It’s one of the most frequently asked questions of all right now among businesses of all sizes with an interest in reaching out to the largest possible mobile market. Mobile apps are everywhere these days and in so many instances have made their respective creators extraordinarily rich. As such, the appeal of these little pieces of coding is pretty obvious to say the least, but at the same time, does this necessarily mean that all businesses across the board need an app?
Technically speaking, the answer is no. For example, if you own and operate a tiny bakery on the corner of a village street with no intention of branching out and have a clientele that’s been loyal for the past 150 years or so, chances are a mobile app isn’t going to make a big difference to your business. However, if you’re among the remaining 99.9% of business owners reliant on modern marketing methods and web exposure to get by, there’s much to be said for the benefits of a mobile app.
Mobile App Vs Responsive Site
Now, the immediate argument that comes to mind is that of why a mobile app is necessary for anyone already operating a fully responsive website. The site can be accessed by mobile devices, so sure an app would just double-up on what’s there?
Logically this appears to make sense, but in practice doesn’t quite paint an accurate picture. What makes a mobile app different from even the most spectacularly responsive website is that rather than being a scaled and tweaked version of the main website, the app is designed 100% for mobile use. As such, every last shred of the app is optimised for use on mobile devices and can therefore feature richer content, better visuals, a vastly superior user-experience, better performance, more options and a generally more dynamic overall window to any given business.
Responsive website design can make it perfectly possible for mobile users to access all of the site’s content – mobile apps by comparison can make it an absolute pleasure to do so.
One of the other key benefits of investing in a mobile app is the way in which that little icon represents such a powerful marketing tool in its own right. Once you’ve managed to get any given audience member to download the app, you’re technically on the home-straight. The reason being that your name, your brand and your logo will from then on be right there in front of them every time they use their device.
Now, some would argue that this doesn’t necessarily promise solid interest and conversions, but at the same time it certainly does guarantee a leg-up over rival brands and sites. If, for example, you sell clothes, there’s a pretty strong chance the user in question will have a look at what you’re offering by way of the downloaded app before heading onto their browser to try something else. And what’s more, there’s a lot to be said for those impulse purchases tens of millions of mobile make each and every day, simply having decided to have a play with their apps to kill a little time.
The way in which a mobile app can expand your standard website’s offerings paves the way for engagement opportunities by the boatload. Take for example a company that sells items for the kitchen – an app could easily be used not only as a shopping portal, but also to share daily recipes or cleaning tips to keep audience members coming back for more. Even more powerful could be a daily or weekly special offer made exclusive to those with the app on their devices – a brilliant motivator for downloading the app in the first place and then using it on a regular basis.
The more often they come back to you, the more often they’ll convert and the higher the likelihood they’ll remain loyal for the long-term.
Last but not least, one of the best things of all about mobile apps is the way in which they can be used as a means by which to send push notifications to the respective device users on a regular basis. If, for example, 10,000 people on a global basis downloaded your app, that’s 10,000 people reached instantly with any message, promotion or news you might have.
Simpler, faster and less likely to be ignored than any conventional email or postal marketing campaign, push notifications are pure gold for promotional purposes.