In the past decade, mobile app usage has exploded all around the world. By the end of 2020, there were about 3.5 billion smartphone users worldwide, and an estimated 1.4 billion smartphones were sold in that year alone.
As a result, there is increased demand for mobile apps among the majority of big firms and businesses.
Beyond delivering services and goods to their customers, business owners also use apps to boost their Return on Investment (ROI) in multiple ways.
From brand promotion to learning more about your consumer base, there’s almost no limit to how much utility you can get from them.
If you’re looking to learn how much your business and consumers can benefit from a mobile app experience, this article contains some of the most important points to consider.
Ways You Can Use Mobile Apps for Your Business
To achieve success while investing in a mobile app for your business, you have to pay close attention to your approach.
Depending on your branding needs, there are multiple ways you can choose to go mobile.
Though the primary goal of your app is to interact with your customer base, the goal of the interaction often differs from one company to another.
Here are some of the most popular and effective approaches (with examples) we’ve observed in the market.
Task Resolution Apps
These apps help users execute tasks or enjoy services your business offers remotely and conveniently.
Most mobile apps often include task resolution as a basic element.
It could be a tool for remote workers to access customer databases, an app car owners use to control their cars remotely (BMW), or even a shopping app.
Mobile apps can also be a great way to boost loyalty among your customers. Brands like ASOS and Starbucks run loyalty programs and offer incentives to reward ‘good customers.’
As a result, the customers keep coming back to the brand in exchange for those benefits.
Apps aren’t always aimed at performing tasks alone.
By entertaining your users through your brand’s app, you can also keep the majority of your users hooked, even without outright offering incentives.
Coca-Cola and Red Bull do efficiently with their Coca-Cola Freestyle and Red Bull TV apps.
Customer Service Apps and Chatbots
These apps follow the basic communication model. They serve as a bridge between brand employees or software and users for troubleshooting purposes.
The customers can report the problems they’re facing and find solutions, while on their part, the brands can notify users of updates and new services.
Celebrities and service experts also use mobile apps to share their content in a digital space they control.
A good example is the app Jamie’s Recipes, which contains photos, videos, and explanatory cooking guides.
Now that we’ve considered some of the common ways you can use mobile apps, let’s look at what you can do for your customers using any of these approaches.
What You Can Do With Your App
There are numerous benefits of having an app. Let’s take a look at some of them. With an app, you can:
1. Provide More Value to Your Customers
The past decade or so has changed the business landscape significantly. Business owners now rely heavily on technology to initiate and complete transactions with consumers.
Mobile apps are one of the major elements of modern tech that are consistently changing how consumers shop and satisfy their needs.
With the increasing pace of technological advancement, consumer expectations also grow. Mobile apps are often a great channel for meeting these expectations.
For instance, one of the key business types that benefit the most from using mobile apps is retail shopping.
By going mobile, you’re sure to make your goods and services more accessible and easy to use.
Modern consumer behavior prioritizes convenience, and apps make that available at the customer’s fingertips.
Beyond being able to search for products, as well as create and track orders from the comfort of their rooms, customers also use a personalized mobile experience to make faster and more informed purchase decisions.
This trend is evident from a study which revealed that more than half of mobile app users rely on these apps to meet their shopping needs.
Similarly, there are several other elements you can add to your mobile app that your customers would love!
From a complaints management system to online registration forms and intelligent data-based UX improvement, there’s almost no limit to how much value you can offer.
2. Build a Stronger Brand
The more value you offer your customers, the more interest they develop in your brand. However, it is impossible to achieve a deep brand experience without deliberate branding efforts.
Here’s where branded mobile apps come in.
More than old-school brand marketing options such as TV or outdoor advertising, branded apps have proven highly effective in recent years.
Marketing agencies are using mobile apps to boost brand awareness and sustain a flourishing relationship with their consumers.
Mobile devices are now a highly integral part of our everyday lives, seeing a high amount of usage time. App owners can leverage this channel to their brand’s benefit.
The more branding elements (logos, color combination, etc.) you get right within your app, the better the impact you can expect on your brand marketing results.
You can even use the data collected from this app to understand your target audience better and improve your brand marketing strategy.
Celebrities such as Jamie Oliver and Dwayne Johnson recognize this. They are two good examples of many experts who use branded apps to boost the strength of their brand.
L’Oreal’s Makeup Genius app also takes advantage of the customized mobile experience to engage their predominantly young customer base.
3. Connect With Your Customers Fast and Easy
If there’s one thing that greatly influences customer satisfaction, it’s how quickly and easily accessible information about a business is.
At times, the major difference between a lead and conversion is the support’s response speed.
If you’re looking to deliver your customers the best communication speed possible, a dedicated mobile app may be the missing link.
Unlike websites and other channels, a mobile app is much more reliable, personalized, and convenient. Considering that they can log in with their contact information, customers don’t have to worry about losing track of their support requests.
Similarly, your employees can easily access this information as well. This will help them serve the clients faster and better.
Beyond support, mobile apps are great for requesting and collecting customer feedback.
In the past, businesses relied on multiple surveys and data from various sources. However, mobile content makes it possible to achieve all the feedback generation you need in one place.
As a bonus, you can add a live chat support feature to your app. This not only boosts customer satisfaction but also drives engagement as well.
If properly implemented, near-instant replies from in-app live chat can have a dramatic positive impact on your sales and brand in general.
4. Improve Customer Loyalty
A high customer retention rate is a major component of almost every successful business. It’s often possible to maintain a high retention rate by offering great value to your customers and ensuring that they’re always satisfied.
However, loyalty programs are a good way to take things a step further.
While running a loyalty program is a great idea, business owners often miss the mark and end up developing a program that is hard to join.
Loyalty programs on mobile apps can help you avoid this common mistake. Here are some easy ways you can seamlessly integrate loyalty programs into your mobile app experience:
- Offer app users instant rewards. Among many other options, you can implement a point (cashback) system that rewards buyers with a certain percentage of their purchase. They can then use these points in further purchases.
- Provide timely personalized product recommendations. This will require you to study user sessions intelligently. You can then recommend relevant products that will keep them coming.
- Encourage social sharing. Use social media buttons to motivate your app users to share their experience with your brand and spread awareness.
Loyal customers are not only useful for direct revenue generation, but they also serve as marketing channels. They help boost customer acquisition.
5. Have a Competitive Edge in Your Niche
In the digital world of marketing we live in today, keeping up with the competition may be a really arduous task.
Though there are many factors to keep track of, a mobile app gives you a significant competitive edge. Research into the role of mobile apps in enterprises suggests that.
Ever-changing consumer behaviors seem to be the primary factor behind this: the demand for instant communication, increased reliance on mobile devices.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, communication speed is vital for customer satisfaction.
Compared to conventional websites and other channels, mobile apps do a better job catering to the consumers’ ‘need for speed.’
Considering the number of ways an efficient mobile strategy improves your business workflow, its overall effect on your revenue generation will eventually become evident.
These days, going mobile may go beyond having a competitive edge. In some industries, you may need it to even keep up with the competition.
6. Reach Higher Customer Engagement Level
One of the surest ways to increase brand loyalty and revenue generation is to focus on your engagement level.
If you successfully boost how frequently customers engage with your brand, you’ll experience an increase in your customer lifetime value, Return on Investment (ROI), and other important metrics.
For app owners looking to boost their engagement level, there are certain features you may want to include in your app.
Perhaps the most important of them is segmented targeting. This involves creating multiple user categories and controlling the type of content delivered to each user segment.
User segmentation allows you to send personalized in-app messages, provide accurate user recommendations, and understand your average customer’s journey better.
Other in-app elements that may help achieve higher engagement levels include loyalty programs, discounts, and continuous feature upgrades (innovation).
Similarly, you want to pay close attention to basic features that shape the overall customer experience (CX).
Regardless of the top-notch features an app may offer, it’s hard for users to remain hooked if a poor UI/UX design or restricted accessibility stands in the way.
7. Build a Direct and Personalized Marketing Channel
Another area of your business that can benefit a lot from a custom mobile app is the marketing department.
The first glaring advantage digital marketers enjoy when businesses go mobile is the direct access to user information.
The data collected from user sessions and entry points into your app can be very useful for improving your marketing campaigns.
Once your marketers have all the data they need, an app also allows you to deliver content to your users more effectively than other traditional marketing channels.
Whatever your marketing strategy or goals are, going mobile lets you provide the best offers at the consumer’s fingertips.
Here are some ways mobile features make this direct approach to marketing possible:
- Push notifications: When it comes to mobile, the power of push notifications is undeniable. A Pushwoosh article revealed that push notifications deliver as high as a 70% opt-in rate on average. When compared with email marketing’s 5%, the difference is clear.
- In-app clickthrough rates: Ads, calls to action (CTA), and any other business-related element will always have a higher clickthrough rate within apps. This is also true for push notifications.
- Response time: Since users simply want to get to their intended action, they always tend to engage with your offers or prompts immediately. With emails, you may have to wait as long as six hours on average.
While we can’t encourage you to focus all your marketing on mobile, you definitely don’t want to miss out on the channel’s benefits.
8. Utilize Social Media Channels
Engagement is the driving force of the internet. The more time people spend engaging your app, the better it is for your business.
When it comes to driving engagement, there’s hardly a better option than social media, but to integrate your app effectively with social media channels, you may want to consider promoting it on these platforms as your first port of call.
For this, you’ll need a good social media campaign.
Running social media campaigns on popular platforms such as Facebook and YouTube is a great way to get your app all the attention you want immediately after launch.
Once you get the much-needed downloads, encourage new users to sign up with their social media accounts. This way, social media sharing will be absolutely seamless in the future.
Similarly, you want to add social media buttons and other shareable CTAs to your app. To get app users to use them, you may need to incentivize them with specific rewards.
For certain users, challenges and other fun avenues represent the greatest incentive for sharing in-app content.
Beyond share buttons, you can also boost user engagement by integrating the app with social media feeds. The majority of development companies offer this as an additional feature.
9. Offer Instant, Better Customer Service
As mentioned earlier, instantly communicating with your customer is essential for a good customer experience.
Studies in the customer service industry prove that most consumers now seek support via mobile.
Mobile customer service benefits both the business owner and customer in significant ways.
- Customers get the chance to serve themselves. Embedding an intelligent, easy-to-use help center into your app can be a smart way to help your customers find answers to their queries as fast as possible.
- Customer service personnel receive fewer questions. With increasing customer service expectations, a mobile app can significantly reduce the pressure on your employees.
- You can improve your overall customer experience. Most times, the best way to deliver the best customer service is to ensure that few or no issues arise. Data from your app can help you track potential problems or questions before the customer faces them.
However you consider it, a well-implemented mobile app is always good news for customer service.
10. Find Valuable Consumer Insights
Doing business profitably in the 21st century is almost impossible without customer insights. If you’re looking to have a winning marketing strategy, you must ensure that it revolves around actual customer behavior.
Your mobile app can serve as a reliable and valuable source of consumer insights.
Customers are often willing to share some important information with you if you offer value in return.
Multiple analytics tools such as Firebase and UXCam provide you all the utility you require to gather insights from your users. Some commonly tracked metrics include:
- Daily, weekly, and monthly users
- Users’ demographics such as age, gender, device type, etc.
- Downloads and uninstalls
- Retention rates
There are numerous entry points where you can track these insights. In most cases, a form during onboarding is ideal.
At other times, you can offer bonuses or rewards when you want users to complete a survey or fill a questionnaire. Once you scientifically evaluate the data at your disposal, your marketing weak points and strength quickly become evident.
By leveraging data from their mobile app, Starbucks was able to claim more than 17 million active subscribers to their loyalty program.
11. Have More Control
Having a branded app of your own gives so much control over how you run your business. There are several areas where you can make the best of the extensive control you get. Let’s look at some of these areas.
When it comes to how customers view your brand, your app design is a crucial element in achieving the desired effect.
From the logo and transition effects to all other animations, your mobile app is a great way to tweak your branding strategy as your business evolves.
Security is the foundation of successfully doing business online.
However, using a multi-vendor app or any other channel may translate to you having less control over how secure your business transactions are.
With a custom mobile app, you can add as many specialized security features as you deem necessary.
New businesses generally require a limited number of resources. When your business begins to expand, mobile apps generally allow you to add more power to the mix.
However, this may sometimes depend on the development technologies or agency employed.
Engagement and Customer Interaction
Mobile apps are also great for building and improving long-term customer relationships.
You can nurture these relationships by consistently sending personalized updates about your products and services.
In the end, all this control gives you more room to improve your business processes tremendously.
12. Provide Unique Services and Features
In a bid to stay ahead of the competition, you may want to offer your customers some unique services.
To achieve this, all you need to do is add new features to your mobile app — and you’re ready to go!
Brand marketing can be a really demanding task, especially considering all the technologies available today.
However, a good mobile app packed with unique, interesting features may grant you all the advantages you desire.
If you’re looking to build your app and haven’t already considered them, here are some must-have features for delivering services to your customers:
- Rich push notifications: Push notifications are a tested and proven way of getting users to keep coming back to your app and your services, but if you don’t implement them strategically, they may simply be muted or even earn your app an uninstall.
- Click-to-call and click-for-direction: Convenience is another major driving force in digital marketing. Integrating buttons in choice locations on your app makes it possible to convert leads to sales even much faster.
- Analytics: The role of analytics in managing your business through mobile cannot be stated. Understanding your consumers’ behavior makes a great difference in your marketing results.
Though the features above may not be entirely unique or service-specific, they depict how extensively mobile app features impact how you deliver your services.
13. Have an Avenue for Customer Feedback
Mobile apps are never lacking in interfaces or mechanisms for capturing user feedback. Depending on the purpose the feedback is intended for, each of these interfaces have their advantages and disadvantages.
Let’s take a quick look at some of these customer feedback mechanisms:
- Widgets: Arguably the most frequently used means for collecting feedback within an app, they are great for generating open-ended responses about a specific element of your brand.
- Surveys: In the same way, you can add concise surveys to your app. To boost your response rates, it’s important to ensure that the survey matches the context of your app and show them only when convenient.
- ‘Rate my app’ prompts: This is available on virtually all mobile apps today. App ratings not only inform you about customer satisfaction but also boost your app’s reputation in the app store.
In a nutshell, mobile feedback mechanisms often have higher response rates, are available around the clock, and require low maintenance.
Looking to improve your business processes and boost your profitability significantly? A mobile app might just be the missing link.
Today, most of the traffic online is powered by mobile devices. Getting a mobile app for your business puts you in the right position to leverage this trend.
From the branding perspective to customer service and marketing, there are hardly any departments of your business that won’t benefit from incorporating a mobile app.