No! It’s not another Mobile App Vs. Mobile Site debate.
Let’s look at the “Do I need a Mobile App or a Mobile Website” discussion from a different perspective – an angle that takes a strategic and long-term perspective into consideration without getting lost in the usual technology implementation and cost debate.
1. It’s All About Real Estate
Smartphones generally have 4 or 5 pages of app icons as their primary interface. Need a car? Tap the Uber app. Need a plumber? Tap the Angie’s List app. These apps are the foundation of how your customer interacts with their mobile device, and it’s all about ease of access for them.
If you can secure one lot of “app real estate” on your customer’s phone, you have established an ongoing relationship.
2. Push vs. Pull
Apps permit you to “push” information to your customers. You can’t do that through mobile sites which are primarily “pull” in nature.
Mobile apps enable two-way communication in an always-connected mode.
3. Engagement Triggers
Apps can provide contextual information (such as location & geo-fencing) that open the door to identify highly sought out “customer triggers” (needs). A well-constructed app lays a foundation for providing your consumers with an integrated experience – which helps you pinpoint their needs/desires and better serve them through your app.
4. Serving Within the Context
Now that you know your customer’s needs- apps also help you engage customers pointedly. Imagine this real-life scenario: As a museum member/visitor drives by close to a museum, he/she will get a quick reminder about events/parking. Always being connected, having access to your customer’s location, and the ability to influence choices in real time is huge! Your services could be offered strategically at a specific time and place. Where else do you have that ability?
5. Data Collection
Yes, you have sales-funnel at play even when you know your customer’s intent. But apps give you an unprecedented ability to collect customer data methodically and responsibly. Such data repositories will soon become a line item on your financial balance sheets as assets that can create sustained competitive advantages. Such granular & timely collection of customer data is not possible with a mobile website.
6. Anticipation Through Insights
Well, if you know your customer’s context, and you can predict and anticipate your customer needs, then the next step is to go on and serve them well! You have an ‘always-on’ communication line to the customer through the “push” capability of the apps. And you have an ‘always-available’ listening capacity for receiving feedback and questions if desired.
7. Emerging Technologies
Think beacons, near field communication, Apple watch, Internet of Things and a host of other latest rapidly evolving technologies. All of them play well with an app ecosystem and most actually *need* an app ecosystem. And in many cases (such as Fitbit), the mobile app actually serves as the pipe through which data gathered on the wearable device is uploaded online.
Think of an app as a “pipeline” between your customer and your business operations. A mobile app is a two-way street through which you can send “value” payloads and receive granular “customer data”. This enables customer engagement in ways your competition has never seen before! Read on to know more about the 5 technology building blocks to disrupt your competition.
Go on and hare your thoughts- and any questions! Whatever your situation, we at CoStrategix, will be happy to help you determine how an app can benefit your business!