However, with so many different apps on the market right now, how can business owners be sure that their applications would give them real benefits?
To answer this question, business owners first need to learn more about the business application market, in addition to understanding the practical benefits business apps can bring.
What Are Mobile Business Apps?
Historically, large-scale business applications were only developed by multinational corporations, such as Walmart and Bank of America; however, after the age of start-ups, this ceased to be the case. Independent companies such as Uber and Airbnb have become some of the biggest players.
Applications are an increasingly popular tool used by small businesses; studies have found that 42% of companies have their own application and a further 30% are announcing plans to build one in the future.
The same studies also report that of these small business apps, 55% are owned by millennials, with only 13% being owned by baby boomers.
The market for smartphone and tablet applications is set to keep growing exponentially, predicted to reach $407.31 billion by 2026, putting the CAGR at 18.2% from 2019 to 2026, and for a good reason.
According to TechCrunch, U.S. consumers are spending an average of five hours a day on mobile devices, 92% of which is spent using apps.
What Benefits do Apps Provide?
Business apps can benefit businesses in a variety of different ways, from increasing sales to growing a customer base and increasing brand loyalty.
1# Build a Loyal Customer Base
Establishing an in-app loyalty program works to incentivize both the initial download and repeated usage. Apps are one of the best formats for creating an interactive loyalty program.
Take a look at the five-star point system at Starbucks as a case study: it rewards customers with a free coffee once they have bought five, digitizing an existing rewards scheme. Alternatively, a business can offer app-only sales.
2# Cost-Effective Advertising
Once a customer has downloaded an app, it results in, on average, a 24% increase in money spent on purchases.
The reason for this? It’s all about ease and simplicity; seeing the application on a phone motivates a person to use it. This does not only result in increased interaction but also in enhanced brand awareness.
Apps take up valuable real estate on mobile devices, meaning that consumers already form an allegiance to the brand simply by installing and keeping an app.
3# Apps Add Value to the Customer
Apps that are easy to navigate with aesthetically pleasing layouts enhance the shopping experience for the customer.
Ease and simplicity are vital for driving sales, and a pre-downloaded app takes less time and exertion than searching online.
If an app can offer significantly fewer clicks than an online purchase (e.g., by saving payment information), it can help to decrease abandoned shopping carts and drive company profitability.
4# Increased Communication
One of the major advantages an app has over a website is that if the user has given the app permission, it can send notification alerts.
This opens up the possibilities for fast-paced communications with customer service and informing potential customers of promotions.
Deciding if a Business Needs an App
While it is clear that applications can provide businesses with numerous benefits, an app isn’t necessarily right for every company. The points below should be able to help businesses decide if an app is right for them.
Who are the Customers?
Thinking about the target audience is a vital step to ensure that any investment in an application will pay off.
For example, studies by comScore have found that the 18-35 age group prefers mobile apps to websites. In fact, 65% of millennials are generally excited about new apps, with 70% saying they are constantly on the lookout for new apps. If your target market is the 60+ market, rethink whether an app is a good idea.
What’s the Goal?
Simply building an application is not the only step to reaping the benefits; a goal-orientated strategy is necessary to ensure the highest return on investment.
Deciding on the main aims for an application, whether it is finding new customers, increasing repeated visits, or increasing brand awareness, will inform the app-building process.
According to a renowned Magento developer agency, Outlining these goals and using a specialized app-building company, is the best way to make the most out of a business application.
Do Competitors have Apps?
Evaluating the competition is a great way to further understand how an app could benefit a business. Statistics such as the number of downloads and user reviews are accessible from app stores and can be an easy way to ascertain feasibility.
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Author: Abdul Mateen