Smartphones have taken the world by storm in the last decade. On a global scale, their number grows as we speak. The research from Statista shows that an average person in China spends about 3 hours using their smartphone. According to the same source, in America, it’s 2:37 hours.
Knowing these facts leads to only one conclusion – business owners need to launch their own mobile app if they want to gain more new customers. Here you can find out more about the process of launching a business app and the benefits it will yield for your venture.
1) Building from scratch or using a tool?
Before you make any practical steps for your new app, you need to decide whether you’ll build it from scratch or have someone build it for you. To cut a long story short, it will depend on your budget, as well as on your goals for that app.
If you’re just a small business owner, it doesn’t sound realistic to take part in an expensive app-building project. The analysis published by Buildfire shows that the average cost of making a business app is about $127,000, with the low estimate hitting $38,000 and the high estimate reaching $171,000. Obviously, this is either for affluent small businesses or the ones supported by investors.
As opposed to that, you can use one of app-building software tools and come up with a reliable app for your business needs.
So, the bottom line is to first go for a simpler, less expensive, but fully functional app.
2) Choosing user-friendly functions
Your customers can contact you and get familiar with your business on your website, via social media, on the telephone or in person, if you have a brick-and-mortar office. So, making it easier for a customer to contact you isn’t a strong enough reason to launch your own app.
What your business app needs to offer your customers are unique user experience (UX) and some user-friendly functions that they can’t find anywhere else.
For example, building a well-organized and concise app should accelerate the sales process and decrease the number of cart abandonments. Since they make up to 75.3% of all the purchases, on average, having an app could help you dodge that issue and generate higher revenues.
That way, your app should offer faster payment options and cut the number of steps needed to make a payment.
What’s more, enrich your app with various “push” features. Namely, its menu should contain a list of functions, where its users can decide which notification elements they want to activate and which ones they don’t need. For instance, you can let them activate the special discount alert so that they get a notification on their smartphone and make a quick purchase.
3) Opting for simple design features
Sometimes you can hear people saying that their business app is a condensed version of their website. While you should retain your visual brand identity in the app, it’s highly likely that you won’t manage to narrow down the website to the app.
A rule of thumb here is quite straightforward – the customers who need the features of your website will visit the website.
Therefore, your app has to be extremely simple, for two key reasons. First, a simple app will have a shorter download time, which will eliminate the risk of losing a customer due to slow download.
Secondly, an intuitive business app will enable its users to perform their actions in the shortest time possible, without any distractions.
In line with all this, reduce the number of touches your customer needs to make to perform an operation and simplify the navigation. Apart from that, the app needs to memorize the personalized preferences every customer makes with it.
4) Including loyalty incentives
Having a business app is a perfect opportunity to offer your customers various loyalty incentives.
For starters, you can reward every customer who makes a purchase via your app with a special coupon or discount that will immediately incentivize them to buy another item.
Also, you can stress, that every app user who refers another user to it will be given a discount or a certain number of points. Of course, launching a point-collecting program is a clever way to retain your customers and attract new ones. The more they spend, the more they get from you.
Apart from that, the business owners who decide to include a membership fee in their app could reward the most active buyers with a year-long free membership package.
5) Promoting in online surroundings
While the word-of-mouth promotion is more than welcome, you should also do your homework and promote your business app in the online surroundings.
Naturally, the first place where you’ll promote your business app is your website. Whenever there is an attempt to visit the website from a smartphone, suggest the user to immediately download your app.
Logically, the next stop on your online app promotion is app stores. Regardless of the platform where you’re going to launch your app, learn more about the SEO elements for mobile apps and incorporate those features into your promotional campaign.
Further, you need to promote your business app on social media. Launch your pages on the key social media and start promoting your app there. Basically, you should do everything that’s done in order to improve the visibility of your business – join niche groups, follow important people and take part in discussions. As you popularize your business, you’ll also engage new customers to try your app.
6) Using the app to generate income
Of course, the primary way of making money via your app will be selling your products and services.
However, a mobile business app can generate some additional streams of business income.
As we’ve already mentioned before, you can set a small membership fee and make money via your app. Nevertheless, new small businesses might consider waiting with that option until they attract a larger number of customers. Even then, some basic functions should stay available for free.
However, what you can do to generate some additional income via your business app is place ads on it. If you’re developing your app on your own, here you can learn how to add an ad to your app.
Still, always inform the potential downloaders that your app contains ads, so as to let them know that you have some commercial content. As a matter of fact, app-distributing platforms require that, as well.
As the rating of your app and the number of downloads are growing, it will be one of the several ways to generate passive income for your business.
Business owners who want to stay competitive with their rivals and visible to new customers need to launch a mobile app for their business. While doing so, they always need to keep their customers in mind. As a result, this app has to be simple, but it also has to reflect the brand it represents. Therefore, use the tactics presented here to gain new customers and give your business an additional boost.
AuthorBio: Mark is a biz-dev hero at Invoicebus – a simple invoicing service that gets your invoices paid faster. He passionately blogs on topics that help small biz owners succeed in their business. He is also a lifelong learner who practices mindfulness and enjoys long walks in nature more than anything else.