Understanding Why You Need a Mobile App for Your Business

Northsail Knows the Value of E-Commerce Versatility

For e-commerce businesses, there have never been more options for marketing your business to potential customers than there are right now.

Northsail understands that a lot of our clients come to us through word-of-mouth, but for business owners that are just starting out, there are a million different ways you can design your marketing strategy.

With the rise of mobile technology, providing consumers with a mobile application that they can use to shop with you is a great, forward-thinking idea.

But what constitutes a mobile app? What types of businesses can benefit from this type of user experience? Before we get to the real reasons that you need a mobile app for your company, let's discuss the basics.

What is a Mobile Application?

In its most simple form, a mobile app is any piece of software that's designed to function on a digital mobile device.

The types of apps can be literally anything. There are tens of thousands of mobile games out there. Not to mention educational tools, entertainment, and social media platforms.

Even the most basic mobile device functions like the calculator or calendar tools you'll find on your mobile phone or tablet are apps - they're just built into the device's operating system, so that they can be utilized immediately when you purchase the device.

Typically, mobile apps are either purchased or downloaded for free from one of the app stores available online (i.e., Google Play Store, Apple App Store, etc.).

What Types of Businesses Can Benefit from Having a Mobile App?

If your business is customer-facing or B2B, then there's a good chance you could use a mobile app. Some of the potential industries that would most appreciate and benefit from creating a mobile application include:

  • Entertainment (i.e., blogs, news articles, reviews, etc.)
  • Education (i.e., school sites, post-secondary resources, etc.)
  • Healthcare (i.e., medical specialists, family practices, pharmacies, etc.)
  • Hospitality (i.e., restaurants, caterers, independent operators, etc.)
  • Manufacturing (i.e., B2B part suppliers, SaaS vendors, etc.)
  • Distribution (i.e., delivery and shipping companies, transportation brands, etc.)

In addition to this wide range of business models that could benefit from a mobile app, it's important to note that direct-to-consumer e-commerce companies can potentially reap the most rewards from a mobile app.

How Can Mobile Apps Improve Your Business Strategies?

There are numerous benefits that mobile applications can help improve different facets of your business.

Having to download a mobile app means that consumers always have your business in their pocket. This encourages your retention rates to naturally increase for every user that downloads your app. Why? Because most people don’t download apps for single-use scenarios.

The next time that they're looking for something that your company provides, there's a good chance that your app will be the first stop in their customer journey. If your app can 'wow' them, they'll keep coming back for more.

More than that though, being able to reach your target audience, wherever they are throughout the day is vital in today's fast-paced landscape. Not only does this mean that they can shop from you anytime, anywhere, but they can do it from whatever digital device they prefer.

This gives you an immediate competitive edge over any of your competitors that aren't offering a business mobile app. If you really want to focus your mobile strategy on customer retention, this is one of the most valuable marketing tools you can use.

5 Reasons That You Should Consider Creating a Mobile App for Your Business:

1.) Improved Customer Satisfaction

What is the number one way to continue seeing an increase in sales year-over-year? Continuing to focus on keeping your consumers happy.

When customer satisfaction increases, so does each consumers' desire to spend money and support your brand. After all, on average 60-70% of most businesses' sales come from their loyal customer base.

If you want to focus on successful business growth, then customer satisfaction and convenience are two of the biggest benefits that offering a mobile app brings to your target market.

In addition to increasing accessibility, apps offer the opportunity to provide above-and-beyond customer service for your customer base. In turn, you can build customer loyalty with new users, and continue keeping your most loyal champions satisfied.

2.) Better Social Media Integration

Customer engagement is a huge part of ensuring that your brand is always top-of-mind for your potential consumers.

Most people today have social media accounts that they sometimes use to browse business pages and ads. If you have a mobile app for your company, then you can reap the massive benefits of connecting your business' social media accounts in the app, for easy access.

The more activity you get (and that consumers use your app and services), the more likely you're going to have your ads and marketing campaigns pop up in their social media feeds.

Having an active social media presence is important for a lot of reasons, but the fact that it gives mobile user accounts the opportunity to have instant communication with your brand, makes you feel more tangible and credible.

3.) Increased Referral Rates

When you've got a mobile business application, and it's well-designed, functional, and intuitive for use, there's a good chance that your happy consumers are going to share their customer experience with their loved ones.

This can lead to an ever-growing customer base, as more and more people continue to join your network of consumers. In turn, this will lead to better long-term conversions, and easier customer acquisition.

With some demographics having difficulty with online technology, having an easy-to-use app can also be a way for consumers to share your company with their older relatives, who aren't as tech savvy.

Digital marketing is difficult at the best of times, but reaching anyone over the age of 70 is extremely challenging online. A mobile app, combined with high ongoing user satisfaction, could be exactly what you need to break down the barriers to that digitally underserved audience.

4.) Reach a Broader Audience

Let's face facts here, there are a lot of people in today's world that no longer have a desktop computer at home. Some don't even have a portable laptop.

Many people relegate themselves entirely to their phones, tablets, smart watches, and e-readers, because they don't see the use for a full computer in their daily lives.

A mobile app gives you a way to stand out in the types of marketplaces that they're likely trying to source new product information. Many people look straight to apps for ease-of-use, because there are simply so many website options available to sift through.

In a pinch, if they're trying to find something fast, having an application available for mobile app users could be exactly what you need to stand out against your competition.

5.) Support Your Other Marketing Efforts

On a business level, there are just so many different ways that a mobile app can benefit you, it's almost foolish to not consider building an app in today's marketplace.

In all the ways we've discussed already (and many more), mobile apps can help with both simplifying your sales funnel business processes, as well as help you meet and exceed your business goals.

All the efforts that your marketing team are putting into other channels can be bolstered by tying them into the convenience your app provides for consumers.

Whether it's focusing on trying to get social media shares about your product launch, or trying to promote an additional feature your company now offers, an app can support these campaigns both through spreading awareness and encouraging engagement.

BONUS TIP: Use Push Notifications for New Product Launches

Speaking of new product launches, we'd be remiss if we didn't talk about how valuable app notifications are to ever-changing consumer behaviors.

The power of push notifications is being able to inject a little bit of your brand's marketing into each app owner's lives (assuming they have their notifications on).

It's important to note here that you've got to be careful about how often and for what reasons you use push notifications on your app. An effective frequency can help remind customers to check out what you're offering, when you're starting a new event or promotion.

Use them too much, and well... it's not very hard to turn off push notifications on most devices. As we've discussed before, this is part of the reason that you should only ever be offering your customers meaningful content.

Combined with all the other benefits that a business app provides, can you really afford to miss out on such an incredible opportunity to increase engagement levels with your brand?

These are the kind of valuable assets that every business owner should be thinking about bringing into their company. A strong mobile presence and intuitive customer-facing app solutions are exactly what you need to get a competitive edge over other brands in your industry.

Don't believe us? Look at Amazon. Enough said.

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