Why Mobile Apps Can Help You Grow Your Business
What are business owners looking for every day? Three simple things: How do I increase sales, improve efficiency and build a loyal customer base? I would say those are the top three things on every business owner’s mind. Entrepreneurs are a special breed, working hours that regular people would balk at, investing all of their resources into their vision, their dream and always looking for ways to improve.
Being a small business owner of several clothing boutiques for two decades, I was looking to do all of the above. I did a lot of research into how to accomplish those goals. Increasing sales and building a loyal client base were the most important in my search for a solution. It was then that I discovered that businesses with a loyalty program generally do more than 20% more in sales than businesses without one. That was it — loyalty!
I was going to implement a loyalty program in my retail business — that was my “aha” moment. After looking for a solution with little success, I decided to build it myself. Since then, the mobile app space has grown in leaps and bounds, and there are several companies a small business owner could turn to to develop a mobile-based loyalty program — BuildFire, Mobile Roadie and Siberian Pro and the company I founded Mass Mobile Apps are all among them. When looking for a company to produce your mobile app, look for people you can work with and who understand what your needs as a business owner are.
A mobile app can be a lot of different things. It can be a way to access information, to play games, to do your banking, to monitor your home, to communicate and now to interact with your local businesses. Business owners with the insight to adopt this marketing channel early display their ability to understand where their customers are and how to effectively engage with them. The move to mobile is not new, but the ability for small- and medium-size businesses to adopt a marketing channel like this is.
So how can a mobile app help your business? Let’s examine the points outlined:
How Can It Increase Sales?
The mobile app can include a variety of different types of loyalty programs. Each program is engineered to make your clients come back more often and spend more when they do. Rewards can be used in several other ways, including tiered levels, which give your clients the incentive to progress up your different levels, giving the ones at the top additional perks. One popular game is the scratch-and-win feature, which works for both end users and merchants.
How Does A Mobile App Improve Efficiency?
Features like integrated shopping carts, integrated food ordering and employee scheduling give an employer the ability to house these key functions of their digital footprint inside the app. A restaurant with a food ordering system built into their app will see a dramatic increase in online and in-app purchasing. A retail business with an integrated e-commerce system will increase efficiency and also boost sales figures. All businesses may be able to improve employee engagement with built-in scheduling software that allows employees to be notified of their schedules in real time, and to also always have access to it on their smartphones. No longer can they say, “I forgot I was scheduled today,” or “no one told me I was working.”
How Does A Mobile App Build A Loyal Customer Base?
This is one of the most important things that a business owner must focus on. Customers are the lifeblood of every business. Successful businesses know this and make it a priority to build loyalty and make brand ambassadors. Mobile apps are among the best ways to communicate and engage with customers. The app gives your customers the ability to interact with your business on their schedule. Push notifications have open rates that can max out in excess of 90%. Compare that to emails with open rates of 25-30%, and you can see how the mobile app will become the best way for you to connect with your customers.
Mobile apps today are much like websites were 15 years ago, and like 15 years ago when websites were cost-prohibitive to small- and medium-size businesses, mobile apps seem to have that stigma today. That is no longer the case. Do it yourself mobile app platforms now level the playing field, and smaller enterprises can now have all of the features of a Fortune 500 company’s mobile strategy at a fraction of the price.
Times have truly changed and it’s imperative for any business to quickly adapt with the latest technological developments. Noticeably, iPhone apps and other mobile applications are taking the world by storm. And majority of smart, forward-thinking entrepreneurs are taking advantage of this mobile apps phenomenon to further improve their business. Here are 5 ways mobile apps can help you grow your business:
1. Boost branding – Since your company’s logo and or slogan are visible on your customers’ mobile screens, it’s virtually impossible not to remember you whenever they need your products/services. It also offers a definite advantage against your competitors who are yet to adopt this business strategy. If you want an instant brand boost or recognition, creating a mobile application is a great way to help improve your corporate branding and overall reputation.
2. Improve customer service experience – Your customers can benefit from being able to access your products/services anytime they want and while on the fly. This is especially true if you don’t have a help line that’s available 24/7. Your app can include a feature where they can contact you day or night, and without necessarily going to your website.
3. Act as a marketing tool – More than just an application, a mobile app can double as a valuable marketing tool. How? It can be easily integrated with Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and other social media sites. That means, with a single tap, customers can share with their network your app and or their experience with your company, which can then offer you free publicity. Plus, using push notification, you can quickly send upcoming promotions or special events to your customers and prospects.
4. Acquire more customers – Keep in mind that today’s consumers are constantly moving and are addicted to their mobile devices. Undoubtedly, they would appreciate a useful and engaging mobile app from your company. If your app helps them save or kill time or is just that awesome, they would even refer you to their friends and family.
5. Generate more income – A mobile application with order fulfillment ability can readily provide another revenue channel, aside from your website and or brick and mortar store. For example, functionality to make restaurant reservations, book concert tickets, buy goods and services, etc. are possible with a few taps/clicks. But wait, there’s more! You can also earn by charging app users when they upgrade, or by offering in-app advertisements, etc.
Unfortunately, many business owners are yet to recognize the huge potential benefits of mobile applications in terms of boosting productivity, efficiency, competitive edge and user experience. Been pondering how you can possibly grow your business? Mobile apps just might be the answer. Contact us for advice and to help you get started!