AS customers increasingly are reliant on mobile phones, businesses around the world are clamouring to adapt their services and offers to the mobile world. This week’s column focuses on why businesses should start looking at apps seriously.
Chennai: I’m currently in Singapore on a business visit and can’t help but notice the increasing dependence on mobile phones for almost all facets of life. There is no disputing the fact that mobiles are and will continue to be an important medium to reach customers, at least until another cool gadget steals their thunder.
There is fierce competition in the market and immense research on how to design effective, mobile-first strategies.
While different strategists may have different opinions about what works and what doesn’t, what they all unequivocally agree to is this — companies, both big and small, must invest in building good mobile apps to increase their revenue. I spoke with Dinesh Kumar, CEO of RailsFactory that helps build custom apps for their customers and he gave me three reasons why businesses should have apps.
Mobile apps serve as an effective direct marketing channel through which you can deliver key information such as prices, products, discounts, etc. right on the fingertips of your potential customers and engage them on a daily basis through push notifications. Moreover, for some reason, having a mobile app gives you a sort of credibility over a business that doesn’t have one, especially in the case of startups and small businesses.
Improved customer experience Smartphones have evolved from being a gadget to a lifestyle necessity and this is where the efficacy of an app comes into the picture.
Smart, location-based apps, which have features like Augmented Reality and the ability to connect with IoT devices can add a whole new layer to the customer experience and allow people to engage with your brand in new, exciting ways.
Your app is basically your ticket to differentiating your brand in the noise. The ability to interact with a brand offline (in-store) and online makes way for greater brand loyalty. The more frequently customers interact with your brand, the more propensity they will have to make a purchase.
Remember, demand can be created if it doesn’t exist.
Re-targeting existing customers
Mobile apps present an incredible opportunity to not only gain new customers but also re-target existing ones, for example, by reminding them to complete an order or purchasing ahead for a coming birthday/anniversary.
By combining data analytics and location sensing, apps can, for instance, recommend a customer to see a product she/he is interested in when they are in the vicinity of a brand’s store or offer personalised discounts and deals to another customer based on his/her past behaviour on the app. Since apps can remember their personal settings, wish lists, shopping carts and loyalty points, a clever engagement strategy can “hold” these customers back from trying out a competitor’s brand.