​In contemporary society, it is safe to say people use their mobile phones “all the time”. Smartphone usage in the past decade has seen an exponential boom. Everything is now available on a user’s finger tips and that is mainly thanks to the wave of digitization sweeping the world.

Practically 25.5 million people, 70% of the population, in Canada is currently using a Smartphone and this number is said to increase to 32.5 million by the year 2020. 
Source: http://mediaincanada.com/2018/01/23/canadas-prolific-smartphone-market-skews-to-ios-study/
Around 1995, when websites were just gaining popularity, it was a common question to ask if your company needed a website or not. Now it seems silly to even question if a brand needs web presence. 20 years ago a brand did not need the internet like they do today. It is a norm now and back then they were only ideas. And this is where we stand today with mobile apps.

Growing Popularity of Apps
Smartphone users spend about 90% of their time on various apps, making payments, shopping, socializing, making bookings and even surfing for the latest updates. Mobile friendly websites are helpful, but they do not offer the same user experience. Also limitations from the mobile browser could even lead to a negative brand impression. 

​The increased use of mobile phones has made it possible for companies to target their customers and offerhyper-personalised services and immediate solutions. It is possible for brands to interact with their clients anytime and from any place thus increasing customer satisfaction and retaining customers. Considering the amount of time spent on mobile phones, it is safe to say that mobile experiences play a huge role in how a brand is perceived by customers. 
An app is not only important as a distribution medium, but if used effectively, it is a communication channel for brands to adapt to what their customers want at the same time as meeting their own business objectives. Last year, following were the number of apps available on popular app stores:

  • 2.1 million – Google Play
  • 2 million – Apple’s App Store

By 2020, it is believed there will be an estimated 194 billion global app downloads. Keeping in mind these numbers, it is safe to say apps are starting to become a necessity to succeed in todays’ economy.
Source: www.statistica.com

Benefits of Apps for Businesses
Websites have been around for a while now leading businesses to feel they are sufficient and there is no need to have an app as well. For example, the website will not be able to notify customers regarding products available nearby, thanks to geo-location, which is possible on the app. Let us have a look at a few key benefits for businesses which have an app:

Increase Brand Visibility
When a user unlocks and goes through their device, the brand app being noticed would be a benefit for the brand. The design of the app, image or name registers in the subconscious and brand awareness gets triggered. Thus providing the brand with an additional marketing avenue.

Build Brand Recognition
The mobile app acts as a billboard sign, which can be designed as the brand desires. Apps can be created with features specifically targeting the core audience which not only attracts more customers but also makes them come back for more. The more often customers visit the app, the more products and services they will be likely to purchase.

Boost Customer Engagement and Revenue
No matter what services or products are being offered, a brand needs to provide a pathway for customer-brand relationship. An app is one of the first steps in this process, since it makes it possible for customers to reach out when they face issues or have queries. It also makes troubleshooting a quick and less time consuming experience.
Special in-app promotions will ensure users return for more deals and increase conversions. Strengthening the customer-brand relationship also leads to a positive and memorable brand reputation. Helping a customer engage takes minimal effort if the app is designed keeping the users’ needs in mind. 

Enhance Experience and Cultivate Loyalty
Main goal for a business is to enhance the overall user experience and cultivate customer loyalty. The immense advertising around impacts the clientele and the only way to ensure the client returns is by making a sincere connection with them.
Customers need to be a loyal lover of the products and services being offered and this is possible by just a few clicks on the apps.

Competitive Edge
Developing an app makes it possible for a brand to stand out amongst its competition as customers recognize evolving brands and appreciate their aim to provide a smooth customer experience.

Signs your Brand Needs an App
Does your brand need an app? This is a vital question regardless of the niche or vertical of business the brand offers. Most functions are possible via a mobile site however they will not be as seamless and feasible.
An app which gains traction with customers is a significant way to boost business and a solid number of active users helps determine the value add an app has to the overall business. Given below are a few markers which indicate that a website is no longer sufficient and the business would benefit from an app:

Website Traffic
If a brand website is receiving a lot of mobile traffic, it is certainly time to consider mobile app development. Brands can identify where customers are digitally interacting and if it is on the mobile website, the brand can assist customers by developing apps which offer personalized mobile experiences.

Customer Demographic
Millennials’ use their phones and apps for everything from grocery shopping to bank transactions. If the brand caters to a younger demographic, an app would be ideal and beneficial. Anyone from 18 years to 35 years would be looking for a satisfactory mobile experience and they would judge the brand based on this interaction.

E-commerce Based Company
E-commerce websites and portals might generate satisfactory sales and yet it would be time to consider mobile shoppers. Mobile apps would help boost profitability with special discounts and push notifications. Customer loyalty programs can be initiated, offering the loyal customers richer shopping experiences.

Physical Store
If the brand has a physical store, it will no longer need to depend heavily on marketing to showcase new products or offers. An app allows the business to reach all its target audience which is more effective. More clients will also show up at the store to avail of special in-store discounts and the brand gets to drive up in store sales.

Does the Competitor Have an App?
Digitization of a company’s business process and functionality helps it get an advantage over its competition. If the competition already has an app, it is certainly time to develop one. In this way it is also possible to create an app which is unique by creating an app which offers more or a different experience than the competition.
Customers nowadays demand convenience and mobile apps offer quick services and solutions as required. They are always looking for an extra step or a wow-factor in any brand they endorse. Customers expect their experiences to be personalized and relevant.
Finally, it is important to note that simply developing an app is not enough. The business and developer would need to focus on delivering tangible benefits to the customers while generating revenue. A mobile app is a standard component of any future business and making the choice to develop an app today sets the foundation for the brands future.

Websites offer countless benefits for a customer experience, but undoubtedly, it would not be sufficient in 2019 to strengthen a brands hold on the market. If you would like assistance on making a decision regarding developing an app, you can contact the App Scoop mobile app development team: https://www.app-scoop.com/contact-us.html.

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