Mobile apps are at the point in their industry lifecycle where it can be quite difficult to understand their usefulness for businesses. Believe it or not - 20 years ago (in 1998) there was a surprising proportion of businesses that didn’t think they needed a website.
Is there a business case for mobile apps?
To put it simply, if your customers tend to deal with you more than once, the likelihood is that you will benefit from a mobile app you just need to look at it in the correct context. Mobile apps are not websites, therefore don’t think that an app is a downloadable version of your website, they have different aims and objectives.
Why not just a website?
Your website not only caters for returning visitors, it also has the responsibility of converting new visitors in to customers, and therefore at least 50% of the content on your website is tailored for non-customers. You need to analyse how customers deal with you after becoming a customer. Ask yourself the following questions about customer behaviour;
- Do they use you for industry information?
- Do they regularly purchase your products?
- Do they need user manuals, latest news, and industry or product specific calculators?
- Search facility?
Basically, all of these applications have a better user experience as an app, websites are not great for this - they don’t work on the tube.
GDPR compliant marketing
Once relatively new perk of a mobile app is the ability to communicate with your customers. GDPR has made it a bit more difficult to send emails to your customers without having a legitimate reason. If your customer has downloaded your app, a notification at the top of their phone screen is not only far superior to an email, it qualifies as a legitimate reason for contact since they have installed your app on their device.
Obviously it is still not recommended to flood your customer with messages every day as they will just uninstall it, that little notification at the top and the red circle with a 1 in it tends to make people open your app more regularly.
Competitive advantage of apps
The final benefit of a business mobile app is that if you can get it right, you become a much better player in your industry. An increasing number of customers will use you for your app and not consider the competition.