Mobile apps aren’t just for the brand giants out there. Not anymore. Any and every business can – and should – have a mobile app.
Deep down, you know this.
You use apps. You laugh at “there’s an app for that” jokes. You do it all on apps. You bank, you navigate, you listen and play. The list goes on.
You know how big mobile apps are. You’ve just always assumed that you can’t have one. That you don’t really need a mobile app for business. That mobile apps are for the Targets and Facebooks of the world.
Well, sorry to burst your bubble. You’ve been wrong. Your business should have a mobile app.
Now you’re thinking, “But what would my app do?”
Well, there’s a type of app for every business. They can provide:
- General Information
- Searching Features
- User Accounts
- News Feeds
- And plenty more. Get creative.
Let’s look at Starbucks, for example. Obviously, the Starbucks app doesn’t allow your phone to spit out steaming lattes. Still, Starbucks found a way to make a mobile app work for their business. They found a way to provide real value to mobile users.
Starbucks implemented a rewards program into their mobile app. When you make purchases, you get “stars.” Users trade stars for coffee. It’s simple, yet effective.
As a result, every tenth sale at Starbucks is via a mobile device. Customers keep coming back because they want to get more stars, or to use their stars.
Starbucks found a way to provide real value via an app. Their business does not require an app, yet more and more downloads are pouring in every day.
Well done, Starbucks. Well done.
Mobile Apps Are For Your Business, Too
Stop for a second. Take a look at where your smartphone is.
It’s within arm’s reach, isn’t it? Or maybe it’s in your hand, and you’re reading this post on it.
The point is, your smartphone is always by your side. You do a lot on your smartphone. And you’re not alone. So why would you not have an app for your business?
To really drive this home, let’s look at why mobile apps are for every business – including yours.
Mobile Apps Are Where Your Customers Are
This is Business 101 stuff.
Be where your customers are. And I think by now you’ve gotten the message: your customers are on mobile.
Let’s look at the numbers.
- According to QuickSprout, 58% of smartphone users have used their mobile phone for shopping.
- QuickSprout also notes that 61% of consumers say they have a better opinion of brands that offer really awesome mobile experiences.
- Jawad Khan from MentorMate says the average American spends 162 minutes on his or her mobile device, each and every day. (Yes, over two hours)
- Also according to Jawad, 83% of smartphone owners wake up, pull out their phone and use apps to start their day.
Even if we remove the numbers from the equation, mobile apps help businesses stay top of mind. Customers who download your app will scroll past it on their phone. They’ll do this every day, many times.
Subconsciously, they’ll be thinking about your business every time they use their phone. Can’t beat that, can you?
Mobile Apps Build Your Brand
Make your app cool. Make it clever. Make it whatever your business is.
Mobile apps are an extension of your brand. They speak to who you are as a company. To your mission and your story. An app will build up your brand recognition, and that’s priceless.
Plus, it shows your customers that you’re not outdated. You’re with the times! Good for you.
Mobile Apps Are a Direct Line to Customers
An app creates a direct marketing channel where you can provide all the information you like to your customers.
You can even incorporate push notifications and ask for interaction whenever it makes sense. The more involved your customers are in your app, the more likely they are to make a purchase.
Mobile Apps Are Valuable To Your Customers (Which Is Valuable To You)
Your customers want to use apps that are beneficial to them. Provide some kind of value to your customers and it will pay off.
You could take the Starbucks approach and digitize your loyalty program and rewards cards. Your could offer app-exclusive coupons and promotions, with push notifications. You could make a really hard thing really simple.
The more you have to offer, the more downloads and users for your app.
And once you’ve gained a user, you have their attention.
Today, there are ads everywhere you look. On social media. In email. On billboards. In newspapers. Your app will help prevent you from getting lost in all that noise.
An app download is a sincere connection between you and your customer. They’ve voluntarily taken the time to download your app, so you know they want to see what you’ve got. Take advantage of that one-of-a-kind connection.
Mobile Apps are Engaging
Did you know that apps receive higher engagement than websites? They drive more action from customers, such as filling out forms or signing up for new services.
Apps beat out websites in other ways, too. Marketing Land points out that apps can potentially integrate “biometrics, geo-location, cameras, sensors, augmented reality, 3D gaming”. Things your website just can’t do.
As new technology and functionality become available, they’ll probably be on mobile apps first. So get ahead of the game now. Get an app and prepare for the future of marketing and technology.
Mobile Apps Better Your Customer Service
No matter what your business does, your customers need a way to reach you, right? Today, customers prefer to use live chat and online help features.
Think about it.
Don’t you prefer to whip out your phone and order a pizza on GrubHub vs. repeating your order over and over again over the phone? We’re willing to bet the answer is “yes.”
Customer service via mobile apps is already huge, and customers will eventually expect to see it.
Here’s a bonus. You can learn a lot from these customer service communications. Use them to improve your product and your customer service methods simultaneously. Your customers will thank you.
Mobile Apps Collect Data
The biz world is buzzing about data. Marketers and business owners want to snatch up all the data about their customers that they can. The more you’re in your customers’ heads, the better you’ll understand their buying habits.
Get valuable customer insights from your app. They’ll help you to evolve your product, to find new biz opportunities and to meet customer needs in better ways.
Your app can potentially collect data such as:
- Top locations via location tracking
- Customer needs
- Performance of your app
You’ll be glad you have this information at your fingertips.
Mobile Apps Drive Your Social Media Marketing Efforts
Smartphone users are already using social media frequently on their mobile devices. Why would you not take advantage of that?
Apps make it super easy to get your social media audiences involved. Offer your users chances to share (and promote) your company on social media. Then, watch your social media engagement soar.
But, don’t let this opportunity fall flat. For your social media efforts to be effective, you have to have someone on the other end to respond to your customers. Make sure you have a Social Media Community Manager on your team to monitor conversations.
Now’s The Time
Part of being successful in business is being proactive. To beat out the competition, you’ve always got to be the first and the best.
Mobile apps for small businesses are still a rarity. So be proactive. Get an app and be ahead of your competition.
And guess what?
It’s only going forward from here. Mobile technology is going to continue to evolve and become more important to mobile phone users. Start preparing for the future now. You don’t want to be the business that’s left behind.
You’re still reading this, which makes us happy. But once this post is over, it’s time to get to work on your mobile app. C-leveled can help.
“Mobile devices have become the new standard where people go to get information. Therefore, when we create your app, we make sure that your app provides your users with the right information. We also make sure your app is designed specifically for and available on the whole array of mobile devices – from tablets, to phones, to watches.” — Tom Anderson, CTO, C-leveled
At C-leveled, we help companies build the app their business needs everyday. Some apps are simple, some are complex. No matter what the app’s purpose, they all have some commonalities. They all provide a value to the end user and better the way customers are reached.
Having a hard time visualizing what an app for your business would look like? Businesses frequently come to C-leveled for these app services:
Mobile apps for local businesses
For local businesses, apps are a great way to stay connected with your community. These apps can be fairly simple, but still provide a lot of value. We’ll develop an app that will let users click to call your location, provide directions and list your hours.
Mobile apps that mirror your website
How cool would it be to have all of your website’s functionality on a mobile app? It’s possible, and we can do it. To give your business a presence in the app store, we can port your website into an app format.
Mobile apps that ARE your business
If you have a really cool idea for an app, don’t wait. We’ve had many clients come to us with ideas for mobile apps that we’ve turned into full-fledged businesses.
The possibilities don’t end there, of course. Your business’ app can be whatever you’d like it to be. It can do whatever you’d like it to do (within reason…no Starbucks-serving software has been discovered as of yet).
Start dreaming up your business’ app now. You’re gonna need it.
Have questions about mobile apps? Want to get started now?
Contact Joel Reed at C-leveled (email@example.com) to discuss the possibilities for your business’ app.
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Courtesy of: C-leveled