In 2017, global business app revenue reached a record $60 billion, according to mobile analytics firm Sensor Tower, based on a measurement of paid apps, subscription-based apps and in-app purchases in both Google Play and Apple's App Store. Sigital market researcher App Annie expects that by 2020, the mobile app market will generate a staggering $189 billion in revenues from both app stores and in-app advertising.
By any measurement, that's big business, and the numbers make a compelling case for developing a mobile app for your own business.
With that in mind, here are five reasons why it could be a good idea to invest in a mobile app:
- Apps can solve business problems and streamline processes
Believe it or not, the most successful apps were not created to take advantage of a market opportunity. In reality, most app were developed to solve a business problem or to optimize a certain process. When planning your first app, give thought to what single thing, you'd like to improve over the short- or long-term. This could be an easier checkout process for mobile ecommerce transactions, an app that makes it easier for your customers to connect with you or one that simply alerts your customers or followers when a new blog post or newsletter is available for reading.
- Your customers will appreciate it
Consumers love opportunities to reap benefits, especially using mobile apps. Research shows that 70% of smartphone users would be interested in using their devices to receive discounts and collect points toward customer rewards; 69% would likely use their phones to download a loyalty card application; and 52% of Millennials want to use their mobile devices to enroll in loyalty programs offered by restaurants, bars and coffee shops.
Others things to consider include:
- 75% of consumers use their smartphones to redeem a mobile coupon.
- 78% of consumers use mobile apps for customer service purposes.
- 39% of consumers spend more if they receive a personalized discount offer.
- It’s a great way to attract return business
Well-planned and designed app that engage users helps convince customers to come back for more. With so much out there vying for consumers attention—flyers, signs, billboards, print ads, Facebook ads, YouTube commercials, website banner ads, text and email messages—businesses' messaging is slowly losing its impact. By sincerely connecting with and engaging in a more personal way, mobile apps can help create connections with your customers that could just inspire loyalty to your products and/or services.
- You want a reputation for innovation
Few things say “innovative” like having a distinct mobile app, which shows would-be customers that you are willing to embrace our technological present, rather than staying stuck in the past. Having a well-branded, highly functional and beautifully designed app does much more than show that you're cutting-edge; it also opens doors to more business from customers who prefer to use apps while encouraging increased and faster engagement with your business.
Starbucks garnered a lot of attention when it launched a mobile app that could be used to make in-store payments in 2011. It was a huge hit with customers who loved having a faster way to pay that was also tied to their loyalty program, and since then plenty of other businesses such as fellow caffeine-purveyor Dunkin Donuts have developed a similar strategy.
Innovation may breed copycats, but it certainly garners attention too.
- Your competition has apps but you don't
In a sense, competition is the mother of invention. Chances are, if your competitors have adopted new technologies including mobile apps, you're likely being left behind. Large corporations understand that enterprise mobile apps drive competitive advantage, and nearly two-thirds of marketers say they believe companies put themselves at a competitive disadvantage by not having one. It's about much more than mere window dressing. A well-thought-out mobile app can give you a leg up on the competition, especially those without a mobile-first mindset.
Mobile apps are fast becoming an integral part of digital businesses. Deciding to create your own will likely lay the groundwork for the future of your business, whether brick-and-mortar or virtual. A mobile app, even one with one simple function, could be all you need to propel your business to new levels of success.