It is becoming clear that mobile computing is slowly surpassing desktop PC/Mac usage, with 55% of consumers now conducting their online browsing via their mobile devices. The customer migration from desktop computer to mobile device is long in the making and picking up speed. It is becoming clear that mobile computing is slowly surpassing desktop PC/Mac usage, with 55% of consumers now conducting their online browsing via their mobile devices (Business2Community.com).
Great news! We build business apps! Yay! But what is a business app? A business app is a mobile application (app) developed to enable and empower business to consumer or business to business goals - and this is applicable to all lines of business.
One way to address this is to ensure that your website reaches those on computers and those mobile devices. By understanding the difference in the user-interaction-dynamics between how we use computers and how we relate to our mobile devices (as an extension of our selves) we discover that we can better connect to customers and potential customers with mobile devices with the use of an app even more than by simply making our business website mobile friendly. This is because the smartphone is the ubiquitous ‘Swiss Army’ connector to anything and everything that interests us.
So how does this all relate to your business? While there are several things that app development can do for businesses, we’ll address two of them here.
Increased Sales – Developed in support of clearly defined business goals and as a part of a well-crafted marketing strategy, business apps can increase sales in a few ways. Here are just two such examples.
By tracking customer preferences and buying patterns to personalized alerts for sales, upcoming product releases, up-coming events, member discounts, flash sales, seasonal coupons and much more.
Apps can also geo-trigger notifications so that when customers are near one of your locations that sales on products related to their buying preference can be pushed as a notification, overriding all of the other businesses vying for their attention.
Improved Customer Engagement – If you’ve ever run a store, you know that many customers come to get what they want and they just leave. Building a rapport and a relationship can often be the exception rather than the norm. But if you love your business and really believe in what you offer, you know that really engaging your customers would help you to better help them. So in the age of the app, what is customer engagement? On business apps, improving customer engagement means developing features that give them a voice or move them more effortlessly towards taking the actions that you encourage (ie. sales, joining, voting, contributing input or data ...) in ways that they feel enhances their lives.
Some customer engagement methods successful on business apps include (1) offering mobile loyalty programs, unique to mobile devices because they can be monitored, polled and engaged based on the customer’s location and movement, (2) utilizing mobile-based payment solutions (ie. ApplePay) which streamline the purchasing process and greatly enhance transaction security and (3) offering location-based content. An example of how powerful app-interactive, location-based content can be for business can be demonstrated in a scenario where a store is divided into various product groups, each having a low-cost, web-managed, geo-programmable interactive device. So when customers walk through the store with your app, the various product areas send notifications to the app providing offers, product information, providing product or use information and images and even doing lead collection … all managed and accessed by you online.