Guest Blog: 5 Ways To Boost Your Business With An App

In 2016, the number of active mobile phones in the world surpassed the number of people in the world. This means that most people have a mobile device, and some people will have more than one. While phones were once used exclusively for making phone calls and, later, sending and receiving messages, most people will now use their phone for apps first. Phones are now more like little computers, and apps are the only way to make these computers functional, so it makes sense that more and more apps are being released every day.

For companies, this offers an irresistible opportunity to reach more customers and generate more income or enquiries. Get it right, and your app could go viral and users will discover your company through this relatively new marketing medium. Get it wrong, and you could end up investing a lot of money into a project that never gets off the ground. The type of app you build will depend on your industry, target audience and objectives. Understanding all three of these objectives will be essential to ensuring that your app is a success. However, if you’re struggling to convince key stakeholders that an app could be beneficial, it helps to be able to sell the benefits. Here are five ways developing an app for your business could help to boost sales, give you free marketing and ultimately grow your business.

Increase Brand Recognition

If a customer has a choice between purchasing from your business or your competitors, they will be more likely to side with you if your logo and branding are already on their phone. You will be able to save their preferences, offer them discounts and push notifications to let them know if they are near one of your stores. In order to achieve this objective, you will need to make sure that your app offers genuine value to your customer, rather than only serving your own needs. A gimmicky game covered in your company branding might be a short-term hit, but it will be no substitute for creating an app that is genuinely useful to your audience. This is the only way to ensure your app becomes part of their everyday life, increasing brand recognition in the process.

Get Social

Encouraging users to share their experiences on social media is the cornerstone of modern digital marketing. If you can turn your customers into brand ambassadors, half of the work is done for you. Apps encourage social sharing and can be used to boost engagement with your customers by prompting them for their opinion. Fashion brands can encourage their customers to share images of their purchases, while food brands can encourage their customers to share their culinary creations.

Understanding what makes people follow your brand on social media will be essential to getting this part of the marketing mix right. If customers are looking for discounts, allowing them to unlock more discounts by posting about your brand might be the way forward. However, if users are looking for advice, inspiration, or just some lighthearted humour, then you will have to adjust your offering accordingly.

Streamline Customer Service

Customer service is difficult to get right, primarily because it is a fast-changing industry. While some people may want to speak to a person on the phone, others may want to leave a message or have an online chat with a person to resolve their issue. With an app, you can streamline the customer service part of your business and provide the customer with a solution that works for them. If your customer knows that they will get a streamlined customer service experience simply by downloading your app, few are likely to turn down the offer. Using a customer service model that is linked to an app is handy because users will be able to log into their account and then their information will be available to your customer service rep which will speed up the process for everyone.

Offer Timely Discounts

Push notifications can be used to alert customers to discounts they are able to access. This is much more effective than an email blast or direct mail advertising as it is timely and requires little work to set up. Unlike an email campaign that will require a copywriter, designer and expensive mailing software, a push notification can be set up very easily. Including a discounts section on your app can help reward customers through a loyalty card scheme that is linked to the app. One of the reasons people avoid signing up to a loyalty card scheme is that it means another card for their wallet, but if this loyalty scheme is housed on an app, this problem is resolved. A good app developer will be able to determine if a loyalty scheme app could work for your business. They will also know how to make the most of a phone’s features in order to make your discounts as timely as possible.

Encourage Advocacy

One of the best things you can do when marketing your business is to turn existing customers into brand ambassadors. This is a self-perpetuating marketing method, as new customers will quickly become advocates and encourage more customers to discover your business, who will then become brand advocates. There is an element of risk to this, as it means that you’ll have to embrace the good and the bad. Having a plan in place to deal with any negative reactions is essential. However, if you are confident in your product and have a loyal fanbase, they can be your best advertisement. An app can help encourage users to share their thoughts and opinions on your product through online reviews and feedback.

To sum up, a mobile app can help to boost your business, provided it is deployed in the right way. While there are many possibilities for a mobile app in boosting sales and enquiries for your business, the key to success is to determine which method will be right for your business.

Written by Ryan Duffy