Business and technology share an intricate connection. Every advancement in technology has had a significant effect on business and industry. In many cases, new technology brings forth the existence of completely new industries.
Some examples that come to mind:
- Personal Computers simplified operations through intelligent and cost-effective solutions. As a result, the information technology industry was born.
- The Internet brought forth a new era of products and services we are now completely reliant on in our personal and professional lives.
In today’s day and age, mobile apps present a huge opportunity for wide scale technological change to businesses and industries alike. Almost everyone carries a smartphone as it’s become necessity for work and play.
Apps have come a long way since the days of Snake played on the legendary Nokia 3310, or more recently since the launch of Apple’s App Store in 2008. Apps are no longer a novelty for businesses or a secondary feature of your phone.
Apps are now part of the reason we continually upgrade our phones. For businesses, apps are a mark of authenticity, legitimacy and superior customer service.
Mobile apps now serve a wide range of purposes, including (but not limited to) entertainment (Spotify, Netflix), social media (SnapChat, Twitter), news (Google News, Flipboard), education (DuoLingo, Quizlet), money transfer (Venmo, Transferwise), shopping (Alibaba, Etsy), task outsourcing (TaskRabbit, Fiverr), transportation (Uber) and task management (ToDoist, Slack), among many others.
But the app market is now rather oversaturated due to the sheer number of apps available for iPhone and Android. Businesses of all sizes are creating and releasing apps. Additionally, many hobbyist programmers and designers are publishing their own app ideas in the hope of attaining widespread success.
Under such circumstances, it is only natural for an entrepreneur to ask themselves if mobile app investment is a wise allocation of resources.
What are the Main Benefits of Investing a Mobile App?
The key aims for any business is to thrive in an expanding market. To achieve this, modern businesses should be optimising their strategies for quality customer generation and retention.
Technology and innovation evolves very quickly. As a result, businesses need to track the rapid changes in customer behaviour. Businesses absolutely need to be where their customers are.
According to TechCrunch, global app downloads in 2017 reached an insane total of 175 billion. Consumers also spent a reported $86 billion dollars in app transactions.
Mobile apps have solidified themselves as an extremely strong customer generation channel and a customer retention system.
Apps Are Where The Customers Are:
Businesses are switching from print media, television and even websites, to mobile applications. The simple reason is because that’s where their demographics are spending more and more of their time.
Considering these circumstances, it only makes sense for businesses to prepare for the future by investing in mobile apps.
Apps Provide Greater Service and Value:
Apps enable the ability for a business to interact with each customer on a one-to-one basis without any waiting or hold times. Thousands of customers are able to use the same application at the same time while maintaining the quality and precision of a one-on-one interaction.
Apps provide timely assistance to customers searching for information and the completion of tasks regardless of their location – so long as they have an internet connection. Until recently, this was virtually impossible, no matter how large or powerful the company would be.
Many businesses have integrated the majority of their customer service functionalities on their respective mobile apps. The results are simple; businesses create a greater and faster service and increase automation.
Apps Increase Customer Reach:
App stores themselves have become large customer acquisition channels. Hundreds of thousands of apps exist on Google Play and the Apple App Store, all with vastly different demographics and uses.
This creates a central hub of users which naturally cross pollinates across differing niches.
App stores have created algorithms which rank the best apps according to popular categories such as ‘Business’, ‘Education’, ‘Lifestyle’, ‘Entertainment’ and many more. Categories are also broken down into smaller sub-categories. For example, in the ‘Business’ category, you will also find sub-categories for ‘Invoicing and Billing’ or ‘Scheduling’ centric apps.
If an app is popular and valuable in the eyes of the algorithm, the app store pushes the app to top of these categories and also to the top of relevant search queries. This can result in mass organic user acquisition which funnels directly into your business.
Apps Provide Better Customer Engagement:
Here are a few ways Apps provide more engagement with customers:
Regular Fixes, Updates and Improvements –
As with any web based service, a product that stays modern remains popular with users. Users are far more likely to continue using apps which are constantly updating their features and fixing their problems.
Apps come with unique features that no other medium can support (take push notifications, for instance, which prompt users to engage – and continue to engage with the app). Businesses can really make use of these features to personalise their customers’ user experience and increase retention.
The Kindle App is a great example of this – using features (like the day and night mode, and highlighting text) which allow readers to personalise their e-book reading experience.
Features can also be personalised according to the customers’ location and general profiles, which allow apps such as Google Maps, Uber and Zomato to work brilliantly. Given the diverse functionality possible with smartphones, mobile apps can really take your business to new heights.
Active Engagement and Feedback –
App Stores allow users to send in their queries and feedback directly to the developer or company. This is a great strategy to receive feedback and suggestions on how to improve the app.
While this feedback isn’t always graciously received, it’s essential for improving your service and correcting bugs. It’s relatively easy to program your app to prompt users to provide feedback at any point of the user journey. Users are generally receptive to passing on feedback as it can make their own user experience more pleasant.
Discounts and promotions –
It’s a well-known fact that customers love promotions and special discounts. Businesses can market their product through strategically placed discounts and promotions within their own app.
App-exclusive promotions often persuade users to choose a company’s app over another service and also increases user retention. Geo-specific promotions (which are tailored according to specific users’ location) are increasingly popular with users and can act as an effective ‘word of mouth’ marketing strategy.
Many apps also include loyalty programs that reward customers who choose to use the app over other platforms. It’s essentially the modern version of a classic ‘purchase 9 coffees and get 1 free’ card.
Apps Help Businesses Collect and Analyse Data in Real Time:
For any business, having an efficient and practical sales and marketing strategy in place is instrumental. For a successful strategy to exist, businesses must have an insightful understanding of their customer base and their personalized needs.
While traditional marketing insights are effective, they are considerably time-intensive, and on several occasions, labour-intensive as well.
The use of apps, however, turns the table on this entire system by giving businesses detailed insights on customers through real-time analytics and data capture.
Having a mobile app allows businesses to gather large volumes of tailored data on their customers such as demographics, geolocation, audience interests, time spent on the app, user drop offs and the success of various features (or lack thereof), among others.
Businesses can collect, analyse and leverage such highly sensitive data and amend their sales and marketing strategy to one that is more successful in attracting and retaining customers.
Additionally, it helps businesses tweak their apps to create enhanced user experience, detect bottlenecks in the marketing funnel and reduce unnecessary advertising or development spend.
Apps Help Businesses Build a Stronger Brand:
It is a well-established fact that a business’s brand image is critical to their success – even the most efficient of products and services may get passed over if the brand is not dynamic and/or if the perception of the brand is poor.
Mobile apps allow businesses to strengthen their branding on several levels. Firstly, launching a mobile app into the market helps businesses increase their brand’s visibility.
Once businesses have their initial set of customers on board, they can increase retention by improving customer experience and adding features which vastly improve service.
Robust functionality, convenience and fantastic customer support builds a loyal app user base. A loyal group of users are likely to recommend your business to family, friends and co-workers and continue to engage with your service long into the future.
Is It Really That Difficult To Create an App?
Not necessarily. But we also don’t say that making an app is the easiest thing ever.
If anything, app development (as well as its maintenance) is a complex process that requires the right combination of business development, technical know-how and creativity to create a highly dynamic and interactive version of a product or service. It requires time, money and in some cases, a multi-disciplinary team of experts.
What we do mean to say is that given the non-novelty state of the app market today, businesses now have several options at hand to develop their app according to their specific requirements.
A business doesn’t necessarily need a ton of money to employ and hire an internal app development team and an entrepreneur doesn’t need to become a coding expert either.
Are you terribly short on budget and can’t hire even the cheapest app developer? You can make use of any of the several DIY app-making platforms on the internet.
Do want to build an app for your business but have no time and/or technical expertise to do it yourself?
You can easily hire app developers to bring your idea to life, and help maintain the app’s efficiency in the long run. App developers can range from freelance individual developers to high-end development companies that also take care of other related aspects like marketing.
Are you divided between platforms – thinking which would be the better bet? You can easily try cross-platform apps, which are apps built on a uniform source code which is later adapted in accordance to the mobile platform.
All-in-all, having an app developed is no longer as tedious a process to initiate, given that there is now an abundance of quality resources in place.
If you’re weighing up the potential opportunities within mobile apps for your business, Click here to arrange a free no-obligation 30 minute consultation.
Our Track Record:
Here at Appster, we specialise in bridging what we call the Idea to Execution GapTM . We cater for ambitious entrepreneurs and their bold visions. We bring their ideas to life with minimum possible risk. We go above and beyond traditional, superficial and basic development processes. We take pride in assisting entrepreneurs & challenger brands with ideation, validation, product strategy, engineering, ongoing maintenance and growth.
We have an impressive track record developing some of the most groundbreaking apps.
Some of our success stories include:
BlueDot is a powerful Location-Based Mobile Marketing and Analytics Platform that helps drive customer engagement and revenue.
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