5 Reasons to invest in a mobile application
In this article we will consider the potential benefits that a mobile app and linked systems can bring to your business. With more and more small to medium businesses developing their own mobile apps every day, it is important to assess whether your business could be left behind. I will sum up 5 reasons that apps could help boost your sales, improve customer service and cut costs.
1. Cut administration and staffing costs
Apps are known to be a big investment, with mobile app developers being amongst the highest paid in the world it’s understandable why. The benefits of this investment could however far outweigh the initial cost.
If we take an example of a food producer, supplying food products wholesale to businesses across the country. This hypothetical business currently takes all orders by the phone and has a team of 5 taking orders and processing documentation for those in the warehouse to compile and ship the order.
This business could have an app developed for it’s existing customers to place orders which are automatically added to their account. This can then trigger an order flow which could:
- Email customer with order confirmation
- Generate and email invoice and insert directly into accounts
- Generate a picking note for warehouse staff to compile the order
- Warehouse staff receive picking note on tablet and tick confirm when the order is prepared and a delivery note is generated automatically
- This can then notify the customer via the app outlining their order is out of dispatch
- The order can then be shipped via the businesses delivery fleet
- Drivers can be provided with a tablet to track progress of delivery and even notify users when they are x miles of delivery destination
- Driver can collect signature on tablet and this would be reported back to head office.
With this approach the business would benefit by:
- Cutting sales force required
- Improving customer experience with automated notifications which would also eliminate many calls for updates on an order
- Reduce order error
- Allow business to track drivers and monitor performance
We see from this example scenario that the amount saved by the application is huge as well as improving the customer experience at the same time.
2. Stand out from competition
Just like a website 15 years ago, a mobile app is seen as an impressive business tool to your customers. Some customers (particularly me) buy based on convenience first then price. If you can provide a more convenient and slick way to order your products you will really stand out from your competition.
3. Keeping customers engaged
Apps are an extremely good marketing tool. With clever use of location and user behaviour data your business can send out relevant marketing data via push notifications, increasing awareness and possibly grabbing that extra impulsive sale.
4. Loyalty schemes
Apps are a great way to provide a loyalty scheme. Customers are much more likely to re-order if they know that their loyalty is being rewarded. It also reduces losing customers to competition and can actually increase sales.
5. Automated, useful sales and customer information
Having as much information about your customers and number of sales is key when planning future marketing strategies. Mobile apps can compile all this information into a central server allowing staff to quickly bring up a customers file which could show what they are likely to buy, what they have previously viewed as well as even calculating the best time to call them based on data previously collected about their purchasing behaviour.
So is an app right for your business?
Here I have outlined just 5 of many reasons why to bring your business into the mobile world. I agree that a mobile app is not right for everyone but they certainly should be considered when trying to cut costs and improve customer engagement. If you have any questions then please feel free to contact us.