These days, we carry our smartphones everywhere. People are using them to play games, order food, make purchases, do research, communicate, check reviews, read books, find love and generally get by day to day. Some people even use them as phones. Rhino Support is excited about rolling out its mobile app for chat agents within the next couple of weeks. That’s because some business owners run their businesses from their phone!
In fact, many of us probably prefer using apps over your desktop. This is especially true when it comes to things like checking emails, updating your social media accounts or checking your online banking. Smartphones have already revolutionized the way brands can market to consumers through branded apps that connect businesses to their customers 24/7. Think of Dominoes and Starbucks, Ebay, and Amazon.
Apps offer a far more direct marketing channel now than ever in the past, from a push notification that offers you a personalized offer when smart geo-location technology detects a customer is near their store, to in-app offers that offer a 10 percent discount if you purchase those 3 items that have been sitting in your basket for the past 3 days.
Yelp and Foursquare are just two examples of brands who are leveraging push notification marketing. Both have the option for users to get notifications if their friends check into a nearby location. They also notify you if there is an event near you or even send coupons from nearby stores. Push notifications have a 97 percent open rate. Compare that to an industry average of a 4 percent open rate for email.
And it isn’t just notifications that depend on your location, it’s also about making the user’s life easier. You can order printed photos from Walgreens through their app, or receive a coupon on the spot.
Mobile apps were something only the big businesses with even bigger budgets could afford. But these days, you need an app to be relevant. The increasing quality of emerging DIY app builders means it’s cheaper and easier than ever to make your own app.
Apps vs. Mobile Websites
Many small businesses are unsure whether they need a mobile app. Many believe that their mobile website is enough. The fact is, it depends on each individual business. But it’s important to know that a mobile app and a mobile compatible website serve two very distinct functions. A mobile site is integral to your site’s overall online presence, SEO and discovery. A mobile app is essential to customer retention, driving sales and encouraging customer loyalty.
There are so many options out there to help you create an app for your business. Once your mobile app is live, the magic begins. Mobile apps let you target your app users based on location. You will have the ability to push out mobile coupons instantly to all your app customers, promote special offers and more.
Many small businesses are wary of the cost of building an app for their company. But with the fantastic tools available, you can get a low cost, no code app made in less than an hour. The app will strengthen your brand, promote your product or service, and help you reach more customers.
According to Harvard Business Review, users spend, on average, 82% of their mobile minutes with apps and just 18% with web browsers. They download about 40 apps to their phones (out of more than millions available) and regularly use about 15. App User Magazine is a reliable source for those not interested in sifting through the app store’s haystack to find the perfect app.
Trust me, your business needs a mobile app – almost as much as you need Live Chat!
Special thanks to Cio.com and Jessica Naziri for her article.