When was the last time you used a mobile app? If you haven't used one today yet, you probably will later.
You're probably used to using mobile apps to seeing what your old friends are up to, catch up on the latest breaking news, or peruse the latest shopping trends. Some of these apps probably belong to a business where you were probably lured you in by an in-store salesperson informing you of the 30% off discount offered to all of the app owners. Regardless of the reasons why you downloaded the app, you might have seen some perks to using it over their website or an in-person visit.
What exactly makes these business apps worth using for more than just the discount? Depending on how well it was designed, there's a few ways they deliver convenience and efficiencies, leading to a boost in customer satisfaction and retention. Here are some ways we've observed:
Easily accessible content marketing.
For content marketing, you’re probably keeping your audience up to date and stay relevant by posting your own blog posts or relevant news. How can you ensure you're getting more clicks on those?
With an app, audience members can choose to receive notifications for content of their choice and build a customizable content feed as opposed to traditional email marketing. It’ll keep them informed and and maybe entertained during a long amusement park line or train ride.
Have a digital platform to build your loyalty program on.
Businesses with a loyalty program often see 20% higher sales than businesses without them. Have you ever bought something from a shop and was given a little paper card to check off on to keep track of your purchases to get a reward on the 14th one or something? Chances are, that thing’s getting worn away in the bottom of your bag and you’re not a fan of having to fish it out.
Even if you’re organized enough to put it in our wallet, there’s only so many cards you want to keep there anyway. An app can conveniently help a consumer keep track of their purchases and view plenty of information on their potential rewards. We’re pretty sure you can fit more on an app than on a card the size of your business card.
Whether you’re a retailer or a restaurant, ordering from an app just feels easier than having to visit a webpage. Several popular retailers have their own app due to high sales and frequent updates: Sephora, Ulta, Fashion Nova, Native Foods, and way more. These apps also offer a variety of benefits such as notifying their customers of sales, app-exclusive discounts, or trying makeup on virtually. You can also set up a customized feed of new or existing products the customer would be interested in per their settings.
Build an employee portal.
Do you have a ton of employees with shifting hours? Or are your employees constantly moving from one meeting to another or even from one country to another? You probably have a portal online and on the computer, but do you have a mobile one?
With a mobile employee portal, employees can plan ahead from home if they forgot to do so at the office or are somewhere without a computer. They can check what time they’re supposed to be coming in tomorrow, if there’s a meeting first thing in the morning, or whether they’re supposed be taking that day off or not. If someone suddenly can’t come in or is coming in late, they can send a notification to their managers and teammates that’ll stand out amidst text messages and emails.
A mobile app would especially benefit employees working with hours and locations that frequently change.
Push notifications for discounts, updates, and events.
Let your audience know about any major events before it’s too late. Got a store in their area closing? Does that store have a 75% off sale only for the next two days with a line that’ll wind around the building if they don’t arrive at 6 AM? The only thing that can make a discount better (without making it bigger) is notifying the consumer in time.
Ever been disappointed browsing your emails or social media (or even worse, the venue’s site) and realized you missed out on 30% last Sunday simply because you weren’t aware of it? With push notifications, consumers are less likely to experience that frustration. Personalizing those notifications to the user’s tastes and location improve the open rate, so you should have your users choose when they’d like you to light up their phones and for what.
Make sure you have content that makes suddenly grabbing a user’s attention worth it. Don’t annoy them with unimportant, irrelevant news. Too many notifications can turn users off your app, even if it’s just a few a week. Unfortunately, there are no set numbers and emoji formula to follow to succeed with push notifications, so pay close attention to your metrics if you decide to go this route.
Make your events more engaging.
If you throw plenty of events (or just some really big, important ones), building an app just for that event or integrating it into your existing app can help direct attendees. There are multiple ways an app can make an event more fun and lively than it already is. If you’ve got plenty of sub-events going on, such as a powerlifting contest at one end of the venue and a gymnastics demonstration at the other, your attendees have quite a schedule.
Even if you’ve got a paper and online schedule available, an app can send push notifications of when an event is about to start with intervals of the attendee’s choice, such as notifying them 30 minutes or 5 hours before. No more pulling out papers or pulling up a notepad and alarm app. An app can also send messages to an event’s organizers for last minute questions and concerns such as “looks like I’m unexpectedly going to be two hours late, will I still be able to get in the door?” No need to give away any personal phone numbers or emails.
More convenient communication in general.
We already mentioned sending notifications to employers and event organizers, but there are other ways a consumer may need to communicate with you. Almost all businesses need customer service, the experience of which an app can improve by providing a live chat portal with notifications.
You never know when someone might need customer service on-the-go, a computer isn’t available, and they don’t have time to stare at the screen every second if responses can’t be instant. This can really make a difference if you make products people usually use outside.
Remind customers that you exist.
Just having your logo on someone’s phone already increases brand visibility. No active action needed here. Even if you aren’t sending any notifications, a user simply seeing your logo while looking for their online dating app every day can have some effect, even if they aren’t opening it. Studies show that Americans generally spend two hours on their phones, so that’s plenty of time for users to see your logo as they’re switching from one app to another.
Since they’ve got a piece of your brand with them at all times, that might keep you at the front of the line with your competitors whom they haven’t heard from or seen in a while. With quick access to your brand just right there, it’ll be easy to see what you’re up to when someone needs something you might provide. No pulling up a web browser Googling needed.
Make others aware that you exist.
The above suggestions mainly cater to people who already know of your business, but what about people who don’t? There are probably plenty of people interested in your services that aren’t aware of you. They’ll become aware when they’re searching up your service in app stores. Have a great copywriter on hand to write a compelling app description.
Given the rather large price tag on having an app built, it’s going to take some careful considering whether your business can benefit from an app or not. If your business easily fits into much of the features above, it's a worthy shot to take and can garner serious ROI on your end and convenience on that of your customers'. Once you've decided, reach out to us and we'll work with you to figure out the best strategy to keep your customers coming back, no more missed events.