But how exactly does an app attract new customers?
An app idea worth investing in should have clear goals and expectations for bottom-line results. One goal that meets the criteria would be an app that attracts new customers.Most businesses want new customers. Many invest huge budgets in advertising and marketing for that specific purpose.
ITBusinessEdge addresses one aspect of this topic – online sales – in its slideshow, Tips to Attract and Retain Customers with Mobile Technology. Some of these tips (from Henry Helgeson, CEO of Merchant Warehouse) are:
- Make it easier for customers to buy
- Focusing on loyalty and retention
- Embracing mobile marketing
- Getting ready for mobile purchasing to skyrocket
While these tips may focus on consumer sales, most are just as applicable to B2B ecommerce. eMarketer predicts $1 trillion in mobile purchases by 2017. Business spending will comprise a large part of that, too.
Sure, you can make your website mobile responsive and maybe capture some of that volume. But if you really want to keep ahead of the curve – and take advantage of this growing surge of mobile spending – you’ll need your own customized mobile app.
Because enabling mobile purchases is just one way to attract new customers. I’m going to share several more with you in just a moment. For most B2B companies, these ideas will be even more useful to building your customer-base than simply pushing online sales.
So … you want to build an app that attracts new customers? And improves your product at the same time? That could be a game-changer. And it’s not as difficult or far-fetched as you might think.
Here are just a handful of ways a custom-built mobile app can attract new customers for your brand, product, or service:
Make your product usable for a wider selection of your target market.
Think about people who would like to use your product, but can’t for one reason or another. You might find these insights in your customer service logs, social media comments, forums, and email feedback. Your sales staff may pinpoint more reasons why prospects fail to become clients, or you could ask those prospects directly. Then try to address those issues with your mobile app, if possible. For example, could you add remote monitoring or control capabilities to your product? This could overcome objections from customers needing on-the-go features.
Reach more customers in your target market.
Sometimes, customers are hard to reach, even if you have a product or service that would appeal to them. Direct advertising works, but you have to find them first. And even if you find them, finding them at the right time can be just as important. This is where social media excels, with its organic reach and its ability to target prospects in the act of looking for products like yours. Building social networking cues into a mobile app can make it easy for happy customers to share your brand. And by designing ways to foster more social engagement with your customers where they live (on their mobile devices), you allow them to spread the word organically and reach more customers – often while reducing your overall marketing costs.
Improve your marketing conversion.
Here’s an exciting new area of possibilities for mobile applications. Companies are just starting to learn how to harness mobile technologies to improve their conversion rates. Examples include:
- Online purchasing models that put more information at the buyer’s fingertips at the point of purchase and streamline the buying process.
- Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to interact with users and capture more candid insights and feedback.
- Programmatic advertising that adapts to a user’s actions, behaviors, and interests.
- Geolocation services providing timely reminders when customers are in your local area.
- Push notifications to boost participation in sales, promotions, and events.
- Augmented reality and virtual reality options to give customers a deeper, more immersive online experience.
Create appeal for whole new market segments
Sometimes apps add functionality to make the product or service relevant to a completely new vertical market. If you’re currently marketing to one vertical industry, think of some others that might be able to use that same product with a few virtual modifications – or even a new UI. I shared a few of these in my article on breathing new life into unlikely products. Some of the restaurant apps, for example, bring in new customers that would otherwise never have tried them. Translation services likewise put you in front of customers who wouldn’t consider an English-only presentation, and it’s a fairly cheap and easy thing to do. Even if you can’t change the product or packaging, being able to market multi-lingual capabilities through your app can open up huge new customer bases.
As you can see, there are many powerful ways that a custom mobile app can attract new customers to your product or brand. And as mobile continues to grow as the number one source for internet activity, creating a customized mobile app to reach new customers is a marketing strategy you don’t want to overlook.
So make sure you consider all these possibilities when planning out your app. Otherwise you might miss out on a great opportunity to grow your business.