Advantages of a Mobile app for Business
There comes a time in the life of every business when the point is reached where a period of honest self assessment is the best policy. The best companies do this on a regular basis, and so will you. See why having a mobile app for your small business will greatly improve the impact your business has on your customers.
For many organisations trying to get on top of the hyper competitive, online market places we ply our trades in today, it is often about finding the missing piece of the jigsaw. Does the checklist below resonate with you at all?:
We have come across many firms that believe they are covering all the bases when it comes to an online infrastructure for their business, but quite often the element they are missing to take their operation to the next level is a mobile business app otherwise known as a Merchant App. If you feel the time to really maximise your full potential has come, making your business accessible from customers on the go is one way to push out the boundaries of your customer base.
So here are ten advantages to rationalise having an app for your business:
Visibility works in a number of ways, but in the age of the smartphone, your business being one of the apps that existing and potential customers see on their home screens can go a long way to keeping your business at the forefront of their mind. Then there are the marketing benefits - we used to think including a web address in marketing collateral was the best way to leave a 'calling card', when in fact, a simple advert for downloading your app can be more memorable.
Increasingly, it seems we don't use our smartphones for calling, but for messaging, Googling and emailing. That's because a lot of the time these methods save us precious seconds or minutes. But a mobile app can make things even more simple. Giving your customers the opportunity to access your own platform while on the go makes their life easier, and in any service based industry, that's the name of the game.
3. Scheduling appointments and reminders
If you are already using an online booking tool - which are becoming increasingly popular with businesses such as health centres and hairdressers as well as travel agents and hotels - or are considering launching online booking, a dedicated mobile app can be the perfect location for it. Not only will customers be able to book through your app, you can also send them reminders by way of notifications to alert them that their booking or appointment is coming up. This makes your business more efficient, and less likely to feel the negative impact of missed slots, while also delivering a better service for your customers.
As intimated in the previous point, with a mobile app, your company will have the means to send notifications to customers. This needn't be exclusively to do with appointments, and can also remind them of upcoming events, competitions and prize draws or invite them to engage with text or video content. It can also be advertising, but you should remember not to abuse the power to send notifications, at risk of irritating your customers.
5. Brand recognition... Listen!
Purely as a brand statement, designing and launching a merchant app says a lot about your business. Assuming that the app works effectively, it shows you to be a forward thinking organisation that is committed to customer service. These days the focus is sometimes on 'who hasn't launched an app yet?' rather than 'who has?', so you can avoid being left behind by the chasing pack by introducing your app.
6. Customer engagement
It might be said that engagement is the key to turning occasional customers into regular customers. Consumers value interesting content and those companies that provide them with it are first in line when it comes to selling products. An app gives you an outlet to keep your customers engaged, be it through news and videos, games, blogs or informative guides. Invest time into creating engaging content for your app and reap the rewards.
7. Value for your customers
You'll totally agree with this:
Assuming you are planning to make your app free to download - and in most cases there is no reason not to - then you are providing value to your customers in the form of a resource that they do not have to pay for. Of course, it will then be up to you to provide incentives to purchase goods, but providing a basis of free content does not do any harm when it comes to attracting app users towards the purchase point as part of the customer journey.
8. Repeat customers
We all want customers to keep coming back, and by giving them a prominent point of return on their tablet or smartphone, we are making it easy for them to do just that. They will always know where to find you.
9. Boost social media
Some of the best apps tie in heavily to companies' other marketing channels such as social media or mobile websites. By making elements of your app hooked in with your Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn accounts, you have an opportunity to boost your followings and fan bases on these platforms.
10. Up selling and personalized offers
An app is your opportunity to analyse the customer data you have in your hands and put it to good use. It can, in effect, be the tool for you to use your customer relationship management (CRM) data to its maximum potential, creating personalised offers based on previous buying habits, as well as up selling when appropriate. It is the direct communication with customers and ability to tailor messaging that makes the possibilities so exciting.
As you can see from the previous points, there are a huge number of reasons why developing and launching a mobile business app makes sense. As well as empowering your customers with everything they need to know about your service, you are making your business accessible to customers on the move, and ultimately controlling the flow of tailored, engaging content that can provide one of the first steps in the customer journey to the purchase point.