Startups and fast-growing companies face a major challenge in the digital business era. There is great pressure for them to be present on social media, app stores and to use the latest technologies like chatbots and AI services. Apps remain one of the leading ways to create a permanent connection with customers, use these key points when it comes to pushing for an app in your business. 

1. Useful apps are forever

IT departments and developers will often argue over the best method to place your business services, products or information at the disposal of customers. Apps remain one of the most popular formats, with Statista data showing there are over close to 4 million apps on Google Play and 2 million on the App Store.

Of those apps, figures show around a quarter are games, 10% are business, 5% are utilities and so on. That means despite the huge numbers, there are likely only a few apps in your particular niche to compete against, and by using localisation and adding useful features to your app, customers will likely prefer it over generic apps.

Once an app is installed and used regularly, people are unlikely to remove it, create a key access point to your business on their devices. Apps also allow you to provide customers and clients with the latest information, with apps providing a higher return rate over email marketing and other campaigns.

2. Apps are part of your brand

Once your business has an app, it instantly helps promote your business as on the cutting edge. Every business has a website, most are on social media, but fewer businesses have apps, and those that are packed with useful information, local service knowledge or great offers become a valuable tool for customers. If your business currently lacks an app, a stylish and attractive app can be rapidly be created using services like AppInstitute. It allows for template-based rapid design to get an app up and running, crammed with practical features for your type of business quickly.

The app can smartly adopt your company’s branding and colours, Apps can link to your online stores, provide loyalty and discount services to attract repeat customers while providing regular updates and information, without your fans or clients having to do or go anywhere online. Brand building is key for any business, and an app provides the most direct way to do so, alongside social media posts to keep people engaged and informed on what’s going on with your business.

3. Apps for your teams

Not every business needs an app for their customers, many use apps to keep their own teams informed, engaged and to share data, information and keep in contact. Simple apps that provide secure links to business information or services can help simplify the workload and boost productivity, without the need to invest in unified communications or other expensive products.

4. Marketing is easier with an app

Any user of your app is a captive audience when it comes to fresh marketing. That’s compared to the 75%-odd percent that won’t open emails or other messages. Apps can play home to blog posts, marketing offers, sales alerts and much more. Through Push Notifications, your business can talk to customers directly, allowing time-sensitive or useful information to reach clients, whatever your trade, from driving instructor to hotel, store or dentist.

They can also use the phone’s GPS for location-based messaging to remind people when they are near a store or event. You can also cheekily remind them of your brands if they are going near a rival business. By connecting with customers, you can sell to them more easily, upsell or remind them about consumables or other regular purchases they make. That usefulness makes the app more likely to stay on their device, and help form long-term relationships that are good for business and profits.

5. An easy route to social media

Apps also help link customers to your social media, you can encourage users to take photos of products in action, recommended or rate your services, all of which helps build the relationship. As customers follow you on social media, you can use that to provide alternative forms of marketing, keeping the app for specific, immediate types of useful information.

Having multiple ways to connect to the user is an excellent method to grow engagement, all made easier through the use of an app to guide and suggest new ways your customers can join in. So, if you choose to join Instagram next week, you can easily link your app users to the photo site, or whichever service you choose to adopt next.

The future is still around apps

Smartphone sales might have peaked, depending on who you believe, but while the technology is certainly evolving slower, people are still starting to adopt the new technology. Features like chatbots for customer support, augmented reality for accurate measurements or installation instructions, navigation to find stores or locations are just some of the features that can be added to an app. And phones will keep evolving over the coming years, with further technology and features that your business will only be able to access through an app.

Whatever area of business your company is in, the app is the glue that can link the traditional website, online store, social media and other ways you engage. Without an app, it can be easy for customers to miss out, and for you to lose out on their sales and the sharing that can help boost your brand and identity.