It’s all well and good to advocate the incorporation of app technology in business, but proving the tangibility of its worth is another story. Yes, apps can be a nifty little pocket rocket for providing us endless entertainment, but almost all businesses have a dedicated mobile app these days, too.
The number of mobile phone users is expanding every day, swiftly turning this device into a prime platform to connect with potential customers. As of last October, almost 102,062 million apps were downloaded – a number that is forecasted to soar to 268,692 million by the end of 2017.
Perhaps it’s unsurprising, then, that more and more businesses have adopted a mobile app strategy to amplify their exposure in a digitally-saturated world. After all, what better way to get people investing their time into your business than with a tool everybody loves?
We’ve bred a culture of tapping-and-scrolling our way through tedious tasks
We live in an extremely fast-paced world where we’ve become accustomed to completing tasks while on-the-go. Apps have streamlined plenty of day-to-day processes for us, enabling a quick and accessible way to tackle the not-so-pleasurable things in life. Paying bills while waiting in a queue or making a restaurant booking while catching the train home from work is an extremely appealing concept, allowing people to knock out those menial jobs while multi-tasking.
More and more people are leaning on apps to learn about a brand, company or service
While PC computers certainly aren’t dead, there’s no denying that mobile phones are taking over, and why shouldn’t they? They neatly fit in our pockets or handbags and still carry out virtually everything a PC can. The more we migrate towards a mobile canvas, the more lucrative the app industry becomes for businesses. Yes, mobile-friendly websites are certainly helpful, but an actual mobile app can often be easier and more alluring to navigate in terms of accessing general information, making bookings or purchases, and sending enquiries.
As such, mobile apps are becoming the latest gateway for showcasing your business. Plus, apps tend to have a more concrete presence – where a user might only Google your website once, an app will likely remain on their phone screen for any number of days, weeks, months or even years.
All these factors combined mean that apps are now one of the primary methods for not only attracting the attention of new audiences, but also retaining it.
Websites are principally about marketing; apps are about encouraging business interactions
Apps tend to be more focused on providing a solution to users rather than simply pushing out products and spruiking a business, as many websites tend to do. However, while they are crafted to actively help end users, they still function as an effective tool for marketing and advertising your company: they educate and inform customers about the services or products you offer without forcing them to physically reach out to your store. In other words, they tick all the right boxes in a tech-savvy modern world: they provide a snapshot of your business while enabling interactions to swiftly take place in the palms of users’ hands.
Apps aren’t just reserved for the big names; plenty of small companies are climbing aboard and starting to dominate
You might have fallen into the trap of thinking that only those massive global conglomerates can make mobile apps a part of business. This simply isn’t the case these days. More and more small and mid-sized businesses are realising the potential of mobile apps and setting aside their marketing budget for this growing sector. Whether it’s the corner coffee shop or your local beauty spa, plenty of smaller companies are taking their marketing to the next-level and subsequently reaping the rewards.
Given the number of business goals that apps can kick, perhaps this isn’t so surprising. The benefits elicited by a mobile app apply to virtually any business in any industry:
- They can act as a direct marketing channel, with push offers advertising special sales and promotions;
- They have the ability to digitise loyalty programs, thereby enabling customers to conveniently collect rewards online;
- They have the potential to seriously boost customer engagement when your business is always at a user’s fingertips;
- They give you a solid chance of standing out from your competitors and proving that you’re ahead of the game.
Predicted to become a ‘must-have’ for all industries in the not-too-distant future
In fact, experts suggest that mobile apps will become a staple tool for businesses in the future. If you take a look at the direction we’re currently riding in, this idea doesn’t seem so outlandish: computers replaced print advertising, laptops replaced computers, and now mobile phones are replacing laptops. Choosing to go down this pathway sooner rather than later could prove to be a massive boon to your business, helping to position you as an industry leader. Just be sure to take a highly strategic approach – don’t blow all your budget by diving in headfirst; rather, do your research, gain industry insight, and observe the nuances of those ‘golden nugget’ apps that have garnered plenty of success before you. Position yourself in your customer’s shoes and consider what they would likely want to get out of your app. After all, the end product should be a user-rich app that essentially improves your business standards rather than turns them into a tangled knot.