The arrival of smartphones and tablets revolutionized user engagement on mobile devices. These days, we see people performing a range of activities through their mobile devices; they are searching for information, buying products, using services and doing a whole lot more. Studies show they are spending more time on these “mini-computers” as compared to desktop or laptop.
In fact, what we are seeing is the beginning of the end of the desktops and laptops. Mobile devices are becoming ubiquitous and it is this all pervasiveness that is leading many businesses to leverage the potential of mobility as a growth catalyst.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that if you want your business to survive, you must have a mobile strategy for your target audience. An integral part of this strategy is a mobile app. Your business needs one if it wants to be seen as a competitive force in its domain.
Here are 7 reasons that clearly prove why your business needs a mobile app ‘today’:
- Immense Branding Opportunity
Your brand image is critical for your success as it plays a major role in a consumer’s buying decision. You need to do everything possible to ensure consumers are aware about your brand and its reputation on the market.
Since, most of your target customers are on mobile, one of the best ways of improving brand awareness is by crafting well-designed mobile applications for your target audience.
All big names in the industry are spending money on coming up with mobile applications, so this strategy must be delivering the right results! For instance, in 2012 Coco-Cola rolled out a branded mobile gaming application, ‘The Crabs and Penguin’ to reinforce the brand name.
On the other hand, your business might appear outdated if it doesn’t have a mobile app. This can have a profound indirect impact on the performance and future prospects of your business.
- Consumers Are Using Mobile Apps
If you are not thinking of investing in coming up with a mobile app for your business, you are likely going to miss a large chunk of your target audience who prefer using a mobile app get more information about your products/services. What’s more, you will be losing out even more, if your competitor has a mobile app and you don’t have one.
Let’s have a look at some stats that prove the popularity of mobile apps amongst consumers:
- One in every 5 people owns a smartphone. Moreover, a comScore finding states that 82% of time on mobile is spent using apps.
- Worldwide, the number of app users will grow by 29.8% every year and reach 4.4 billion by 2017.
Since mobile apps consume a major portion of people’s daily routines, why not take advantage of them?
- Encourages Social Communication
What is the first thing you do when you wake up?
4 out of 5 smartphone owners check their phones within the first 15 minutes of waking up. Smartphones are the most convenient medium for people to access the World Wide Web. This is the reason why mobile apps have much higher engagement levels when compared to normal websites.
Today, customer engagement is the biggest challenge for businesses and having a mobile app can be a great way to keep your brand in front of them, especially when they are on the move.
An informative or entertaining app with uncluttered design, intuitive navigation, clean UI and awesome UX is a good reason for your target audience to engage with your brand.
- Provides Better Customer Service
We are living in an era being ruled by social media, mobile and cloud technology; this is why customer service is more important than ever for businesses. In fact, customer service can make or break your brand. Here are some stats that point in the same direction:
- It is 6-7 times costlier to attract a new customer than it is to retain an existing customer.
- 89% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company after experiencing poor customer service.
Once your company is mobile, your customers can seek support through your business app at any given moment, from any place.
Flight apps for instance help customers’ book flight tickets and also send push notifications about gate changes or flight delays.
- Acts as a New Sales Channel
Mobile commerce is booming. For the eCommerce industry, the mobile app has emerged as an additional sales platform that facilitates on –the-go sales. It’s estimated that 63% of people expect to do more shopping on their mobile devices over the next couple of years. You can’t afford to miss out on these shoppers.
Your target audience may already be using their smartphones to make purchases. To lift existing sales figures, businesses need to craft well-designed mobile apps that offer amazing UI and UX to their target audience. Users visiting your app would then have instant, one-stop access to your products or subscribe to your services. This helps boost your sales figures.
Once your app is published in app stores, one of the tactics you can implement for ensuring consumers keep using your app and do word-of-mouth marketing about your business app is offering interesting offers and discounts only for your app users.
- Acts as a New Revenue Channel
Many SMBs are skeptical of crafting a mobile app for their business as they fear the costs of app development will burn a hole in their pockets. They are not far off the mark in terms of the costing, because good mobile apps don’t come cheap. But, the great thing about using a mobile app is there are various ways you monetize them. You can choose from different monetization models to make money from your app.
Freeze on the ideal model during the initial development stages of the app. If you go about it in the right manner, you will find your app delivering returns soon after it’s published on the app store.
Businesses can make money from their app through in-app advertisements, in app purchases, paid download or through a subscription based model. You can even use a hybrid model like the popular gaming app Angry Birds does; this app has an ad-supported model on Android and is a paid app for iOS users. They also use in-app purchases to boost earnings.
- Helps Gain Competitive Advantage
It is important for any business to stay ahead of their competitors in the marketplace.
So, how can a business do that?
One way is by offering some value to their target audience in an area where their competitors are failing.
Adobe reported in 2013 that 45% of businesses had neither invested in mobile websites or apps. Since all businesses haven’t yet jumped on the mobile bandwagon, you can take this opportunity to offer something “different” to your existing and potential customers.
Today, a mobile app is a powerful tool that savvy business owners should be using to increase chances of success in their industry. Mobile apps amplify competitive advantage. You can hence gain an edge by targeting mobile customers through your app much before your competitors.
Apart from the aforementioned benefits, mobile apps offer a plethora of other business advantages like getting customer insights, boosting website traffic, and much more! If you want to reap all these benefits, you need to start working on the idea of your business app immediately.