Do You Need a Mobile App? Here are 4 Questions You need to Answer to Make that Decision

3rd May 2016

App for business

There are about 1.4 million apps available through Google Play and the App Store right now. With that kind of saturation, it may be difficult to see the value of developing a mobile app for your business. What’s the point? You have a great website and it has been fashioned for mobile use. Customers can find you and navigate through your site to find what they want.

You might want to re-think this. And as you do, here are four questions you will want to ask.

1. What can an app do that my site can’t?

  1. Your downloaded app is there for the customer to access within seconds. Your website requires entering a URL address. Today’s mobile customer wants what he wants now. If your app is on his screen, a simple tap gets him there.
  2. Geolocation lets you know when your mobile customer is close to your brick and mortar facility. You can automatically alert that customer with push notifications of discounts and specials that you are willing to give him right now. Since most purchases are impulsive, more money is being put on your table.
  3. Orders and payments are streamlined
  4. Your app users will receive instant notifications of sales, loyalty rewards, and new products/services. They will not have to access an account on your website. Your custom mobile app development will ping those alerts in real time. You thus develop a truly personalized experience for each user.
  5. One-touch contact is efficient and far easier than accessing your website and retrieving contact information

2. Why is a mobile app important if I already have a mobile-responsive website?

Mobile device users spend on average about three hours a day on their devices. And of that three hours, 90% is spent on apps, not websites. They may search for a product or service and find your website. They may even find what they want and make a purchase. But the next time they are looking for something you sell, they won’t remember you. They’ll have to search again. By that time, a competitor may have an app that they have already downloaded, and they will just go to that app. If they have your app downloaded, they will use it. Mobile websites are great for searches, but not for long-term customer loyalty.

3. Should I dump my mobile website and just use an app instead?

Absolutely not. Your mobile website is the place for attracting new customers and is, in most cases, more responsive to organic searches. You need to keep your site if only for this reason.

And once visitors have found you, you need to be certain that you have a CTA that motivates them to download your mobile app, so that they can get to you with a single tap in the future. This is how you keep the ongoing relationships with your customers.

And, if your website has great, engaging content, including entertaining videos and other images for fast absorption of information, along with sharing buttons, you can spread your brand from your website.

4. What are the most important features that I should have on my mobile app?

The goal is a great customer experience, and all of your features must have that goal in mind. Here are the most popular app features that businesses use today:

  • Push Notifications – timely, relevant, and personalized
  • Geolocation and Maps – know where your customer is and provide directions to get to you
  • Shopping and Payments – make it easy
  • Loyalty Program – instant updates on reward points, etc.
  • One-Tap contact – they want to speak with you on demand

Promoting Your App

If you make the decision to develop a mobile app, you need to be certain that everyone knows you have it available. Promote it on your site; promote it on all of your social media platforms, often and regularly. Contact current customers and offer them something of value for downloading your app.  This is an ongoing process but it will pay off if you are steady and consistent.

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