Why Your Company Needs an App Right Now
:: By Antonio Armenino, Fueled ::
With the mobile phone market projected to continue to grow in the next few years, why wouldn’t you want an app for your company? Mobile phones have already rendered public payphones as a practically dead technology (besides in airports, etc.). The emergence of cell phone usage is even threatening to turn traditional home landlines into an obsolete technology as well. If your company plans on being around in the future then it may be advisable to consider getting an application or, at the very least, have a mobile-friendly website available for your customers and fans.
How to decide if you need an app
Questions such as “Can my company benefit from a mobile app?” and “Is my business too small for a mobile app?” may arise when contemplating the idea of having a mobile application. The answers to these questions vary from company to company and require a great deal of thought. In most cases, these are not the correct questions to ask when beginning the decision process. A good starting point would be to figure out what the primary simple feature of the app should be. An app should be an extension of your company’s products, services or personality. Questions like “What information would I like the app to portray?” or “What kind of information do I want the app to gather from its users?” should immediately follow in the thought process. Regardless of the final decision, having an honest evaluation and discussion about getting an app for your company is something that should absolutely take place.
Benefits & Possibilities
There are plenty of potential benefits of having a useful mobile application. Some of the most popular benefits could be increasing customer engagement, promoting specific products/services, providing better customer service, or providing another outlet to access an online retail site. Not only can an app provide these benefits for your customers, but it can also allow you to collect data about your customers in a new way. This happens through analyzing user profiles and interaction with the app. Finally, one of the best features of having an app is that it creates an actual presence on a customer’s mobile device. A customer can subconsciously be reminded about your brand every time they scroll through their phone, just because they downloaded your app. The possibilities of what a mobile application can do for you are endless.
If a user downloads your company’s mobile app, then it’s safe to say that this user is highly likely to want to engage with your company. An effective application can turn engaged users into actual customers. For example, let’s say you run a rum company. A worthy main feature for your app would be to allow users access to a customized list of mixed drink combinations, in which each mixed drink requires the specific use of your rum. An idea like this can be utilized by almost every company that is in the business of producing goods usually used as an ingredient or as a part of a whole.
Promoting products and services becomes even easier with a mobile application. Apps can use a user’s GPS location to offer special coupons or promotions when that user is in a certain radius of one of your retail locations. This kind of function can be extremely useful to increasing store traffic and sales. Not only does having an app help promote your products and services but it can also help enhance the image of your brand by creating a presence in various app stores. This can express the idea that your company is up-to-date, trendy and attempting to provide the very best for its customers.
If your company website offers retail services, it may be advisable to create an app that offers the same function. This would be greatly appreciated by your customers who spend more time on their phones than they do on their computers. This type of app is also important for companies who offer online services such as a blogging platform. In this particular case, an app that allows bloggers to continue their writing while they are on-the-go makes their lives so much easier.
A mobile app can also be a great means for customer service. Consumers today expect to be able to obtain information at all times no matter where they are, and an app can help fulfill that expectation. A mobile app can also provide real-time updates about the company or help solve problems that customers are having. An example of this would be the “Check-Scanning apps” from banks that allow you to scan your check and deposit it into your bank account without ever having to leave your home or office.
Process of getting the app
Once making the decision that your company should get an app, it becomes vital to seek out a development firm that will take the time to understand the vision of your idea. Using an outside development firm is extremely important because these outside firms have probably dealt with plenty of other clients (some of whom may be your competitors or similar companies) and can offer you an experienced point-of-view. A development firm’s consultants can also offer you a reality check on the actual worth of your app idea and if you have enough data to make it worthwhile.
A budget should already be determined before beginning the app development process. Once again, the cost of the app depends on your company’s budget, the functions of the app, the development firm and various other factors. One important thing to realize is that you do not need an expensive app for it to be successful and useful for your company. There are large corporations who may be best suited with an inexpensive app that solves the issue they need handled, and there may be small and medium-sized businesses that may need a more expensive and elaborate app to prosper. So in the end, it all depends on what is needed to achieve success.
Ultimately, a mobile application is a must if you plan to take your business to the next level. New technology needs to be embraced, and failing to adapt to these new trends and technologies can prove to be fatal for some companies. Keep in mind that about 82 percent of time spent with mobile media is through apps. So please make sure you take some time to imagine the possibilities you can unlock by getting your company its very own app.
Antonio Armenino is a writer at Fueled, the leading iPhone application developers and masters of mobile design in New York City.