You may ask yourself what the benefits of an app are if you already have a responsive website that looks great on a mobile device.  The answer is that the two should complement each other.

A responsive website is great for bringing in new customers and for getting found on search, but how many of these customers visit once and then never return to purchase anything again?  We know that a presence on mobile devices is essential for businesses, something you can’t ignore now more people own a mobile device across the globe than own toothbrushes!  A mobile app is a great way of making the most of the opportunity this presents to businesses, both small and global.

Increase Customer Engagement
A mobile app allows your customers to interact with you at a time convenient to them.  With one click of a button on their device they can immediately be ‘in your online store’.  Push notifications and other app functionalities allow you to inform customers of offers and promotions as they become available.  It keeps them in the loop about everything your business is currently doing and presents them with an easy opportunity to interact with you as things are happening.  A mobile app allows businesses to improve their processes and to increase the level of accessibility available to their customers.   A customer who is regularly interacting with your brand will also have a greater level of trust and the positive impact of this is invaluable to businesses.

Stand out from your Competitors
Believe it or not 90% of small companies still have not utilised the fantastic marketing tools that Mobile Apps have to offer.  It is almost certain that mobile apps are the future, already over 90% of online minutes spent on a mobile device are in apps rather than browsing the web.  If you invest in developing an app now you will be ahead of the game and have the opportunity to bag the vast majority of the market before your competitors.  In 2016 90% of businesses were planning to invest more in mobile apps, if you are not careful you could easily get left behind.

Build Brand Recognition  
Brand recognition used to be built using print marketing, by leaflet drops or ginormous bill board advertising.  This is no longer the only route open to you.  A mobile app allows you to create something that is both visually pleasing to your customers but also highly functional and useful to them.  If you can find a way to get your client to interact regularly with your app then your business will achieve what is known as ‘effective frequency’.  The more it is seen the more it is noticed, trusted and ultimately the more revenue you will generate.

Provide Value to your Customers
One of the great ways that a mobile app can be utilised is by introducing a customer loyalty scheme.  Returning customers are the key to success for many businesses and if you can introduce an easy way of rewarding your customers loyalty then they are more likely to keep coming back to you.  A mobile app allows customers to quickly and easily access their reward points without having to log in to a website or having to remember to bring the stamped card with them each time.    Similarly, offering a booking option would be very helpful to customers if you are a restaurant, hairdresser or any business that offers appointments.  The state of play now is that people would much rather click a few buttons quickly in an app than have to pick up the phone to make a booking.  

Make it Social
The functionality available on Mobile Apps is ever increasing and the technology behind them is developing at an astonishing rate.  This allows you to introduce elements to your app that you could have only dreamed of a few years ago.  For example, why not allow clients to interact with you and other customers by introducing an in-app messaging service, allow them to like and share information with others, encourage them to leave comments and engage with the content on your app.  The vast majority of people use mobile devices primarily to access social media so make the most of this human behaviour and use it to encourage investment and engagement in your business.  

Easier for Customers
A mobile app is so much more accessible on a mobile device than a website. If you frequently visit a website it can still be a bit of a fiddle to access it quickly, entering a URL on a mobile device is timely and can be frustrating.  An app allows your customers to be with you in a single press of the screen of their mobile device.  This means that your brand is always present on their device which is another way to increase the visibility of your company to strengthen trust and brand recognition.    A mobile app also has an interface which is designed to provide the best user experience.   This raises customer satisfaction and makes it more likely that customers will keep returning to spend time with you online.

Market Effectively to Interested Customers
Although still effective print marketing is notoriously expensive.  A mobile app allows you to send useful information directly to your target market to encourage engagement and investment.   An app gives you the opportunity to provide customers with a news feed, product specification information, new features, promotions, special offers and special rates as well as recognising loyalty with a rewards scheme.  They also allow you to collect incredibly useful analytics and information about how people are spending time on your app, where they are based, how old they are and how much money they spend with you.  This allows you to tailor your marketing strategy to make the most out of your audience and to generate revenue and grow your company.  Mobile apps also appeal to the younger generations so you may even introduce your company to a whole new demographic.  

Enhance Customer Service and Boost Sales
A mobile app offers you an opportunity to standardise customer experience with your business.   If all the information that they need is literally at their fingertips and the answers to all their questions can be provided at any time you are only going to increase customer satisfaction.  You could provide a list of FAQs, offer a messaging facility and give valuable solutions to your customers remotely whilst offering a personalised experience on an interface designed for maximising user experience.   According to a whopping 35.4% of Black Friday sales were completed on a mobile device. Google research also shows that 3 in 10 customers started a purchase path from a mobile app.  This is an opportunity that you cannot afford to miss.  By alerting customers to offers, new products and loyalty schemes you are massively increasing the likelihood of them making purchases with you via your mobile app.

If you are interested in discussing how a mobile app could benefit your business then get in touch with the app team at Design in the Shires on  Don’t get left behind in the mobile app movement revolution, the opportunities for your business are too great to miss out on.

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