Many people can be forgiven for assuming that mobile apps are only for the big brands like Tesco, Barclay's Bank or Virgin Airways. However, this assumption leads to misconception, and many small businesses can really benefit from the use of a mobile application. Today we see more and more small and medium size businesses adopting an effective mobile strategy, not just catering their sites to be mobile friendly, but offer a user experience to be proud of.
Today we see several small businesses have their own dedicated mobile application. This is true for many industries large or small, from a mobile mechanics, to a hairdresser on the main high street. Businesses like these can get ahead of the game and their competition by harnessing a marketing strategy that tailors to suit your business.
More and more people these days are spending their time online, what has helped this increase in average user duration is the accessibility that comes with this technology. The internet is everywhere, free Wi-Fi access is available in many establishments which means people are browsing more frequently on different locations on their mobile devices. Even though this only applies to a fair few applications out there which make up the bulk of this usage, it doesn’t change the fact that each user must go through the process of unlocking, scrolling, and then scanning their device for the apps they’re looking for.
Being seen throughout this process, and effectively in the way can be advantageous to companies, as people’s minds can wonder and by seeing seen your business is effectively gaining the opportunity for recollection later. Even if gone unnoticed, if the image, icon or app is presented well enough with a grasping marketing strategy in place you stand a good chance of getting noticed.
Today apps have developed vastly since their emergence, offering multiple features that aid an efficient friendly user experience. They provide:
What’s glaringly obvious when having an app to assist your business is the ability to interact with your customers. Never has it been so easy to display information about your products and services. Businesses can take advantage of their online visibility by offering promotions and discounts which encourage deals to help build loyalty and a customer fan base to your business. Push notifications are an invaluable feature to your mobile app, by interacting with your customers in this way you can plan and schedule notifications that are applicable to them and encourage custom by reminding them of your products or services or deals that are currently active.
We all know by now how the success of the Loyalty card and club points system have helped major businesses like Sainsbury's, and Tesco develop a solid customer loyalty program to be proud of. The mobile application can feature the same reward system, but digitally. By allowing your customers to collect rewards through your mobile application will result in building faith in your business resulting in more downloads, and repeat custom. Everybody loves a deal, and the idea of obtaining a bonus or “something for nothing” remains appealing. By staying ahead of the game and allowing your customers to participate in a reward and incentive scheme, your business will stand to benefit from long lasting repeat custom.
Developing your brand awareness is no simple task, a mobile application will contribute significantly to enhancing your business profile online. If you were to think of your mobile app like a blank advertising board, where there is space to fill with the content you want to fill it with. Whether this is making it stylish, functional, informative, engaging etc. Essentially what you should be trying to do with your mobile application is create an app that features what brought your customers to you in the first place, by doing this you can enhance the user experience with a well-designed app that is well branded throughout. The frequency that your customers engage with your app will ultimately decide how quickly they will feel inclined to purchase from you. It is thought of in the advertising world that should your brand get seen or heard on average 20 – 30 times will really get you noticed.
Irrelevant to what you are offering as a business, to really have an impact in the industry, your customers will need to be able to reach you. If possible, all day and every day. By incorporating a messaging feature that enables your customers (current and potential) direct interaction with your business which can act as an efficient help desk or customer service counter. Instead of calling a takeaway for your food order, you can now book your meal with a few clicks on their platform. There is a high chance that your customers would show preference to interacting with your mobile app then having to speak via the telephone or come down in person. Not to mention all the information will be visible to them when making their order, which allows them the time to communicate and seek the best possible deals.
It is still relatively rare for smaller businesses to have a mobile application, it is very likely that these features will be available to businesses of all sizes the more and more technology pushes business to be conducted online. When there is a potential gap in the market it is important to try and utilise any features that can help your business grow. So, whilst it is still uncommon to see a small business with a mobile feature, it is safe to say that fast forward another ten years this number will be alarming. Being one of the first to be innovative in this way can help gain leverage over your rivals and enhance your perception to new and existing customers.
One of the main aims when setting out, is to do business so well that your customers will have no choice but to use again. This in a nutshell is the customer loyalty that will bring you the success you desire. Today there is much distraction in the form of advertising with visual aids and audio techniques used in an attempt to encourage a positive image for your brand. Sometimes businesses lose a sense of connection with their customers that they are so craving. By building a connection with your existing and potential customers allows your brand to gain the recognition and ease of access that will help put you within reach at all times.
A mobile app can most definitely help you achieve this, and it is highly likely to be a standard component of any business in the future. By making solid and sound choices today, will help engage and benefit your business for tomorrow.