One of the trendiest ‘buzz’ words circling around the world is currently ‘app’. “I downloaded this awesome app yesterday”, “OMG have you seen this app, it’s amazing you have to get it!”. These conversations can be heard in any city, on any train, in any bar or around any hotspot at all times of the day, everyday.
If you are unsure what an ‘app’ is, chances are you haven’t ventured outside for around a decade. The rise of applications, or ‘apps’ (as they are most commonly referred to) have skyrocketed ever since Apple launched its first iPhone in 2007 (Yep, 2007, almost 10 years ago, feel old yet?). Now you can download almost every game, utility, gizmo, whats-it and who-ha you could ever imagine at the click of a button, all from this fancy ‘hub’ called the app-store.
So, what does the rise of ‘apps’ mean for your business and should you get on board? The answer to these questions is different for every business, and as like most promotional initiatives, one size certainly does not fit all.
There is one VERY important question you should ask yourself, before committing to building an app and this questions is: What benefit will an app bring to your customers, that your website cannot?
Jumping on board a new sexy fad without thoroughly thinking it through has been the main reason for numerous different brands’ demise. Without a fully fledged and thought out plan, business’ can quickly turn their loyal customer base, into a confused, disorientated and sometimes disgruntled customer base. Customer experience is key in customer retainment and knee-jerk reactions are a top runner in contributing to dwindling customer bases.
So, let’s get back to the main questions here: How can an app add more value to my customers, that my website cannot? Chances are if this question cannot be easily answered, then the answer is simply, it cannot. Do not be dissuaded immediately by this, chances could also be that you are simply not approaching ‘what your customer’s’ needs are in the right way. So, let’s take a minute to make sure these questions are being asked and answered right. Here are the questions:
Are my customers able to quickly and easily access my products/ services at all times?
Are you a service provider who can only confirm appointments during working hours? Or are there general time limitations on when you can answer your customer’s questions that your website also can not. E.G when is your next available appointment?
Does your website offer the most user-friendly and superior experience to your customers, that promotes conversion and retention?
The answer to this questions very much influences the next key question.
Should I look to improve my website, before investing in creating a new platform for my customers?
Your customers already know where your website is. Is there a bigger benefit to directing them elsewhere?
Only once the above questions have been sufficiently answered should you look further into creating an app. An app without a defined purpose or goal is useless and will literally rot in the pits of the app-store with millions of other failed app attempts. However, on the other hand, apps with clearly defined purposes and clearly defined goals can be golden nuggets for your small business.
Remember, any way your business can solve your customer’s immediate problems, will be profitable. If an app can do that, you need to jump on that ‘fad’ like there is now tomorrow. However, if you jump before taking the time to define the purpose and goal, it can (and in most instances will) be detrimental to your business.
Need more help in answering these questions? Contact Konvert today for a free ‘do I or don’t I’ workshop.