Written by Brad McElroy
Everyone’s on mobile. And we mean it. Everyone. That’s a lot of customers to think about. And no matter what your brand wants to achieve, mobile applications can help you do just about anything — from supporting next-level customer engagement to advertising promotions and sales-heavy content. Here are some of the best benefits an app can offer your growing business.
The best mobile app developers know that it’s not always about pushing sales to customers when it comes to the benefits of mobile apps. When app designers begin concepting an app for your business, they start with how the customer will experience your brand, your product, and the services you provide, including how to make your mobile app personal to the customer. After all, who doesn’t want to feel like a brand knows and remembers what’s relevant to them?
Mobile apps, especially ones that allow you to build your own account, can have huge benefits to your brand’s customer retention. Not only does a personalized account allow you to recommend products or services to your customers that are actually accurate and helpful — reinforcing your brand loyalty — it also allows you to gather even deeper information about your audience demographics, geographic locations, customer preferences, and more.
Armed with this data, you can push specific product features, promotions, or prices that resonate with customers. In fact, 57% of customers are more prone to share their data with you if you send personalized offers. In the end, you’ll have a wealth of information to draw from through this direct marketing channel that will help inform all aspects of your marketing efforts, from social media to digital to print.
Because mobile devices are almost always just an arm’s reach away for your customers, you’ll receive practically instantaneous results and knowledge about what works and what doesn’t. This insight can pay for itself.
This sounds pretty high tech because it is, but then again, so is app development. Machine learning plays nicely into how you can personalize the customer experience on your app without manually updating content all the time. Here’s the ELI5.
Machine learning takes data from customers, including their preferences and behaviors. It works in the background as users interact with apps and ultimately finetunes the content those apps show. Larger companies like Facebook, Reddit, and Netflix have already implemented this into their platforms. With machine learning, these companies can see and predict patterns in your behavior — including what you may be interested in that you’ve yet to interact with. In fact, reports show that Netflix has saved about $1 billion thanks to their recommendation system, accounting for 80% of the TV shows people watch on their platform.
Even if you don’t need to have a recommendation system like Netflix in place, machine learning can provide some serious value to your advertising dollars. How many of us have searched something one day, only to see an ad about it the next? This is thanks in part to these algorithms. If you’re going to be targeting customers, you may as well be targeting them with relevant content they actually want to see.
Speaking of tools, your app definitely is one, and not in a bad way. In direct marketing, a native app is about as direct as it can get. You can target your customers with push notifications while in the palm of their hand. If they visit your app, you can instantly alert them to whatever product or information they should see first.
Got a never-before-offered promotion? Let it live in your native app and offer customers a way to take advantage of it instantly with a single tap. (Bonus points if you keep their payment information saved so they never have to reach for their card.) That’s much easier than sending them to your website to go through a several-step checkout process.
Do your customers abandon carts? Do they have mile-long wish lists that never convert into a single sale? Have they made one purchase and then never ordered from you again? That sucks. But there’s something to learn from this valuable customer behavior, you just have to listen.
See where customers are bouncing from your app and incentivize them to proceed through the checkout process. If you see customers get hung up on your shipping costs (it costs how much to ship to Alaska?), then offer free shipping. If you see a lot of saved products that never resulted in a sale, consider discounting them. This may be all the incentive they need to finally hit purchase. Use this customer behavior to your advantage and retarget them no matter where they may be in your sales funnel. Sometimes, we just need that little extra push (or shove) to let go of our money.
Who doesn’t want free stuff? Yeah, we thought so. A great way to build brand loyalty is to incentivize your customers to spend time with your brand. What better way than to offer them something in return for that time?
If you have some seriously good reward programs on your app, customers will be excited to tell their friends and family about it. Pair this with the easily shareable nature of apps, and you’ll have tapped into some word-of-mouth advertising that no algorithm can do.
There are countless apps that are built around rewarding you for shopping, recommendations, reviews, and so much more. You can also go back through the app with these reward points to make in-app purchases. There is almost an infinite number of ways these reward systems can work for every industry, from restaurants and transportation services to gas stations and retail stores. The thing is, if you give users a reason to regularly check your app, your products and services will almost sell themselves. This regular check-in is called building your brand’s effective frequency, which means that once a customer sees your brand 20 times, it’s finally noticed.
As a consumer, advertising eats up our day and our attention — it’s everywhere, and it’s exhausting sometimes. Billboards, email marketing, website ads, banners, flyers, junk mail both physical and digital, you name it, a lot of advertising competes for your attention. An app can help you cut through all that noise. A customer can interact with your brand when they want to, just a tap away. And you can still use all those great attention-competing methods, such as push notifications, reward systems, and in-app purchases, to differentiate yourself from everyone else’s digital marketing strategies. Every business wants to be integrated into their customers’ lives. An app will put you in the palms of their hands.
Looking to do the next big thing for your brand? Are you as opinionated as we are about apps? Want to give us a pat on the back? Let us hear it!