Should Your Business Have a Mobile App?
Published: September 22, 2017
Author: Lexie Lu
If you’re restricted by a tight marketing budget or aren’t convinced mobile apps would be useful for your customer base, you might understandably hesitant to create one. Consider the following benefits and case studies, because they should help you address the question posed by this article’s title in a well-informed way.
Apps Help People Live Well
Perhaps you have a business that helps people stay healthier, such as a vitamin shop or a locally owned pharmacy. The pharmaceutical industry, in particular, has embraced app usage and recognized it as a way to connect with customers.
Fred’s Pharmacy, a chain headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, recently unveiled an app that allows customers to refill or transfer prescriptions and even check dosage instructions for particular medications.
Other health-related businesses include tools to help people monitor their wellness, such as resources about healthy blood pressure readings and safe ways to lose weight. By releasing an app filled with trustworthy information, you could boost your business’s reputation and play an important role in the well-being of your client base.
People Can Book Urgent Services More Conveniently through Apps
When dealing with an overflowing toilet or gushing pipe, sometimes the easiest thing to do is launch an app for help. If your business provides services that homeowners or renters might need as fast as possible, consider how an app could help them book appointments without making calls.
That’s the concept behind Handy, a business that allows people to schedule appointments with registered electricians, handymen, and plumbers. When under stress, individuals can use the app to explain their predicaments and confirm or reschedule service calls.
Restaurant Apps Satisfy Hungry People
While dealing with grumbling stomachs, individuals would likely find it more appealing to use apps to order food instead of cooking dinner or driving to a restaurant. Effective apps use a straightforward process and give people plenty of time to peruse the menu and see what to order. That reality helps explain why some restaurant businesses report seeing up to 25 percent larger orders from people who buy their meals online.
Even when people don’t use such apps for food deliveries, they can still use apps to get food faster. Chipotle Mexican Grill offers an app that lets people order and pay for their items in advance and go straight to a pickup point after arriving at a restaurant. It’s also possible for a person to use the Chipotle app and search for the locations nearest to wherever they are. Hunger can make people frustrated, but here, the associated technology reduces wait times and uncertainty.
You could also look at ways to encourage repeat visits through a restaurant app. Providing a way for people to take advantage of a loyalty program without having to carry physical cards with them gives mutual benefits, because it increases the chances they’ll stop into your establishment and lets participants earn rewards faster.
Apps Facilitate Transportation
After you’ve been drinking during an evening out and need a safe way home, you’ll probably get in touch with a local taxi company. However, in some cities, doing that means having to call the taxi provider several times until you finally stop hearing a busy signal.
Maybe you have a standard taxi business, or perhaps you specialize somehow, such as by offering on-demand vehicles for disabled people. Whatever the case, apps can give customers a handy way to handle their transportation needs without having to compete with the majority of people who are using their mobile phones to make voice calls and complete taxi bookings.
YellowCabCo. is a Des Moines, Iowa, business that has realized the usefulness of a mobile app for its customers. After downloading the app and inputting a cab pickup time, a person can pay with a credit card or cash and doesn’t have to store payment details with the service provider. Clients can also to use the app to see taxi cab locations in real time or watch as a booked vehicle moves closer to its destination. (Users of Uber and Lyft will be familiar with these features as well.)
Although there are existing transportation apps that advertise to taxi companies that want to offer app-based bookings for customers, YellowCabCo. developed an app independently after realizing there were certain must-have features that weren’t available through those large providers.
Use an App to Fill Venues Faster
Businesses within the entertainment industry know how important it is to advertise events thoroughly in hopes of filling venues to capacity. After tackling the promotional side of things at your event-related establishment, you could depend on an app to help people get to their seats as quickly as possible by giving them paperless tickets.
Ticketmaster’s app generates QR codes for venue staff members to scan as event attendees enter the building. You may think scanning ticket codes is only marginally faster than tearing physical tickets by hand, but any method of streamlining entry into the arena is useful. This is especially the case when occupants have to go through other processes that are more time-consuming, such as bag checks.
Another perk of the Ticketmaster app is that it enables people to sell their tickets. Unexpected circumstances crop up, and when ticketholders can’t attend, they can at least try to get money for what they bought and give someone else the chance to go to hot-ticket events.
Plus, on the big day or night, people might forget their tickets, but they aren’t as likely to leave their phones at home. That’s why it’s often preferable when the two necessities combine.
Now that we’ve examined several worthwhile ways customers can put apps to use, hopefully you feel like the answer to the question posed earlier is a resounding yes. The case studies above can help you determine how to cater to customers in ways they’ll appreciate.