If you decide to build a mobile app for your business, it's important to be clear about your objectives from the start and strategize around them.
What are the ways that you can harness the power of mobile apps? Here are four of the most popular routes to choose from.
1. Customer engagement.
The best thing about the mobile channel is that it gives companies the potential to engage with their customers in real-time, by location and complete with profile information.
If done right, you can turn those engaged customers into revenue generating ones. Take for instance Kraft's iFood Assistant. The application offers over 2000 recipes, many of them using Kraft products with shopping lists, interactive deals and coupon features to incentivize shoppers. The app also includes social sharing capabilities, allowing consumers to share recipes with friends on social networks.
2. Customer service and support.
Making it simpler and more efficient for your customers to get in touch with your company and offering them tools to make their life easier while using your products or services can be a great reason to develop a mobile app.
Digital Federal Credit Union, based in Marlborough, Mass., has launched an app called Mobile PC Deposit that allows members to deposit a check using the iPhone and Android-based smartphones, among other platforms. This makes customers' lives easier and is a value-add to their existing service.
One of the most popular means to monetize is offering coupons. And mobile adds an interesting layer of location-based push notifications to the coupon economy. Imagine being the owner of an apparel store in downtown New York with thousands of people walking within a one mile radius of your outlet. If they were to get notified on their mobile phones with a coupon from your store when walking by, you'd increase the likelihood of having them visit by providing a timely reason.
4. If you sell your products or services online, a mobile app may be an option worth considering. This gives your customers the mobility to do the same things they would traditionally have done sitting at their desks, but on their phones.
There are many examples for this in which online retailers have extended their offerings to customers who want to shop on-the-go using their mobile phones. If you're a service company, you too can capture a larger share of the market, as, for example, Dropbox did.
Think of creative ways to capture your existing or potential customers' attention, enhance your offerings, entice people to buy and make life easier for your customer and you'll reap the results.
The author is an Entrepreneur contributor. The opinions expressed are those of the writer.