Many brands already publish mobile apps, and often more than one app. Your business may not be offering a mobile app yet, and perhaps for what you think is a good reason. You may have already considered investing in a mobile app for your business and passed.
Do any of the following reasons sound familiar?
- Not applicable. It's not relevant for my business.
- No budget. It's too expensive to make.
- Not feasible. It'll never work / will not return the investment.
- Not required. Our customers will never use it
- No value. There's no added value in it.
- Not now. We're thinking about it. It's on our roadmap.
Do we hear these objections all the time? No. When companies approach us, they already know that a mobile app is a solid business investment. Here is what we often do hear from prospective, present and past clients about the reasons that led them to develop a dedicated mobile app.
Mobile devices are packed with hardware that can be leveraged to create new value for the customer. Mobile payments in public transport, for instance, relieve customers from standing in lines or topping up electronic fare cards. Uber disrupted the taxi industry by simplifying the process of hailing a taxi using a mobile app. Other business processes such as customer care, shopping, banking and deliveries are being disrupted in similar ways using mobile apps which make traditional processes faster, easier and more transparent to customers on their mobile devices.
Because apps live on the device and run native code, they provide enhanced functionality such as GPS-enabled location services, scanning, and the ability to cache content for offline usage. A mobile app can therefore simplify business processes by leveraging the unique hardware features of a smartphone, and make data and services readily available to customers on their mobile. This provides clear benefits to the customer, and a reason for her to prefer you over the competition.
Direct marketing channel
A mobile app provides a direct marketing channel to new and existing customers. You can reach the customer via push notifications, in-app chat, in-app purchases, location-aware messaging, and more. Not only that, your messaging can be more accurate and fit a specific place, time or event triggered by the device. If your app requires authentication - using email/password, for instance - you may be able to reach out to customers long after they've uninstalled your app or abandoned your service.
Strengthen overall customer engagement and brand affinity
Mobile apps can engage users in many ways, for instance by offering a complementary service, a utility app, or even a fun game. When such app is associated with your brand, it increases brand affinity. Major brands now offer mobile apps for purchasing items directly from their mobile app (source). Gas companies provide fuel-station finders and energy providers offer smart-home remote-control apps.
Personalized & context-specific offers
This is often frowned upon, but 7 of 10 mobile apps collect user data. This data is used for marketing automation and business process optimization. Think about location history, WiFi hotspots, locale preferences, calendar information, family and friends contacts, and even battery level. Big brands and enterprises use such data to enhance customer analytics, operational analytics, fraud detection, compliance, new product/service innovations and enterprise data warehouse optimizations, according to Forbes.