If you own a smartphone like the Apple iPhone, you will doubtless be aware of what apps are. For those that don’t use such a device, let me explain. Apps are small pieces of software that run on smartphones and other mobile devices like tablets.
They work much, in the same way, as the software you use in your home and work computers. With over a million apps available to download, it’s easy to find a solution to any problem you might have. Whether you need to learn a new language or edit a document, you’re bound to find an app to help you.
One of the most popular forms of app that people use is social media apps. Examples include Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. By now, you might be wondering what use apps have for your business. After all, you want people to be more aware of your brand, not tell their friends what they’ve eaten for dinner!
The thing is; many growing businesses realize the potential that mobile apps can offer them. Here are just some of the reasons why:
Many people are often glued to their smartphones
It only takes a quick Google search to unearth scores of research into smartphone usage. Did you know that, on average, people spend at least two hours a day using their smartphones?
They will use it when commuting, during their lunch break at work, or even when they are at home. Because of their mobile nature, we can use our smartphones almost anywhere we want!
We use apps more than we browse the Web on our smartphones
Mobile apps provide a quick and convenient way for people to discover more about your brand and what it offers. One key benefit to mobile apps is that you can use them offline. That’s perfect for situations where you have limited Wi-Fi or 3G signals!
And with more people making the move to smartphones, it’s no wonder that businesses are keen to capitalize on that fact. If your business had a mobile app, smartphone users are more likely to use that than browse your website.
I read some interesting research into app usage on smartphones. It seems that, when we use our smartphones, we spend 86% of our time using apps. The remaining 14% gets spent using a web browser.
You open up a new direct marketing channel
All businesses know that the key to making money is to market your brand. After all; who’s going to buy your products and services if no-one knows you exist?
Direct marketing is the term given to a form of direct communication with customers. Popular examples include email newsletters, postal mail campaigns, and even sales calls. The not-so-new kids on the block are smartphone apps.
They open up a whole raft of direct marketing opportunities for companies! Let’s say that you sell products through your website. Your mobile app can offer them the ability to manage their account via their smartphone.
Mobile app Development allows you to “push” messages to their smartphones. For instance, you might want to inform them of special offers or sales that you are running. The beauty of smartphone apps is that they can run in the background too.
In other words, you don’t have to be using it for it to do something (like popup an urgent message).
If you’re curious, go online and search for Mobile App Development London, as an example. Firms that offer to build mobile apps can give you case studies of how mobile apps are an effective marketing tool. Do you want to know the best thing of all? Mobile apps needn’t cost you a fortune to build!
I can think of more expensive marketing tools that businesses pay for with a much smaller return on investment.
Another form of marketing that works well with mobile apps is location-based services. All modern smartphones have built-in GPS. Your mobile app can detect how close your customer is to their nearest store.
It can then offer details on opening times, special offers and so forth. And if you’re not sure how to get there, your app can even guide them by offering step-by-step directions to their nearest store.
It’s a great way to add value to your app because you are, in essence, helping them to solve a problem. Take the McDonalds smartphone app, for example. Their app can tell you where your nearest restaurant is and what’s on the menu. It can even tell you what facilities your local restaurant has.
Many retail stores know that one way they can build brand loyalty is to offer their customers membership to a loyalty card scheme. The only downside to such schemes is that you have yet another “thing” to carry around with you!
You want your customers to take advantage of any good deals at your stores. You also want them to buy from you and not your competitors. Instead of using a card-based system, let them use their smartphones instead!
Your mobile app can display a barcode with their membership number on it that they can scan in. They are more likely to do this if they know scanning at each visit means they get discounts off future purchases.
One critical factor in increasing their chances of buying from you is to make their lives easier. A smartphone app will help them do that in so many ways!
Mobile apps help your customers to save time
We all know that most people use their smartphones for at least two hours a day. When you’re in a rush, and you need to find something out, you’ll reach for your smartphone. It’s as simple as that!
But instead of wasting time browsing websites and waiting for pages to load, mobile apps help to answer people’s questions in seconds. They also don’t have to search for your site URL or check through their browser’s bookmarks. That’s because the app is there in front of them, ready to use!
These are just some of the many benefits to mobile apps for businesses. Isn’t it about time you had one built for your company?