In today's crowded marketplace it’s not uncommon for a business to plateau in terms of growth. A lack of visibility, an oversaturated market, or comfortability could all influence stagnation. In order to combat this, more and more business owners are considering initiatives to increase sales, improve operational efficiency, or innovate.
Making the decision to modernize your business is easier than ever but, making that first step can be hard. Fortunately, there is an opportunity ripe for the taking that could provide the competitive advantage needed to dominate your niche or industry: mobile applications.
In this article, we will break down why mobile app development is such a compelling opportunity for your business, while also giving practical and actionable advice on where to start in your own mobile development process.
How Mobile Apps Impact Businesses
Over the last five years, consumer behavior has completely inverted from mostly browsing via desktop to now primarily browsing on our phones. Mobile apps have become a massive business with companies like Rovio, who produced the Angry Birds games, becoming a billion-dollar powerhouse. Plus, startups like 5 Miles have replaced the way a lot of people approach transacting with their local business, which would have been conducted on Craigslist a few years ago.
Mobile apps have the ability to tie in hyper locality, remembering payment info in a secure manner, and creating custom profiles for users in ways that traditional non-mobile products have struggled to replicate. If that wasn’t enough, people are spending more and more time on their mobile devices, meaning that the real estate in their pocket is increasingly becoming the most expensive and valuable real estate in town.
The revenue potential for apps isn’t just in the download cost either, most of the highest revenue-generating apps are free to get started or use. Monetization of app user base data and creating transactions that occur in-app have never been easier. Some experts say that data is the new oil and more data can be created via a mobile app than by traditional desktop browser limitations.
No matter which way you look at the data, the trends all point in one direction, and that is a growing role for mobile in your business in 2020. The time to get into the mobile market is now, as the size of the opportunity has never been bigger and the potential return on your investment grows with every new mobile device entering the market.
Benefits of a Mobile Application for Businesses
Mobile applications are not just trendy, they are also highly functional. Certain functionality that can be vital to a business strategy is only made possible by a dedicated mobile application.
Often, businesses feel like an update or overhaul to their current website to make it more mobile-friendly is enough to stay current in the marketplace. While that may be true for a small percentage of businesses, the vast potential of your client’s mobile device is being left untapped when your offering is limited to a browser cache.
Take a few of the following as examples when considering how a mobile application is different from a traditional mobile-optimized website.
Want to send an alert to your customer base? Want to confirm the identity of your users for important and time-sensitive matters? Push notifications are a game-changer for businesses that want to expand the on-demand contact that consumers are currently used to.
Instant messaging can be done on a website, but with the browser closed, there is no ability to ping the user to remind them to check their messages, or their reservation update. With a push notification your user can be notified when something important happens in a non-intrusive way. They can answer on their own time and are guaranteed to see the notification without having to be on your site.
Online and offline access
Websites are great, provided you have a constant connection to the internet. Often, you will find yourself needing a product that is less intensive on data, or something that can be used under working conditions with irregular cell coverage, or even if you just want to build a self-contained tool. In these circumstances, offline versions of your product can do an amazing job of increasing your products stickiness to users.
Want to remember who your user is and show them personalized content? With a mobile application, you have the ability to segment your users and offer experiences unique to their buying preferences. You can even combine a feature like the push notification above to alert a user to something you already know is their preference! This stacking of customizable features hints at how much more powerful your mobile application can be than a traditional website alone.
Ways in Which a Mobile Application Can Grow Your Business
Mobile applications can grow a business in a variety of ways. One of the most exciting ways a mobile app can help is by growing sales! Consider the ways that retaining the attention of your customers can increase your overall revenue. The cost of gaining a new customer is always dramatically greater than keeping an existing customer. Additionally, with the increased customer service and personalization available from a mobile app, you can expect to see a decrease in your churn. Increasing the lifetime value of every customer directly translates to revenue growth, and a mobile application is a great way to boost your efforts with customer service.
Mobile apps are not just for customer-facing projects either, many mobile applications are designed for internal improvements. Improving your company's ability to communicate, track and log its behaviors, and become an overall more efficient enterprise. The larger your company is, the more likely it is to be losing valuable time and resources due to untracked or uncommunicated events. Mobile applications can bring together data points that would otherwise be invisible and start giving your company an improved efficiency for its future growth.
Cutting edge technology is a competitive advantage and there will certainly be continued mobile application breakthroughs over the coming years. By starting the mobile development process now, your company can continue to operate in a competitive marketplace while maintaining all possible leverage. Even technology that is slightly ahead of its time in terms of adoption can be a marketplace changer if given time. Think of how clunky the Netflix streaming service was in its first few years of operation, but as bandwidth access improve it became the Blockbuster killer seemingly overnight. Investing in future-proofing your business can have gains in the short term as mentioned above, but also be an excellent defensive hedge against long term competition.
So what's next?
If you are reading this far, you are strongly considering how your own mobile app development project can be a win for your business. A great place to start with your product’s journey is the Code Authority’s professional mobile application development team. You have nothing holding you back from starting today as Code Authority offers free project consultations.