Perhaps one of the most common strategy questions currently asked is, “Does my business really need a mobile app to remain relevant or be successful in the current marketplace?”
To understand if your business will really benefit from an app it may be better to ask a similar question: “Does my business really require a website?”
It may seem ridiculous to ask that now, now that we know that any brand without a web presence is an obsolete dinosaur, untraceable in the modern world. So how does the first question sound to you now? Remember that a large amount of today’s norms were all once leading-edge innovative concepts.
Let’s review the differences between mobile apps and web sites. In summary, mobile apps are primarily brand-driven, interactive experiences, optimised for the specific platform customers use, including smartphones, tablets and wearable devices.
Whilst apps may at first have been a novelty for those who migrated to smartphones, today around fifty-two percent of worldwide mobile-device owners say mobile apps promote their interest in brands and buying.
Modern apps offer a wealth of unique, and even proprietary, functionalities that extend a business brand more personally than possible via a standard web experience. These include:
Knowing when your customer is near an outlet or potential sales point. Delivering exclusive offers, and conveniently timed push messages that encourage your customers to take action whenever appropriate.
Modern mobile devices are equipped with advanced technology. Via fingerprint and retina scanning devices are now able to confirm identity, allow purchases without the need for cash or credit / debit cards, and even track fitness and other activity via motion sensors.
ScanQR or barcodes, create shopping lists or upload documents.
This technology is turning each step a customer takes into another marketing opportunity. Simply opening an app enabled with augmented reality enables numerous buying opportunities within view of the camera lens.
Undoubtedly, there are benefits to having both apps and responsive websites. Both entities are extensions of your brand, and should be given similar care and attention.
Research indicates that 64 percent of app users say they view brands with mobile apps more favourably. That’s worth investing in.
KRS believes that your Mobile App must leverage the benefits of the Mobile device. When considering if your business needs a mobile app, ask yourself these questions:
- Will your mobile site automatically notify customers of your presence or products via geolocation?
- When has your site told you the name of that customer?
- Can your site adjust the price of an item based on a customer’s social influence, buying patterns or preferences?
- Does your website send targeted and timely mobile push notifications?
- What other real time benefits are you not providing to your customer via your website?
The above questions are all inherent functions of current apps, regardless of niche or vertical. Some of these functions may be possible via your web site, but it’s doubtful they’ll ever be as seamlessly integrated as they could be through a mobile app —and if your customer is experiencing a disconnected experience, the likelihood of losing them rises.
Perhaps the most important question is not whether your business needs or can afford a mobile app. It’s whether you will get a mobile app once your customers have already decided they prefer using your competitor’s mobile app over your old website.
For more mobile insights, follow the KRS Mobile Linked In page.