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Mobile Apps for Businesses - Past, Present and Future

By Admin Posted in Blog

Think About how far smartphones have come since they were first introduced by Steve Jobs in 2004. Within just a few short years smartphones and smartphone applications have revolutionized the flow of information in terms of human interaction, business, entertainment, science and education. According to predictions by market intelligent firm IDC (international Data Corporation), mobile devices have now outnumbered laptops and desktops, and technology is changing customer preference, business conditions, and market opportunities. The implications are clear; if you are not able to reach your audience through mobile, or you are not providing a satisfactory mobile experience, you will miss out on your customers.

Why a Mobile First strategy is important for businesses

With the recent growth in mobile technology, the percentage of consumers using mobile devices to browse products shows a dramatic increase; 80% of internet users own a smartphone, and among many other technologically advanced options, consumers still prefer to use this device to browse products and services.

Figure 1.0 (Source: Smart Insights)

Furthermore, among this 80% of consumers, 89% of them still prefer to use “Mobile Apps” to get what they want according to a study done by Nielsen.

Figure 1.1 (Source: Nielsen)

Looking at the stats it is obvious that businesses have a clear need to deploy mobile apps to stay ahead of the competition. It is not only Social Media, Newspapers and Games anymore. Enterprises should also take the use of mobile apps seriously. It is important that business owner understand how to strategically interact with digital users.

Mobile storefronts and their importance

In this digital era, people are highly tech savvy and they are using their mobile device for everything, ordering food, or goods. A mobile app is the easiest way to enable this behavior. Focusing on this idea, many business entities have moved into the mobile app market to widen their customer reach and to provide a more convenient and immediate customer experience. These businesses have already moved to a mobile app as the early adopters of restaurant apps, café apps and other eCommerce apps. An app can be expensive to develop, and a restaurant may not have the time or the finances to create one. But the owner may find it worth the investment. Just having a presence on your consumer’s phone is a big win for the business, as your customer has a miniature version of your store in his or her pocket.

What should be the key focal points of your mobile store app?

The key to making an app successful is convenience, engagement potential and long term value.

Examples include:

  • Engaging a user by communicating a brand on a personal level; such as delivering restaurant , or specialty shop-specific content (A menu, food items and recommendations)
  • Offering unique value such as integrating loyalty rewards programs
  • Encouraging word of mouth by allowing users to share their experiences on social media
  • POS integration allowing customers to order and pay before entering the restaurant
  • Push notification allowing a business to update customers by having a personal and targeted message automatically appear on their screen, making it easy to drive engagement and activity on demand

The future of mobile app and more storefront development looks positive. More and more businesses will get on board with business mobility focusing on a better customer experience in coming years. When it comes to technology, there is often a gap between what customers want and what small businesses offer. As smartphones continue their growth in popularity, they will become more of a necessity than a luxury for business owners. Soon enough a web page won’t be enough. Businesses will have to support mobile users to stay relevant.

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