If your brand doesn’t have a presence on mobile devices, then you’re missing out on a lot of critical market opportunities. Australians love their smartphones, and are indeed one of the most active consumers of smartphones in the world. Globally, 66% of people own smartphones. In Australia it’s far higher; it was 83% in 2016, and is predicted to increase to 89% in 2019.
People no longer just use their cellphones to make phone calls. It has become a principal portal through which people access the internet. By 2018, mobile devices will account for 73% of all internet consumption, and in Australia we are spending a lot of time using our phones for the internet every day. Time spent with mobile internet was 50.9 minutes in 2013, which leapt to 104.7 minutes in 2016, and is expected to reach 130.9 minutes in 2019.
Mobile internet time has replaced most other platforms as the lead source of news and entertainment. Consequently, time spent in front of desktop computers, TV, newspapers and magazines has all declined.
What does this all mean for commercial brands? It’s quite simple: brands need to have a presence on mobile devices, because that is where their customers are going to be. You can advertise on TV, get your name in the newspapers, and do everything else right with promoting your organisation, but without that critical mobile presence you’re going to miss out on key marketing opportunities.
The benefits of a mobile application
One approach to having that mobile presence is to build a mobile-ready website, and maintaining a solid presence on social media. These are both good in themselves, but a mobile application builds upon your mobile presence, and is likely to result in far better engagement for your mobile investment.
Is a mobile app right for your business? Find out here.
There are a couple of critical benefits that a mobile app offers which other approaches to mobile design can’t compete with:
1. Deepen customer engagement
If you have built a mobile application that works well, there’s the potential that the mobile app will become habitual for customers. They’ll login every day to check on what’s going on, and they’ll continue to engage heavily with your brand while doing so. Through notifications and the like, an app offers brands the ability to gently encourage people to keep logging in each day in a way that a mobile-ready website can’t.
2. Improve customer support
There’s a reason that brands are working hard to replace traditional call centres with more dynamic messaging support; customers have a better experience and get their concerns addressed more simply through messaging. One of the real strengths of the mobile app experience is that it can build the feedback and support loops natively into the app, giving customers an instant, easy and responsive way of contacting and interacting with your brand. The effect this can have on sales and reputation is very significant indeed; SalesForce data suggests that as much as 70% of purchases are influenced by the customer experience.
3. Offer a more personalised experience
An app provides a brand with the opportunity to offer a highly personalised user experience, and this in turn leads to better outcomes and engagement with the brand.
A custom-built app allows an app developer to leverage a user’s profile information to provide highly tailored information that matches that person’s preferences.
Push notifications are an intimate opportunity for direct interaction with a user. For example, it’s quite easy for a brand to know that an individual customer likes a certain product, and it can then send out a tailored push notification to that individual when the product has gone on sale.
4. Build loyalty
There are few marketing tools more powerful than a good loyalty program, and apps can easily facilitate these. Digitising the loyalty card that people carry around and putting it into your app is a massively convenient way for the customer to carry their card around, and will increase the likelihood of its use. As an added benefit, a digitised card provides data on purchase behaviour back to the brand in real time, which again can be used to provide tailored promotions back to the customer.
5. Focus on the customer
A mobile app gives your brand the air of professionalism and scale which helps customers trust it. Think about it; if a customer is regularly using your brands app, are they going to recognise and opt for a competitor’s product? It’s unlikely. They’ll see your brand as the trustworthy and professional choice, much like in past when consumers were more inclined to trust a properly outfitted shop over a business that relied exclusively on mail orders.
6. Earn more revenue
Last, and most simply, apps give your brand the opportunity to earn additional revenue. A customer’s impulse purchases while watching TV are that much more likely to filter your way if your app is ready on their phone. Apps make the purchasing process convenient, quick and simple. Customers much prefer this convenience over having to navigate through a mobile site, completing cumbersome logins and managing a profile. With an app, all that information is already stored, ready to go.
Discover how EB Pearls can bring your mobile app idea to life here.
This all contributes to your brand’s exposure and reach. Apps can give you an instant presence in a dominant space where most customers are. As they discover your app, hopefully telling their friends of its benefits or discussing it over social media, you could experience a real growth curve of customers that will forever be partial to your message and brand.
It’s important to remember that apps are one of the most intimate contact points that you can have with a customer. The act of installing your app to their mobile phone is a real vote of confidence that they can trust you, and it’s important to design the app in such a way that it won’t betray that trust.
Unleash your brand’s potential
For more information on making apps really work for your business, and to learn more about best practice when it comes to app design, EB Pearls is an expert that has helped many brands launch leading applications. Contact us today to discuss how our mobile app developers can help your business.