Mobile apps are everywhere. In 2009 there were just over 2.5 billion mobile app downloads. Next year that figure is forecast to reach nearly 270 billion.
Few sectors have embraced them with greater relish than the fast food industry. Now, rather than queue at a restaurant, many of us choose the convenience of an app to order and pay for meal we can have delivered or can collect without waiting.
What works for customers also works for business. For example, after launching its UK mobile app, Domino’s Pizza saw its half year ecommerce profits rise by nearly 30% with over 11.5 million downloads.
Apps have been particularly successful in the fast food sector where the product is standardized, known and understood. Effectively, the app is simply replacing the cashier who would otherwise take your order and hand over your food.
And in what is a highly competitive marketplace, apps are also good at creating the interaction that leads to increased loyalty. Starbucks, for example, offers exclusive rewards to its app subscribers, which encourages them to buy more coffee and cakes.
Apps create awareness and build brand
This all helps increase your brand presence. In the ‘old days’, such things as fridge magnets and pens might have done the trick, now apps serve that purpose and give companies something they can continually promote to existing and would-be customers.
Of course, the main reason many businesses create apps in the first place is to give them a direct marketing channel to customers. That not only makes life easier and more convenient, but provides a means of staying on customers’ ‘radar’ for longer, for example through new product launches and promotional offers.
Properly done – that means being of real value rather than just a gimmick – an app can also add to the overall buying experience, something that is crucial in helping retain customers long-term.
Apps for all
Mobile apps shouldn’t be thought of as the preserve of large companies, they can be a vitally important tool for any size of company. That’s particularly so if you need to reach a younger demographic who make up a large proportion of the world’s 2.08 billion smart phone users. Apps are now a driving force in the digital revolution that’s affecting all sizes and types of organization.
If you would like to know how digitizing your business, perhaps by using apps, could create profit-building opportunities, a good place to start is by calculating your Digitalization Index using our unique tool.