How many apps would you say you use each day? Four? Five? 20? Everyday people can spend hours browsing through different apps on their phones or tablets. As I write this, I have only been up for five hours and I have already used the following apps:

  • Facebook
  • Snapchat
  • The Weather Channel
  • Spotify
  • LinkedIn
  • Netflix
  • Twitter
  • Slack
  • Venmo, and
  • Starbucks

That’s a lot! But it’s simple. People use apps. Why? Convenience, connection, communication, entertainment, information, and much more!

However, this blog post isn’t about why people use apps, but rather why business owners should invest in having an app.

 

It Benefits Your Customers

Which in turn, benefits you. The business you receive from customers is what keeps your business going. Why not create an app to provide benefit to your customers?

Think of it like this: How can you make your customer’s life easier? Is it through accessing your real estate listings on the go? Is it through scheduling doctor appointments faster? Or perhaps ordering food in advance to pick up?

I admit, it took me a while as a consumer to jump onto the app “bandwagon”, but now that I do it, it makes my life easier. For example, I order a Starbucks drink once a week (I’m addicted to Chai Tea Lattes…). Before, I used to pick it up on my way to work, wait five minutes in line, wait an additional couple minutes for my drink to be made, then I would leave. If I decided to use the drive-through, I would probably wait even longer. Earlier this summer, I decided to download the Starbucks mobile app to gain rewards and order in advance. Now, if I’m craving that delicious latte, I order my drink as I leave my place. It takes me approximately five minutes to get to Starbucks from my apartment. I park my car, walk in, grab my already prepared drink, and go.

Moral of the story: apps are convenient! They provide value to your customers. Whether it’s by saving them a few minutes of time or making it easier to access your information, customers appreciate the value it adds!

Provides Information Anytime, Anywhere

People who regularly purchase products or services from a business like having access to information from that business. Downloading an app from their favorite store helps them keep up to speed with what’s happening at that business, such as when discount codes or new promotions take place at a local store. Or perhaps being able to find out more specific details about a product before making the decision to buy it.

If a customer has a question about something, but doesn’t want to wait until the store opens to phone call, the customer might be able to check out the app for FAQs.

What if the customer wants this t-shirt that’s sold out? The customer can go onto the app and order it online regardless of the time of day.  Apps are amazing in that it allows customers easy access to information about a business, its store hours, contact information, recent promotions, new products, etc. You get the point.

 

It’s All About The Money

At the end of the day, businesses need to make money. Having an app helps increase profits and customer traffic.

The beauty about having an app is push notifications. Have a new promotion going on and want your customers to participate in the sale? Great! That notification will make the customer aware of your great deal and encourage him or her to swing by the store or order online.  If that notification wasn’t there, the customer may not have known about the sale.

Another great feature about an app is the ability to share on social media. Customers love updating their friends and family about their lives. In a way, it’s like free advertising! If a customer is satisfied with the app, that customer might want to share with his or her friends on Facebook. Depending on the app, a customer could share several different things with his or her friends!

You may want to include advertising for other businesses on your app, which is turn gives you more profit too!  The ability to increase profits with an app is there! Especially if you already have a strong customer following or customer loyalty. At the same time, an app is a great way to increase your customer loyalty!

Stay a Step Ahead of Your Competitors

If you are a small business, having an app is even more valuable to you! Let’s go back to coffee, shall we? Although many people like Starbucks, some people prefer local cafes over mainstream coffee shops.  Now most cities have several small coffee shops that compete with each other for business. Let’s say you’re a mom n’ pop shop that’s competing with other small local cafes for customers.  You decide to have an app built for your cafe. More and more customers start going to your shop because of the loyalty program designed in the app or the ability to order food/drinks in advance. Perhaps if your cafe has little study rooms for students to reserve, the user can make reservations through the app.  No one else in the “small cafe” industry has anything like it. Bam! You are standing out from your competition and are gaining more customers as a result.

In Conclusion…

It’s one thing to have a website nowadays, it’s another to have an app. Considering most people are using smart phones more and more each day, investing in an app may be a great start.

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