Web presence is no longer enough, even for small businesses. The mobile shift is just too prevalent to ignore – doing so can cause businesses to lose their competitive advantage. Digital media consumption is now higher on mobile (51%) compared to the desktop (42%). In the US alone, B2C m-commerce sales are estimated to reach $83.93 billion with 4 out of 5 consumers using a smartphone to shop online. Businesses that aren’t able to reach their audience via mobile search, advertising, and apps are missing out on a huge chunk of business potential. The development of mobile apps for business isn’t just a trend (and it isn’t going away anytime soon), it is now an important part of business marketing strategies.
Aside from the obvious competitive advantage, what are the other benefits of having mobile apps for business?
Benefits of Apps for Business
Here are five of the benefits that we know so far:
Increase visibility and reach
App developers and marketers alike aim for app visibility. In order for customers to gain awareness, a product or service should be visible in the right places. Apps help in this regard through strong brand recall. The brand presentation isn’t in the context of the products but the other way around. As customers browse the app stores for similar apps they see first and foremost your brand’s name and app icon.
Another benefit is the increase in customer reach. With the right targeting, an app can reach an audience that would most probably be your customers. Apps for business are more advantageous than ads since it can reach an audience that has an interest not on a single product, but on the brand itself.
Improve interactions with customers
It’s always nice to think that your product or service is a part of your customer’s daily life. Apps can make this possible by creating a direct link to your customers. Whether it’s them wanting to contact you, or you wanting to reach out to them, apps can create custom solutions for you. These apps can also encourage your customers to interact more with your brand in ways that can augment the brand’s image.
People expect quick actions, especially when they are the recipient of said actions. Apps can provide a channel for quick responses for queries, orders, purchases, and other transactions, cutting the time it would need for them to access any of your services. This can enhance your relationship with customers and avoid any misunderstandings that can take place.
Create a versatile marketing channel
Apps have a lot of potentials, especially B2C apps. You can implement and experiment with multiple marketing tactics on apps to help it augment your other marketing channels. Apps for business can have different functions. Apps can serve as the first step in the conversion funnel or the last – it all depends on what you want to achieve with the use of the app.
Provide value-added service
Aside from showcasing the products and services available, apps for business can be something more. As earlier mentioned, custom apps for business can have different functions. The app can serve as a tool for customers to check on reward points, updates on new releases, and sales. These features may appear as extras but they also add value to the app – value that not only drives conversion but also engagement.
Even for free apps, users demand a lot of value. But luckily, B2C apps can channel real-life value into the app. You can add and remove features as the need arises. For example, you can have discounts or giveaways at random intervals but the key features should remain. The thought of missing out new offers can encourage customers to check on the app often; so does the assurance that they can always depend on the app to deliver its main function.
This may seem obvious but some still business owners still ask, “How?” The best way to earn with a B2C app is to implement purchasing capabilities for the said app. This isn’t to mean that apps for business that are mostly promotional in nature can’t drive revenue. There are several ways to monetize an app. Most of them work for B2C apps well enough to drive revenue independent from the app’s main function.
There are more benefits that aren’t mentioned here but the main point is that apps for business are now a powerful tool even for small businesses. Over the years, app development had become faster and cheaper, opening a lot of possibilities in the business front. Whether you are an app developer, an online marketer, or a brick and mortar business owner, take the time to consider if the development of custom business apps is the right thing for you.