Is a mobile app right for your business? That is the question.

It was predicted back in 2008 that mobile browsing would overtake desktop by 2014. This reality then led to the push for optimization of websites for mobile to enhance the browsing experience as an industry best practice. This was based on Google’s decision to rank mobile-friendliness as a search protocol. Today an optimized mobile site is key, but the next question is does your business need a mobile app. The answer is: it depends.

Apps Rank High Among Mobile Users
According to comScore statistics attributed in Digital Marketing Magazine, 86 percent of time spent on mobile devices is in apps, versus 14 percent browsing online. Based on visibility, it would seem having a mobile app for your business isn’t even a question. However, apps are an investment, and a deeper dive into how they are used reveals other things to consider.

  • Gaming and Facebook, 32 and 17 percent respectively, account for the largest percentage of app usage.
  • Apps tend to be more showrooms for products and services, while websites are preferred for making actual purchases. According to Digital Marketing Magazine, 67 percent of mobile users purchase from a website instead of an app.
  • Apps may be sales drivers and can accompany your optimized mobile site, but they don’t replace it. Not having a mobile app can be a lost opportunity to connect along the customer journey.

Why App?
Okay, so your business doesn’t have to have a mobile app, but not having one could leave you floundering in a very crowded digital marketplace. So where does that leave you? To better answer that, reflect on the underlying reasons and benefits of having a mobile app.

  • Building Brand. It goes without saying that the number one reason for having an app is to expand your brand in the marketplace and increase visibility to current and prospective consumers.
  • Consumer Engagement. Consumers who download your app give you a direct line of communication with them and the opportunity to build and foster loyalty. Greater visibility increases the potential frequency for engagement.
  • Bridging Gaps. An app may be just what your business needs to close gaps along the customer journey. An app could provide the missing link to content you offer, but consumers aren’t interacting with, through your other marketing channels.
  • Add Value. At the end of the day the most important question is: Will your mobile app add value? All kinds of data that can be cultivated from app users to help your business with its marketing strategy and promotional rollouts. That’s good for you. But you need to make sure you have an app plan to keep your consumers engaged and offer app-only benefits.

Keep in Mind the Big Picture
The question still remains is a mobile app right for your business right now? Above all mobile apps need to be a part of, and fit in with, your overall integrated marketing strategy online and off. Like anything else you can’t put all your eggs in one basket. Now that you have a better sense of how apps are used and the benefits of having them, here are a couple of more big picture takeaways to keep in mind according to B2C:

  • Your mobile app has to be dynamic and engaging. 38 percent of users will install an app they perceive will streamline a process, but once they’ve gotten the initial deal, half of them will uninstall it.
  • Social media apps will become the biggest promoter of other apps with Instagram expected to lead the way according to Leeyen Rogers, vice president of marketing for Why? Because Instagram is used almost exclusively as a mobile app, will enable easy download of promotable apps and target marketing can be optimized based on user profiles.
  • Geo-targeting will become more prolific in connecting and personalizing offerings regionally. Based on the location information embedded in smartphones, apps and options can be better targeted to consumers.

How Do You Mobile?
Still not sure if a mobile app is right for you, or where to start if it is? Millennium can help. By zeroing in on your overall business strategy and goals, we can help you leverage data that will not only enhance and optimize your website, but develop a value-added app if deemed appropriate. Call or email to speak with one of our digital marketing experts at 877-873-7445 or Lfanaras@mill-im.com