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There’s an app for that. Since the App Store went live in mid-2008, millions of apps have offered everything from exercise tracking and podcast listening to online couponing and weather reports — first for Apple users, then later, Android.
In the first quarter of 2018, the Google Play App Store offered more than 3.8 million apps, while the Apple App Store offered around 2 million. In the last few years, more businesses are building their own apps for a reason — an app signifies credibility for your company.
Related: The 10 Fastest-Growing New or Redesigned Apps in 2018
Mobile app vs. responsive website.
People often get confused about how a mobile app is different from a responsive website. Your website should be responsive to all devices, meaning it will appear different on various screen sizes, optimizing that user’s experience. The best responsive websites also remove or add content based on the device.
A mobile app serves a different purpose. Some apps have one specific function related to a company, while others offer fun or useful services or tie into your location. Mobile apps are designed to run more smoothly on mobile devices, and the navigation is built specifically for touch.
How an app creates authority.
Authority is usually a formally dedicated power. It gives someone the right to be heard. That is what you want for your business — to stand out from the rest and give yourself a platform to influence the public and create a name for your brand. Using an app as the platform can make more users want to listen to you, giving you not just authority, but credibility. Here are a few ways your app creates authority.
Ever since the dawn of the smartphone, people have been drawn to the screen. According to a study by Flurry, an analytics firm, most smartphone users spend up to four hours a day on their mobile phones. Having an app with a customer service section can be a great addition to your business because your consumers can reach you at any time. You can answer their questions around the clock from anywhere. They’ll feel more connected to your business, and more comfortable buying your product, knowing that your business will help troubleshoot at any time.
Distinguishes your brand.
While many people build apps, not all businesses have apps. An app can put you above the competition. You’ll be seen as innovative. When someone is interested in your product or service, you can tell them that they can get more information on your app. They will be more inclined to believe in you as a business because you are successful enough to have an app.
Related: Stop Thinking Killer App and Start Thinking Killer Experience
A lot of people are talking about the power of data these days, and that’s undoubtedly true in marketing. If you have an app, you can learn more about your customers and what they are responding to, and you can better engage with them in the future. Leverage that information for your sales and marketing teams, as well as those developing your services and products.
Cultivates engaged customers.
Your app’s presence on a customer’s phone is a reminder about you every time they swipe the screen. You can set your app to send notifications about exclusive deals or news, often prompting engagement. While everyone drowns in a sea of advertisements, an app can create a more personal connection. You can also use the app to reward your customer with loyalty programs. For example, at Starbucks, once you have a card, you earn stars every time you spend money. Once you get a certain number of stars, you get a reward.
Your company might not make any money from an app. Some brands are creating benevolent apps, which provide a service, offer useful information or help people with decisions. Such apps build trust in your company. Studies have shown long-term economic benefits for companies that earn consumer confidence in this manner.
Related: Does Your Business Really Need a Mobile App?
Why you might not create an app.
An app can give your business authority, yes, but only if it’s a good one. Here are some reasons your company might skip this approach:
- You don’t have the time or money to manage it after launch. An app isn’t a launch-and-done project. Your app will require code updates and changes to stay in working order. You must have someone in place either in-house or through a third party who can help maintain it.
- You haven’t thought about who on your team will manage the app. Someone internally should monitor the app’s content and use. What about marketing? What about small changes that need to occur?
- You’re launching an app “just because.” We listed many reasons relating to authority, but a company can’t just expect to create any old thing and see results. The best apps focus on a specific aspect of a business and offer something people will find useful.
In 2018, our devices are the way of the world, and that trend will only continue as we gravitate toward wearables, glasses and other AR devices. Building an app is a great way to gain authority and reach your target audience.