Quick, before you read any further, look at your mobile device; how many apps do you have installed? Most likely, quite a few. We use apps every day to perform a multitude of different tasks such as banking, shopping and entertainment, all of which are literally in the palm of our hand. Don’t you think your business should be capitalising on the mobile app evolution?
You may be thinking at this point, “well, my business is a start-up, aren’t Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts enough?” While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with leveraging these platforms to spread brand awareness and market your products/service offerings, there are many advantages to having an app for your business.
The socio-economic situation in South Africa
Simply put, mobile phones are more accessible and affordable than computers in developing countries. Due to the country’s significant wealth disparity, a large percentage of the population can’t afford a computer and don’t have access to the internet. However, there are mobile devices available at affordable price points. Most of them have the functionality to run apps that people use daily via data. Furthermore, individuals can buy pre-paid data, allowing them to stick to their budget. So, solely from a socio-economic perspective, having an app for your business makes sense.
Here are two companies (one international and one proudly South African) that have enjoyed immense success in both client acquisition and financially.
Businesses whose USP thrived via a mobile app
Uber needs no official introduction. The international e-hailing app has become a stalwart on mobile devices. According to Statistica, “in the fourth quarter of 2020, 93 million people used the Uber app monthly.” I think one of the ways you know you’ve created a successful business is when its name is used as a verb. “I’d rather uber instead of driving myself.” 15 years ago, this was simply incomprehensible, and due to its success, it has spawned numerous lucrative subsidiaries such as Uber Eats.
In a nutshell, SweepSouth is like the Uber of domestic cleaning. The app allows households to book trusted, reliable home cleaners, gardeners & other specialists. All employees are experienced, trained, background checked and interviewed in-person.
Their mission states, “In founding SweepSouth, our aim was to modernise home services and to be the African pioneers in bringing technology to the industry. With over seven thousand cleaners, and thousands of satisfied customers being served monthly, we’re just getting started. Our mission is to create happy homes by providing dignified, flexible work at decent pay to our SweepStars.”
Why do these businesses perform well?
- They present a problem and offer an effective, convenient solution.
- All employees are vetted.
- Job creation in what was previously largely informal, unregulated industry.
- Introducing mobile technology into the sector.
The benefits of having a mobile app
Customers reach their digital destination quickly
Easy, quick access to the information we need seems to be the apex to which businesses strive to achieve, and apps fill that need impeccably. If your mobile app has the correct functionality, customers should complete their user journey with a few finger taps and have achieved the desired result.
An eCommerce app, for example, should provide customers with a fulfilling experience by having all the necessary information for each item available on the selected page which should include:
- A selection of high-resolution images of the item.
- A complete, detailed description.
- Price and Stock availability should be visible.
- Calls-to-action (CTAs) need to be clear and concise.
- The payment process needs to be easy to perform.
Remain competitive in the mobile space
With the continued growth of mobile and dynamic consumer behavioural changes, every business’s app is becoming an expectation. It’s a sure-fire way to keep ahead of the competition by offering a visually appealing, interactive environment as well as securing a strong presence in your industry simultaneously.
If they haven’t already, your competitors will most likely implement mobile apps as a part of their business strategy. Consequently, any indecisiveness about mobile app development may prove detrimental to your brand.
Increased Customer Engagement
Apps can prompt both potential and existing customers to engage with your business. A great example of this is push notifications. When your business has a unique mobile app offer that you know many will enjoy, you can schedule a push notification that pings their device to bring it to their attention.
It’s important that you find a push notification balance: too many, and they may uninstall the app, too few, and they may lose interest in your brand.
Value-add handy features available on a single device
As mentioned in the intro, there are many apps that we frequently use, such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Twitter and Instagram. Reputable, forward-thinking software developers can add custom, convenient features, for instance, for instant sharing of content via these social media platforms.
So, in conclusion, an app offers prospective and existing customers a much more convenient way to browse, shop and interact with your brand; all information is easily accessible right at their fingertips. The result: customers’ continued engagement and interaction with your brand will make them more inclined to buy your product and/or service.