We have our phones in hands all the time. At average, the US adults used their smartphones for 3:35 hours daily in 2018. And in 2019 we can expect another 11-minute increase. Changing the way of how we spend this time, we switch from mobile websites to apps, and from tablets to smartphones.
Why do customers opt for apps?
The answer is obvious – because they are easier to use. To enter a particular website, the user first needs to open a browser, type in the address of the site or find it through Google search, and only then access it. It takes time, especially if the browser doesn’t work fast enough. There is no such issue with an app. If it is high-quality and well-optimized, it will take almost no time to open. Therefore, the user will get access to the desired content or solution instantly.
In 2018, the number of mobile app downloads reached 205.4 billion worldwide. The expected number by 2022 is 258.2 billion. These stats are the ironclad proof that people around the world prefer apps over mobile websites.
To keep the positions, businesses have to be as easily accessible as possible. And a mobile app is the best way to chase customers instead of making them chase your brand by offering only the website.
How small and large businesses can benefit from mobile apps
App revenues are expected to hit $188.9 billion in 2020. So it comes as no surprise that more companies are trying to jump on the bandwagon and reap the benefits of using a mobile app for business. However, all apps are not created equal, and whether they will be advantageous depends on the needs and goals of a company itself. The reasons why a big enterprise opts for an application will differ from those of a small company.
Benefits and strategies for small businesses
Since most companies are looking for ways to expand their operation, their main focus will be marketing and sales. Therefore, they would get an application to increase brand awareness and reach the target audience. The main advantage of a mobile app is that it makes geo-targeting easy. For instance, a company can send offers to its customers based on their location and time. This approach helps to narrow the focus and engage the audience effectively.
Notifications are a great marketing tool. Using them wisely, businesses can promote specific products and inform customers about the latest updates. But it is crucial to find a balance – too many notifications will annoy users, and they might delete your app.
Apps allow building more efficient loyalty programs since the business can offer exclusive deals only to those customers, who have downloaded the app. Also, the company can collect opinions of its clients easily via the mobile application. Knowing what people think, the brand can rebuild its strategies to meet customer needs. It will make the users feel appreciated and valued, which will lead to increased engagement and revenue.
Service businesses can improve the process of arranging an appointment. The app can remind customers that they have a visit scheduled. Thus, business takes care of its clients and simplifies the management process at the same time. So, the app becomes a CRM as well.
Benefits and strategies for big companies
The main focus of large businesses is to simplify the interaction with customers. A mobile app allows creating a steady flow of information for both a company and its clients.
Of course, the key benefit of maintaining a mobile app for a big company is the automation of business processes. The more clients the company has, the harder it is to manage them. By integrating an app with other digital tools the enterprise uses (CRM, email marketing), managers can ease their workflow and become more efficient. This will help to make business processes smooth by combining the data and features of separate instruments.
The application also helps to recognize market opportunities as quickly as possible since it offers a clear view of the customer actions. It gives the company increased agility and allows to evolve faster.
Success stories across industries
Many companies have proved with their own experience, which advantages a business app offers. Let’s take a look at some examples.
This company created several health and fitness apps that quickly became leaders in this category. Under Armour has spent over $700 million on these applications. And this investment has yielded excellent results. Every app gets over 100,000 new daily visitors. As the number of users grows, brand’s sales, awareness and customer engagement increase drastically.
myStarbucks is extremely intuitive – it helps users to find nearby shops and study the information about coffee. Also, users can suggest drinks via the application. This approach increased the number of customers in shops and client engagement. But the most excellent idea was to improve the app by adding the opportunity to pay via phone. So now users can pay for drinks and track their loyalty card data.
The app was launched in 2009, and just in 4 years Starbucks maintained $621-million assets via its application.
This company used augmented reality for their application that allows users to put items from Ikea into their rooms virtually. This technology attracted a lot of attention to the app itself and the brand as well. There is no data about the increase in revenue, but the application has nearly 8.5 million downloads.
This brand has an app that allows users to share travelogues with all drive details. It connects to the car via Bluetooth and gathers the data on the background as the ride goes. Users can share their adventures with other drivers later. This app boosts customer engagement and attracts potential buyers.
Mobile apps allow companies to stay connected with their customers, keep the workflow organized and steady, and attracts the target audience. So if your company still doesn’t have an application, define your needs, create a concept that will work for you and get an app. In the end, it can become your best investment.