Are you caught up in the thought that only corporations with an abundance of financial backing need to create an app? Think again. In this post, we outline five reasons why all businesses, big and small, should make Mobile App Development a top priority in 2016.
A 2008 study by Deloitte Mobile Consumer Survey found that 69% of users only used their mobiles for voice calling and SMS. In 2014, the same survey found that 7% of users only made use of their mobile for voice calling and SMS. Why is there a huge change in just six years?
Thanks to the rise of the smartphone we can now be connected to the Internet at all times. The way we make use of this connection on our phones is through mobile apps.
81% of Australians now own a smartphone with mobile apps playing a key role in how we go about our daily lives. Mobile apps can help us do chores and order food all with a few clicks on my phone.
But it’s not just smartphone users who can benefit from apps. Businesses can too.
Many businesses still prioritise the desktop/laptop experience for customers over mobile. However, mobile Internet access has overtaken desktop in 2014. with 21% of users now only accessing the net via their mobile devices.
That’s where the benefit lies for businesses. Having a mobile app that is beneficial for customers and a potential revenue generator must become a top priority for any business to consider, from local start-ups to multinational corporations.
Here are five reasons why your business must have a Mobile App Development strategy.
1. Internet use is occurring more on Mobile than Desktop – You need a mobile strategy to not miss out on this audience.
Desktop is dead! Long live mobile! While it might not be quite that bleak, it’s not far away from being reality. Mobile is now king when it comes to how users make use of the Internet.
Your customers are waking up to social media notifications on their mobile, looking at their emails over breakfast and making use weather apps to check if they need an umbrella – all just a few moments before leaving for work. You’re probably even reading this blog on your mobile right now.
Take a moment to look around at your fellow commuters the next time you walk onto a train. I’m betting you’ll see that their eyes are glued to their phones. Soon your eyes will be entrenched on your phone too. The point is, people spend a tonne of time on their mobile phones and they are now truly intrinsic to our everyday lives.
But what does that mean for your business?
Firstly, there is a large audience out there, whose daily Internet use is done largely through mobile apps, which your business is missing out on. And let’s not forget that 21% of users who exclusively access the Internet via their mobile.
Secondly, having a web presence is simply no longer good enough for small to medium size businesses. Many businesses are still creating and relying on websites, without the knowledge that developing a mobile app would be far more efficient and effective at targeting a mobile app-driven market.
Thirdly, and most importantly, it means that there is now an opportunity. Opportunity for your business to develop a mobile strategy that will help market your product to a large audience that is yet to be reached by your competitors and will only become more mobile-focused for years to come.
Long live mobile apps!
2. Mobile notifications allow you to connect with customers 24/7, 365 days a year.
Does your business struggle to bring in new customers or reconnect with old ones? This is a problem for businesses worldwide as traditional forms of advertising are becoming less effective.
But with strategic mobile notifications, connecting with customers is easier and more effective than ever before.
Before mobile, traditional forms of customer engagement included flyers, catalogues and emails. They are still used today, but the fact is that mobile notifications are the most efficient method of connecting with customers. Mobile notifications are also more effective at capturing and engaging users too.
Customers can so easily put down a catalogue or just delete an email. Not to mention the fact that you constantly have to produce new and engaging content for these forms of advertising.
How about that email marketing campaign you’re running? According to Smart Insights, it’s only getting a click thru rate of 3% to your website from recipients. In comparison, check out the infographic below to see how effective mobile notifications are.
Your eyes are not deceiving you – mobile app notifications really do get an incredible 6% Click Thru Rate across all industries. Source: Accengage
Mobile app notifications have a click thru rate of 6%. That’s twice as effective as that email marketing campaign you’re spending so much time and money on.
With mobile notifications, there are constant alerts and interaction between your business and its customers in real time – 24/7, 365 days a year.
You can nudge your customers to do something, remind them of an upcoming service or even provide offers exclusive to mobile users. The options are endless when it comes to using mobile notifications.
Mobile notifications are here, they’re effective and are ready to be used on your potential app. So what are you waiting for?
3. Apps have customer’s full attention and improve customer engagement.
15.3 million Australians own a smartphone, but just how engaged are we with them? I called out my fellow commuters for being engrossed in their phones but I have the evidence to back it up.
Below is a table displaying how much time a month users are spending on their mobiles and how they use them. You might be surprised by the amount.
That’s 36 hours a month spent on smartphones, with users spending 33 hours of that time on mobile apps.
Further analysis by Deloitte found that Australians look at their smartphone more than 30 times a day on average, with all our daily views combined making a total of 440 million views a day.
What if Australians were spending some of those 33 hours or 440 million views on your business’s mobile app? With the right app, this possibility can easily become a reality.
While it’s clear that mobile apps have our attention, it’s important to understand why certain apps have our attention and how they improve customer engagement.
The great thing about an app is that your customer is locked into your app while using it. They can’t just open up another tab or look up something else, like they can on a desktop or laptop.
Once customers are using an app, the best ones keep them engaged enough to understand the value of the app, without the desire to search for an alternative.
You can keep users engaged with your app in a number of ways.
Apps that provide value to customers are always the biggest engagement winners. Whether it’s having a mobile store that provides a streamlined shopping experience or a loyalty system that incentivises ongoing purchases, provide value to app users will keep them returning for that same value again and again.
Remember that dinner reservation I mentioned before? It was done in a few easy clicks and without that loud, tedious phone call to the busy restaurant. Now that’s value right there.
Mobile notifications keep your customers engaged and help to reconnect with users. They are attention grabbing and remind customers of your products/services in a more personalised and strategic manner.
My personal favourite are in-app rewards. The offer of a small reward, eg. 10% off for ordering through an app, is another highly effective method to keep customers engaged.
At the end of it all, creating more interesting and sophisticated apps that provide the customer with real value will command the attention of users, keep them using your app and generate revenue for your business.
4. Mobile apps can be personalised for each user, creating a better user experience.
No two people are the same. So why give everybody the same experience? With apps, you can personalise the customer experience, generate a loyal user base and, ultimately, provide a better performing app.
Again, we bring it back to making the customers life better or easier. If the app is more tailored to the user, then it’s easier for them to perceive the benefits it provides.
A major hurdle in personalisation is the log in process. Customers have to log into a website every time they come back to use it. If you’re anything like me, you’ve got better things to do than continuously log back into websites.
With a mobile app, your customers only need to log in once to access their account and make use of the app. The best form of log in is through a social network (E.g. Facebook) as this provides your app with rich user data to aid the personalisation process.
A personalised app can use data to understand details about your customer. You can find out likes/dislikes, where they are using your app and time spent in the app. Additionally, you can gain personal information, such as birthdays and gender. Your app continuously responds to this information and creates a constant personalised experience for the user.
There are no limits for how personalised an app can be to each user.
You can even use personalisation as a marketing engagement tool. Mobile notifications can be personalised to each user to increase click thru rate and create cost-effective mobile marketing campaigns.
When investing in a mobile app for your business, make sure your app provides a personalised user experience.
5. Stand out from the competition.
Mobile app development gives your business the opportunity to stand out in your industry and gain the competitive edge.
More small business owners are recognising the response digital media advertising garners from consumers and are keen on making use of that strong response. Instagram advertising is being embraced by small businesses, but soon too will mobile app development.
Mobile apps at small business level are still rare, but by being the first to adopt a mobile app strategy, your business can stand out from the competition and validate your brand to its customers.
A great app also helps businesses differentiate themselves from competitors. If your business offers a great service and an enticing app that provides real value, then customers will flock to your business in droves.
Ultimately, having your own app means that your business will be a step ahead of its competitors and be perceived as a forward-thinking business in your industry. That’s the power great mobile apps have.
Look at Netflix. The DVD-by-mail business was failing badly in 2011 and looked in dire straits. However, the company embraced mobile apps, which led them to be an iconic company. They have also dominated the DVD and online video industry, which made Blockbuster go bankrupt.
Netflix subscription rates have increased significantly since the introduction of its mobile apps. Source: Daily Tech
I’m not saying that you need an app to bankrupt your competitors, but I’m sure that you would like a way for your business to one-up the competition.
This is all possible with your own app. Embrace the idea and be ready to stand out.
Mobile apps are the future of how we use the Internet and connect with customers in the online world.
There should always be a place for desktop in business strategy, but with mobile apps taking on greater relevance in our lives, your business must have a mobile app strategy to remain relevant in today’s ever connected digital world.
Being an early adopter of a mobile app strategy helps your business stand out competition and open up opportunities.
Remember – there’s nothing holding back your competitors from developing an app of their own. Nothing should be holding you back either.
Do you have any other reasons why businesses should adopt a mobile app strategy? Feel free to leave us a comment below.