Some benefits of investing in a mobile app for your small business are:
- Increased profits
- Decreased marketing costs
- Higher operational efficiency
- Higher brand awareness and loyalty
- Better customer service and communication
… and more in the sections below.
The benefits of developing a mobile app for a small business cannot be overstated. Think about the way mobile devices have transformed our lives over the last 15 years.
Almost every aspect of life now has a mobile element:
- Watching your favourite shows?
» Stream them to your mobile device!
- Banking or transferring money?
» 2 minutes and a few clicks on your banking app.
- Reviewing a spreadsheet?
» Pull up an Excel or Google Sheet file in seconds…
With more than 3.2B active smartphones in the world, your business is poised to benefit from mobile communication, direct marketing, data analysis and a host of other advantages.
But this is a big picture view of the mobile world.
What you can do with a mobile app is even more interesting…
Why Develop a Mobile App For Your Business?
Mobile applications can offer big benefits for the day-to-day running of a successful business as they allow you to solve your customers’ and employees’ problems in a way that they prefer.
An app comes with the potential for you to scale your business significantly, so we’ve gathered the top 9 reasons why you should consider developing a mobile application and how it can foster growth.
App Benefit #1 – Boost Profits
The number #1 success criteria for 99% of businesses out there is increasing profits, and there are multiple ways an app can directly affect your bottom line. Here are just a couple…
Consumer: Ad Revenue
If you can come up with an app that provides the user with enough benefits or solves a real problem then chances are that you’re going to get a lot of people using that app.
Any app that has a large user base can sell screen space to 3rd parties who may want to advertise to the same demographics. Just be careful not to detract from the core experience of using the app.
Consumer: Paid Apps & In-App Purchases
If benefits provided to end users come from owning the app, rather than purchasing products or services through it, then you can justify charging to download it.
People will gladly pay for an app that solves a real problem for them.
Business: Increase Operational Efficiency
Wouldn’t it be a dream to have all that business information you gather day in day out available in a dashboard on your phone? Mobile apps are great for doing specific things like scanning QR codes, approving timesheets, signing quotes, and more. If your business has employees that are constantly on the move, you’ll see a huge boost in operational efficiency with the right app.
Business: Communicate with Employees Internally
Sometimes apps like WhatsApp just won’t cut it.
For most businesses, they’re perfectly fine, but what if you need to reference an internal project?
Now you have to open your project management app, find the right task, share the link, and wait for the person on the other end to do the same process.
When you build out an integrated system, communication can be embedded within the project management itself, making it easier for employees to reference the information you want them to tackle.
App Benefit #2 – Decrease Marketing Costs
If you think about your current marketing spend, an app makes it easier to reach more people. Creating ads and trying to get your business or product in front of people is expensive.
Pushing those same promotions through an app organically via push notifications will cost a lot less than hiring advertising space on a digital “billboard.”
Those who have the app installed on their device are interested in the benefits you provide.
So whatever you put out through the app has high potential to be of instant interest:
- Launching new products?
- Seasonal promotions?
- Limited time offers?
Response to these marketing campaigns is more likely to be positive than other forms as they feel more personal. Similar to email marketing, push notifications are renowned for their effectiveness.
App Benefit #3 – Cultivate Brand Loyalty
Brand loyalty is one of the ultimate goals for any business.
It’s a sign that every aspect of your customer engagement and business strategy is aligned.
Customers know what you offer, how you are offering it and have judged you to be worthy of their continued patronage. So it makes sense to prioritise increasing brand loyalty.
Mobile apps for business are extremely powerful in cultivating brand loyalty.
Far more than a website alone.
Customers will be more inclined to choose your business due to the added benefits they get from an app loyalty program, resulting in greater association between what they want and your brand.
Website sales are open to the “buy and bye” situation.
This is when customers will google a product, land on the product page, purchase the product and never return. Why would they? They have what they need in that instance.
Apps stay with a user on their mobile phone unless they choose to uninstall them, allowing you to nurture a longer term relationship with them. The goal is to convince people to download the app.
This can be done with a robust loyalty program.
(If you already have one, migrate it to your app!)
Customers will be more inclined to choose your business due to the added benefits they get from the app loyalty program, resulting in greater association between what they want and your brand.
App Benefit #4 – Collect Mobile Behavioral Data
Funnelling business through your mobile app provides you with an excellent opportunity to collect data. You can use this data to shape your entire business. Information such as:
- Where in the world do your products sell well?
- What time of day do your sales spike?
Data analysis drives the improvement of internal processes and marketing plans. This can result in huge strides forward for small business owners and be a major catalyst in expanding operations.
App Benefit #5 – Improve Logistics & Processes
An app can provide huge internal benefits for businesses regardless of their industry.
Here are just a few examples:
Create customised communication networks with alerts and notifications for specific people/roles. This is particular useful for specific departments where collaborators are in different rooms but can’t use apps like WhatsApp or Telegram because of company policy, regulations, or privacy concerns.
Ensure that your employees are meeting pre-defined compliance checklists by showing them the specific to-do list pertaining to their assigned activity and have them update in real-time.
Automation of Supply Chain
Oversee the flow of your business from the palm of your hand with enhanced visibility and control. Foresee potential issues and deal with them before they arise.
Using internal mobile apps for your business can increase your efficiency, resulting in you outperforming your competitors and delivering for your clients.
App Benefit #6 – Improve Customer Service
A mobile app gives you the opportunity to show you know what customers are worried about and put them at ease. For end-users, it’s a hassle to have to phone businesses up and wait in a queue.
Incorporating an automated help desk system into your business app is a win-win for both you and your customers. You can gather the required information from the customer and ensure them that you’ll be in touch in a timely manner, all without anyone picking up the phone. Customers have peace of mind that they’re dealing with a business that cares about them, increasing their loyalty.
App Benefit #7 – Increase Brand Credibility
There are certain things that people check for when assessing a brand’s credibility and deciding whether a business is legit. Things like reviews, websites, listings in business directories etc.
Whether a business has an app or not is something that could definitely be added to this checklist.
It is becoming an increasingly important factor in the decision of “do I trust this brand?”
App Benefit #8 – Connect with Customers in a Way They Prefer
Mobile apps allow you to open up another avenue of communication with your customers, one that many of them are likely to prefer. In turn, the depth of customer engagement will also improve depending on the app features you choose to develop. Having an app says:
“Hey, if you want to do business through a mobile device instead of that clunky desktop, we’ve got you covered!”
This isn’t just a gimmick, it’s a way of letting customers know whether you are truly committed to a digital strategy or only halfway there, kind of… How many times have you checked if a software tool had an app only to be disappointed finding out that they didn’t? That’s what next-level branding is all about.
App Benefit #9 – Appeal To Younger Generations
In 2019, SimpleTexting analysed the results of a survey asking people to post the data tracked by their iPhones that relates to screen time usage. What they found confirmed that on average Millenials spend the most time looking at their phones per day.
Millennials are sitting at over 200 minutes per day perusing their apps. What should also be noted is that for the other two groups studied, Gen X and Baby Boomers, their numbers weren’t exactly low.
The takeaway from this is that we’re spending more and more time living our lives through our apps. As a business, it makes sense to muscle in on some of that screen time by developing mobile applications.
How Much Does a Mobile Business App Cost?
Prices for mobile business app can vary. If you have a good idea of what you want an app to do for your business, then consider answering a few quick questions using LowCode Agency’s cost calculator. You’ll receive a fully-personalized quote on your dream app with zero commitments.
As a business owner, given the potential returns you could make, mobile app development is likely one of the best investments you can make for the long-term.
Originally published Mar 18 2021
Frequently asked questions
Mobile apps are extremely beneficial for businesses that require mobility by nature: small restaurants offering takeout orders, shipping companies tracking their vans, online platforms offering mapping features, and a lot more. If your customers or employees can consume your content or be more efficient on-the-go, having a mobile app is important to cater to their wants and needs specifically.
The benefits of using mobile apps are varied. Depending on your use case, we’ve highlighted 9 benefits in this article: 1) boosting profits; 2) targeted marketing; 3) higher brand loyalty; 4) collecting user data; 5) improve customer service or internal communications; 6) improve logistics and processes; 7) increase brand credibility; 8) connect with customers and employees in ways that they prefer, and; 9) appeal to younger generations.
For consumer use cases, you can charge the end-user directly in the form of in-app purchases or ads whereas for business use, the benefits are more subtle and are linked to your internal processes. For example, if you need your delivery guy to check off a package from a list once it’s been delivered, they can do so immediately via the app and have that update in real-time. Similar use cases can be applied to other industries.
It depends on the use case. There’s no better or worse here, just different business models and ways of making content available to the masses. A website is great to provide informational content that can be accessed either via desktop or mobile devices whereas an app can only be accessed via tablets or phones and must be made with mobility in mind. Websites and web apps are more flexible than native mobile apps in that sense.
Jesus is the founder of Low Code Agency: a low-code development agency that allows small business owners to get their mobile and web apps done fast and cost-effectively while maintaining quality.