Want to gain a strategic advantage over your competitors? Keep reading.
The key to any successful online business model is creating a loyal audience that is not only receptive to your message, but ready to use your product with an open wallet. The explosion of eCommerce has given many firms the opportunity to reach customers in ways that were never possible, with greater levels of efficiency and customization. As such, the world of internet commerce offers huge business opportunities.
If you only have a website, then it’s time to expand your online presence. Converting your website to an app is surprisingly easy these days. Whether you want to launch an app for iOS or Android or both, there are plenty of developers that can show you how to build an app that helps you penetrate your target market.
B2B, B2C and B2G have all moved online, and the competition has moved with it. The intensity in the market has reached an incredible level as globalization enables companies to expand their reach around the world. Competing on price, clever promotions or product features is no longer the way to achieve long-term profitability. Now, you need to be at the right place at the right time with the right offer. If not, someone else will get there first.
Mobilizing is a key competitive advantage that the majority of businesses have yet to adopt. Still in the early phases of the product life cycle, businesses can gain huge benefits by catering to their customers’ preferences, and today that means being present and compatible with a mobile-centric lifestyle. With a range of features and price points that suit nearly any business, the opportunities are huge.
If you want to improve your conversion rates, simply providing a good product or service doesn’t cut it anymore. Creating augmented benefits through improved customer service, 24/7 accessibility and interfaces are what you need to gain an advantage. If you want to move past the competition, the way to do that is with an app.
With a range of fantastic developers out there, it’s easy to give your customers rich, interesting content and build an experience around every interaction they have with your brand. If you want to build relationships, start with a template and get going.
The Benefits of Moving from Website to App
First, let’s talk about the benefits of moving your presence from web-only to smartphones. Mobile offers an extra marketing channel, or another way to talk to your target market. Any marketer wants a direct line into their customer’s pocket and an application adds exactly that: a way to create a personalized message that speaks specifically to the customer. It allows them to order, make requests, and give you feedback whenever and wherever they want.
An app reaches your customers directly with a tailored message. Furthermore, as the customer downloads your app, they’re giving you powerful access to speak right to them. This adds value for both you and your customer. Target customers are willing to hear your pitch and engage in a conversation with your company, meaning you can spend your resources more efficiently and start seeing more conversions. The benefit for the customer is clear: they get exactly what they want in a format that works for their mobile lifestyle.
The concept of the omni-channel is not just a buzzword — it means using all of your marketing channels together to add value to the entire system and achieve greater effectiveness at lower costs. Moving to an app from a website means eliminating purchase barriers between the customer and your product. How you go about merging your channels will determine the success of your company. Using applications rather than a website reduces the difficulty for you and the customer.
Customers Prefer Apps
Your customers are already there and they want you to be there too. Increasingly, customers prefer to navigate responsive, customized applications rather than mass-market websites. Research shows that 45 percent of smartphone users make a purchase using their phone each month, which means there are engaged and interested buyers who are already motivated to purchase before you start selling.
Offline accessibility is a huge benefit for customers too. Whether it’s due to connection or plan limitations, customers who need to access content offline won’t pay you any mind if you can’t deliver. Native mobile apps often include offline caching that stores content locally, so users can pop open your app on the subway, up in the air, or wherever their connection fails them.
One of the huge pitfalls of the web is just how distracting it can be. It’s tough for customers and marketers to cut through the noise of social media, viral posts and ceaseless news. When a customer is using your app, you have their full attention. The level of involvement and immersion that an application achieves is unrivaled. Studies have found that as the level of thinking a customer performs increases, the likelihood of them developing a positive perceptions and beliefs about your brand increases. This is the first step to securing long-term relationships with your customers.
Apps not only give you newfound access to your customers and a greater level of connection, immersion and potential for loyalty, but they offer companies a great range of features that maximize each customer touchpoint.
As mentioned, offline functionality is a key advantage. This means your customers have access to product info, services and prices on the go. This reduces time costs and potential frustration for the customer, increasing the likelihood of sale.
Apps also deliver something that your website can’t: push notifications. People are conditioned to these little pop-up notifications. You can send customized, direct marketing messages to customers that reach them whenever they have their phone on hand, which nowadays is all the time.
Social media integration is another way to engage your customers where they’re most comfortable. By integrating your application with social media, you can encourage sharing and get people talking about your brand. Plus, you can add value with images, videos, and other content that your audience wants to see.
Lastly, apps make navigation easy with a clear, simple structure that accelerates users toward the info they need. Plus, most app developers offer user customization so people can tailor the app to suit their preferences, ranging from the type and amount of info they receive to the app’s aesthetics.
So Move into the App Store
No doubt, mobile apps add major value to businesses. They increase customer retention and simplify your operations, making you instantly accessible to customers at any time, day or night. And these days, mobilizing isn’t nearly as difficult as you’d think. Most people associate app development with jarring price tags and lengthy timelines, but launching an app is more quick and affordable than ever with a DIY app maker.
If you still doubt that an app would benefit your business, consider the range of verticals apps can cater to with features like food ordering, online shopping, loyalty programs and rich media. All business owners care about lengthening the customer lifespan, and apps are becoming the ultimate retention tool. If you want to create an immersive, engaging experience for your customers and gain more transparent insights into your target market, then an app is the right move for you.
Smartphones Photo via Shutterstock
This article, “Moving Your Business from Online Only to Mobile Friendly” was first published on Small Business Trends
from Brent Lecompte Blog http://brentlecompte.blogspot.com/2016/08/moving-your-business-from-online-only.html