The simplest function like making a list to the toughest task like tracking the revenue of a company can be done using a mobile app. There are multiple types of apps like gaming apps, business apps, lifestyle apps, etc. There is an app for almost everything today. Is it a trend? Possibly. Is it dying any time soon? Definitely not.
The average consumer is on their phone for a total of 2 to 5 hours, daily. This has significantly risen within the last 5 to 10 years and is only getting higher. The day will come when consumers let go entirely of computers and all needs will be addressed directly through their mobile phones. So the question is, are you ready for that day?
Developing a mobile app isn’t an easy task and is expensive, that would explain why small businesses and startups shy away from this step. But in reality, this is something all small businesses need to jump on to compete with bigger, more financially-stable competitors.
Why develop a mobile app for your business?
- Enhance your marketing strategy with Mobile App Marketing:
A mobile app is another platform to utilize and market/ promote/ sell your products or services besides your website, social media accounts, etc.Chances are, most of your customers are already shopping through mobile apps and accessing their social accounts through their phones more than they do computers. By integrating mobile app marketing into your marketing strategy, you can use your other marketing techniques to promote your app as well as use the App Stores searchability and ads too.
Many businesses create loyalty programs or reward systems to encourage their customers to use their apps; another marketing channel will help your business grow, especially if it’s a startup.
- Offer customers a better user experience:
You may think why develop a mobile app when you have a mobile-friendly website? Recent research has shown that online mobile users spend 86% of their time on mobile apps and only 14% of the time on browsers. A mobile app offers customers an optimized and faster experience than a website whether it is through easier navigation, better search options, clearer product displays, or even payment.
While websites are limited to credit cards or PayPal, you can integrate mobile payment (Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, etc.) into your app and provide customers with more payment options. A mobile app features a simpler design and allows customers to get to their target faster.
- Invest for a higher ROI:
Since a mobile app makes for a great marketing app, with the right marketing strategy, it’ll make for a great sales channel as well. Developing an app is time-consuming and expensive, after putting in so much into the process – business owners expect a decent ROI. However, many apps fail to achieve an ROI if not utilized and marketed the right way. With a strong ASO plan (App Store Optimization), your app will quickly reach higher search ranks, achieve more downloads, and in result, have more engagement.
Besides in-app sales, you can also have sponsored ads, premium accounts, paid features, etc. to monetize your mobile app. It is not just limited to in-app purchases from customers. Mobile app sales surpassed website sales in 2018 and the numbers are only getting better. More people are focused on getting their needs through mobile businesses and apps than going to brick-and-mortar stores – black Friday and its tremendous online success is proof of that.
- Push Notifications – always update your customers:
Push notifications are a great way to send your customers alerts and updates with your business. Whether it’s new products, a limited offer, or a summer sale, you can let your customers know without them needing to go to the store or open your website or app. Studies have shown that an average of 60% of consumers have their push notifications on and around %40 of those go to the app after receiving the notification.
Notifications will urge your customers to constantly engage with your app and you can use this connection as a technique to gain customer loyalty as well.
- Strengthen your business core – prepare for a global scale:
One of the best parts of having a mobile app is easily being able to reach a wider audience than the ones you usually do with a website or local business. With a mobile app, customers will quickly be able to reach you no matter where they are or what tools they have; they’ll only need their phones.
You don’t necessarily need to utilize this option at the start when you’re focused on local customers, but it’ll give you a huge online advantage when it’s time to expand your business.
- Stay connected with your customers – gain new insight:
Your phone is a personal device that you most likely always have with you; customers will feel more comfortable shopping from you, reviewing your business, or contacting you through their phones. Besides getting great analytics from the mobile app, like tracking searches, preferences, best sellers, etc. – you’ll get honest feedback and reviews as well.
Whether it’s through a pop-up rating that shows up after a successful purchase or through an email requesting a review, your customers will find that it is easier to leave their opinions and ideas through an app. With their feedback, you’d be able to direct their thoughts and feedback to your product or service and see what needs improvement. This would not only help your current products/ service but it’ll help you come up with new ideas to meet the customer needs.
- Be a wolf – in the sheep:
- Be a wolf – in the sheep:
Many startups and small businesses postpone developing a mobile app or put it off altogether because they don’t think it’ll help their business much. And so, if one business does have a mobile app between bunches of small competitors – it’ll stand out. Creating a different approach for your customers won’t only ensure you keep your current customer base, but it’ll bring you new customers looking for a convenience they couldn’t find elsewhere.
Having an advantage over other small businesses will also help in another way; it’ll take you a step closer to the big leagues and allows you to play on their field.
So, what now?
Developing a mobile app is not an easy or quick process, it’ll take time, effort, and resources – but the results are definitely worth it. You can get a mobile app developed through a mobile app development agency, freelancers, or hiring in-house developers and designers to get the job done, which is the most expensive approach so I’d vote against it.
Hiring a development agency is your best option because you’ll have an app developed by professionals who have previous experience and know the market. Even though most agencies target large-scaled businesses – you can easily find an agency that targets small businesses and startups to meet your needs. However, before contacting anyone, you need to have a clear vision of your app in terms of design, functionality, features, what platform it’ll be on, etc. This is something you can your team can work on together after doing some market research to find out what your customers need and what they’d be looking for in an app from you.
After having a clear outline for your app, you need to start calculating your budget as to not exceed it in the future or add features you don’t need. Once you have both a vision and a budget, you’re ready to approach agencies and get busy!