Many people believe that mobile applications are designed exclusively for large brands, such as Amazon and Uber, but this is not entirely true. Today, more and more medium and small-sized enterprises are following the trend of expanding mobile development, realizing that a modern mobile strategy involves more than simple web application adapted for mobile devices.
You may already notice that many small businesses you interact with in your daily life have their own mobile applications - whether it's a coffee shop or another type of business you frequent, these companies are ahead of the game when it comes to moving these businesses to a brand new level. If you still do not know why someone would want to build their own mobile platform, you can find six of the best benefits here that will help you understand more.
Mobile apps vs web apps
It's important to remember that mobile applications and mobile sites (or web applications) are not the same, and many of the unique features of your applications can be better developed for smartphones, and more attractive than web elements. Creating an application will help small businesses to develop and increase their mobile customer following.
- Push notifications
Push notifications allow for better interaction with users. Unlike on web applications, with mobile applications you can send push notifications and reminders. For example, if you are offering a discount or publishing something new on the site, you can inform users in real time, as opposed to relying on users to visit the page themselves and likely missing this content. With mobile applications, push notifications are simple to send.
Another useful feature is built-in alerts, which can be set up directly on the device. If the user has performed an action in the application that expects a response, the app will remind the user to do so.
We don’t always have the internet connection we need and rely on, like on business trips, for example, and, if we do, its speed is often worse than it would be in the office or at home. If you want your customers to use your product even when connection is interrupted, the development of a mobile application will be the right solution.
- Hardware features
First of all, smartphones and tablets are personal devices, and store a lot of personal data about their owners. This information can be used to increase the level of service, which is one of the key reasons for the rapid growth of the mobile application market. Smartphones can monitor your daily movement from home to office, building a route based on traffic jams or road repairing data. It can also collect information about frequently visited places to make more targeted advertising and news selections based on your preferences. It can also download the latest updates in the background while the device is connected to the internet. This also applies to the hardware of the device: depending on its type, the application can interact with GPS, accelerometer, or camera data which, in turn, allows the more accurate display of information regarding places nearby and services provided.
Reasons to create a mobile application
1. Brand visibility and recognition
Effective frequency - the more customers you have, the more likely they are to make purchases or use your service. This will be also increase the chances of them using your application.
On the other hand, it might seem "outdated" if you do not have a mobile app, and keep in mind that brand image is critical for your success. It would be foolish to invest in development, however, without knowing the goals that you want to achieve so, first and foremost, you need to understand the main task of creating an application. Will this be a new way to attract an audience to your site or just simple advertising? You need to clearly understand both the process and the final result.
To get users to be loyal to the brand, companies come up with all sorts of bonuses and reward systems that can be appealing to customers. For example, Starbucks has a loyalty program, Starbucks Rewards - users of the mobile application receive points for purchases and pre-orders, which can be spent on more Starbucks products later.
Another interesting and creative example is Balance Rewards from Walgreens. You can receive additional points not only for purchases, but also for performing various tasks that are beneficial for your health: walking, managing your weight or blood pressure, etc. These points can then be saved and turned into money for additional purchases - 5000 points converts to $5, 10,000 points to $10, and so on.
If you are looking for a way to increase the visibility of your brand, then mobile application development is a great place to focus your attention.
2. Audience involvement and website traffic boost
The first and most important reason for creating your own applications is customer loyalty - especially now, when users are simply overwhelmed with tons of various advertisements on TV, websites, email, Facebook, and even on roadside banners. Many companies are losing influence over customers because of the abundance of infoglut around. These days, in order to access the client and build a channel of communication to customers in hopes of converting them to becoming buyers or trading partners, you just need a mobile application - especially today, when there are about 5 billion mobile users around the world (according to Statista.com). Stunning statistic, isn't it?
Mobile users globally 2013 - 2019 by Statista.com
To attract more attention or to push users to launch the application again, many companies use different tricks like additional discounts for future purchases, referral programs (bonuses for invited friends), and exclusive content that's available only through the application. Don’t forget - notifications and new arrival updates can come in handy here, too!
3. Monetization (or new revenue channels)
Mobile applications can be an excellent source of additional revenue (and a great approach to monetization). So,what are the main ways to get additional income with applications?
- Paid applications - statistics say that this approach brings the greatest revenue. Build a glorious app and make it paid.
- In-app purchases - it's also profitable to sell all kinds of add-ons or boosters that will help users reach their goals faster (for example, boosters in Tinder).
- Advertising - probably one of the most frequently used methods of monetization implies the display of advertising.
- Subscriptions - an example is a subscription to Play Music or iTunes, when the user makes a monthly payment for listening to favorite music.
- Premium - involves unlocking additional features, specialized content, or disabling advertising for a fee.
Mobile applications revenue distribution globally 2011 - 2017 (by Statista.com)
4. Better SMM strategies
Today, social networks are closely linked to mobile devices. Mobile applications are, ultimately, platforms for attracting users through various functions. With mobile applications, you can increase the levels of involvement with social networks and achieve various business goals.
5. Direct marketing channel
Applications are designed to cover a variety of purposes: display products or services and pricing, provide important information, reserve hotel rooms or air tickets, and more. Applications can also serve as messengers for sending instant messages, act as information aggregators, or news channels. The main advantage of mobile devices is their portability: many of us do not part with our smartphones 24/7, which means that the client is ready to receive new information, discounts, or important notices at a moment’s notice.
6. Be prepared
It’s great to follow different trends but, sometimes, you have to think outside the box and face the future. In addition to smartphones, there are also smart watches and VR, which have also secured a strong foothold in the market. Today, the mobile application is not something extraordinary, but rather something we use every day that prepares you for future improvements (both in technical terms and in business processes). Mobile development can open new opportunities for expanding businesses and increasing sales, and can create new ways of interacting with clients, resolving their problems and meeting their needs.
Summarizing all of the above, it is worth noting that mobile applications are methods of connecting with your customers while respecting them with user-friendliness, while providing fast-developing technologies that can help your business be at the forefront of new trends and the king of the hill in your industry.
In any case, the mobile application will be the standard component of any business in the near future. The choice that you can make today can be the basis for the future of your business tomorrow. It's up to you to decide if you want to become one of the first in your field.