In 2019, American adults used the mobile internet for around 3 hours and 30 minutes per day on average. Zenith, the measurement firm that conducted the study, projected that the number would grow to more than four hours per day in 2021.
This probably comes as no surprise, given how much mobile apps have grown in popularity since they entered our lives more than a decade ago. In the first quarter of 2020, there were 1.85 iOS apps available in the Apple Store and 2.56 million Android apps in the Google Play store. These millions of apps cover practically every niche, from ordering food delivery or takeout to reading books and watching movies to booking doctor’s appointments.
With such figures, it’s only natural if you’re wondering whether it’s time for you to enter the mobile app development game. While that varies depending on your business, here are some reasons why it might need an application.
You’ll Increase Brand Awareness and Visibility
Given the amount of time the average user spends on their mobile phone, if you produce a high-quality app, you’ll gain exposure from occupying even a small fraction of that screen time. No matter what service you provide, you can leverage this increased visibility. Even small, seemingly unnoticeable details will make a difference.
A creatively-designed icon can prompt a user to form a positive association with your brand, for instance. The same goes for a clean, easy-to-navigate layout. And while you don’t want to clutter the interface with advertising, a well-placed promotion, such as a blowout sale for a retail company, will prompt users to engage with your brand further. Every time you update your app, you’ll remind customers of your presence, too.
You’ll Give Your Consumers Convenience
Nearly every industry can benefit from mobile app development services. And with their apps, plenty of businesses and organizations will be able to give their consumers the gift of convenience.
Healthcare providers, for example, can use it as a platform to facilitate appointment booking, streamline prescription refills, and give test results. Shoppers can peruse catalogs and make purchases on retail apps. These are only a couple of examples of how businesses can make things more convenient for their clientele and would-be customers.
You Can Build and Maintain Relationships
Creating an app is an important means of maintaining relationships with your consumers and attracting new ones. Many businesses incentivize customers to download their apps by offering gifts or discounts in return, such as 20% off your next order. This leads to stronger engagement — once the user has the app, you’ll reap the other benefits, including brand visibility.
You can also offer unique, customized user experiences via your app, improving your relationships further. Thanks to augmented reality (AR), for example, a retail app can enable customers to try on clothes virtually with a body-double avatar, personalizing their experience with the brand.
You’ll Add Value to Your Products and Services
One important starting point for building your app is considering how you can rectify a problem or make your service even better.
For a real estate business, it might be alerting buyers or renters when a property meeting their specifications is on the market and allowing them to take a virtual tour before actually seeing the property. A bank can save clients a trip to the brick-and-mortar location by allowing them to deposit checks by simply taking a picture with their app. A coffee shop can allow customers to order their drinks with the press of a button and have it ready the second they enter the store.
Another way businesses can add value to their products and services is by instituting discounts and rewards programs accessible only with their app. We discussed incentivizing people to download the app, but why not take it further? You can create a loyalty rewards program for frequent app users or customers, allowing them to automatically accrue points every time they make a purchase and exchange it for, say, a free item when they’ve reached a certain number.
You’ll Gather Data to Improve Your Services
Mobile apps are excellent vehicles for collecting data about your users and services. You can find out when customers are engaging with your products and how frequently. You can also learn about the demographics of your audience. This will help improve your products based on the audience you have and the one you’re trying to reach.
Wondering what your customers are looking for and what they think of the experience your brand provides? Just ask! A mobile app is also a useful tool for gathering feedback. You might, for example, have a survey popping up when users open your app, asking them to rate their experience and suggest improvements. You could take it a step further by offering a reward for completing the survey, such as entering users into a prize drawing.
You Can Stay Competitive
This is the ultimate goal of any business: staying competitive in an increasingly saturated market. Given how many organizations in practically every sector have created apps, those without them are losing visibility and may seem as though they’re behind the times. In order to keep your edge and maintain a presence, you need to demonstrate that your business is current and tech-savvy.
That doesn’t mean you should make an app just to have one. A shoddily-built app that doesn’t provide any real value will do more harm than good.
If you don’t have the in-house talent to create a quality app, consider outsourcing the project to a mobile development company. Not only can they build you a great app, but they can also advise you on the features customers want. Be sure to research your competition to see what kinds of apps are popular with your audience, too.
Mobile apps demonstrate that your organization is forward-thinking and at the cutting-edge of your sector. They also have the capacity to deliver an enormous amount of value to your products, engage your users, and serve as an excellent marketing tool. With so many people glued to their phones these days, your business needs a strong digital presence that goes beyond a landing page — and that starts with mobile apps.