Mobile Apps and Why You Need One
The days when you only needed a website and an email address for your business are long gone. The world has shifted to the smartphone and the trend is that smartphones will be increasingly preferred over desktop and laptop computers. It is easier to count those without smartphones than those having them. Mobile app development makes your marketing, selling and customer service operations much easier. You are able to reach a wider audience which you can turn into a lucrative market. There are several reasons why you should consider getting a mobile app.
Numbers show an overwhelming dominance of the mobile in coming years. There are over 2 billion mobile phones in the world at the moment a big chunk of which is smartphones. In many developed markets, the US and The Bahamas included, over 90% of the adult population has a mobile phone. This is a massive audience. Creating a mobile app gives you a contact point with this audience.
Recent research by Flurry analytics showed that smartphone users spent 86% of their time on apps as opposed to the native browsers that come with the smartphones. This means that your content on the website is likely to be missed if it is not on an app. Building an app allows you to add functionality to what the customer is viewing which gives you better exposure.
An app locks in the customer. A smartphone user will most likely use one app at a time. This means that during the time a user is using your app, your brand is receiving maximum undivided exposure. Mobile phone users also keep checking their phones a lot. If your app is on the phone’s home screen the phone owner is constantly exposed to it enforcing your brand’s recognition.
The good thing with an app is that it can generate you revenue. You can set up advertising on your app which allows you to recoup the money that you have spent on building it. If it is a popular app, it could be a crucial added revenue stream.
It is easy to build in support for an app. If for example, you are selling electronic devices, you can bundle in video tutorials to walk the customer through the installation process. You can also integrate this with web applications for fuller support. An app is also a good platform on which to push content that your customers will find helpful and like. You can promote new products/services without extra costs.
Mobile apps are very good in providing data on your customers. You can see what products the customers are looking at and what they are saying about other products. This market data can be very useful in improving your products, and knowing which product lines to expand and which to contract. This is unlike using other methods like surveys or focus group discussions which are expensive to carry out and are not very accurate. When data shows that a certain customer looked at a certain product on his phone, it is 100% true.
Marketers are always scratching their heads around ways to reach the younger audience aka the millennials. This group is more comfortable around smartphone technology preferring it over desktops. This means traditional methods of marketing will not work with this group. However, it is easy to capture their attention with a good app as the smartphone is their first choice medium for browsing, chatting, social media and entertainment.
Using the data you have collected over customer behavior, you can constantly better your app to make the user experience friendlier. If you note that your customers first head to the offers section before going to reviews, you can design your app to respond to this trend by making the navigation smoother. You can also opt to capture customer attention on new products by highlighting new offers and ‘forcing’ customers to look at them.
Indexing your app on Google Play Store and Apple’s App store will give you exposure if it is reviewed favorably. These stores have a review system which ranks apps that are related. If your app is ranked highly it is more visible and gets downloaded by more users increasing your exposure. This is an upward spiral as you can then earn more advertising revenue from your app and continue bettering it with better feedback from more people.
Mobile is truly global
The indexing of apps means that a popular app becomes popular around the world in nearly a uniform manner. This is true as smartphones have penetrated areas that are not covered by wired internet. Apps such as Instagram are uniformly popular in Africa as well as North America. A good app has the potential to take your business global at a highly accelerated rate.
Beat the competition
If you are not engaging your customers through an app, your competitors will. In today’s highly competitive and dynamic business environment better customer service and engagement can give you a crucial edge over the competition. An app is a perfect tool to beat the competition fast and at a low cost.