Since mobile has overtaken desktop as the most popular way to access digital content, many forward-thinking companies have introduced an app as part of their corporate strategy. Without a mobile app, well-established corporations are losing the opportunity to capture and convert a whole generation of tech-savvy customers who are used to instantaneous information and results. If businesses want to attract and retain customers, they must have a strong mobile presence that lives up to consumers’ high expectations. When executed correctly, an engaging mobile app strategy can add significant value to your product or service by creating long term relationships, increasing brand loyalty, and ultimately providing a return on investment.
We know that if users have a positive experience the first time they interact with your brand, they are much more likely to return for repeat purchases. A mobile app for your business can offer customers an intuitive user experience which saves them valuable time. The more useful functionality you can provide and queries you can answer on the app, the more satisfied your customers will be and the less you are likely to be inundated with support calls. This can save your business time and money by allowing employees to get on with other tasks rather than deal with phone enquiries.
With a mobile app, you can easily ask users for feedback and utilise the information you gather to improve user journeys. This creates a foundation of trust and loyalty between the customer and business, as it shows that you genuinely care about their digital experience and are transparent with your plans to provide the best customer service.
Monzo for example, often utilise social media platforms to casually pose various polls and questions. Most recently, I have seen a “what feature would you like to see next?” poll on Twitter, and a “what would you like to know about our product designers at Monzo?” story on Instagram. This adds a personal touch to your brand, showing customers that their opinions are not only valued but actually taken on board. Making users feel like part of a community goes a long way to increase brand loyalty. In contrast, some traditional banks have, created mobile app versions of their website with little thought on what their customers actually want or need for a seamless user experience. The consequence of this approach has been a huge social move away from traditional banks to new challenger banks who offer a great personal user experience.
Like most big brands, providing a loyalty programme can act as a great incentive for customers to return and make a repeat purchase. For example, having a Nando’s card - each time you visit and spend £7 or more, you receive a chilli, and chillies lead to rewards! And you can keep track of this on the app.
Loyalty marketing originally started with paper cards, however, as we all know, cards can easily get ruined or lost. A smartphone loyalty programme is easy to access and changes the way consumers view your brand.
Having your mobile app on your customer’s phone is the best way of tracking brand loyalty. People are emotionally attached to their phones, taking them everywhere and constantly checking them for updates. This hub of instantly accessible information is the best place for your brand to be. If a user has chosen to download and keep your app on their phone, it shows that your brand is important to them and that they plan to interact with your services more than once. And even if they are not actively using the app, it is always subconsciously in the background of their lives, reminding them of your services.
Research has shown that users of mobile apps have more loyalty to the brand compared to those who visit the website, this is because mobile apps are used more frequently and are more immersive than mobile optimised sites. For example, personally, I always choose to browse the ASOS app when I am looking for clothes due to the effortless experience, rather than search for clothing brands online to see if they have what I am looking for.
One advantage of a mobile app over a website is that you can easily tailor content to specific users by asking them to choose their preferences when they first download and set up the app. Delivering very targeted information encourages high-level engagement as users are more likely to interact with content relevant to them, whereas a website is a passive resource that must provide general information in order to attract a range of customers.
With a mobile app you can push content to users using push-notifications, informing them of new features or enticing them with relevant offers.
Including real-time communication in your app gives your business a competitive edge to capture warm leads. If users have a quick question about your services and don’t want to look around the web to find answers, they can simply ask someone on the app. This translates into great opportunity for brands to consolidate customer relationships.