These are exciting times to own a business because emerging technology advances provide unlimited opportunities. With over 4 billion people online at any given time, most businesses have built websites to complement their operations. However, a rapidly evolving business environment and the increase in mobile internet usage, emphasizes a need to keep adapting. With close to 3 billion people using smartphones and 1.35 billion using tablets worldwide, a website is not enough to target the online market. Your business needs a mobile app to compete effectively and meet other objectives.
If you think a mobile app for your small business is an overreach, consider the statistics. Mobile internet traffic has already surpassed desktop traffic. If you want a piece of the pie, you have to go where your target customers are. 90% of mobile users spend time using apps, and according to Statistica, the total number of mobile app downloads in 2017 was 197 billion. This means that mobile internet users are more likely to use an app to find the products and services they want. If your small business wants to harness the potential of a growing mobile internet market, it is time to consider the benefits of building a mobile app. What are these benefits, you ask? Let us look:
1. Visibility of your Brand at All Times
Mobile internet devices now consume a lot of people’s time and as a small business owner, you have to take advantage of this fascination to promote your brand. The average internet user spends over two hours a day on their device, and if you have an app, it means your brand is readily visible to them at all times. 21% of millennials open an app 50 times a day and 57% of digital media usage comes from apps. Simply put, building an app is the best way to promote your brand in a crowded market. With the phone always at hand, having an app increases the chances of getting spotted by your target customers. Smartphones are now an integral part of life and when your brand is available through an app, it receives a boost in visibility.
2. Increase Customer Engagement
Customer engagement is the ongoing relationship between your business and target customers. In the online landscape, it is one of the most crucial aspects of business marketing. Customer engagement can make or break your business.
With a mobile app, you have a unique way of engaging your customers by taking advantage of mobile schedules and notifications, reminders, loyalty programs and other features. It is an effective tool to build strong relations with customer and to nurture your leads. You can notify your target customers about special offers, discounts, other appealing deals and get feedback from them at the same time.
3. Personalizing User Experience
Providing the best customer experience is every online marketer’s priority. Google has talked about rewarding websites that provide good user experience for a long time, and this is now happening. One way of providing an excellent customer experience is through providing a personalized experience, which is exactly what a mobile app does.
A mobile app helps to personalize your brand’s interactions with your customers. With the app, you can collect invaluable customer insight and target them by providing offers and deals that suit their needs. You can also ask your customers for feedback and provide them with services through your business app based on their preferences.
4. Excellent Customer Service
One of the biggest complaints businesses have against online businesses, is poor customer service. You will most likely have also suffered such an experience while shopping online. As a business owner, you should think of a smart and effective way to solve customer service problems. A mobile app should top your list of solutions.
Consider that 40% of customers begin purchasing from a competitor because of their reputation for providing great customer service. A recent study shows that 50% of businesses surveyed say they provide customer service via mobile devices; up from 38% in 2012. This shows the effectiveness that an app has for improving your customer support system.
5. A Direct Marketing Channel
Online marketing is tough for a small business. You have to compete with established brands that have huge budgets for their marketing teams. However, it is possible to leverage technology, including mobile apps, to gain a competitive edge.
You can use a mobile app as your go-to marketing tool by including the most crucial information about your products, providing important links, offering deals and discounts to customers using your app, loyalty program and other techniques to get things moving. When working with a mobile app development firm, you should communicate your marketing needs to ensure that the app they provide is built to meet your marketing objectives.
6. Building Brand Loyalty
It is important for small businesses to build a strong brand in today’s volatile online market. Your business has to compete against established companies, and one way of staving off the competition is by gaining the trust of your customers. A mobile app is a powerful tool for building brand loyalty and for ensuring that your customers stick with you through all situations. You can do this by awarding them loyalty points, offering coupons and discounts to name a few. You will not only generate repeat customers but also build a team of brand ambassadors who will spread the good word.
7. Using Mobile Apps For Retargeting
High bounce rates and abandoned carts are a big problem for online businesses. Even with the best marketing strategies, you will still have visitors who do not complete the purchase journey. Retargeting is a strategy that seeks to bring back these potential customers, by sending them reminders and targeted ads. Today, 46% of SEO strategists believe that retargeting is the most underutilized online marketing strategies. You can use a mobile app as your main retargeting tool by collecting insight from customers and sending them reminders. Using geo-location services is also a great idea to invite potential customers to your local store. Using account users’ search and shopping history in your app is a smart technique to target them with suitable deals and discounts for products they had earlier shown an interest in while at your store.
After looking at the benefits of a mobile app, it is obvious that this is a must-have tool for your small business. Your business needs a mobile app to promote your brand, boost customer engagement, provide a better user experience and boost sales conversion. By enabling you to provide your customers with a personalized experience, a mobile app helps you build a loyal customer base and increase the credibility of your brand. It is one of the most effective online marketing tools available today.
The convenience coupled with the ease in marketing your products that an app brings to the table provides you with a competitive advantage over your competitors. If you do not already have an app, contact a good app development company and secure a strong presence in your industry.
About The Author:
Neelesh Bhansali is the CTO at QualDev Inc. He also writes technical articles about Web design and Development, SEO and Digital marketing. He is enthusiastic about technology and loves to analyze the tech industry in his spare time and stay in touch with the latest happenings.