It can be difficult to know how investing in a mobile app will improve your bottom line, but we’ve seen numerous times how apps boost revenue and benefit businesses. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in or the size of your team, a well crafted app can improve the relationship between your brand and users, and by extension boost the revenue of your entire company.
The important part is to be very clear about your overall objective and ensure that what you’re building is functional, intelligent and user-centric.
It’s no secret that mobile app use has skyrocketed since the proliferation of smartphones. Today, the market is worth billions, with targeted app experiences more popular than ever.
While apps may have initially become popular with app-first experiences such as Airbnb or Google Maps, they are now a necessary interface for companies to consider when investing in their user-facing platforms. In fact, for many consumers, especially the younger demographics, apps are the number one way to interact with a brand or service.
In today’s world, when interacting with a business, customers are looking for ease of use, streamlined communications and intuitive touchpoints. Personalisation, close attention to branding and speed have become necessities, not just optional additions. While it may seem like a tall order, achieving this balance results in long term loyalty and overall growth.
Smartphones bring greater opportunities to create unique, clever and useful apps that are more interactive than your average website. This is because phones, beyond laptops or desktop computers, offer additional features such as cameras, contact lists, GPS capabilities, phone calls, accelerometers, compasses and more. The information and functionality of these elements can add to the developer’s toolkit and enhance the user’s experience.
Building mobile apps also takes you into the user’s life, as they will carry their phone with them where they won’t take a laptop or desktop. This offers the ability to build brand loyalty, user engagement, open up sales channels and gather data insights. For instance, a user may be in a store and check your app to see if your business offers a similar product in a different colour or at a lower price point. If they are able to access this information in real time and find they prefer what you are selling, you will make the sale. Similarly, you can send direct notifications about special deals, loyalty programmes and updates to encourage rapport and up or cross sell.
An app is its own miniature version of your business ecosystem and is an opportunity to actualise your brand experience, putting the image and feel of your company into the minds of users. This includes user interface and user experience design - in other words, form and function - to create an aesthetically pleasing experience that is also intuitive and easy to navigate.
In addition to brand awareness, a mobile app is an opportunity to cultivate customer loyalty. For instance, you could include an entire section within your app that extends or gamifies your loyalty scheme. One example of this is to create a points system for a cafe, which enables customers to rack up points with the promise of a free coffee.
At each of these touchpoints you can be gathering data, which lends itself to developing the personalisation and effectiveness of your app. Data analytics solutions allow you to track specific trends and help you to understand your customer’s interests, behaviours, locations and preferences. As a result, you are able to more personally appeal to users, marketing directly to their particular needs, wants and tastes. This helps when it comes to promotions, loyalty schemes, bookings and updates. In fact, the data captured becomes incredibly useful beyond the app alone, helping with broader strategies and initiatives within your company.
For example, a healthcare organisation focused on blood donation could use personalisation to make the user feel taken care of and incentivise further visits. The organisation could offer the ability to check-in through the app when visiting a donation clinic, send follow-up notifications to ensure the user is recovering well, and then track the time between visits. The app could also share specific information about the positive impact of their donation to highlight and express the value of the exchange.
ROI comes when mobile apps consider the app experience from a user standpoint, including utilising the additional functionality of smartphones, while also capturing data to feed back into the broader strategies of the business. There are many clever ways you can use mobile apps to bring benefits to your business and increase overall revenue.
From our extensive experience, we recommend building your app on both Android and iOS separately, as native apps are often superior, but the likes of Flutter provides cross-platform development and can save time and money. We also attest to the fact that simplicity is key, quick load times are non-negotiable, integration with other services or platforms can make all the difference, in-app payments and eCommerce portals can vastly improve sales, and ongoing user feedback means continuous improvements.
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