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An increasing number of consumers today are using smartphones to access the internet, purchase products, and connect with friends, family, and companies.  Many users rely on mobile software applications called apps to carry out these activities.  Statistics show that 70% of smartphone users have downloaded at least 10 mobile apps, and 72% of customers report a more positive view of a company if that company allows customers to connect via an app.

What Is A Mobile App?

A mobile application is a software program designed to run on a mobile phone. Much like a computer, your mobile phone may come with some applications already installed, such as an alarm application, calendar application, or map application.  But your phone can do much more than this, and many large companies have developed mobile apps to address other consumer needs.  A mobile app allows a potential or current customer to interact with your business in some way—whether by purchasing products, paying bills, receiving important updates, submitting feedback, conducting research, or simply learning about your brand.  A mobile app can be designed to serve virtually any purpose that supports your business goals.

Business Benefits of Mobile Apps

One of the most important things a mobile app can do is simplify your message down to a direct call-to-action. Often, if someone is searching for your app on his or her phone, he or she probably already knows about your business and wants to streamline the process of getting in touch with you by going directly to an app rather than your company's full website.  For this reason, the best mobile apps are those that simplify interaction between your customers and your company.

A mobile app for business can be designed to offer a one-click-to-call feature, step-by-step GPS directions, products to purchase, customer loyalty programs, data gathering tools, and more, all at the push of a button.

This makes mobile apps a great way to increase customer loyalty.  If your app makes it easy for your customers to connect with your company, they're less likely to switch to one of your competitors, especially if your competitors can't offer a similar experience.  A mobile app can help make your company “sticky,” giving you an edge over your competition.

Mobile apps can also help you take your marketing to the next level.  Just like with a website, apps can track consumer usage and visits, showing you how your customers behave while on the go.  You can gather important data such as customer location, contact info, preferences, and more.  If you plan to connect with the rapidly-emerging mobile marketplace, apps provide the insights you need in order to make strategic business decisions.

Your App is Not Your Website

To visit a website, users must navigate to an internet browser on a computer or phone and type your website's address into the search or address bar.  Mobile apps are accessed in an entirely different way.  An app doesn’t require the user to type in a web address.  Instead, a user can download an app directly to the home screen of his or her phone, allowing easy and instantaneous access.

This is true even if your website is responsive.  A responsive website is a website that is built to fit all screen sizes, from computers to tablets to mobile phones.  Apps are still important for companies with responsive sites—even if customers can access your website on their smartphones, this doesn’t mean your website offers the best mobile experience.  The power of mobile apps is in their simplicity and convenience.  A website is designed to serve a different purpose than an app, and as a result, the two are not interchangeable.

A Powerful Combination

A mobile app works in tandem with your website, allowing consumers to effectively interact with your company on mobile platforms. With customers just one touch away, mobile apps provide easier access to information for the user and more exposure for your company.

To learn more about how a mobile business app can set your business apart, get in touch with us!