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The Benefits of Mobile Apps for Businesses and Why CTOs Should Care
There is no disputing the fact that mobiles are and will continue to be an important medium to reach customers, at least until another cool gadget steals their thunder. Till that happens, a mobilecentred business strategy is a must.
There is fierce competition in the market and immense research on how to design effective mobile-first strategies. While different strategists may have different opinions about what works and what doesn’t, they all unequivocally agree on this — companies both big and small must invest in building good mobile apps to increase their revenue. Here are three reasons why we echo that recommendation.
Mobile apps serve as an effective direct marketing channel, through which you can deliver key information such as prices, products, discounts, etc, right at the fingertips of your potential customers and engage them on a daily basis through push notifications. Moreover, for some reason, having a mobile app gives you more credibility than a business that doesn’t have one, especially in the case of startups and small businesses.
Improved customer experience
Smartphones have evolved from being just gadgets to a lifestyle necessity, and this is where the efficacy of an app comes into the picture. Smart, location-based apps that have features like augmented reality and the ability to connect with IoT devices can add a whole new layer to the customer experience, and allow people to engage with your brand in new, exciting ways. Your app is basically your ticket to differentiating your brand from many others. The ability to interact with a brand offline (in-store) and online paves the way for greater brand loyalty. The more frequently customers interact with your brand, the more inclined they will be to make a purchase. Remember, demand can be created even if it doesn’t exist yet.
Re-target existing customers
Mobile apps present an incredible opportunity to not only gain new customers but also re-target existing ones, for example, by reminding them to complete an order or to make a purchase for an upcoming birthday/anniversary. By combining data analytics and location sensing, apps can, for example, recommend that a customer checks out a product she was interested in when she is in the vicinity of the brand’s store; or offer personalised discounts and deals to another customer based on his past behaviour on the app. Since apps can remember a user’s personal settings, wish lists, shopping carts and loyalty points, a clever engagement strategy can ‘hold’ these customers back from trying out a competitor’s brand.
Although the app economy is growing, there are some winds of change. For instance, the time spent on apps is reaching the saturation point, with Flurry’s State of Mobile 2018 wrap-up reporting that this grew a meagre 6 per from 2017 to 2018. However, shorter sessions are not always a bad thing. For one, it might be an indicator of an app’s efficiency—for example, a shopping app that enables faster checkout. The rise of fingerprint authentication and touchless technology to make payments on retail or banking apps is worth mentioning here.
Going forward, machine learning features like predictive text, voice assistants or face recognition will play an important part in the evolution of mobile apps, as will augmented reality. Mobile apps will continue to penetrate our daily lives, transforming and often replacing the conventional ways we do things.
There are numerous benefits of having a dedicated application for your business. The big question, however, is no longer about why one needs it but rather, how to go about designing one—as a well-developed mobile app can make a huge difference to your business.