40 billion apps have been downloaded since Apple’s iOS App Store launched. 20 billion of those were downloaded in 2012. Over 1 million apps have been submitted to iOS App Store. There are several potential payoffs for businesses that choose to adapt to their mobile audience.
Bank of the West and Harris Interactive conducted an online national survey on how small businesses were embracing technology in 2012. Among small business owners who use mobile technology, 2 out of 3 (68%) agree that it has increased efficiency for their businesses, and 3 out of 5 (61%) say it serves functions in their businesses that cannot be completed as efficiently through other means.
Developing an app is another channel to connect with your customer and an additional resource to influence purchasing decisions. There are some exceptions, but most businesses can find benefits in developing a mobile application by providing customers amenities they desire.
Your customer wants a 24/7 resource
There are around 1 billion smartphone users in the world and 115 million in the US alone. The mobile web grew faster than many could imagine in the last few years. Information on the go evolved to the average customer’s norm. Mobile is the latest frontier. If a customer wants information on a business or product, they want it NOW. More and more customers avoid calling for information and the average business can’t employ workers to provide information 24/7 anyways.
Increase branding awareness
What’s important for your customer to know about a business or product? Digital competition is fierce right now. Having an angle helps brand yourself to consumers. When I say angle, I mean a useful reason for your app to exist. Carpe Diem Private Preschool, a private preschool in Dallas, created an app that allows parents to observe their children on a classroom webcam. You can make action-oriented content from your website easy to access on smartphones and foster brand loyalty by going that extra step.
A unique and helpful mobile experience will help you be competitive
Are you trying to reach the most people possible? Apps often eliminate clicks and extra work on the part of your customer. Making a sale easier on yourself and the customer is what every business wants to accomplish. Your app doesn’t have to be complicated, just efficient and useful. Your app could provide store hours, driving directions, quick pricing, product/services information, menu and exclusive deals to encourage loyal customers.
Magic Beans, a Boston retailer specializing in toys and baby accessories, launched a mobile app in 2010. Magic Beans launched an app that allowed customers to skip cash registers and check themselves out on their mobile. After checking out, the app recommends two products and additional offers that applied to the customer based upon their purchase. Customers could also scan a product’s information for more information. This app resulted in an 8% sales increase for those who used the app.
Deliver news and speedy offers to your customers
Smartphones are now an extension of their owner and no longer an accessory. Next time you’re in a public place, just stop and take in the sights around you. Notice how many people are on their mobile or smartphone. The smartphone is your direct communication link to your customer.
The death of paper coupons is one of the great amenities of an app. If you provide coupons, forgetting them at home will no longer prohibit your customer from shopping with you and you can track which customers are using coupons easier.
Anyone can have an app
Apps aren’t exclusive to major brands. Small and medium-sized businesses have launched successful apps. A Nashville realtor, Zeitlin & Company, launched an app last year that take’s a user’s location and shows all available listings in their immediate vicinity on a map. Also, the app includes information on each listing, price, local schools, restaurants and grocery stores. With the click of a button, homebuyers have a lot of the information they want when researching a home.
WebRevelation has extensive experience developing custom web applications so you can go that extra step for your customer to communicate and operate more efficiently. Our apps are nearly maintenance free and extremely scalable. Contact us for more information on a custom web application.