In today’s business world it’s not enough to simply have a mandatory online presence because you’ve read somewhere you need to have one. It should be at the core of your business strategy. Now imagine if we tell you that not even having a site is enough and that you need to take it a step further – make an app for your business.
You’re probably wondering why, or maybe even more importantly, how to even go about something so technically advanced like creating an app, without having to resort to outsourcing. To build Android app has probably never been easier with services around the web that make it work without any coding experience.
The “why” on the other hand, is what we’re here for now. We’ll look to cover the five main reasons why an app is something every business, at the very least, should consider and how it can positively affect aspects of your business. Because, when you look at everything that has an app nowadays – there’s an app for the weather, an app for carpooling, an app for takeout – you name it and chances are someone has made an app for it.
Therefore, in no particular order, let’s count them down…
Apps Work Much Better on Phones and Tablets
A website that’s designed to be scalable both in display and function for smaller screens with limited navigation options will get the job done. However, you probably don’t want your customers to gain the impression your site or your business is “just fine”. Apps are much better optimized for working in such conditions because they’re designed for them, mobile sites, on the other hand, are usually just bite-sized copies of the desktop versions.
Taking into account what devices your customers are using to get to your pages is very important because you need to back up your action with tangible numbers. Not even considering your specific line of business (where these stats can vary) those numbers tell a tale – over 75% of all online shoppers prefer to do their shopping on their phone. Give, or take a few percentages, ¾ of your users will want a better alternative to a scaled-down website.
An app provides quicker access (no Google, no URLs, or links) at just a tap on a screen, which is inherently faster than a regular site because the content is shared differently and isn’t beholden to a browser which can bring down the overall experience. Not to mention if a customer is redirected to your pages by another app, for example, if a link on the Facebook app is followed, the site will be opened within the app downgrading the performance even further. Make it so none of this affects you by creating an app of your own.
Apps Offer Better Customer Relations and Insight
When you have an app, you’ll require your users/customers to sign up for that app. Following all the rules and regulations that have been put forth, by signing up, you’ll still gain access to their information.
Of course, there are sites, even most of them in fact, that give you the option to register, usually making the act of signing up enticing by offering a discount for the first purchase. However, this is rarely mandatory, and you can, in most cases, just go about your business as a “guest”. Now granted, someone who wants to buy something will go through with it and you won’t feel the difference between a registered user and a guest on your bank account at that moment, but long-term not having them sign up is simply a wasted opportunity. You’ll be hard-pressed to collect any viable data regarding their browsing and purchase habits (from accessing the site to the check-out page), further calls to action will be more difficult, etc.
With an app where registering is mandatory, you can use that information to mold your app and personalize it for each of your customers. Because so many businesses have overlapping target audiences, making someone feel “at home” will ensure they’ll more than likely come again. In addition to potentially gaining a repeat customer, you’ll also easily collect the aforementioned data, which you can then use to further improve your app, your merchandise, your offers/promotions, etc., and see those conversion number skyrocket.
Apps Are a Perfect Marketing Tool
Seamlessly expanding on our previous point, where you can personalize the experience your customers are getting, an app can be the perfect marketing tool to keep the users you have and bring in new ones.
Firstly, it’s extremely cost-effective, especially when compared to other marketing tools, most prominently ads (regardless of the format and platform). Where you have to continuously spend resources to have your signature content featured on other channels, an app requires only the initial input when it’s being created (with negligible maintenance costs afterward).
The promotion isn’t timed – you might have a Google campaign that lasts for 30 days and costs x amount of dollars, for that period. After it’s over you’ll have to pay for a new one. An app promotes your business by the mere fact it’s installed on someone’s phone. Marketing is all about exposure, and even if they never use it, they (and anybody else that uses the phone) will still see the icon every time they look at their phone – that kind of exposure would cost a significant amount and you’re getting it free of charge.
Apps Provide You With Superior Communication Channels
Apps provide direct communication channels that go both ways. You’ll easily be able to reach your customers and they’ll be able to reach you. Who wants to bother with filling out forms, or writing emails, when you can simply start up a chat within the app and get all the info you need. We’ve said it a couple of times already, but it’s worth emphasizing once again – data/content needs to flow quickly, your customers don’t want to waste time and you don’t want to put them in the position where they are. The quicker they get their issue resolved, the quicker they’re back to shopping.
On the other hand, the same advantages apply. You’ll have the means to get your point across efficiently, whether it’s automated, promotional content designed as a call to action to enhance engagement (like notifications), or if it’s a direct reply to a query. Naturally, especially where the latter is concerned, you will need to have the content itself ready for sharing.
Depending on how complex the products or services you’re offering are, you’ll more or less from the advanced communication methods. Notifications for promotional purposes are excluded here, for those are pretty much universal. Complex services like setting up company-wide software security, or highly specialized products like machine parts are more likely to elicit more questions. Each one of them that’s handled faster because you can connect to your customer more easily represents exponentially growing relief on the budget and a higher customer satisfaction rate.
Apps Are Better at Handling and Delivering Various Types of Content
The first things that come to mind are images or videos, which can, because of their size, hinder a site’s performance, especially if there’s no compression (and if there is compression, the quality will likely suffer). This is, of course, true – you’ll have many more options to present your multimedia content on an app, as opposed to a site. However, there are other types of content that don’t come to mind right away, but still work better on apps, simply because they take advantage of the hardware.
When using an app, from the provider’s standpoint, you should really look to use everything to your advantage (compared to a desktop site). Every smartphone has a camera, Bluetooth, GPS, microphone, and speaker, so why not use them.
Implement augmented reality features where the customer can better see and understand your product; use the GPS for a map that guides the customer to your closest retail store; go from text chat to voice/video chat with a click, etc. Smartphones are nowadays pretty much standardized when it comes to the core features and functions, so you’re only limited by your imagination and what you can think of to use in new and exciting ways.
Apps are so widespread; we can easily already label them an industry standard. They simply provide you with too many advantages compared to conventional sites that it’s hard to argue against using them.
Because the demand for them is so high, the market has adjusted with services like Builder.ai that enable even those without coding skills to create and publish their apps. This is important because those without the proper skills are in the majority – everyone needs an app, but only a handful of people have the know-how to make one.
If you don’t have an app for your business yet, there’s no time like the present to dive in head first and make one.