Although people can still experience the internet from a desktop computer, mobile applications have become an increasingly popular way to interact online.
Not every small and medium-sized business needs a mobile app, but it could add value in the right situation. Mobile apps can help SMBs build brand loyalty and monitor business relationships, especially if they maintain close contact with customers or business partners. They can also boost promotional efforts, improve customer analytics and facilitate online shopping. Business leaders should explore the benefits of mobile apps to determine if an app could help their business grow.
1. Customer loyalty
Businesses that operate in highly competitive market verticals must put in extra work to cultivate customer loyalty. Mobile apps can offer them an advantage, as they can increase their repeat business opportunities and improve referral rates. They can also boost new product and service adoption rates.
Mobile apps offer convenient one- and two-way communication between SMBs and their customers. Convenient communication leads to continued engagement, which helps businesses monitor customer behaviors over time and adjust their strategies based on those behaviors. In this sense, mobile apps can improve customer satisfaction at a low cost.
When a business has a loyal customer base, it can more easily forecast short- and long-term growth. Enhanced forecasting lets businesses fine-tune their offerings and create products and services that their bases want. Businesses can boost customer loyalty with loyalty card programs, which customers can acquire and track on the app. Loyalty programs can help SMBs capture repeat customer business.
2. Marketing programs
Marketing efforts help businesses tell new and existing customers about new products and services. Mobile apps enhance marketing and promotional activities because they require prospective customers to actively seek out and install the app. In other words, apps draw valuable leads into a business's marketing reach. Marketing teams can then monitor app usage and employ promotional strategies to target specific users based on their actions in the app.
Mobile apps also help SMBs launch marketing campaigns and quickly pivot between multiple campaigns. Advertising on an app requires less capital than traditional methods, such as paid radio, TV and print advertising, which can benefit SMBs with small budgets. Marketers can also use app promotions to target specific groups, which creates rapid demand and market momentum.
3. Convenient online shopping
In the digital world, customers demand flexibility when they select and order products and services. Organizations can design mobile apps to inform and conduct in-app purchases.
Businesses began to let customers place orders on mobile apps in the early 2010s. Prior to this time, customers hesitated to place product orders -- especially expensive ones -- on apps. However, as users grew comfortable making purchases on their smartphones, many of them began to prefer this channel. In fact, product orders through mobile devices increased over 20% between the third quarter of 2020 and the third quarter of 2021, according to a Statista report.
4. Enables an omnichannel approach
Businesses can use an omnichannel sales approach to give customers a seamless shopping experience across devices. Omnichannel access lets customers make purchases from any location. SMBs can improve their omnichannel experiences with a mobile app because it lets customers shop and make purchases from their smartphones.
5. Customer relationship monitoring
Many businesses struggle to understand their customers' mindsets. Businesses have long relied on customer surveys to monitor customer relationships, but with the proliferation of mobile devices they can also glean information from apps. For instance, SMBs can monitor how often customers use the app, determine what promotions they might have interest in and review solicited and unsolicited feedback. This information can help build and maintain positive customer relationships.
6. Brand awareness
Mobile apps that use push notifications can help keep customers and clients engaged over time. SMBs can reach all or subsets of users with notifications about product news and promotions through the apps. They can also perform granular targeting with information like location and past engagement history.
With the proper settings and configurations, app notifications can help businesses keep their brand or products in the front of customers' minds. Strong brand awareness can help businesses drive digital traffic, outperform their competitors and increase revenue.
7. Data mining
Mobile apps offer fantastic data mining opportunities. SMBs can analyze collected data to identify customer patterns and responses to marketing tactics. Also, businesses can combine data from the mobile app with data from other sources, such as social media platforms and direct customer interactions. Businesses can merge and analyze this information to better understand customer interests and buying trends.