Just a few short decades ago, the Internet was a novel idea. Since then, technology has exploded, and now society’s expectations have skyrocketed. They now expect to have their wishes and needs satisfied immediately, and the Internet can largely be accessed on the go. Mobile apps are increasingly popular, and they allow consumers to access exactly what they want in just seconds on their phones or other mobile devices.
Many large-scale companies have incorporated the use of apps to communicate with consumers. From alerting them of special deals to letting them order goods and services and so much more, there are many opportunities to accommodate consumers. Whether or not you are comfortable with the changes being made due to technology, they are occurring, and you owe it to yourself to incorporate the use of mobile apps to advance your business.
Understanding a Few Statistics
Today, nearly everyone either owns a smartphone, accesses one, or will be upgrading to one in the near future. In many aspects, the use of mobile devices has become addictive. Between March 2013 and March 2014, a significant increase in usage can be seen as follows:
- 23 percent increase in use among regular users
- 55 percent increase in use among super users
- 123 percent increase in use among addicts who use apps over 60 times per day
It’s not hard to see the trend here, and we can only expect these numbers to continue to increase as we become more and more reliant on technology and instant gratification as a society. The advantage of mobile apps as a business tool is pretty clear here – gigantic amount of data is being produced, and an app can allow you to gather that information about your customers by making it worth their while to give it to you.
Getting Into the Action
Whether you have a small or large business, it’s a good idea to get in on the action. Before getting started, however, understand that having an app is only half the battle. You must create an app that customers actually find useful. A recent study revealed that, in the past 60 days, over 30 percent of smartphone users have deleted an app, and seven percent of them were retail oriented. Don’t become an afterthought.
Know the Competition
Chances are you aren’t the first in your industry to introduce an app. While this means you have some catching up to do, you can also use this fact to your advantage. Download competitor’s’ apps and see what they have to offer. This will give you a good idea of features consumers find appealing. You can also read reviews and discover current needs that you could fill with your app.
Prepare Yourself for Expansion
The app is a powerful tool. One of the mistakes all too many make is introducing an app before they have prepared for the results of this action. You obviously expect an increase in business. After all, why else make the investment? However, that increase can sometimes be more than a business owner is able to handle. Failure to have everything in place can cause a negative customer experience, and word of mouth makes all the difference. Among the things to do to prepare include:
- Hiring extra staff
- Storing additional revenue to have readily on hand in the likely event you need to purchase additional inventory
- Having IT staff or assistance available to help you manage your new technology
Enhanced Engagement and Satisfaction
Surveys have shown that customers are more likely to engage with your business and find satisfaction with your products or services when you offer an app for them to download on their mobile device. Customers indicate that they have a more positive experience with the businesses they deal with when apps are made available.
Beneficial for All Businesses, Both Big and Small
Let’s face it. Technology is going to continue to innovate, and consumers are going to expect their favorite businesses to keep up with the changes. If you’ve yet to incorporate the use of mobile apps, now’s the time to do so. Thousands are getting on board every day, and, by making this update now, you’ll be better positioned to continue to adapt to whatever changes inevitably lie in the future to help you keep up with the competition in your industry.