The iPhone is new.
The app store is new.
The first 500 apps have a tremendous advantage.
Fast forward a decade and the app store is saturated. Beyond saturated.
But you aren’t into mobile apps to be the next big thing.
You aren’t trying to build a business around a creative new app. Instead it’s the exact opposite. Your small business needs an app.
Today’s small businesses offer their customers fully integrated web solutions and highly personalized customer service. Why wouldn’t they expand their offerings into apps for the consumer’s favorite computer? His cell phone.
1. Actively Embrace Mobile.
We are actively in the mobile age, and the use of mobile technology is only going to continue to grow. You might have a website that looks okay on a mobile phone, but an app will truly take you fully into the mobile age.
2. Accelerate your Innovation.
Companies must always innovate and making changes in technology might give you ideas about where you can invest your time and money next. One improvement begets the next, so start innovating to make tremendous gains.
3. Lay Groundwork for the Future.
The future of business is uncertain, but it’s certainly coming fast. If you are already one step behind the curve, how many steps will you be behind when the next wave hits. Ride the mobile wave toward whatever is around the next corner and the transition will be smoother.
4. Build your Brand.
A mobile app is an excellent way to promote your brand. The more interaction you have with customers, and the more they see what you’re offering, the more brand recognition you will have. You want customers to see your company name and product as often as possible. An app is another great way to showcase what you do.
5. Get Customers on your Website.
An app can create a simple pathway between a mobile device and your website. Customers use the app, but have the option to move to the website to perform more complicated functions or see more choices.
6. Gather Customer Reviews.
Customers on mobile devices have a very simple time leaving reviews, especially if you use a quick pop-up style review that simply asks for a quick ranking. Customers can easily click on a thumbs-up or a smiley face and you gather valuable feedback with minimal interruption.
7. Create New Revenue Opportunities.
An app can open up new revenue streams both now and in the future. You might add advertisements in your app or monetize it directly in other ways. Some apps include upgrades and in-app purchases as well that can boost revenue.
8. Speed up Transactions.
To run on an iPhone, apps have to be fast. Streamlined and simple, customers expect their apps to be the fastest way to access information and make purchases. This might make it easier than ever for customers to finish loading up a cart and enter payment details.
9. Full Integrate Social Media.
An app on a mobile phones is a natural place to integrate social media. Full immersion into the world of mobile apps is going to include at least some social media, so this is an area where there is a natural overlap and you can economize and become more efficient in your developments and accounts.
10. Embrace Smart Phone Use.
By 2020 there will be almost 3 billion smart phone users in the world. Smartphones run on apps. If you want to be where your customers are, you and your business need to be embracing the age of the smartphones and designing business solutions with these users in mind.
11. Share Product Information.
Customers are often eager to share information using their phones. They will share their location, their experiences, their critiques and their reviews of all number of things. Ask customers for detailed reviews and information about products through your app, and they are likely to leave you something that adds even more benefit than a basic thumbs up (or thumbs down).
12. Allow Greater Customer Interaction.
An app gives customers an easy way to contact you or your customer service team. Contact information can be included easily. Additionally, smart phones make a great way to set up some one-way communication with alerts and notifications sent to customers overnight for them to check first thing in the morning.
13. Streamline Customer Activity.
There are fewer places to include distractions on a mobile app. You area almost forced to choose what matters most on your website and streamline it with a mobile app. Make the customer experience simple to navigate and complete and customers will often thank you with the desired action.
14. Build more Dedicated Customer Bases.
Customers have choices from thousands of apps, but they don’t actually use thousands, or hundreds, or even dozens. Most customers have preferred apps that they have downloaded and prefer to use for certain transactions. If customers download your app, you can rely on them to be pretty faithful.
15. Stay Current with Customers.
There are endless options of things to look at and things to buy. Customers are often paralyzed simply by the volume of things to decide on a daily basis. Your app may not always be the first app they open or use on a daily basis, but your customers are going to see it sitting on their phone. This keeps your brand and name current in the mind of the customers at least.
16. Allow Better Business Communication.
Apps don’t just open up additional lines of communication between customers and marketing. The app can also make it easier to communicate with employees and other professionals, especially if the app works where other phone services do not. An app can also create a single place for communication, helping to simplify at least some record keeping.
17. Consider Tracking Locations.
A mobile app might also have the functionality to track your customer’s locations. Where are your customers using the app and your services? This can be valuable information to have as you consider expanding your business or streamlining services.
18. Allows Customized Experiences.
Customers increasingly expect a personalized experience. Mobile apps allow for certain levels of customization. Customers can add their preferences and goals. They can mark things with stars for favorites or remove things from their viewing experience. They can make your app work the way they want it to if you design it well.
19. Create Easy Access to a Loyalty Program.
A mobile app is the perfect place to insert a customer loyalty program. Have customers scan their phones, or simply use their login information as an account to reward customers after a certain number or amount of purchases.
20. Simplifies Push Notifications.
People with smart phones definitely look at their phones in the morning, but they also check their phones when they receive notifications. Use push notifications sparingly to alert customers to special sales or limited time offers and bring in new business.
21. Prepare for the Next Technology Trend.
Who knew mobile technology was going to be this big a decade ago? Especially as it is not done growing! What is next in the world of personal technology and what can you do to capture a place in that future market? Designing multiple ways to interact with your business now can give you options for where to jump when the next big thing arrives.
22. Everybody’s Doing It.
Finally, one last compelling reason to consider creating a mobile app is simply because everyone else is. Customers expect to find a decent app for stores and services they use. If you don’t have one and customers are looking for it, you’re looking at a huge gap in customer experience and in your bottom line.
Small businesses have so much to provide for their customers it can feel like a burden to create even one more thing. But this is the nature of business – the customers prefer to use their phones for so many things, that it simply makes sense to utilize their phones as best you can. Create the sort of app that your customers can easily put to use and your bottom line with thank you.