For the most part, mobile applications are an effective way to get your brand image out before clients. For instance, many ordinary mobile phone users favor the convenience of utilizing mobile applications to order products as opposed to telephone-based ordering. More than ever, businesses are at a severe disadvantage if all their rivals offer mobile apps, yet they don’t. This can be equated to dropping the ball and basically incentivizing your prospective clients to spend their money on your competition. Practically, maintaining a consumer-facing app guarantees that your clients can access your products and services directly at whatever point they desire.
This article will delve straight into the reasons to have a mobile application for your business and the different ways you can leverage them to expand your brand image and profitability. As we shall discover, how helpful an app can be, surely relies upon the sort of business that you have. Let’s delve in, shall we?
Why Mobile Applications for Businesses?
In this digital age, individuals invest a remarkable measure of energy and time on their mobile phones each day, an average of 195 minutes according to statistics. This should be a testament to how important it is for businesses to make their presence known in the mobile domain. For example, in budding economies like the United States, most shoppers keep their phones on their person along with other personal effects. This means that mobile applications are typically utilized for easy access to all the information they require about your business.
Just to tickle your fancy, here are other few stats about mobile applications to legitimize my assertions about mobile applications for businesses:
A typical mobile phone client invests about 52% of his time on applications and invites 42% more traffic to business when contrasted with their desktop and tablet contemporaries.
About 31% of small businesses with 20 or less workers report that they improved efficiency and productivity by exploiting mobile applications.
According to an investigative study from the Small Business and Entrepreneur Council, 78 percent of small business owners cited that they’ve saved an estimated 5.6 hours (an average of 4.0 hours) out of every working day with the utilization of mobile applications.
Benefits of Mobile Applications for Business
1. Enhanced Service Delivery
This point basically circles around giving more value to customers. Mobile applications offer an avenue to do just that in different ways!!! Principally, mobile applications can interface with phone API, access contacts, leverage GPS location tracking, or interact with other phone hardware sensors. Any of these capabilities can be exploited to great effect. Furthermore, such functions are more seamless and easier to execute on a mobile app in contrast to web pages in a browser.
To put this in perspective, could you imagine your taxi app working in a browser? Probably yes, however, I bet it would feel rather uncomfortable and limited, with the UX/UI experience being rather unbearable.
2. Better Performance
In a fast-paced digital world, performance is of crucial importance! Mobile applications offer businesses the ability to outperform their counterparts with advanced features and capabilities that cannot be easily accessed on the web. Especially if their potential users have a plethora of business apps to choose from.
For instance, when comparing mobile apps with eCommerce websites, mobile apps are typically 1.5 times faster than websites and they perform actions faster too. This factor can be attributed to the fact that mobile applications store their data locally on a user’s device, and as such, data retrieval happens much faster.
In contrast, for websites, data usually needs to be fetched from the web servers. Consequently, mobile apps edge out websites with the ability to offer users more unique features or capabilities that can be the difference between a few extra thousand downloads, or none at all.
3. More UI Versatility & Creativity
In all fairness, if you’re all about user experiences, then a mobile application is a no-brainer. Mobile apps offer a high level of UI versatility, for instance, eye-catching page transition animations to smooth blank screen blinking during web page loading.
Your only limitation is creativity. Mobile applications additionally give a better experience with regards to UI widgets like dialogs, date-pickers, and drop-downs, etc. Essentially, for brand image, an all-around mobile application can give a far superior UX than even the best sites can.
4. Improved Accessibility
Generally speaking, many businesses face the recurring challenge of reaching target audiences on different platforms simultaneously. In the modern era, the only remedy could be a mobile application as they give unrivaled exposure on multiple user segments concurrently, for example, teenage millennials, middle-class mothers or middle aged men.
Ease and convenience are standout characteristics of mobile applications as businesses can quickly improve the end-user experience, build reliability, and connects customers with on-the-go consumers. For instance, food-based mobile apps can access current GPS location to deliver a client’s meal. Or business owners can simply send multiple promotional offers through push notifications from any site.
5. Offline Connectivity
A mobile application can be engineered to work without an internet connection. The same cannot be said for a web system. Depending on your business, this can spell immense benefits. For instance, mobile users could still utilize your app during flights or remote areas. This is achievable with synchronization mechanisms that can allow data to be updated and precached when the internet connection is later stable. Or, to put a spin on things, some mobile apps can be smartly designed to save users from additional charges in roaming or from excessive mobile data usage. How cool is that?
6. SEO Advantages
In practice, having a mobile app can improve your business SEO (Search engine optimization). Essentially, web pages that are back-linked to a mobile application could get additional weights during indexing. And as a result, appear higher in search results on mobile devices in comparison to the same web pages without a mobile application.
Ways Mobile Applications Can Be Utilized in Businesses
We have gotten to the good stuff!!! By now, we have probably ascertained that multiple businesses are currently utilizing mobile apps to improve their processes and increase their customers’ level of accessibility.
Apps can allow for the swift exchange of information and data, thereby increasing business efficiency. For instance, warehouse workers can utilize apps to visualize which products need to be restocked precisely where they should be loaded, what items should be sent out, or if extra labour is needed at specific stations, etc. But there are other possibilities despite industrial applications.
Mobile applications can be utilized to a profitable economic effect in a business. For instance, if a business has an app that has several thousand downloads, they can sell advertising space to support other local businesses. In some other cases, for businesses that deliver a niche service like delivery, customers can buy and pay directly from the app.
For instance, restaurant chains and eateries like Starbuck and Chipotle have experienced massive success with their apps that let customers find the nearest location, request pickup, and find out about selective arrangements and offers.
2. Penetrative Engagement
Every business wants repeat customers, right? One of the ways to do that is by keeping in touch with your customers regularly. In terms of advertising, mobile application capabilities such as message pop-ups (push notifications) can give your business the opportunity to send targeted discounts to clients while integrating an element of “gamification” into your marketing strategy to expand engagement.
3. Rewards and Loyalty
In the same breadth of engagement, mobile applications allow a business to exploit unique marketing strategies like winnable points, tiers & coupons to foster user engagement. Such tools have a proven record of inclining users to repeatedly use businesses’ services or buy their goods consistently.
For instance, switching the traditional loyalty stamp card for a mobile app membership where users can easily collect rewards is a common strategy nowadays. Something as basic as this can, without much of a stretch, result in a considerable surge of returning customers.
Generally speaking, since small businesses highly depend on loyal customers for survival (in a way that larger businesses might not), so maybe the case for mobile applications is a matter of urgency. There are a few smartphone-based loyalty programs that are exceptionally activity-inciting and display a high level of customer retention.
Furthermore, mobile apps can be used in combination with traditional routes. For example, you can send SMSes to clients’ mobile numbers solicited during app sign-up to encourage app usage and purchases. Whether the SMS contains promo codes or seasonal offers, the idea is to invoke action from customers.
4. Data! Data! Data!
The heading can as well be translated into information! Information! Information! All things considered, data is king and can be the fulcrum of any smart business. Mobile applications have provided a medium for businesses to acquire information regarding consumer preferences, attitudes, and behavior. Thus, allowing them to make important decisions based on solid statistics to increase sales and improve customer experience, not just hunches or assumptions.
Mobile apps can provide highly granular data about buyer inclinations and insight into trends. In essence, you can precisely analyze who is seeing your application, how frequently they’re utilizing it, and what they’re doing it. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
Apps provide access to tons of valuable demographic and usage information that can allow you to approximate your return on investment or even entice sponsors and investors. For example, data collected can be utilised to calculate customer lifetime value to determine what an app creator should expect to earn from each user till they cease using the mobile app. So, without much hustle, this data can allow you to optimize and improvise your company strategies with real-time feedback from users.
5. To Strengthen Long-term Customer Relationships
A mobile application can help increase the value of your long-term client relationships. Fortunately, there are a few different ways you can utilize your application to increase that value.
For example, Starbucks maintains a loyal app user base because the business’ app makes it simplified for them to discover discounts and make payments at every outlet. Relatedly, Domino’s allows clients to order pizza conveniently, track their orders, and make payments through the mobile app.
Examples of Real-Life Cases for Mobile Applications for Businesses
By and large, a mobile app is an essential and strategic part of numerous global brands as multiple start-ups have effectively and successfully grown with a mobile application. Here are a few honorable mentions and statistics:
The Starbucks mobile application for Android and iOS registered over 42 million orders worldwide within 11 months of its launch.
IKEA’s augmented reality feature in its mobile application has garnered massive popularity. Its ability to allow users to virtually change furniture colors, scale, or place the furniture in a position they desire in their living room ‘virtually’. How cool is that!
When Domino’s Pizza launched their mobile app for ordering delivery or in-store pickup, they experienced a 28% rise in half-year pre-tax profits in the UK alone. On the other hand, apps like Zara saw a 60% rise in sales after launching their app.
In summary, small business owners need to embrace technology in this new and ever-changing technology paradigm to reap the benefits in the way of new and happier customers. Unfortunately, a vast majority of independent small businesses fail in their initial years due to the inability to adapt and differentiate themselves from the plethora of others.
Moving a business to the online stage accompanies enormous advantages. As the consumer demands continue growing, businesses will be expected to evolve with new strategies. And creatively utilizing mobile applications, tools, and assets for business implementations will be essential to separate from the herd.