Most businesses understand that possessing the right software can increase their overall value. But finding – and by that, I mean buying or building – the right software can be tricky. How could a mobile app, for example, increase your firm’s value?
The obvious answer is that you could develop mobile apps to sell. That adds value to your bottom line in a very direct way.
The alternative is to develop mobile apps that expand your company’s value proposition instead. This could enhance your firm’s value in many ways – including making it more attractive to customers.
Restaurants expand their value propositions with online menus, ordering, and reservation apps. Medical equipment companies expand their value propositions with automation and remote monitoring apps. And retail companies expand their value propositions with supply chain tracking, inventory controls, and geolocation apps.
In each case, value is created by increasing the value you provide to customers in some way with a mobile app. There are countless examples of this, but I’ve broken them down into three main categories:
- Offering New Benefits and Services
- Reaching New Customers
- Improving Efficiencies
As you read through these different ways to improve your company’s value proposition, one thing should become perfectly clear: any company in any industry can benefit from their own mobile apps. Finding the right apps to increase your value proposition becomes the most important question.
Offering New Benefits and Services
New products and services bring in new revenues, often adding whole new value propositions for your customers. These could be complementary services to make your existing service more valuable or completely new products that your existing customers would want.
A few examples of complementary services are:
- Connecting Point Marketing Group’s (CPMG) NextPoint app allowed them to deliver new ways for attendees to interact with each other to make new connections, adding flexibility and efficiency to the process as compared to their cloud-hosted application.
- The Starbucks app offers more than information and rewards – it lets you pay for your order directly through your phone, then pick it up without waiting in line.
- Most of what you find in banking apps like Chase’s Mobile Banking aren’t really new, they just let you do it all from your smartphone. Add to that some killer new features – such as depositing a check remotely by taking a picture of it – and they’ve created brand new value propositions for their customers.
A few examples of adding new products via mobile apps that your customers would want are:
- Since they were already entrenched in people’s homes with their phone, cable, and internet services, Comcast’s XFINITY Home app was a natural expansion into home security and automation services.
- Kriedrich opened a new niche for their Kühl air conditioning units with their KriedrichLink mobile app. By focusing on the additional comfort and energy benefits this app delivers, they set themselves apart from the competition.
Reaching New Customers
New customers can be reached when apps extend your products and services to a wider audience. This is a huge advantage offered by most mobile apps, as they can be accessed “on the go.”
Some examples of companies expanding their audience by developing mobile apps are:
- Sonos took a huge step forward with their home audio products when they tied them together with their new Sonos app. They increased their customer appeal by ditching the old, expensive remote control units – and also with built-in partnerships with hugely popular services like Spotify.
- The ebay app made posting on that platform much easier for many new sellers. Instead of having to take pictures, transfer them to a PC, and then upload them with your listing, sellers can now take pictures and post listings from their smartphones without even leaving the app.
- Kestrel Aircraft used their sales portfolio app to educate prospective buyers about their new airplanes at trade shows and airshows. This new interactive, multimedia portfolio went way beyond traditional sales collateral and generated more leads and higher levels of interest at each event.
Improving efficiency is always a primary target when it comes to cutting costs, and mobile apps deliver there on many fronts. Cloud-based inventory and warehousing systems can reduce overhead, storage and transport costs, as well as provide quicker restocks and turnaround times. Workplace efficiencies benefit from productivity and performance apps such as document sharing, conferencing, and training.
At the same time, developing mobile apps can improve the customer experience by streamlining the finding, ordering, and purchasing of products. This kind of efficiency leads directly to new sales and enhanced customer loyalty.
A few examples where mobile apps added value to the customer experience are:
- Sephora’s Makeup and Beauty app improves the customer experience by letting them try on different products without actually touching anything. Customers have more fun and can sample more products than they normally would – without the usual cleanup and without wasting any product.
- Walgreen’s is leveraging their retail store customer base by offering end-to-end healthcare choices through their mobile app. Adding this new convenience could make them the pharmacy of choice even for their more casual shoppers.
As for improving operational efficiencies, there are apps out there for just about every supply chain, performance and productivity niche you can think of. Most of them are far more economical than your traditional software packages, too, making them ideal for small to medium businesses. Or you can create your own efficiency app to meet your specific needs – and then license it out to other companies with those same needs, too.
What’s Your Value Prop?
As you can see, mobile apps are not just for software companies. Businesses in every industry are using and developing mobile apps to improve their value propositions.
How could you use a mobile app to provide new services, reach new customers, or improve efficiencies?
At Ascendle, we specialize in developing mobile apps based on strong business cases to positively impact your bottom line. If you’re not yet sure how a mobile app could improve your value – or if you are – contact us today for a free consult.