Technology is constantly evolving with 42% of users who browse the internet on a mobile device using mobile apps to aid the process.
Around 90% of mobile users prefer using apps to visit media instead of going to a website, highlighting the importance of mobile apps. But what benefits can a mobile app bring to your business that a responsive website can't?
Here are a few ways mobile apps are helping businesses engage with their customers to enhance the customer experience.
1. Instant one-to-one communications
Apps are a fantastic communication tool and an easy way to engage with your customers. They can help you do everything: from taking suggestions and feedback, to having full conversations through instant messaging. People spend close to 30 hours per month using mobile apps.
Mobile Apps help users make several decisions including 'what to see', 'what to wear' and even 'what to eat', based on suggestions made by the app. This gives businesses a great opportunity to engage customers and get the desired outcome, increased profits and returning customers.
One easy way to increase engagement is by allowing social media sharing in your app, which will enable users to share your content across social media platforms, increasing your reach to even more prospective customers.
2. One-click ordering
Mobile apps help customers save time and energy. A number of users will not bear the trouble of going to a website to make an order. They want everything with one click/tap. The most popular coffee chain in the world also has one of the most popular mobile apps of all time.
In fact, Starbucks could be considered a trend setter in terms of mobile marketing. One of the core features of their app is the store locator that helps users find the nearest Starbucks, based on their geographic location.
Using mobile technology, Starbucks have made it easier for their users to visit to a store whilst cleverly encouraging them to step into the store. Users of the app can also find discounts and make payments at selected Starbucks outlets which enhances their experience with the brand.
In addition to this, mobile apps can help you serve customers better. Several universities now allow students to access their transcripts and schedules using mobile apps. This removes the need to go to the web (where internet speed can often be slow) allowing students to have an overall better experience.
3. Personalised promotions
Mobile apps can help increase brand awareness and encourage loyalty which in turn drives repeat spend. It's simple, when your company's name or logo is on the user's mobile screen or present on their digital loyalty card they will find it difficult to forget and they will keep coming back for more.
Mobile apps come with unique features, such as push notifications. You can remind users of a special offer to attract their attention. Or you can get more personal with notifications like 'you haven't had your favourite chocolate in three weeks, open the app to order now'.
However, such personal branding will only work if you have a customer-first approach. By this, I mean understanding your customer and collecting the right details from them in order to personalise their in-app experience.
The right mobile app can help you get more business. But for this to happen you will have to market the app as well. According to reports, only 40% apps are searched through search engines or mobile app platforms, and more than half the apps are reached through official platforms. So, when you get an app, you must promote it on your other platforms, including your official website and social media pages.
Using SEO techniques such as identifying the keywords in your app and hyperlinking to designated web pages on your website will help Google crawl and index them which means you will get found.
But how does an app help your business if you are having to promote it? The truth is that you are losing out on potential clients by not having a mobile app. Since 49% of Internet users use mobile devices to browse the web, you are losing out on a large portion of this percentage. A large chunk of these users may never engage, interact or order from you unless you have a mobile app presence.
You can use a mobile app as the strongest weapon in your arsenal to get ahead of your competitors. Mobile technology providers are more accessible than ever and offer various cost-effective solutions.
Ultimately, having an app will aid your growth strategy by improving communications with your customers to encourage loyalty and repeat spend. Adopting mobile technology now will put you in a different league allowing you to cater to more people in a professional manner. Plus, your target audience will also consider you to be serious about business and take more interest in what you have to offer when you have a mobile app.