customers are interested in valuable products and services. With so many outlets offering the same products, it can be difficult for them to make a decision. A mobile app can nudge clients to your store. For example, use an area-sensitive push message on your app.
When clients walk near your store’s physical location, they get a notification inviting them to your store. Curious shoppers will flock your store to see what you have to offer. This approach has been effective for brick-and-mortar businesses. In addition, send a thank-you notification to your clients after making a purchase.
Build Brand Recognition
Whether your business is new or rebranding, you can enhance its recognition using a mobile app. Simply create an app with likeable features and you will mesmerize your audiences. Instead of putting up an expensive billboard, construct a functional app. After all, not everyone actually pays attention to or heeds the messages displayed on billboards.
Find a way to get your clients involved in your app regularly. The more often they interact with it, the more they will actually like the products or services it sells. This rule of the thumb in advertising is called effective frequency. It states that if customers see the brand more than 20 times, then it is truly noticed.
These days, mobile apps come with a sharing option where users can share your communication with their friends. It is like a friend telling you about a great service or product he or she bought somewhere. Studies indicate that referrals and third-party sales are among the most valuable marketing strategies.
Increase Customer Engagement
All clients need a way to reach the business that sells a product or service that they are interested in. If you are unreachable, you run the risk of losing customers. A mobile app therefore comes in handy at enabling this reach. Have a help desk on the mobile platform where customers can post their questions, orders, comments and complaints.
If you can reply to all their communication personally, then your customer engagement is great. Make the booking or ordering procedure as simple as possible yet secure. People are discouraged by lengthy procedures. They might even find it easier to click the ‘Back’ button than the ‘Next’ button.
Stand Out From the Crowd
The fact that a mobile app sets you apart cannot be overemphasized. Take advantage of this effective communication and marketing tool while it is still rare. By the time your competitors are realizing its importance, you will have grabbed almost the entire market share. No matter what you sell, you can take a commanding role among your peers.
Just by a tap of a button, your clients are able to see your products and services. That mobile apps are fast, easy, and simple to operate is a fact you need to capitalize on. This ease can drive customer engagement and loyalty to an unprecedented level.
Increase Customer Loyalty
How many customers come back to your store or office for a second purchase? This is an important aspect of business that you must cultivate. Customer loyalty can be achieved when you constantly remind your clients about your existence and the kind of products or services you sell.
There is already too much advertising out there. Examples are billboards, roadside banners, newspaper ads, flashing signs, flyers, website banners, coupons, email and social media marketing. Are you going to add your communication in these crowded places?
Your message runs the risk of getting lost or forgotten amidst all this noise. Therefore, take a step back and rethink your marketing and ad strategy. A mobile app makes a truthful and sincere connection between your business and your clients. The fact that it is closest to the person means increased recognition and loyalty. Simply put, you are at their fingertips.
Turn Your App Into a Social Platform
Integrate numerous social features into a mobile app. A study once revealed that most people on social media just log in to see what their friends are saying. Incorporate this idea into your marketing strategy so that people actually see your brand while they catch up with their friends.
Include features like in-app messaging, comments, likes and photo-sharing capabilities. Additionally, enable logging in to the app via Facebook and Twitter. This approach has proven effective in increasing customer engagement, repeated sales, retention and monetization.
Complement Your Website with Mobile App
Many marketers operating on a shoe-string budget usually ask this question — “Do we need an app if we have a functional website?” The truth of the matter is that a mobile app complements the capabilities of a website. Where a website attracts new customers, a mobile app creates customer loyalty.
A website needs clients to open a browser and enter the website URL. On the other hand, all a mobile app needs is a single touch on the screen of a smart device. A website is a great platform to offer information and to post content such as copy, videos and photos. However, it may not enable the two-way communication that an app boasts of.
Most People Are on Mobile
It does not matter what service or product you sell. Having a mobile app is a must these days. Since 2008, the average mobile phone user in the world spends three hours on the phone. More importantly, the three hours daily are usually spent interacting with mobile apps.
In 2014, the number of people using their mobile phones surpassed the number of desktop users. Google released research findings on the use of mobile apps in 2013. The research involved travel, health, fashion, restaurants, home, garden and automotive.
It stated that three in 10 customers started a purchase path from a mobile app. These statistics emphasize why you need to go mobile.
Do not limit your presence to a responsive website. The danger here is what marketers call the “buy and bye” phenomenon. This scenario is where a customer finds a great product, purchases it and leaves, never to come back. On the other hand, you run the risk of never finding customers if you limit yourself to a mobile app. Evidently, these platforms complement each other.
Having a functional website is the place to start. After attracting new customers, urge them to download your app on their mobile devices. After that, use the app to generate profitable opportunities. Create engagement by encouraging user reviews and interactions. As you build brand loyalty, expand your reach to social circles and deliver personalized shopping experience.