We have to admit the celebrity that annoys us all, Kim Kardashian, does do one thing right: THAT APP! Last June, Kim launched her game app which allowed her fans create their own online celebrity life, and by the end of last year brought in revenues around $74 million! While we don’t endorse wasting time watching her show you can never recover precious brain cells back from, we do think creating an app is not only a great opportunity for your business but will save your business in a world quickly going mobile.
To ignore the fact that most of the population are mild to severely addicted to using their device three to four hours each day is creating an expiration date for your business. The way most of us think a business without a website is shady, will soon hold true for consumer perception of businesses without apps in the nearing future.
With mobile commerce doubling the growth of desktop e-commerce, and consumers spending the large majority (over 80%) of their time in-app vs. websites, it’s crazy not to take the time to even consider how an app could benefit your business in both the short term and long term. Apps aren’t just for trendy startups, and we have 5 reasons why building an app will help you grow, and in turn, save your business.
1. Grow Revenues Investing in Mobile Experience
Starbucks is the poster child of the opportunity investing in a mobile app can bring. According to a recent Forbes articles, payments on Starbuck’s mobile app now account for 20% of all in-store transactions in the U.S. (doubling figures from just two years ago). To further enhance this point in businesses this seems unlikely to help, let’s say you are a legal firm. You build an app that allows your clients to see everything from initial paperwork to alerting them the day of trial with location and instructions on where to park while also providing great advice for a variety of legal scenarios and questions.
Your client is so impressed after barely being able to get ahold of their last legal firm, they now recommend your app to friends and family because they saw content that is relevant to their current scenario, and now you have new leads who are highly engaged and trust you. Not only does your original client keep coming back, but your app continues to be passed around their network bringing in more and more clientele, increasing revenues while building your firm’s reputation.
2. Amplify interaction and community with your customers.
Think of an app as an extension of your brand and offerings that significantly cuts down the competition for your customer’s attention. According to Nielsen, smartphone owners use 29 apps on average. If your app makes it into one of those 29 spots, you are already ahead of the millions of websites and competition fighting for their attention on the interwebs. Sending updates on new products and deals comes across as much less invasive since the customer has already had a great enough experience with your brand to download your app.
A branded app allows you to amplify your customer relationships by developing relevant and unique content on a platform your customers can interact with in a more meaningful way. Apps allow you to further target content for different customer segments, giving them more helpful information, which builds greater trust with your brand. When your customers trust you more, they are more willing to share your content with their own networks. This means you are not only fostering your community within your current customer base but now expanding into your customer’s network as a trusted reference.
3. Extend your sales channels.
Offering exclusive deals via a mobile app can be a great way to gain exposure for your business. Picture owning a food truck business. With your location constantly on the go, the ability to send out a push notification to all of your app users about where you are located that day and special prices happening would allow them to find you easier and greatly increase the odds of them making a purchase from you that day.
4. Make it easy. Customers want convenience.
Think about why apps were created. Apps are mini life hacks. They give people a shortcut to something they want or need, and make their life a little easier. Customers want what they want, right now, and they expect businesses to provide their services in ways that meet the growing “on-demand” culture. If you make things easier for your customer, they will reward you with their business.
5. Make your competitors squirm.
Creating an app can help you gain exposure in saturated markets. More and more small businesses are now able to compete with their larger competitors building apps that allow them to level the marketing playing field. For example, let’s say you are a local bagel shop with a few locations around the city. Building an app where you run contests and specials geared towards a younger audience can allow you to connect with students at the surrounding schools and colleges to grab a bagel to get their day going. Your competition is having trouble reaching this younger audience with their current marketing efforts while you are able to easily connect with totally mobile audiences and win their business.
It’s time to accept that the world is going to continue moving towards mobile. You can wait until everyone is building an app, and you are forced to build one to stay in business. You can also choose to be ahead of the competition, and add mobile to your business strategy right now by building your business with the obvious and proven opportunities of adding a branded mobile app as an extension of your business.
“If your plans don’t include mobile, your plans are not finished.” Wendy Clark, Senior VP at Coca-Cola Companies.