7 simple and important reasons why your business needs an app
Mike Oliver, Appzone
30th May 2017 (updated 5th January 2018)
Travelling back in time I cast my mind back to the early 1990’s when I was working in a nice shiny all glass car showroom, the days when the only way of researching was to read magazines, watch one of four tv channels or get up and go visit a showroom displaying all the makes and models of whatever you wanted.
I recall more than anything, one specific conversation with a customer that was to change my life forever.
Ironically, it was from a disgruntled, demanding prospect that expressed disappointment that we didn’t have the right colour, engine size or “sports” model of the car he sought. It didn’t help that we had run out of brochures and there was a 6 month waiting list for his car, so, he proceeded to tell me that soon I would be extinct and that computers would give him all his information and he would buy from them.
I was fuming, the red mist descended and I was angry with a passion. I declared there was no way on earth this was ever going to happen but I knew as the words flew out of my mouth ………..
he was right!
The computers were coming! The birth of the internet was on the way. A couple of jobs later, after failing to convince a couple of employers the internet was the future, I started my own online car leasing company and within a week of our website going live we sold a car and within a couple of years we were selling more cars than most of the local dealers – through a computer!
“Nowadays, you probably wouldn’t start a company without a website and yet technology and its uses have moved on. With the evolution of smartphones brings the need for apps.”
Wherever there is any opportunity for engagement with your customers there is a need for an app. To compliment any service or sale there is the technology ready and available to enrich your customer’s experience. There are daily challenges you have in your business that you have not even realised is now a win-win situation for you and your customers through the technologies we have so lets just take a moment to look at 7 simple (but important) reasons why your business needs an app.
Probably the most obvious reason why you need an app.
Customers are the life blood of every business otherwise we would not be spending so much time on advertising, websites, social media, branding, event promotion and any other variety of getting your message across. An app takes care of that all in one place. Put your brand in your customer’s pocket by having an app with all these elements included.
According to Deloitte LLP’s State of the smart | Global Media Consumer Survey 2017: UK Cut
“In the UK, smartphone penetration is now 85% of adults, everyday 91% of the 41 million 16-75 year olds who have a smartphone in the UK use their device.”
Do you see where you may be missing out?
A “no brainer” – Everyone surely knows by now its easier to sell to an existing customer than to find new ones, if you haven’t looked at your customer retention rates then make it a priority to implement a scheme where you can track and monitor users, reward regular spending or visiting customers with a digital loyalty card. We provide all our customers with this, it even has a password protected digital stamp.
Loyal and engaged customers share good experiences. If you already have similar, great news, no more print costs and no more “Lost cards”.
Localisation using global technology
This is definitely one of my favourites, its not complicated, take advantage of the recent past, when you look at what you do and where your market is. Most small to medium size businesses are local in nature, lets take the high street back, the large multiple chains are competing in your area and likely taking your customers, prospects, and their profits elsewhere. They are certainly not in the heart of your community where it matters and will make a difference. Some do their best, don’t get me wrong but you know that if you had their resources how powerful that could be.
Well because the large corporates invested heavily in technology we can all use it, so, let’s use it wisely. It doesn’t need to be expensive and if you realised the functionality you and your customers can enjoy it makes it a simple decision.
Make sure you get an app that has geo location push messages – we call it smart messaging – because it is! Imagine an area the size you specifically want to target on a map and simply send an offer or promote an event inside your Appzone to your local users at the touch of a button.
Cut out the “middleman”
You don’t have to, I’m sure you may have a great relationship with them but lets put a different spin on it.
There are many types of introducers of business, some massive on-line brands that can just eat up to 20% commission on every order, you can see it everywhere for fast food deliveries, booking hotels or B&B’s, even on flowers.
Don’t get rid of them, keep them, just use them more wisely than you did before. Let them win and introduce new customers to you, but once they are your customer, keep them, engage them with your new app. Don’t forget this customer is bought and paid for so how can it make sense to pay the middleman commission every time your customer buys from you?
Provide additional services
If you are running your own business there will be many times you have wanted to add or test market additional products or services that compliment what you do. Maybe add a shop to sell aftercare products, a pre ordering or delivery service, maybe take bookings or appointments, or launch events. All these can be set up inside your own branded app, such an instant added value that once again places you in a win – win situation.
App users want to book, order, buy, share or engage with your business outside of your normal trading hours, so why not let them?
Work smarter together
We like this one so much its our company motto, not everybody gets this bit but I’m sure they will over time.
If you have ever heard that information is the key to success then consider the abundance of useful information available to you from the app. It is the opportunity to get to know your customer like never before.
Nice simple things that you should really know anyway like names, contact number, email addresses, transaction history and analytics are just the tip of the iceberg. Specific marketing can be tailored, customer journeys can be created and service levels improved. It’s an ever increasing positive cycle.
As we approach the advent of “personalisation” get ahead of your competition and future proof your business before someone else gets there.
Because you can
Yup it’s that simple – you can, and it’s important that you know that.
If you have got this far through my first blog post then congratulations, there are many many more reasons so I am glad to have helped open your mind to any one of the above 7 simple (but important) reasons why your business needs an app.
I am confident you will have some questions so call us on 02380 267624 for a chat or now take the opportunity to arrange a free custom branded demo through Appzone, we even have the technology to enable you to preview your new app.
Make sure you don’t miss our next blog post.
Working Smarter Together
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