The Growth Series

Does my business need an app?

A mobile app is a great tool to help you grow your business and increase client engagement.

It’s certainly an approach that’s gaining traction right across the business community, as mobile device usage is growing and many consumers now expect to engage with brands via apps.

That’s been borne out by countless studies. For example, research by Statista found that mobile users in the UK spent an average of four hours a day on their mobile devices - up from 3.7 hours in previous years.

Meanwhile, a study by Airship has revealed that on average, seven in ten app users in the UK are using apps across all industries either more or about the same since the start of the pandemic.

Brands need to get in front of their target audience on the platforms that they use, and add value to people’s lives in a very tangible, meaningful way.

Creating an app ticks both these boxes, and can help you build a stronger relationship with your clients, build and maintain brand awareness, and make it easier for people to engage with your business.

How could an app benefit my business?

Help to nurture clients

Many businesses focus much of their efforts on acquiring new customers, yet overlook their existing client base. Creating an app is a relatively cost-effective way of maintaining client loyalty and encouraging people to continue using you and your services.

Make it easier for clients to contact you

If a client has your app on their phone, they’ll be able to contact you in a way that suits them in just a few clicks.

Generate customer data and insights

An app can give you access to valuable information on what makes your customers tick and what their priorities are. For instance, you can see what information they’re accessing, what services they’re using and what questions they’re asking, and measure it in a very accurate, scientific way. You can use these insights to develop your brand personas and refine your wider marketing and business strategy, so you can better serve people’s needs and improve how you promote your brand.

Market new services and promotions to clients

Many consumers will have downloaded your app as they want to use your services more than once. So it’s an ideal platform to market new services, promotions and reward people’s loyalty, as you can target people who’ve already made the decision to engage with your business and believe in your brand.

Enable clients to perform certain tasks themselves

Apps can allow people to carry out various simple tasks or get answers to questions independently, without having to speak to a broker directly. That can make the whole process much quicker, and enable clients and brokers to focus on more complex and substantial matters in face-to-face or remote meetings.

Steal a march on your competitors

By adding value to the client experience with an app, you can set yourselves apart from rival brokerages and offer a more distinctive proposition.

Complement, rather than compete with your website

Many businesses dismiss the idea of an app because they’ve already got a website. But the two have very different functions and are used differently by consumers. For example, a person will passively browse a website to find information, whereas an app is actively used to help a person complete a task. So although your website may have more visitors, people who have downloaded your app may be more engaged, so they should be treated as complementary and separate marketing channels.

How much would it cost?

If you decide to create an app for your business, there are two options open to you.

Firstly, you can do it in-house with tools such as Appy Pie’s no-code app builder and Android app builder - these are easy to use, quick, and affordable, and you don’t need to learn any programming language.

However, this could be time and resource-intensive, in which case you might want to outsource to an app development agency with expertise in this field. They can provide strategic recommendations, draw on their experience in this field and complete the project on time. Although this can be more expensive, it could well be worth the added expense, particularly if you have a fairly complex project in mind.

Ultimately, an app can’t just be something that’s nice to have. Before developing an app for your business, it’s important to look at your specific business goals, and ask yourself how an app could help you achieve them. Then you can move forward purposefully, set a budget and calculate the likely returns, and create an app with your key objectives firmly in mind.

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