An application (or app) is a type of software that allows you to perform specific tasks. Applications for mobile devices are called mobile apps.Apps reside on a smartphone, iPad or Android tablet and fulfill sales, marketing or training objective by delivering a useful tool to your target market.There are two goals of an application: acquire as many customers as possible or deliver highest quality engagement within a target market.
When a majority of your target audience are using the same platform, the choice for platform becomes easy. But when you’re catering to a huge audience which may be using iPhone, Android, Windows Phone and others, there’s a need to design for multiple platforms.There are over 200,000 mobile applications out there today performing a huge range of tasks. Apps tend to be small, self-contained and focused on solving one unique task.Application developers today seeking to garner large fan bases target at least iOS and Android. Despite the many inherent benefits of traditional websites, mobile apps and mobile websites are becoming very popular. This is because majority of the consumers now basically browse the Internet using their mobile phones or tablets.
According to surveys:
1. Smartphones sales reached 472 million in 2011, up 58% on 2010
2. 25billion iOS and Android apps downloaded in 2011,up 300%
3. 48% of smartphone owners use apps more then ten times a day
4. 73% use apps to make a purchase or buying decision
5. 78% use apps for customer services
6. In June 2010, 73 million mobile users use their phone to browse the web, whereas 69.6 million used apps.
7. 76% of customers think brands should have apps to make interacting and shopping with them easier.
Here are a few reasons why you should develop a mobile app for your business:
1. Greater Reach
As is obvious, the more platforms you cover, the more people you’ll be able to reach. With Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android competing for top positions worldwide, the number of smartphone users for these systems is increasing day by day. Developing an application that runs on both iPhone and Android gives you the added advantage of tapping into greater market potential.
2. Easy Marketing
When you have a larger fan base, marketing becomes easier in the sense that you don’t have to create niche messages to cater to a specific set of people. You have the liberty of marketing the application on various media and through generalized messages for the masses.
3. Attracting new customers
As with any business, attracting new customers and making them aware of the benefits of your product is the key to producing more sales. With a well developed iPhone app, companies can advertise their service to a growing tech-savvy audience. This is an innovative way to present your company to the marketplace and will also help with your company’s brand recognition.
4. Increasing and/or enhancing revenue
All businesses are in the business of making money. A quality iPhone apps developer will make suggestions about apps that they will create for you and that relate best to your business and the product you are selling. A well designed app can present companies with new ways to increase profits with additions to their current products or can introduce ways to generate revenue from new offerings.
5. Enhance customer experience and service.
Customers can benefit from being able to access your company’s service with greater ease. Your company’s call center may not be manned twenty four hours a day, but your iPhone app can have a feature where a customer can send a message to your company, day or night. Keeping the lines of communication open is a major benefit to any business relationship. You can also stay in touch with your data base by highlighting upcoming sales or special events by sending customers updates. With the iPhone, developers can make access to your company and its products or services very easy.
6. Offline Access
Native apps can be used when a user has no network connectivity, such as on an airplane, in the subway or in an underground parking garage. If users are sometimes in areas where network access is unavailable or unreliable, a native app is your only real option.
7. Flexible Synchronization
Native apps can be configured to periodically synchronize with various back end data sources, which can reduce data costs, particularly while roaming. If users do not need to synchronize their data until the end of the day, why go to the trouble and expense of having them establish an internet connection each time they do an update?
8. Push Capabilities
Native apps can use “Push Technology” available on many mobile devices to automatically update the application data rather than relying on the user to log into the web application. You can get important information out to your users without having to train them to constantly check the database over the web.
9. Builds Brand Loyalty:
What business owner doesn’t want more or better brand loyalty. Through a mobile app your business can stay in one-on-one intimate contact with your customer base. Your app can keep the customer engaged with and informed about your business activities, events and specials, which is an important part of building this loyalty.
10. Staying ahead of Competition:
While you may or may not see your competitors with an app at this time, you certainly will. As more business owners learn that developing and launching an app is more affordable then they thought and the benefits a business receives, they will be. Being one of the few with an app for your business will allow you to engage with customers, build brand loyalty and be on the forefront of the technology.
The explosion of ‘smartphone’ use provides businesses with unique sales, marketing and communication opportunities. The power of ‘smartphones’, such as the iPhone and Android based phones, makes it possibly the most effective tool for communicating, collaborating, marketing and, of course, selling.Which is why a well designed app can make your sales, marketing and communication far more effective.
• Want to tell your customers or clients about an offer or service using a method that’s ten times more effective than email?
Simply use your app’s notification feature.
• Want to direct your customers to their nearest store, wherever they happen to be?
Use the app’s location feature.
Want your customers to see your products or watch videos explaining your services and buy from you wherever they are?
Use the app’s product list, video or shopping features
• Want feedback from your clients and customers to strengthen relationships and develop your services and products?
Use the fan wall or discussion room feature.
• Want your clients to be able to call the right person in your business with a touch of a button?
Use the one-touch call and directory feature.
• Want to encourage your customers to come back again and again and again?
Use the check-in discount feature.
Mobile apps are now integral part of almost every business, irrespective of their size and industry.With the mobile industry booming like it is right now, it is most advisable for any and every business to develop mobile apps to promote their products and services. Mobile is indeed the way all communication is headed today and so, embracing this technology is guaranteed to produce the right results for your business.