Mobile App Development

How to Expand a Business With a Mobile App?

How to Expand a Business With a Mobile App?

A growing number of companies around the world boost their brands and stay ahead of their competition with mobile apps. Great ideas, wisely chosen features, and finely developed apps can expand almost every business. 

Consumers use mobile apps to satisfy their needs and to receive a personalized experience. Most successful apps solve a common problem or make life easier for lots of people. And that’s what a business should aim to achieve. By choosing the right idea and features, one can not only boost their brand’s awareness but also stand out from the competition, gain and retain more clients, and improve customer service and experience.

Increasing Brand’s Reach

A mobile app is a powerful tool that helps to raise awareness of a brand. A useful or innovative app attracts large numbers of users. And with a company’s app on their screens, users look at their logo every day. Although to achieve success, a business needs a great idea. An excellent way to come up with one is to think about customers’ needs and link them to a brand’s voice. 

For example, Nike wanted to become more prevalent in the Chinese market. They developed the Nike Run Club - a mobile app that helps people plan and track their training performance - and added a Chinese WeChat app to it. Users could communicate with other runners, compete with each other, and challenge themselves. What was the result of this project? Over 100K new users and 3K run crews.

Nike Run Club

In the Nike app, users can join challenges, track their activity, and send messages to friends.

Under Armour, an American sports clothing company is another example. They became the most extensive digital health and fitness expert, all thanks to apps. They created three health and fitness apps - MapMyFitness, MyFitnessPal, and Endomondo, which became extremely popular. As the company states, 215 mln people have downloaded one of them.

Standing Out From the Competition

A mobile app helps to distinguish a company from its competition and to stay ahead of them. Analyzing what customers want and competitors don't provide, and then offering that in mobile is a huge step to become extremely competitive. It’s a good practice to start with researching competition, finding out what their clients are complaining about, and giving it to them in a mobile app. It can be, for example, a better ordering process or an exclusive loyalty program.

Just like Dunkin’ Donuts did. They figured how to stay competitive by modifying their ordering process in a mobile app. Customers were able to make an order in the app and then grab it, passing the line, or order delivered straight to the vehicle. Dunkin’ also launched a loyalty program in which customers could earn 5 points for every dollar they spend via mobile app (and they upgraded rewards). These strategies resulted in 10 mln app downloads.

Improving Customer Service

A mobile app makes the purchasing process more comfortable. By finding out what can be done better while serving customers, every business can come up with a solution that will amaze them.

Thanks to it, the whole experience with a brand can be a lot better, and a company can be more responsive. To find out how to improve customer service, business owners can conduct research and seek problems their customers have. In contrast, their company or other similar businesses serve them.

For example, Starbucks noticed that cash register operations in its stores lasted too long. They decided to accelerate this process with a mobile app. Starbucks app allows customers to make an order and pay for the purchase in the app (a stored card is charged). It saves time and enables you to pick an order on the go, without waiting. Starbucks announced that 30% of their purchases are done using mobile payments. The feature called the mobile order-ahead reached 11% of all transactions in the USA.

Ikea is another example of improving customer service with a mobile app, and combining it with a great idea and the newest technology. They developed the customers’ decision-making processes by creating a mobile app with an Augmented Reality feature. Ikea Place allows customers to take a picture of a place in their house and virtually add Ikea furniture to it. The app is the second most popular free ARKit app, and it is reviewed 4.7 (908 reviews) in the Apple Store.

Acquiring New Customers and Increasing Revenue

A great mobile app and thoughtful monetization strategy attract more clients and generate more revenue. 

A mobile app offers vast possibilities of gaining more customers. A few years ago, Nivea Sun Kids wanted to increase its sales in the Brasilian market. For that purpose, they created a mobile app for parents to keep an eye on their children in crowded places. The company paired it with bracelets kids were wearing. Nivea Sun Kids reached a 62% increase in sales in Rio de Janeiro. The key to success was to create a helpful app that resonated with the company's values.

What is more, mobile apps allow business owners to plan an effective monetization strategy? One of the best examples of a successful monetization strategy is Spotify. They offer a subscription-based model where a basic tier is free. Research says that even 60% of trial version users convert into paying customers. Spotify has 217 mln monthly users, and 100 mln of them are Premium subscribers.

The Spotify app in the basic version allows you to listen to music, but there are ads, limits, and no offline mode. 

Spotify App

Both versions look similar, although premium offers no ads, no limits regarding played songs, and an offline mode. Both of them give benefits to users, but the premium version is more convenient.

Why is a subscription-based model so effective? A considerable advantage is that users add their payment data to an app, and a monthly fee is automatically charged from their accounts. A business only needs to offer a high trial version to their customers and then present excellent value of the premium.

Creating a Powerful Direct Marketing Tool

Thanks to useful features like geolocation or push notifications, a mobile app can become a great direct marketing tool. Sending push notifications is the best way to increase user engagement. Of course, every business needs to set up a strategy so as not to overwhelm users. Mobile apps can send notifications with the newest or personalized offers, promotions, content recommendation. 

Brands mix this feature with geolocation to gain even more power. It’s exceptionally efficient for businesses that also exist offline. They can send notifications with special offers to the app’s users when they are near their stores.

For example, Sephora uses geolocation and sends notifications to encourage users to visit a nearby store. Uber reaches its users at the airports, informing about the number of cars located nearby and inviting them to use their services.

Geolocation can also be used to steal clients from a competition. When customers are near a competitor’s store, an app can send them an attractive notification and encourage them to visit a particular store instead. Dunkin’ Donuts stole a lot of traffic from Starbucks that way. The company earned a 3.6% redemption rate by sending relevant mobile coupons at the right time.

By choosing the app’s features wisely, a business can bring traffic to their store or website and engage customers with exclusive and personalized offers. Mixing push notifications, personalization, and geolocation makes a powerful direct marketing tool.

Enhancing Customers’ Retention

Loyalty programs in mobile apps help to take care of customers’ retention. A loyalty program in a mobile app creates massive value for clients. The most successful ones are those from outside the box. But even a simple loyalty program increases customers’ retention. Of course, it should offer value connected to saving money or earning rewards.

A business owner that wants to start a loyalty program in an app needs to think about benefits for users. What can make them join a loyalty program? Various shops allow their clients to collect points with each purchase. Then, these points can be exchanged for a discount. A mobile app helps clients to have control over collected points. It’s also a good idea to give more points for purchases made by a mobile app because it will encourage more users to download it.

Of course, a business can also go a step further with a loyalty program and offer customers additional value. For example, Rossmann, one of the biggest chains of drugstores in Europe, launched a mobile app where clients can shop online and join a loyalty program. They gain discounts and collect points. To better encourage clients to use the app, Rossmann introduced an alternative way to spend points: passing them to a chosen charity organization. At the end of 2018, Rossmann Club was the most successful loyalty program app in Poland.

Expanding a Business with a Mobile App

A business can use an app to boost their brand’s visibility, earn more money, and get way ahead of the competition. The right choice of functionalities and features is crucial. However, an app also needs to be polished, bug-free and perfectly designed. Otherwise, the effect will be the opposite. Going through the points above will help any business owner to clarify their app’s idea, analyze what they want to achieve, and choose relevant features for that. Then, they only need to find the right app development company that will not only implement their vision but also create a product that looks and feels excellent. These are the keys to success.

Olga Gierszal
Olga Gierszal

Olga Gierszal is a technology and digital marketing expert. She works at Appstronauts, a web and mobile app development company from Poland. Olga is passionate about writing and the newest technology trends. In her work, she combines these two passions.

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