Tips on Creating a Mobile App for Your Business
Every business needs an app to help drive engagement and loyalty with customers, and to keep them up to date with the latest news from your business. However, users only enjoy apps that give them great value and reasons to use, otherwise they will rapidly uninstall them. Here are some useful ways to add value to your app.
The app is as much a part of modern business as the phone line or website. An iPhone or Android app can inform and galvanize users to action, it can help your social media strategy and deliver sales or useful data about your customers. However, getting the app installed on your customers’ phones or tablets, and keeping it there requires some effort and imagination to make the app a part of their day or a regular feature of their activity.
The key to success with any app, for any business, is to provide features that appeal to the end-user, return data that benefits the business and is all presented in a hassle-free user experience. Apps can be built to make or save money, to drive engagement or loyalty and to help build the brand.
In terms of features, some apps are limited to shopping and brand news, ignoring social media content and other features that might benefit the user. Others focus purely on the service aspect provided by the company, eliminating related features that might be of use. In general terms, whatever market you are in, explore the current apps on offer and see what is done well, and what you think is missing before starting to plan the app.
Features You Could Add to Your App
When looking at what to add to the app, consider the options in this piece on usefull app ideas, but focus on what are the essentials, and what is good to have, as each feature will likely add to the cost of an app. Also, look at data you can recover to help your business understand how the app is being successful and where you could do better.
If you think building an app is an expensive and complex task, there are plenty of no-code/low-code app builders on the market, such as AppInstitute, or you can reach out to a local app builder for a custom solution. Some apps simply replicate the functionality of a website, which might be all you need to get started, but users will soon wonder why they need your app installed.
Depending on your business, you could add value to the app by adding one or more of the the following elements.
Food Ordering: many eateries allow bookings to be taken and show the menu, but most modern food outlets and even restaurants now take orders via app for eat-in or takeout. The app can show the full menu, while alerts can provide information on specials or deals.
Typical basket and checkout features are common on many apps, but you can improve the experience by offering loyalty rewards or extra items on orders. Apps can use location to see if there’s a delivery charge or provide tracking of the order to the door, so people can be ready to receive it.
Product Shopping: Surveys show that apps provide more product views, three times the conversion rates and around 150% higher order values than shopping on a website. An app can provide the full shopping experience for your customers, with easy navigation through departments or brands with full images, pricing and product descriptions.
Advanced apps even allow for virtual or augmented reality images showing the product in place or fashion items being “worn” by the customer, or makeup used on their face. Your business can also benefit by allowing people to share items they are interested in with friends, sparking debate and further sharing.
Message Centre: many businesses have good reason to communicate with their customers and apps provide a new avenue for private instant messages. Vets, healthcare, wellness businesses and so on can offer appointment reminders, when to take medicines or products and so on. Businesses can send attachments such as PDF documents and images as part of useful information updates for customers, saving them in a useful repository for customers to access. Staying in touch with customers makes the app more useful and if it can help them with regular reminders, becomes a useful part of their digital lives.
GEO Listings: For people or businesses on the move, location-based features in-app can prove hugely useful. From the home buyer landing in a new area and looking for properties near them, the app can show them the way. Taxi firms can show their vehicles en route, while other transport businesses can show road delays and other information that can affect customers, especially when it comes to a parcel or other deliveries. Listings across any product category can be GEO tagged to allow users to find nearby matches, search for local sources and so on.
Loyalty Cards: So many businesses large and small now offer loyalty cards, from local pet stores to every coffee chain and larger organizations. A digital card makes the app a regular feature for the customers, with digital stamp cards making it easy to know what you’ve got and what offers are available. From freebies to discounts, there are many ways to build loyalty and goodwill with customers and the app will allow your customers to gain extra value or rewards from your business, while you track visits, extra sales and other benefits from the feature.
Any or all of these features can be used in imaginative ways along with other features like measuring features for furniture apps to see if products will fit, custom design tools for card or gift apps and many more. The key is to add value to the customer experience and track what users to do to build success for the business, all based around useful tools that make your app part of the customers lives.