Do you need a mobile application for your company to succeed in the current market environment? This single question has baffled many company executives as they endeavor to strategize and implement marketing campaigns. There is, however, not a simple yes or no response to this kind of question. There are several factors to be considered before you finally decide whether you need an app or not as a company.
Mobile apps are increasingly playing a crucial role in the market setup today. It is not merely a medium through which distribution takes place: businesses that take advantage of apps and use them appropriately can develop channels of communication which they can then use to adapt to, learn from as well as working with customers to understand their needs and offer better solutions.
While websites are genuinely beneficial in enhancing customer experience with the brand, online presence is usually enough. When websites were still new, buyers were impressed by their novelty: live chats, subscriptions and online shopping was then the acceptable thing those days. However, those days are passing away rapidly. Mobile app use has entered the mainstream so that any company that ignores them does so to their detriment.
Here are some basic statistics that show how much brands stand to gain if they take the mobile app market seriously.
- According to the 2017 U.S. Mobile App Report, 57% of digital media usage is taken up by mobile apps, while more than 50% of the time spent on digital media is captured by smartphone use.
- The State of Mobile 2019 Report gives the following statistics:
- There were 194 billion app downloads worldwide in 2018
- Consumers spent approximately US$101 billion in app store purchases worldwide
- The average mobile use spent 3 hours on their smartphone in 2018
- Companies that have the mobile as their crucial focus experienced a 360% higher IPO valuation on average.
- Young people (ages between 16 and 24) spend 20% more of their time on smartphones than the rest of the world population.
These and other statistics illustrate the critical role that mobile applications have come to play in marketing and brand promotion.
The reason why this is happening is the shifting customer desires and expectations. Buyers nowadays are looking for instant information access and the capacity to make a choice among numerous options. Customers also desire to have a relevant experience when dealing with companies from which they buy goods and services. Those businesses that lack a mobile platform are seriously missing out on the only chance to connect, influence, transact with and also engage with both the existing and prospective clients.
Six Indicators That You Need a Mobile App for Your Brand
Your market consists mainly of a younger demographic
A comScore 2007 Press Release identified the generation Z (young people between the ages of 16 – 24) as the heaviest users of mobile apps. The second in this category are the 25-34 year-olds. Additionally, more than half of all millennials have at least one shopping app downloaded on their mobile devices with which they access exclusive discounts and offers from vendors.
These statistics indicate that brands that deal with a younger demographic have a lot to gain in developing apps to market themselves.
Your website experiences heavy traffic
Is your company website receiving a lot of traffic, especially from mobile devices? This is an indicator that you should consider going for a mobile application. Because customers are increasingly looking for convenience in their engagement with vendors, having a mobile app is sure to make their lives easier.
As a business, you should be able to tell when you are having more clients engaging you digitally. A lot of traffic originating from mobile devices indicates that clients are interested in app interaction. Mobile app development, therefore, can be your response in an endeavor to provide a customized experience to your customers.
Your value goes beyond what you offer on the website
Before you do anything remotely resembling mobile app development, you must, first of all, understand what clients want from your brand. This will help you know precisely what is of value to your customers, both current and prospective.
After identifying this, the next question to ask is whether you can offer better value on a mobile app platform. How can you use a mobile app to address your clients’ pain? Moreover, what value will they get from an app, over using a website?
Your business mainly deals in e-commerce
Companies dealing in e-commerce can be the greatest beneficiaries of the mobile app development strategy. Even if your company is making sales and profit via website shopping, you can have this increased if you get a mobile app to supplement website sales. Mobile apps can boost profits by allowing for specialized sales, taking advantage of push notifications, among several other beneficial features. Moreover, for clients who want to remain loyal to your brand, a mobile app will guarantee them a fantastic shopping experience that they are sure to enjoy.
You are operating from a brick and mortar store
It is clear from numerous researches that shoppers use mobile retail applications even when making in-store purchases. At least more than 50 percent of shoppers with retail applications use them when shopping in-store. They use such apps for checking and reading reviews and product ratings, finding products as well as redeeming offers and discounts. The information accessed via these apps usually helps personalize their shopping experience. It also helps to ease the purchase process from in-stores.
All your competitors operate with a mobile app
In case your competitors are already using mobile apps to promote their brands, you need to join the bandwagon. Otherwise, you will be the one on the losing end. Moreover, do not just develop an app similar to what is already in the market. Remember you are seeking a competitive advantage over them.
Identify what your competitors are doing right and what they are doing wrong. This can be the basis on which to build your app so that you offer your clients an enhanced experience. Seek to offer a unique app that gives your customers more value as compared to your competitors.
Advantages of Having a Mobile App for Your Brand
There are numerous benefits associated with getting a mobile app for your brand. Below are outlined a few of these benefits.
Increasing your brand visibility
Your brand can easily be engrained into your customers’ subconscious mind if they see your app on their mobile device every day. This creates in them the awareness of your existence. However, brand awareness can only take you so far.
Brand visibility needs to be complemented with value if you want your brand to have a special place in your customers’ hearts. Also, the only way to do this is to ensure that their engagement with your app is fruitful and adds them value. Endeavor to identify a problem your clients are facing and solve it for them so that their lives are made better. Offer them rewards and a great personal experience that will encourage them to use the app more often. Only then can you be guaranteed of enhanced brand visibility.
Enhancing your customer experience
The chief objective for developing a mobile app is to enhance the customer’s experience in their engagement with your products and services. The primary concern for the business is functionality in the design of the mobile application.
Remember, a mobile app is not just a product and services catalog; it’s more than that. Your clients get the opportunity to interact with your brand through the app. An app offers them an opportunity to interact with your brand in a unique and personal way. Also, if properly used, the mobile app can be the most excellent tool for marketing your brand.
Gaining an advantage over your competitors
You will also be able to stand out from your competitors if you build a mobile app for your brand. Customers usually identify and realize when brands are seeking to solve their problems. They also tend to notice those companies that are able to adapt as opposed to those that aren’t as tuned in to their changing needs. Developing an app for your brand can be your best approach for staying ahead of your competition by providing your customers with what they need.
Enhancing client engagement
A brand’s relationship with its customers can be improved if the company engages them in a way that is meaningful to them. People these days are more attuned to immediate communication that is tailored to meet their expectations.
The company that develops an app with an experience that mirrors the user’s desires and expectations can be assured of the continued use of their app. Clients will be able to access useful information without too much trouble. The simplicity of design will guarantee that the overall user experience will be positive. Moreover, when the customer is happy with the app experience, better app reviews, ratings, and increased downloads will be the result.
Generating extra income
Apps can be a great way for brands to generate additional revenue. You can use it to urge customers further on the purchasing journey by encouraging repeat conversions. It is also possible to generate income if you incorporate adverts into your app, as well as income from app downloads, in case you are offering it on pay per download basis.
Is A Mobile App Experience Better Than Website Experience?
Yes! Users often switch from website to mobile app use because of the ease of navigation and convenience offered by the latter. The additional features that come with mobile apps also make them much more attractive than website browsing. Some of these features include:
- Camera functionality: many mobile apps have the capacity to use inbuilt device cameras to finish identification tasks when depositing cheques, refilling prescriptions, among many other uses.
- Biometrics: Device security is becoming a major concern for smartphone users worldwide. That’s why device manufacturers are incorporating the latest technology in the design of smartphones to make them more secure. Features like retina identification and fingerprint scanning are features that make purchases much more secure.
- Augmented intelligence: This is a feature that is gaining more prominence in the design of mobile devices. With augmented reality, users are able to have an immersive experience when using their devices.
Although many companies are concerned with the cost of developing a mobile app, you have to ask yourself whether that is comparable to the many clients you stand to lose if you do not adjust to these changing times.
A mobile app is a tool through which brands can engage with their customers. A website may be serving the current client needs, but an app may be the better alternative. If you, therefore, desire to take advantage of the numerous benefits that a mobile app has to offer, then you have to think beyond a functional website.