Mobile apps are no longer optional for businesses – they’re an absolute necessity. Like it or not, today’s consumers live on their phones, and if a business doesn’t meet where they are with an intuitive, seamless mobile experience, it can kiss those customers goodbye as they wander into the waiting arms of digitally savvy competitors.
Yet some business owners write off mobile apps as solely for major corporations boasting huge budgets and coding armies. Not long ago, this was largely accurate, but today it’s become an outdated misconception. There was a time when building sophisticated apps did require months of complex development and wheelbarrows overflowing with cash, resources only Fortune 500s could marshal.
Thankfully those days are gone. Simple website to app conversion platforms, drag-and-drop builders, and affordable managed development services have burst open access. Regardless of your size, scale or technical expertise, today any business can craft high-performing mobile apps that supercharge brand experiences.
The Importance of Going Mobile for Modern Businesses
With over 6 billion smartphone users in the world today, mobile reigns supreme in terms of digital real estate – and those mobile citizens aren’t just playing Candy Crush and posting duck-faced selfies. They’re shopping, researching, and engaging with brands by the billions.
At present, it’s estimated that the average smartphone has 60 to 90 apps installed, each vying for a share of screen time in the 4+ hours users spend in apps every day
So, what do these staggering statistics mean for businesses? Well, if mobile usage continues to skyrocket while attention spans shrink by the day, businesses need to be thinking small – as in, compact, lightning-fast, gloriously simple mobile app experiences purpose-built to drive conversions.
At the end of the day, if that digital real estate goes unclaimed, another brand will be happy to move in and seize some of the market share that you have worked so hard to capture. Still not convinced? Let’s take a look at some of the main benefits that mobile apps bring to businesses and their customers.
Mobile Apps Enable Better Customer Experiences
Customer experience is the new competitive battleground. According to Gartner, a whopping 81% of companies will be competing primarily on the basis of CX in the next two years. Those that fail to deliver seamless, satisfying customer experiences across every touchpoint risk losing customers to more digitally adept competitors.
In today’s mobile-first world, an excellent customer experience means serving consumers on their smartphones – not just with a mobile-friendly site, but with an intuitive, bespoke mobile application.
Mobile apps enable businesses to facilitate better customer experiences in a few key ways:
- Push notifications allow for timely, relevant communications like alerts for flash sales and new product releases.
- Native digital wallet features like Apple Pay and Google Pay facilitate frictionless checkout without the hassle of manually entering payment details.
- Capabilities like rewards programs, social sharing tools, and geofencing motivate continued engagement while building brand loyalty.
At the end of the day, mobile apps offer an unprecedented opportunity for conquering customer attention spans while catering to mobile-first consumers.
Mobile Apps Increase Brand Awareness and Loyalty
We just touched on some of the ways mobile apps build customer loyalty – things like rewards programs, social sharing tools, and push notifications for relevant alerts and updates. But the loyalty-building potential of apps goes even deeper.
Unlike websites accessed periodically through search engines and social media, branded mobile apps live prominently right on the home screen. Consumers choose to download them directly, effectively giving brands prime placement in people’s pockets. This round-the-clock visibility already boosts brand imprinting significantly.
But brands also fully control the narrative within their apps, crafting experiences as immersive extensions of their core brand identity without intermediaries filtering messaging. Every micro-interaction, from push notification copy to checkout prompts, can reinforce your brand reputation and ingrain values, thus shaping consumer sentiment.
Apps that provide ongoing usefulness become indispensable daily staples – not just forgotten folders on a home screen. Purposeful features like virtual try-on for makeup or clothing, convenient store locators, or handy shopping list builders bring real utility. And by serving as always-accessible, one-stop shops generously overstuffed with valuable tools and need-to-have content, the best apps motivate habitual use. They cultivate real brand love, not just passing downloads.
Options for Businesses New to Mobile Apps
So now that every business owner reading this is thoroughly convinced they need a custom mobile app immediately, where should they start? While fully native iOS and Android apps once required major development efforts, businesses now have a variety of routes to mobile app success.
Third-Party App Builders
These drag-and-drop services allow you to piece together slick-looking (albeit basic) apps without coding them entirely from scratch. They provide intuitive visual interfaces and pre-built components for quickly building apps even if you lack deep technical skills. While they may not enable advanced customization, these services offer nice off-the-shelf starting points for businesses new to mobile.
Managed App Services
For top-notch bespoke engineering and end-to-end app management, full-service development shops handle everything – including collaboration on app vision to launch and post-release oversight. This enables you to focus internal resources on your core business while leveraging external mobile experts. If you seek extensive customization and control, paired with not having to build an in-house mobile team, availing managed services can be ideal.
Mobile usage continues to soar, with billions of consumers increasingly living life through apps on their smartphones and tablets. This presents both an opportunity and imperative for businesses to pursue owned and operated mobile spaces that allow more direct and lasting connections with today’s always-on, app-centric customers.
Rather than just maintaining generic websites, brands should meet customers where they already spend much of their time: in the palm of their hands. Intuitive app builders, conversion platforms and engineering teams have made it easier than ever to stake out valuable mobile real estate.
The time for brands to prioritize mobile is now – doing so can make all the difference in tomorrow’s customer loyalty.