Vitality South is well known for its website design. Website development is not going away and is exceptionally important. I have been asked “why do I need a mobile app if I have a great website?” For some, the answer is – you don’t. However, there are multiple distinct advantages that mobile apps can offer above and beyond a website.
Why choose mobile apps?
- Off-line availability – One feature that mobile apps can provide that websites cannot is off-line availability. You instinctively know you can use your maps without internet connectivity, but there are many other use cases for this service. We made one app for a customer’s internal business needs that required uploading photos from varying locations in the area – that may or may not have internet access. A mobile app is able to accommodate this need.
- Push notifications – In the marketing world, we talk about 2 kinds of marketing: push and pull. Pull refers to marketing that waits for the customer to think of you and “pull” the information to themself – like going to your website. Push marketing is when the business gets to choose when to contact the customer – email marketing and advertising are examples of this. With a mobile app, you can implement push notifications that send the user a message when you want them to know something such as a new offer, an event, a sale, or even urgent notices.
- Loyalty – Mobile apps are a great way to institute loyalty programs for customers. Do any of you use the Starbucks rewards or Papa John’s “Papa Dough”? Many loyalty customers remain loyal for these perks that are offered primarily through their mobile apps. In addition, because of the convenience factor, many apps encourage customer loyalty because it removes barriers – it remembers their information so they do not have to type in details like address or credit card number and can even remember their favorite orders to make it faster to re-order. In short, apps make things easy for customers. They do not have to remember your website address, phone number, or any other detail – all of that information is available at the click of a button.
- Branding – Advertising can be expensive. To have your logo in front of a customer every day to remain top of mind can require a massive marketing campaign. When a business has an app downloaded on a customer’s phone, they can see the app icon every single day – which helps with top of mind awareness. When a customer wants or needs your product/service, they think of you. That can ring your cash register.
- Utilizing other key phone features – Unlike websites, mobile apps have the ability to utilize key phone features. The most common feature is the phone’s built-in camera. This can be used for taking photos, obviously, but also scanning barcodes. The barcode scanning feature turns an app into a powerful business tool for some industries. Mobile apps can also use the phone’s wallet to integrate payment options.