Why Your Business Can’t Afford To Be Without A Mobile App

With the mobile app industry expected to reach heights of over $100 billion in the next few years, more and more businesses are adding this technology to their repertoire. There’s a need to engage with consumers and having an app to do so improves the customer experience tenfold.

From Design to Development

As these mobile apps hit the marketplace, companies from all over the world are looking for assistance in the development of their m-commerce strategy. Understanding the steps that need to be taken to move from the “big idea” to concept to reality can help companies streamline their success rate of the deployment of these platforms.

Abhinav Girdhar, CEO at Appy Pie, a mobile app developer for virtually any type of business or personal use, has some sound advice for businesses looking to mainstream an app for its customers’ use. “Plan ahead and eliminate any unnecessary functions that serve no purpose. Consider how your customers will use the app and how its capabilities will help them understand your business and its products and services better. Only when you are certain of the purpose can you proceed with the creation.”

An Affordable Business Addition

Mobile apps are becoming a necessity for businesses small and large. You may think your business can’t afford to have its own dedicated app, but in actuality, your company can’t afford to not have one. Statistics show that 40% of users will go to the competitor after a bad mobile experience. There is a myriad of potential awaiting you with the creation of an app from product and service promotion, to increased earnings, and larger customer reach.

According to Girdhar, developing a mobile app is more affordable than you would think, even if you use a development service for its construction. “Many development companies are affordable and can turn a mobile app around quickly, allowing you to get it to market in a minimal amount of time. This can save you money in the long run as you start to reap the rewards of having an app as part of your business structure sooner.”

Engage With Your Customers

In marketing, staying relevant is the name of the game. And being present where your customers will see you is very important. With more and more people using their mobile devices for everything from publishing blog posts to shopping, and everything in between, having a mobile presence is of utmost importance. A mobile app can create a direct marketing channel between you and your customers. This can funnel business directly to you and allow you to communicate in an effective way that was impossible before. Your customers will now see your message and be aware of news and announcements that your company is generating.

Encourage the download of these apps by providing convenience and perks through them. All promotions can be handled by the app, persuading your customers to download it in order to participate in your rewards programs, use coupons or get percentage off discounts.

Plus, if you have ever wanted to know more about your customer base, a mobile app can help give you that interaction you crave. It allows you to communicate with them real-time while also learning details about who they are, where they are located, and what their likes and dislikes are.

Getting Started

While the advantages of developing an app platform are apparent, you may be at a loss as to where to start. The first step in your development phase comes with hammering out the purpose and strategy of what you want your app to do. For a first-generation app, keep it simple and stick to one goal. You can always regroup after you understand your customers’ response and demands.

Your first design concepts for your app should be clearly sketched out. Girdhar suggests,” Get all your ideas down on paper and identify what the most important functions and features of your app are. Keep narrowing down your idea until it’s a seamless solution for your customers.”

An app developer can take this sketch of an idea and transform it into a working prototype that will allow you to beta test with select customers and determine if anything is missing. This can easily get you on the way to having a completed app design that is sound and proficient in its capabilities. Only when you are ready, roll it out to your entire customer database and reap the benefits of increased awareness about your business and a wider customer reach with its launch.

Jia is the CEO and Founder of Studio 15, a socially responsible fashion brand. Follow her on Twitter @JiaWertz and LinkedIn.

Source: Forbes Magazine – Read more here