I’m sure you’ve heard it; the spiel from business owners and developers about how creating an app will grow your business off the charts. But if you haven’t built an app already, you may be wondering: does my business really need an app? And why?
For most business having an app can hugely improve sales, growth and customer satisfaction. There are a million success stories, and you need only look around to see that most successful businesses have one. However, there are some cases in which making a mobile app may not be profitable. There is a pretty simple rule to know if your business would benefit from an app:
If your business has repeat customers who come back on a frequent basis, then it would probably benefit from an app.
Therefore, if your customers do not come back for more of your product or service on a frequent basis (say, a few months) then making a mobile app probably doesn’t make much sense for you.
Why Shouldn't Your Company Build an App?
To understand why, lets look at an example. Say you are a realtor, and you think building an app may help to grow your business. Though realtors can sell houses on a pretty frequent basis, the average person only buys a house every 5-7 years. This means that even if a realtor has loyal customers, they still may not return for another five years.
Most people will not download an app that they only plan on using for a brief period of time, or that they will only use once every five years. The value simply isn’t there, and even if a customer did download the app it would be difficult to use it in any meaningful way if they are only using your service for a brief period of time.
Therefore, for most companies that do not have a frequently returning customer base, building an app simply doesn’t make sense.
For businesses that do in fact have repeat customers, there are numerous benefits to building a mobile app.
Why Your Company Should Build an App
Regardless of what type of company you have, creating an app that your customers will download can greatly increase customer engagement. One way that it does this is simply through visibility: customers see your app on their phone every day and are reminded of your product or service. Additionally, having a mobile app allows you to utilize push notifications to simultaneously remind your customer of your app, while informing them of relevant promotions, sales and special events.
Having an app makes it easier and more convenient for a customer to be loyal to your company. When a customer searches for a specific product through a search engine, it is likely that they would find many options with similar prices to yours. If however, a customer has your app, they are likely to search your app instead, limiting them to your products and thereby creating a more loyal customer.
Additionally, an app provides an easier channel to have built-in loyalty or rewards programs to encourage repeat customers. Users could use this feature to monitor and redeem their rewards or points. By making this type of program easier for customers to access, it greatly increases the likelihood that people will use it.
Additional Customer Base
One major benefit to creating an app is the additional customer base you can gain from the app store or google play. If you take all the necessary steps to optimize your app's find-ability on the App Store, then when a customer searches for a service similar to yours, your mobile application will likely be suggested. This will lead to higher rankings, increased backlinks and inbound links, and ultimately higher conversions.
To learn how to optimize your app's performance in the app store, check out our blog on ASO!
Better User Experience
An app doubtlessly improves the user interface and customer experience by streamlining the process of purchasing a product, making an appointment, or doing whatever function your business's app will provide. People are becoming increasingly impatient, so having a simple, streamlined interface is more vital than ever before. Look at Domino's Pizza, for example. In the first six months after building an app, the company saw a 28 percent increase in online sales, and now more than half of their online orders come from their app. This shows that simplifying the customer's experience can have extremely positive effects on customer satisfaction, and your company's growth.
As you can see, though building a mobile app can make your company much more profitable and increase customer satisfaction, it is not always the right decision. If you do not have repeat customers that come back on a regular basis, then investing in an app is not the best decision.