Native Apps Are A Must!

“There’s an App for that.”  Everyone remembers the catchy Apple phrase when the iPhone came out.  I know I do.  I even used it in conversation last week while discussing a new mobile application that I had just installed to fill a need.  It’s not even a catch phrase anymore to sell phones, its just simply a fact of life.

I was at my local bank the other day, and my banker told me about their new app that they have, that I can do all of my mobile banking on.  The features are incredible and the usability of it is simple and flawless.  This adds a lot of value to life, saving me both time and headache in my on-the-go lifestyle.  If you have a business, having your own app is a no-brainer.  Not sure what the value is of having a mobile strategy for your business?  Here’s five reasons why developing an app is a good idea:

  1. Add Value to your Customer’s Lives.  Any good product or service that a business offers should solve a problem.  What better way to add value to the life of your customer than to build an app that streamlines your services and products to them, saving them both time and headache, and getting your brand in their hands.  Own a coffee shop?  Make an app that helps them track bonus points so that they can use them to buy items in the future.  Run a bank?  Build an app that allows people to deposit checks using their phones.
  2. Brand Recognition.  If you’re running a business, then you know how important it is to have a brand that people can recognize is yours.  An app in the mobile marketplace can do wonders for getting your brand out there to people who may not otherwise visit your site, or walk by your store.  I can’t tell you how many new products I’ve found based on cruising around the app store.  The more places your brand is, the more likely people are going to get interested in it. Everyone is on their phones these days.  They spend far more time on their phone or tablet than they do say, a PC.  Having an app right on their screen after they habitually unlock and check their phone is a great way to remind them about your brand and what you have to offer them.  It’s a way for you to stay visible to them even when they aren’t necessarily thinking about your company at the time.  It’s easy these days to get caught up in all the goods and services we use, and that reminder goes a long way to bring a customer back.
  3. Great Source for Marketing.  With an app, you have a clear and easy way to get a wide array of the services that your company provides to your customers.  Information such as the next sale, promotion or product can be right at the tip of your potential customer’s fingertips.  I can tell you from experience, I don’t go out looking for sales, I typically encounter those types of things when a company finds a way to inform me. Push notifications are an incredibly useful tool when trying to inform someone of a potential interest they might have.  It’s also a great way to create a Sales Funnel.  People who are getting the app are more likely to purchase those additional products and services you’re trying to get in front of them to add value to their lives.  With an app, you can focus on a few products that provide the most bang for their buck, while giving them an easy to use interface that encourages additional browsing.
  4. Get your Customers Engaged.  Engaging your customers is incredibly important, especially these days.  Being able to have a customer have an activity with their product or service goes a long way towards generating interest and retention.  Imagine a customer is walking to their favorite sandwich shop, and they can place their order in the shop’s app before they even get there.  Imagine then that the customer walks in, grabs their already completed order, and leaves a glowing review as they walk out the door, all within the app.  Not only does that generate and keep interest with your ability to create activity for your customer, but it shows your forward thinking mentality of having a 21st century technology integrated into your business model.
  5. Real-Time Data and Metrics. An app gives you incredibly valuable data and metrics to measure, so that you know what your customers like and don’t like.  Mobile apps make it very easy to collect and capture that data, so you can build out new models and strategies to better cater to your customers needs.  Imagine being able to help your customer choose the best product for them by offering them an opt-in service that collects data based on their purchases and actions on the app.

So there you have it.  These days, it’s still relatively rare for a small business to have a custom app.  However, that’s where the world is going.  Having an app is almost mainstream at this point.  Ten years ago, I never would’ve thought that I’d be doing so much with my phone.  Now, I wonder whatever I did without it! It’s spectacular how far this has come, and we can only speculate where it’s going to go.  With technology changing and evolving at the rate it is (have you seen VR headsets yet?), we need to make sure we’re on top of our game.

With that in mind, let’s face it:  Your customer base is now becoming more millennial by the day.  This is a generation that is growing up with smart phones and computers being a part of everyday life.  Everyone is recognizing not only how powerful of a tool we have at our disposal, but how unbelievably rapidly its changing our society.  At this point, if you’re not thinking about a mobile strategy, your competition is.  The question is:  Are you ready to get ahead of your competition?