How's your business's mobile app doing? Don't have one? Turns out you could be leaving significant money on the table.
Customers now make lightning-fast decisions about which hotel to book, which pizza to order, which dentist to call—and, more often than not, they make those decisions from their mobile phones. As Avenue Mobile, a team of app developers in Los Angeles, notes: over a billion people use smartphones in their daily lives.
That means your business needs a mobile app. Simply pulling up your site in a web browser isn't enough; many business websites are still not mobile-compatible, and all of your carefully-kerned text and high-resolution graphics don't mean a thing on a screen that's only 58.6mm wide. You need a lean version of your website that's designed to quickly load on mobile phones—and then you need a funnel that pushes website users towards downloading your mobile app.
Why the app, and not a mobile-friendly website? Here are a few reasons:
- The fewer clicks it takes to get to your product, the more likely people are to buy. An app can often solve the problem in many fewer clicks than a browser-based site.
- A mobile app can also store payment information, making an online transaction seamless and encouraging future purchases.
- Familiarity breeds repetition. Once your app is on a customer's phone, they're more likely to use your product or service than search for an alternative.
What type of businesses benefit from apps? Nearly all of them.
If you provide a product, the app concept is simple: simply create an online store with a one-click ordering system. Restaurants also naturally fit into the mobile app arena, especially for customers who want food delivered. If you provide a service, whether you are a dentist, a local gym owner, a therapist, or a professional house cleaner, a mobile app makes it easy for clients to book and reschedule appointments, to browse available options, and to pay for services.
Of course, your business probably doesn't already have a mobile app team on board, which means you'll need to outsource your app development to a third party. The great thing about app development is that it's location independent; you can work with a team in Vancouver, in Toronto, or even in Los Angeles or San Jose. All that matters is that the team you choose fully understands your business's vision and brings their own skills to create a sticky, reusable app that will become a permanent fixture in your customers' smartphones.
When you choose your app development team, it's important to let them lead the conversation about features and design. These teams earn their living by making apps that get results; once they understand how your business works, they'll be able to create an app that uses the optimum number of taps and buttons to get the results you want.
You may also need to consult with a web design or marketing team to talk about app conversion—that is, increasing the number of people who visit your website and download your app—as well as additional ways to market your app through the App Store and Google Play, through social media, and through search.
Don't forget that designing a mobile app actually means designing two apps: one for iPhone and Android. Many businesses mistakenly assume that having the iPhone app is enough, since the majority of smartphone users prefer iPhones. However, by not including the Android app, you're telling Android users that you don't want them as your customers. Do the extra work and build both apps.
With over one billion potential customers and fans using smartphones, you owe it to your business to develop the best mobile app possible. By investing in a mobile app, you're investing in your product, your customers, and your future.