Not too long ago, my mom wanted to order some Popeyes, so she looked up the number and gave them a call.
When they finally picked up the phone, she tried to place an order, only to be told that they no longer take orders by phone, and she’d have to download their app if she wanted delivery.
Luckily, the nearest Popeyes is just across the street, but as someone who doesn’t have a cell phone, she was still pretty pissed off.
Unfortunately for my mom, this trend is unlikely to change, as she’s part of a small minority of old-school oddballs who still don’t have a mobile phone.
According to data from Statista, the vast majority of our population uses mobile devices, with more than 30 million mobile subscribers in Canada as of 2016.
In addition to this, a survey from Ipsos reports that nearly all smartphone users make use of apps, with fewer than 1 in 10 respondents claiming they don’t use apps. The survey also found that the majority of those who use games, sports, entertainment and news apps use them every day.
It’s statistics like this, along with the myriad benefits provided by these applications, that are driving so many businesses to develop mobile apps.
Even smaller companies, with considerably fewer resources, are making use of apps because of all the potential benefits.
A survey from Clutch found that 42 per cent of small businesses have a mobile app, and 30 per cent are planning to build one.
Even if you’re a dated dinosaur, hopelessly resistant to technological change, it’s hard to deny the advantages of these applications.
If you’re still skeptical, then keep reading, because we’ve detailed some of the benefits below.
But before you continue, check out our video on mobile app development:
3 Ways Mobile App Development Can Benefit Your Business
With so many mobile users today, simply having an app can translate to increased brand loyalty, but it’s got to be good.
A survey from Apica found that 60 per cent of consumers will be less loyal to a brand if its app performs poorly.
But an awesome app can help you to secure more return customers and transform clients into raving fans of your brand.
For instance, by including a loyalty program in your app, you can show customers your appreciation by providing incentives in a number of different ways.
A great example of this is Starbucks’ mobile app.
The app lets users take advantage of things like discounts, free beverages, gifts on their birthday, and one of the more unique features – access to a playlist that allows them to save songs that are playing in whatever Starbucks location they visit.
The app’s loyalty program provides users with ‘stars’ every time they make a purchase, which can be redeemed for prizes, free beverages and more. And, in another stroke of mobile marketing genius, users can also collect stars for filling out surveys, giving Starbucks another stream of data about its clientele.
Another feature of the app is the ability for users to order and pay in advance, which, in addition to being convenient, also allows Starbucks to collect even more data on customers’ buying habits.
It’s features like this that will elevate you above the competition and really speak to smartphone users, especially those younger generations who expect this level of convenience everywhere they go and are annoyed if they don’t get it.
Mobile app development provides a multitude of opportunities to enhance the experience of your customers, further increasing loyalty, as well as visibility and the level of trust that consumers have in your brand.
In terms of visibility, if your app offers an amazing experience for a smartphone user, who’s likely to be active on social media, there’s a good chance they’re going to share that experience and they’ll be more likely to interact with your business on these platforms.
When it comes to people’s perception of how trustworthy your brand is, providing a great customer experience with a mobile app can do a lot.
An auto repair centre, for example, could use an app to boost brand trust in several different ways, such as notifying customers when it’s time for them to get another oil change or tire rotation.
This might seem trivial, but for many consumers, something as simple as a notification that they’re due for service makes them feel that you not only value their business, but also care enough about their safety to want to ensure their vehicle gets serviced regularly.
An auto body shop’s app could also allow customers to photograph damage to their vehicle, send the images to a mechanic, and get an estimate before they even bring their car in for service.
Any way that you can use an app to make things more convenient for your customers is going to be a boon to your business because consumers will see your brand as being more deserving of their trust and loyalty.
Increased Sales & Enhanced Efficiency
One of the main reasons that companies do anything is to make more money and reduce expenditures, and there are countless ways that mobile apps can help businesses to achieve these goals.
In the survey from Clutch referenced above, the top three reasons that businesses chose to invest in mobile app development services were to attract new customers, gain a competitive advantage and increase sales.
A survey from GoCanvas found that for companies switching from manual processes to mobile apps, 17 per cent saved $25,000-$100,000 annually, and 81 per cent saved $1,000-$25,000.
According to The Independent, back in 2015, Domino’s Pizza was able to boost sales by 19 per cent thanks to their mobile app, and three-quarters of its orders, as of October of that year, were made online, which no doubt made the ordering process much more efficient.
Another great example of using applications to improve efficiency comes from San Diego Zoo Global, a conservation organization that operates the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park, as well as an institute for research on conservation.
Before they started to collect data using mobile devices, field researchers would have to lug around a 25-page long list of past field observations they would need to reference about a given species.
In addition to having to flip through this list to find information, they would also need other forms to record new observations, and then all this data would have to be put into spreadsheets.
Today, using a mobile application, researchers have thousands of records at their fingertips, and the organization no longer needs hundreds of hours per year to manually enter data from paper records into their spreadsheets.