We may be a little bit ahead of the curve with this question. Your company may not yet have thought about whether you need a mobile app at all, let alone what kind you need.
We think it’s time for you to consider it.
First, for your customer’s convenience. When your customers can pay their bills on their phones, access useful information on the fly, or even play your cool new game when they’re stuck in traffic, they have another reason to love you. Busy consumers appreciate this.
Second, for your own convenience. Customers like being able to pay their bills by phone, and they tend to pay faster when they have that option. When they can order carry out with your app (from you, of course) they’ll choose that route on a busy day before they search the web.
Your more tech-savvy customers are already choosing which company to deal with–including which software to use and what services to buy online–based in part on which ones offer apps for their mobile devices. The rest won’t be far behind, so now is the perfect time for you to establish yourself as the one who can meet their mobile needs.
So just what kind of app does your company need?
You have to choose which platform or platforms you want to support. Flurry Analytics recently reported that 67% of all the new mobile apps in 2010 have been created for the iPhone. 22% have been made for the iPad, 10% for the Android, and the very small remainder for all others, including BlackBerry and Windows Mobile.
Your app can’t just be an ad for your company, even if your main goal is marketing: it needs to be usable. Walmart offered an app that was supposed to help people find their closest Walmart store, but it sent some folks to corporate headquarters and gave others too little info. The Amazon app, on the other hand, lets you complete a transaction. Pizza Hut lets you not only order a pizza, but it’s fun to build your pizza with your fingers.
Your company can compete with bigger companies on an even playing field when it comes to mobile apps. Your local gym can offer an app that keeps track of workouts, your veterinary practice can give quick access to patient records, and your flower shop can have a create-your-bouquet experience that makes you more fun than the competition.
“It’s nice when you open the app and it’s stored all your information, and whatever you need comes to your door,” says one iPhone user. “A lot of the apps I use have the same information as the website, but I can hit one button and see it faster and clearer.”
Your mobile app can be a useful adjunct to your mobile device-friendly website.