It’s true, mobile apps aren’t a novelty anymore. App design is nothing new.
But unlike other technological innovations, mobile apps haven’t seen a meteoric rise in popularity followed by a dramatic crash.
They’re here to stay.
Because mobile apps are a brilliant way to add value to users of mobile devices.
And who isn’t a user of mobile devices?
App design is at the stage where we expect something good. Curiosity and novelty are no longer major motivations behind downloads.
What this means for you is that your mobile app design needs to offer real value to your customers.
They expected it.
But app design isn’t a one-sided affair, there are lots of advantages for your business as well.
11 Advantages of Developing a Mobile App for Your Business
1. Embracing the Mobile Age
Early in 2014, a new era began – The mobile internet era.
For the first time in history, more people used mobile devices to access the internet than they did desktop computers.
Earlier this year Google implemented it’s “Mobile-First” indexing programme which favours websites that are optimised for mobile resolutions in its search rankings.
Rumours have even begun to surface that Facebook will be launching their own phone targeted at their 100m mobile users.
Then there is the growth in the wearables market and the wide-scale adoption of the IoT (Internet of Things).
Really, there is little doubt that mobile is the future.
As a business, are you keeping up or being left behind?
Developing a mobile application will rocket your company into the mobile era.
2. Being Ready for the Future
Once you are in the game new tech doesn’t seem so intimidating.
When you learn about the latest innovations that overlap your industry but don’t understand the foundational technology that it evolved from, you probably throw your hands up and feel like there isn’t any point in trying to keep up.
I mentioned the IoT earlier.
All those “things” are devices that people are using to improve their lives, and companies are developing them to improve their businesses.
Look at these examples of that are happening right now:
- Ordering ink – Brother has made it possible to automatically order ink and have it delivered to you before you run dry. All automated, no need for human involvement.
- Monitoring soil – John Deere has developed a system that monitors the health of soil on farms. “Precision farming” allows farmers to make decisions based on real-time data and ultimately improve yields.
- Claiming insurance – Insurance companies have found more ways to avoid paying claims, but surprisingly we benefit as well. From devices that monitor your driving style to lights that flash to warn you of a fire, the insurance industry and the IoT are a great match.
- Improving sales – Beacon technology allows retail businesses to send offers, promotions and coupons to customer’s smartphones while they are near to their stores.
- Collecting flight data – Virgin Atlantic has connected a fleet of Boeings to the IoT to monitor flight data with the purposes of identifying maintenance needs before component failure.
- Following cows – That’s right, cows are worth a ton of money and beef farmers are combating livestock theft by implanting tracking devices to locate stolen bovines.
In each of these cases, and still hundreds more, mobile applications are used as the interface between the device and the user.
Can you see the importance of embracing mobile technology? The opportunities to capitalise on new innovations will keep coming, but if you aren’t ready for them, this won’t matter.
3. Opening New Sources of Revenue
Mobile app design brings opportunities to make money in new ways.
Depending on your industry and the purpose of the app you can directly monetise your software by:
- In-App Advertisements – Giving advertising platforms (like Google’s AdMob) real-estate in your app to display ads.
- Direct Charge – You can add a price tag to your app. Paid apps can be downloaded from app stores and the billed to the user’s account.
- Paid Features in-app – You can offer some functionality for free to show the value and prompt users to upgrade for the premium features.
4. Improving Customer Experience
The core focus of your app design should be to improve the relationship between your customer and your company.
If you don’t get this right, you don’t get any of these other advantages because you need people to use your app before benefiting from any of the spin-offs.
So, how do you design your app with features that your customers will love?
It’s easier than you think – In fact you’ve probably done this before.
When you first got involved with your business what did you do? You set up a bunch of systems and processes, put people in key areas and… Solved a problem that you knew people would pay you money to solve, right?
Same procedure with app design.
At this very moment, ask yourself, what problems do my customers face that I could solve with mobile technology?
- Can you create convenience?
- Give out incentives and rewards?
- Provide real-time support with live chat?
- Offer order tracking?
You know your business best, listen to your unhappy customers to get the best ideas, they are the most valuable source of information you can tap into.
5. Getting Unique Customer Insights
In my opinion, the biggest advantage to businesses that develop apps is the data that users generate when they engage with your software.
I’m talking about analytics and the insights you get are priceless.
Just take a look at the type of information you can glean from your customers:
- Where your customers live – Best performing regions
- How old they are – Best performing age groups
- What their other interests are – Target affinity audiences for marketing campaigns
- In-app activity – Which products or features interest your customers most
All these insights can be used to improve your current customer experience and fuel product innovations.
6. Boosting Your Brand Image
What says, “we’re a forward-thinking, progressive company” more than having a mobile app helping you to provide the best solutions to the market?
On the flip side, are you one of the last companies in your industry to develop your own app?
What impression do you think you’re giving your customers?
7. Driving Traffic to Your Website
Millions of people are searching for new apps in the app stores every day.
They are looking for something that will genuinely improve their lives in some way.
Once you’ve made sure that your app has been designed in a way that adds real value to the people who download it, the next step is to create an app-store listing and optimise it so that it will rank high up in search results.
Here are some basics from SEJ:
- App stores use keyword triggers in your app name, title, description and associated fields, so ensure that you spend time researching the best keywords to use and that you revisit them at regular intervals for optimization opportunities
- How you present your app store product page will have a big impact on the conversion rate value (downloads) you get from the page. Product page CRO should be an ongoing focus area for generating downloads.
- Thumbnail images and screenshots used to promote your app in app stores will directly impact the click-through rates (CTR) of impressions compared to clicks to extra app pages.
- A/B test each of your app store fields for continually improving key metrics associated with the field (CTR, CRO etc.). This type of experimentation and hypothesis testing is critical for getting every ounce of value from the available optimization areas within app stores.
- Consider using Apple’s Spotlight Search. By using this app store users can search the apps that they have already installed on their mobile phones. When you enable Apple’s Spotlight Search you can also impact app use and engagement levels as people are going to be exposed to your app more frequently.
9. Being Where Your Customers Are
Your customers are looking for reasons to use their smartphones. It is the way they prefer to engage with brands and they will spend more if you give them what they want.
Pretty compelling isn’t it?
10. Driving More Action
That brings us to the next advantage of app design.
Last year, a study showed that people spent over 5 hours per day on their smartphones.
How many of your customers spend 5 hours a day in close proximity to your business?
Developing a mobile app gives your business so much more exposure than is otherwise possible.
Online retail giant Alibaba increased annual revenue by nearly $1Billion by allowing their users to shop using a mobile app.
eBay did the same.
And it’s not just the retail industry that’s using app design to increase conversions.
- Hospitality business increases bookings
- A medical company creates 30 000 UGC (user-generated content) posts
- Anesthesiology board increases memberships through centralised documents.
Read about these and other examples here.
There is strong evidence emerging from multiple industries that mobile app design results in business growth.
11. Leveraging Word-of-Mouth Marketing
Picture this scenario.
A group of friends are out having dinner. One of them is a customer of yours.
At some point during the evening, your customer shows everybody the app that they use to engage with your business.
Because your customer is friends with the people around him/her, the chances are high that they share similar attributes – Your ideal customers hang around other ideal customers.
Realistically this situation will result in around 74% of the friends downloading the app for themselves.
That fact that your customers can show other people your app is a huge bonus. Seeing is believing right?
The best part?
How much of your marketing budget did you have to spend to get these downloads?
That’s right, zero!
12. Making Your Business Location Independent
In the same way a website used to be the gateway to new markets in different regions, mobile apps provide businesses with a more effective way of being more than their brick-and-mortar premises.
You can operate from almost anywhere and deliver your goods to paying customers around the world.
It’s not as simple with service-based businesses but mobile app development still means that you don’t have to have offices wherever you operate.
As long as you have staff or contractors available in the area you can use an app to service your clientele.
Lots of information, but believe me, this post could be much longer. The advantages of developing your own mobile app are many.
Mobile technology is the fastest growing personal tech for many years running. I don’t have to tell you how much people use their smartphones – You’re one of them!
Consumers born in the 80s onward already expect there to be “an app for that”. It’s one of Apple’s trademarks. In fact, they registered it 8 years ago!
Could Mobile App Design Grow Your Business?
If you want to develop a mobile app for your customers, we can help!
Mobile apps aren’t only for mega-brands. Small to medium-sized businesses can also make use of this amazing medium for business growth.
The best part?
We’ll make your business hyper-accessible to your customers, you just focus on delivering your company’s value to them.
If this appeals to you, click here to get in touch with us and change your technology problems into the type of problems that you want:
- Too many leads
- Not enough staff
- Can’t keep up with demand