Primary benefits of building an app
Every so often it may cross the table, you want a mobile solution/app. But you see the cost and think maybe it outweighs the benefits.
We often find there is not enough education provided to clients about what a mobile solution can provide. In this article we will look at the benefits for an app that is not the product, rather an add on to an already existing business.
Why would any business large or small invest in one? Is there a need in the public domain, government bodies, hospitals or even charities?
Generally, the consensus is it’s a “nice to have, not a must have”. That means it falls below the radar and not enough investigation is sought into the matter.
Of course, there are people who are in the opposite school of thinking. They must have an app at all costs, they want the latest and greatest of everything and an app will be that silver lining to their soft fluffy cloud. They rush in and do not have a strategy built around the end user of the app and so this may result in a reduced or no return on their investment.
Regardless of which school of thought you are in. If you have an app already or are thinking about developing one. This two part article may help you add some magic to your offering and give you a broader perspective on what your mobile offering presents.
1. Community creation
The first and most important reason of your mobile app should be, to build a community. A community of raving fans for your products/services or the app itself. A lot of the most successful games on the app stores have embraced this. They create functions and gamification that requires users to share with others.
For some apps that we have created, there is the ability to have groups within the app. This allows for sharing of ideas and a feeling of being. And if the social media platforms have taught us anything, is that we are social. Therefore, having people who love your app means more for your bottom line and market reach.
2. New profit streams
Apps offer a unique and direct path to the target audience. When designed well, the app will keep users engaged regularly. There are various ways to monetize the app and I will go over those in another article. They vary from subscriptions, advertising or referrals. The beauty is that you get to keep users within your universe, so it is important to know what additional income streams exist for you.
3. Lifestyle and experience
One of the key reasons why anyone would download your app, it makes their lives simpler! We don’t want to have feel like we are going to the moon to make a purchase or learn something. The truth is sometimes websites can be cumbersome and slow. An app gives you the ability to make their engaging with your brand, a fun, immersive and easy experience.
4. Improved engagement
Your app is on their phone whenever users open it. Which according to most studies is now more than over three hours spent on their phones. Ninety percent of that time is within apps. When designed well, your target base could be spending part of that time with your offerings.
There is the ability to greatly segment the user base and give them a more personalized experience. Unlike emails, you can send push notifications that relate to their interests or allowing them to only access information that matters to them. While the user analytics on your dashboard will give you the ability to understand exactly what they are engaging with, so you can make the experience, even better!
5. Increased Security
Both app stores require constant updates to protect users. This means that users can save their information in your app. The most important thing to remember is that every barrier you remove to a purchase, adds to the probability of that sale. If all I need to do is login securely and click yes to charge my card, then you get my money.
This comes from the reassurance that apps provide that allows you to store all your information with less fear. Security protocols for most apps continue to improve with fingerprints, facial recognition as options.
6. Systemization and efficiencies
A central dashboard that when designed well, will allow you to monitor all the analytics easily. Apps offer a unique opportunity to better understand what your target audience are engaging with and maximizing that across the rest of the business.
If the experience of using the app is easy and fun, then your brand will endear to your users. Your app is available to them 24/7 and will be a reminder of your business anytime they go through their phone. If they enjoy using the app and your offerings are easy to access, then it will be easier for them to recommend you when someone asks for your products/services.
8. Improved customer service
An app is an experience which should make dealing with your business easier. The ability to add tools like chatbots, call now functionality or for people to access information offline makes for a better customer service. The tools you add to your app will allow it to be your representative regardless of where your user is.
9. Ease of access
Apps offer the ability to add in functionality such as swiping, tapping or holding down which gives users access to a set function. This ease of use give them the ability to get quick access to your products/services. This easy engagement with the app makes things like liking a product, moving from one function to the next or downloading information more intuitive for the user.
10. Easy integration
Apps can be designed to allow for easy integration with other software to provide a unique experience. There is also the ability to sync them with other hardware depending on the end result you seek to achieve. The app can live on a person’s device and allow them to track their devices, deliveries, connect to devices in their homes or place of work or even be created to be accessed on multiple devices.
11. More connected devices
IoT (Internet of Things) is coming. Apps, wearable devices, smart TVs & eyeglasses, WiFi gadgets like wireless security cameras and AI are driving IoT to us, in a real hurry. When designing your app, it is important to know that there is a possibility that it may feature the throng of connected devices.
The number of wearable devices continues to rise. As more people get used to them, the need to have your presence on them through a fun or educational and engaging experience will be important.
In November 2019, Google bought FitBit for $2.1 billion to signal its intent in this industry. Having a well designed app, that can be added to these devices in the future is prudent planning for any business.
12. Global reach
There are 7.8 billion people whilst the number of smartphone users in the world is approx. 3.5 Billion. That means almost have of the planet has access to a smart phone. Internet penetration continues to rise in every country as well as the internet speed.
What that means is that when marketed correctly more people will be able to download your app, which they can use offline when in areas with poor internet connectivity. An app that adds an experience will more likely win and be a point of call for anyone searching for what you provide and separate you from your competitors in overseas markets.
Apps have much more to offer than most people are aware of. If you consider yourself as a target market, how often are you away from your phone? What apps do you engage with on a daily basis and why?
When you use yourself as an example. It is clearer to see how that understanding relates to what your target audience are wanting in their engagement with your business, organization or government body.