So far, I’ve covered multiple topics concerning mobile tech — how long it takes to build an app, how to choose a high-quality development company, AI in mobile etc. but we never answered to the first and the foremost question — whether to app or not to app.
We can say that we live in a Mobile Era — for a business owner, it’s not enough anymore to be present through the website only, since online activities are moving to the mobile.
People have already shifted to mobile devices over desktop and according to eMarketer, the time users spend on mobile increased in 2018 and the same mobile will surpass TV as a medium — no matter if you listen to the audio music, use social network apps, gaming or messaging — you are Mobile.
So how do you decide if a mobile app is right for your business?
Before making a decision it’s a good thing to think about several points:
- How about similar apps?
Check the ratings and reviews on similar apps. It can give you valuable insight and possibly some ideas for your own feature list.
- Will the app solve users’ problems?
You should think about users’ pain points and add functionalities which resolve them and facilitate the interaction- e.g. scan&pay, mobile payments, social media networks etc. Target the WOW feature when building your app.
- Will the app’s target demographic actually use the app?
Think about your end users: How old are they? Will they actually use the app and discover the benefits? Track some metrics and find out how many users access your site via mobile.
- Will collected users’ data simplify the process?
Simplifying the process of data input like billing or shipping addresses will offer a great benefit for the users and they will be more prone to return and buy again. If you depend on the return customers (food delivery service etc.), getting rid of the burdensome entry when using your app may end up increasing sales.
- Do you have a customer loyalty program and/or other motivation?
An app can be a very effective tool for your loyalty program, like rewarding customers with coupons, discounts, and other incentives. Moreover, you can pick the feature that allows customers to share various content and thus promote your product or service on different social media like Instagram, Twitter etc. You can also use phone functionalities such as a camera or accelerometer sensor, as these offer experience that a website cannot compete.
- And what about branding?
When having an app, the users that download your app make your brand logo visible and considering “effective frequency” in advertising, it is said that the more people are exposed to your brand, the more they will recognize it.
So after you’ve analyzed all for-and-against reasons and realized your business needs to ‘app up’, let’s see some key benefits:
- Mobile Payment
Mobile payment is said to be the most valuable feature on the apps. According to Clutch 2018 Small Business survey, the largest percentage of small businesses (26%) listed this feature as the top one.
Mobile payment offers greater convenience to the customers as it is a faster and more secure way of payment. Plus, the payment process is less complicated which allows the customer to pay without having to physically hand over cash or a credit card.
No matter if the app gives a chance to purchase online or in the store, these types of payments are getting increasingly common and can offer streamlined purchasing — especially as the consumers today are more prone for a quick and expeditive shopping experiences.
2. Value and Loyalty
Perhaps you will need to invest in a mobile app for your business, but the value you will provide to your customers is irreplaceable. You should increase customers’ interaction with your business not only to promote sales but also to provide a certain value for them that they cannot get anywhere else.
One way to do that is through creating the loyalty program or digitizing it if you already have one. Instead of the old-fashioned point-collection card, perhaps you can facilitate the program by collecting the same points via your mobile app. Another idea is to offer additional coupon rewards exclusively to your mobile app subscribers which can encourage them to go mobile, like AliExpress does.
When your customers see how easy it is for them to enter your loyalty program and how effective it is, they’ll be delighted and it is more likely that they will follow up on their purchases in the future.
The result is more return customers and more purchases.
3. Direct Marketing
Since apps provide a lot of information to their users like news feed, general info, prices, discounts etc., this can be an immense benefit for your business.
You can provide information to your customers directly, including sales, new products, discounts and promotions, and they can access it with just a tap.
You can communicate directly with them through push notifications and remind them about your product or service whenever you feel appropriate.
Just be careful with the push notifications — if you overuse them, it can evoke a counter-effect and you may lose valuable consumers.
In today’s world which is overloaded with mobile apps, you need to build your brand consistently and a mobile app can assist you with this.
It can greatly contribute to your brand awareness and what you really need is an app that provides functionalities your customers love, that is nicely branded and attractive in design.
More often your customers get involved with your business through your app, the sooner they will be interested to buy your product or service. Plus, you will foster the trust in your mutual relationship — the more they trust you, the more likely they’ll engage with your business. It’s all about creating trust, so your mobile app can strengthen your brand and also help you to educate your customers WHY they should trust you.
5. Communication and engagement
Your customers need an effective way to reach you — having a mobile app with the feature of messaging can make a difference in the way you interact with your customers. Nowadays, many people would prefer communicating with the business via message rather than via phone.
As more and more people own smartphones and according to VentureBeat report, smartphone users exceeded 3 billion in 2018 and still growing to hit 3.8 billion users in 2019 — mobile apps are real game-changers in communication and customer support.
Most of the marketers actually see their apps as means to improve communication with their customers.
If you’re a business owner and thinking to build a mobile app just to increase the number of your new customers, you should think twice.
Mobile app is a powerful tool and although many business owners still think that getting an app is rather expensive and complex, they should keep in mind that mobile apps boost repeat visits, give a wide variety of online transactions, deliver coupons, send notifications to build sales with the customers, stimulate contact with your business, enhance relationships with your customers and much more.
Mobile apps aren’t just for big brands anymore as more and more small and midsize businesses understand that they need to follow this mobile trend.
Whichever way you take, a mobile app is going to be a standard element of any business in the future.
You should decide TODAY whether you’d like to be one of the first to set the foundation for your lucrative source of revenue in the FUTURE.