Having a mobile application for your business was once thought of as a luxury that only big-name companies could afford. But with the ever-growing rise of mobile device usage around the world it now looks as though no business can afford to be without their own mobile app.
And while the uninitiated might make the mistake of thinking that this is still simply an issue of vanity – being able to say “my business has a mobile application, check it out!” – or of having money to burn, once the following points are considered, the real value of mobile apps becomes clear:
It cashes in on the mobile phenomenon: Let’s face it – mobile devices are here to stay. A 2014 report stated that Americans alone spend 162 minutes per day on their mobile devices, and it can be assumed that people in other countries spend a comparable amount of time on theirs. But the most pertinent statistic: 86% of that time was spent using apps. Something to think about, for sure.
It keeps your business front-of-mind: Years ago (and in fact, this is still the case today), billboards were placed along the sides of roads in order for businesses to advertise to passerby. Now, an app icon is presented to a mobile user every time they pick up their device. Why not let it be your app that users see as they scroll through their screen? Even if they don’t use it every time, just seeing your icon will have the subconscious effect of building familiarity with your brand.
It helps provide customer value: If leveraged correctly, that is. For example, many businesses offer discounts or coupons available only to customers who have downloaded their mobile application. Another idea is to use the app in place of the traditional loyalty card. Instead of customers having to remember to bring a points or punch card with them every time they visit a business, all they have to do is pull up the app and have a bar code scanned. Voila – their activity is now stored within the app itself, and can be “cashed in” using the app as well.
It can improve communication with customers: For example, including a virtual suggestion box or help desk within your app gives customers the opportunity to reach out and engage on a more personal level than, say, sending an email and hoping the mailbox is actually maintained by a human being. This builds trust and identification with a brand, and thus loyalty.
It can provide a boost to your marketing: Use your mobile app to alert customers to sales, special promotions, special events and more. Encourage them to download your app in order to stay abreast of current events and use push notifications to alert users whenever something new crops up. Of course, using a bit of temperance in terms of the frequency of such notifications is key – you wouldn’t want to bombard your users with messages, or else risk the prospect of them becoming fed up with you and deleting the app altogether. There’s a fine line to be walked, certainly, but a balance can be struck.
Once you begin brainstorming the various uses for a mobile application, you’re sure to find that it can provide real value to your business if leveraged correctly. Here at EB Pearls, we can not only help you discover how having an app can boost your business – we can also design and implement one that’s perfect for your brand and your customers.