One may well classify mobile phones as drugs because of the level of addiction involved. Besides, a significant number of people are addicted to these tech gadgets that are evolving every day. One of the most important evolution stages was when the mobile phone became more of a small computer. Now, businesses from across sectors are turning to mobile apps to attract more customers and increase sales.
Making the Case for Mobile Apps
Data shared by Reviews.org shows that Americans, on average, check their mobile phones a staggering 344 times per day, which is around once every six seconds, including the time spent sleeping. In addition, mobile phones accompany people just about everywhere, from the bathroom to bed. Now, consumers are looking for highly evolved online experiences, and there is no dearth of people who favor using apps over websites. Consequently, you, as a business owner, might want to view a mobile app as an important element in promoting your business.
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What Numbers Say
Statistics released by Statista highlight how deeply penetrated the use of mobile apps has become in recent years.
- Data surrounding the distribution of time spent on mobile apps and browsers in 2021 showed that Android users spent 92.5% of their phone time on mobile apps and gaming, and only 7.5% time on browsers.
- The number of mobile app downloads increased from 140.68 billion in 2016 to 230 billion in 2021.
- There has been a steady growth in the number of apps from across spheres such as gaming, utilities, business, finance, shopping, and education.
Who Needs an App?
Ever since the introduction of iOS and Android on mobile phones, these gadgets can perform tasks that were previously the domain of computers. This means they are capable of handling complex applications geared towards making the life of users easier and more fun. Today, there is an app for almost everything, and you might need one to attract and retain the attention of your target audience. However, not every business needs a mobile app, and you need to start by determining if yours actually does.
Questions to Ask
Before you decide to contact a web design company that specializes in creating apps for mobile devices, ask yourself a few questions.
- Is your target audience mobile-centric? If your target audience uses mobile phones regularly, your might benefit by offering a mobile app.
- What value will your app provide? There is no real point in creating an app that mimics your website to the T. Ideally; your app should provide some intrinsic value that encourages its download. This can be by offering customized shopping experiences, providing sale/promotion-related notifications, using GPS to help locate store locations, and easy sharing of content.
- Are your competitors offering apps? If your competitors have already given your target audience access to apps, it might be in your best interest to follow suit. However, it’s important that you take a look at what your competition is doing right, and then create an even better app. If your competition has not delved into the world of mobile apps yet, you may view it as an opportunity to become a trendsetter.
- Do you have a fear of missing out? If you wish to get a mobile app simply because you have the fear of missing out (FOMO), you might want to rethink your plan. In case you don’t intend to offer anything different through your app than you already do through your website, your focus should ideally be on making your website as mobile-friendly or responsive as possible.
- Do you sell on the internet? An increasing number of mobile phone users are starting to use their devices to make purchases on the move. While selling online is good, it’s important that a consumer who gets to a website with the intent to buy is not left wanting because of web pages that don’t display as well as they should. Using a responsive website can help mitigate some problems, but you still face the risk of delivering sub-par user experiences. With an app, you can be sure that there’s nothing left to chance when it comes to layouts and navigation experiences.
5 Advantages of Mobile Apps for Businesses
There are many advantages of having a mobile app for your business, and it may well be time that you enjoy the benefits that Android and iOS app development have to offer. For starters, consumers are always looking for applications to make their life simpler or better in some form or the other. If you have an interesting mobile application for your business, it will definitely aid in your overall marketing process.
Consider this – a consumer downloads and installs an application on a mobile phone, loves it, and shares it with others. Then, this pattern continues. Going forward, you stand to enjoy the effectiveness of consumers marketing your application. The key is to create an application that your target consumers will find useful.
1. Provide More Value
In recent years, mobile apps have changed the way people shop online. This is because consumers no longer have to open web browsers, enter website addresses, and then deal with below-par shopping experiences. Given that consumer expectations surrounding online experiences are on the rise, an app gives a business the ability to provide extra value to its customers.
If you look at the online retail shopping landscape, you’ll notice that products and services are much easier to access and purchase through apps than websites. Since customers prioritize convenience over most other factors, using an app gives you easy means to provide value to your target audience. For example, you could incorporate an in-app chat feature that lets your customers connect with you easily. You could also use your app to send sale/promotion-related notifications.
Another simple way you may provide extra value to your target audience is by offering offline access to your app. This way, users may use most features of your app even in the absence of an internet connection.
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2. Make the Buying Journey Easier
Not too long ago, people needed to visit stores to make most purchases. Online shopping followed, giving consumers the ability to buy a variety of products and services by using internet-enabled computers. However, this is the day and age of mobile eCommerce. What works in favor of apps over websites is that they are typically simpler and faster to use. For instance, a user no longer needs to open a web browser to get to the desired website. Once users open your app, they’re already in your system. This also takes away the need to log in to your website every now and again.
3. Create a Stronger Brand
Branding is easier when you are using mobile applications. Since you get to use all your branding and identity strategies in the development of a mobile application, you may put your business on a recognizable platform. The only way your brand will become more popular is if people see your identity everywhere they turn. Since most of them, if not all, use mobile phones, getting an app can do wonders for your brand.
One of the advantages of mobile apps for businesses is that they give marketers the ability to promote brand awareness. This is because once a user downloads your app it will appear on the device’s screen. This way, a user will get to see the app multiple times a day, thereby helping increase brand recall.
Bear in mind that the more value you provide through your app, the more interest your target audience will develop in your brand. Incorporating different elements of branding such as logos and colors within an app in the right manner helps further the cause even more.
4. Boost Customer Loyalty
It’s common for businesses to desire high customer retention rates. Fortunately, it’s possible to achieve this aim by providing great value to customers and ensuring that they’re satisfied with your offerings. Loyal customers don’t just help with repeat sales; they can also work as brand ambassadors. When it comes to boosting customer loyalty, you may expect significant gains by incorporating a loyalty program in your app.
- Including a loyalty program in an app takes away the hassle that users may face to join.
- You may choose to offer rewards or cash-back to customers who make in-app purchases.
- You can offer personalized real-time recommendations.
- You may give your customers easy means to share their experiences on different social media platforms.
5. Use Direct and Personalized Marketing
Mobile apps give businesses the ability to provide personalized experiences with the aim of improving customer loyalty and retention. Data released by Statista shows that business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) marketers have incorporated personalization in their overall marketing strategies to varying degrees. It also highlights that global customer experience personalization and optimization software revenue is set to cross the $9 billion mark by 2023.
Mobile apps serve as highly fertile grounds for providing interactive features that cater to the personalization of different types of offerings. For instance, an artificial intelligence-enabled eCommerce app can rely on intrinsic algorithms to deliver completely personalized experiences. Even in the absence of artificial intelligence, digital marketers may use the streams of data they collect through apps to offer highly customized experiences.
Mobile apps also give businesses the ability to follow a direct marketing approach in different ways.
- Click-through rates. Click-through rate refers to the ratio of the number of users who view an advertisement or a page to the number of people who click on specific links. Given that apps tend to come with better click-through rates than websites, using one to communicate directly with your target audience makes sense.
- Push notifications. A significant benefit of using your business app to send push notifications is that you may look forward to increased customer retention through this direct engagement channel. In addition to retaining customers, push notifications also help boost conversion rates. Data shared by Pushwoosh shows that this medium of communication can help increase user engagement by 110% and customer retention by 70%.
- Response time. It’s common for the modern online shopper to look for the shortest way to perform any desired action. This is why a significant number of consumers engage with prompts and offers almost immediately. When you deliver messages about promotions and offers through your app, you may end up seeing a significant improvement in your target audience’s response time.
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Bear in mind that mobile applications have the ability to increase consumer traffic to your business and this will gradually increase profits. A mobile app also comes with different opportunities for making money and you only need to work with a team creative enough to incorporate all the ideas that will lead to more income. When your business generates more revenue, you get the ability to expand, which, in turn, leads to even more money.
Types of Mobile Apps for Business
No matter whether you need a B2C or a B2B application, you get three basic types from which to choose.
- Native apps. These work with specific operating systems such as iOS and Android. Users need to download them to their devices.
- Web apps. Web applications are essentially websites that look and feel like apps. Users access them through mobile web browsers and they are capable of working with different operating systems.
- Hybrid apps. Hybrid apps also look and feel like native apps, and they can come with home screen app icons. However, these apps, like websites, rely on HTML rendering in web browsers.
Only a few can create mobile applications, and then there are expert mobile app developers. When you use the services of professionals who’re skilled in handling iOS and Android systems to create applications that are not only interesting but highly functional as well, you help your customers interact with your business and improve the customer-business relationship. This is how your brand grows and buyers become loyal customers, and this is why you need to partner with professionals in app development.