Two weeks ago we ran a post summarizing the debate over whether or not businesses should develop their own mobile apps, or whether a mobile-friendly web-page would be enough. Our conclusion seems to be the consensus; that is, developing a native mobile app is absolutely worth it, as long as the app itself substantially enhances your customers’ experience.
The question that remains, of course, is how exactly should a business go about doing that? Cheryl Connor of Forbes recently offered a few ideas, and today we’re going to take a look at a few of those and draw our own conclusions.
The most important thing to remember is that it’s not worth developing a mobile app for its own sake. The mobile app needs to enhance the experience, and for that to happen, you need to create a reason for your consumers both to download the app and to use it regularly. The first step in the process is to offer deals and promotions that can only be redeemed through the mobile app itself. This not only accomplishes the first goal of consumer engagement, but also allows you to track the popularity and effectiveness of the promotion you’ve offered.
Secondly, in your mobile app you’ll want to develop the architecture for a loyalty program. Legion are the consumers who opt out of loyalty programs simply because their wallets aren’t spacious enough to hold all the cards for all the businesses they frequent, which can’t be said of smartphones. Make sure you integrate tangible and worthwhile benefits for customer loyalty (including customer referrals) into your mobile app to increase engagement with both your app and your business.
So far we’ve been using the phrase “your business” in the strict sense, but when it comes to engaging users with your mobile app, the next piece of advice can apply to just about any enterprise. Specifically, we’re talking about push notifications for upcoming events. To give an example: perhaps your church has a charity drive coming up that you want your congregation to know about, but it’s been stormy the last two Sundays and attendance has been sparse. Event notifications pushed directly to your congregation’s smartphones could make all the difference.
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If you have any other ideas for creative use of business apps, let us know in the comments!