Any business owner purchasing a new service asks himself the question: “Why do I need it? What will it give me?” Let’s try to answer this question. According to statistics, more than 6 billion people use mobile phones and mobile technologies. Nowadays the Earth’s population is slightly more than 7 billion people. The usage of mobile phones is becoming a global necessity of a modern man. As the price of high-end smartphones reduces every year, more and more people have the opportunity to use mobile applications of various kinds and functionality.
It is no secret that the share of visitors on the website from a mobile device, depending on the specifics of the business, today is from 30% to 45%, and this number is constantly growing. This means that it’s time for business owners to think about this category of clients. Mobile development today is one of the most fashionable and rapidly developing industries. A rare marketer or manager stays indifferent reading about the high-profile examples of applications for smartphones and the most active of them necessarily try on someone else’s experience to their own company. Just like with any business tool it is necessary to understand the characteristics of mobile applications, their advantages and disadvantages before planning the development and promotion.
There are kinds of business where a mobile application is not a whim, but an objective necessity. Today, for example, it relates to banking business: each serious bank develops mobile services not only for individuals but also for business because customers demand it, and, therefore, the banks do, too.
Please look around before we answer the question placed in the title. How many devices are there on your desk or at arm’s length? There is likely a desktop or a laptop, a tablet and, of course, a smartphone. Today people create their personal ecosystem around themselves with the help of mobile technologies. It replaces a lot of other things, which have been actively used five, ten or even twenty years ago. Schedule, alarm clock, calculator, voice recorder, photo camera – all of these and functions of many other devices are effectively performed today by an ordinary smartphone.
Each user of such a gadget is your potential customer. In restaurants, bars, health clubs, stores and anywhere else people actively use mobile electronics for a variety of purposes. Owing to this a unique opportunity to be in touch with the customer 24 hours a day has appeared to businessmen of the XXI century. If earlier there was a need to study the book of complaints and conduct costly polls for review, it is enough to get into a client’s gadget today.
The development of mobile applications is much more complicated than the creation of websites. The three most common operating systems (Android, iOS and Windows Phone), hundreds of devices with different screens, technical characteristics, and touch control gestures – all of these aspects impose very high requirements on the skills and experience of mobile application developers. So you need to understand clearly what is required to your project or enterprise before you order the mobile application development.
It is believed that the mobile application is an additional sales channel. However, it is rather a myth. In fact, this product is also a fashion tool that allows the company to retain existing customers and to facilitate their re-visiting places or using services. A striking example is the mobile application of the American coffee chain Starbucks. Its main feature is multi branding loyalty program My Starbucks Rewards. Users can spend their accumulated in-app “stars” to get free products. This business approach has provided the worldwide fame for the company. A number of purchases carried out using a mobile phone in coffee houses is constantly growing.
Thus, through this campaign, Starbucks has managed not only to increase the number of repeat visits to the coffee shop, but at the same time to enlarge the loyalty to the institution and to force customers to recommend it to their friends. So do not count on the fact that the mobile app will bring you fast and easy money. Its development and support is a long marathon which will bring tangible benefits only when done right.
So we figured out why the business owner needs a mobile application. And how can it be useful for the clients? Its main purpose is the rapid solution to the problems of the user: save time when you order, receive discounts, the ability to get the answer quickly to any question about the company, etc. Probably your customers can live without all of these but if you can give them these benefits, they will be immensely grateful to you, especially if competitors cannot boast of such a service.
The target audience of mobile applications has hundreds of millions of people all over the world. Of course if your business operates only in one city, the number of potential users may be less. In many ways the target audience of the application depends on the scope of business. So we can say with confidence that the applications of restaurants, bars and fitness clubs are very popular today. Moreover, these institutions are visited by mostly wealthy people. The return and re-purchase of at least 5-10% of customers is enough for the creation of the application for mobile devices to be paid off in a few months.
Do you still have doubts whether to order the development of mobile applications for your business or not?
However, before ordering the application it will be beneficial to carry out a little analysis of your business:
- Explore what phone or other mobile device your customers use. This will determine which platform you should pay more attention to and what share of clients is a potential user of the application;
- Think what key business performance you plan to improve running mobile applications;
- Apply the main KPI in solving urgent customers’ problems because mobile applications are created, first of all, for the consumer;
- Observe the work of already implemented applications for identical services of business. Try to take the best, but at the same time add something useful of your own.
The correct approach to the development of the mobile application is the guarantee that users will download and install it on their devices. Use this opportunity wisely because if you cannot attract people to the service at the first time, they will remain in doubt to all your future products.Therefore the perfect mobile application is such an application that will bring new profit to your business.