Does your business really need an app for that?
Smart phones now account for 27 percent of the mobile phone market led by nearly 50 million iPhone or Android purchases in the fourth quarter of 2010. Those seemingly smart consumers want to be able to communicate, buy and enjoy, whatever they want, whenever they want. As a result, more than 400,000 mobile applications or apps have been developed in the last three years.
So does your business need a mobile app right now?
The most used mobile apps are for playing games, catching up on news, sports and weather, social networking and listening to music. But there are a number of successful business apps too.
When it comes to food, apps are a natural fit. In its first three months, the Domino’s Pizza app generated more than $2 million in orders. The app made it easy and fast to order and engaged customers with opportunities to win prizes. Restaurants can feature menus and allow users to make reservations. Other apps help people find restaurants and some even show photos of dishes people have uploaded.
Nike Training Club is targeted at women and designed to be a full-body training app with workouts and drills focusing on strength, cardio and core training. Local fitness centers post the workout of the day to motivate members. Health and fitness club “finder apps” help travelers locate a gym and get a workout in while on the road.
Entertainment, music, books, magazines and even birthday, anniversary and holiday gift shopping are increasingly done via mobile. It’s estimated that the value of digital and physical goods people will buy with their mobile phones will reach $200 billion globally by 2012. Amazon’s app compares prices from local retailers for over a million products sold on Amazon.com.
These examples and other success stories show how apps can help companies achieve the following:
Brand—Many of the “first-to-app” companies were those with famous brands like Nike, Coke and Domino’s. Apple pretty much created the app space. As a result, there’s a cutting edge or coolness factor associated with having an app. If your company creates an app and markets it via multiple channels, the opportunity exists to enhance your brand.
- Please—Consumers want convenience. You can make or keep customers happy by making their lives easier. If they can learn about and buy from your company quickly and easily, you can please them. When you provide them with valuable, timely information, you keep them happy and your company (and app) becomes a part of their routine.
- Connect—Think in terms of those Health & Fitness apps. The user has an ongoing, positive connection with the company. You have an opportunity to achieve regular marketing touches in a non-marketing manner through feel good connections.
- T.O.—No, not the football player/reality show guy. Track & Optimize. When customers use your app, you have information to track and trend. Plus, your mobile app helps with Search Engine Marketing in that your company name is online one more time.