For years the debate raged whether businesses should have websites, there was hesitation initially that all the technology would take away from interaction with clients. Impersonal was a word that was thrown around, but most businesses followed the new website ‘trend’ and discovered new ways to reach markets that were previously unavailable to them. Still many businesses cannot justify the spend on a good website and the advent of build your own site platforms like Wix has seen many businesses lose sight of the what a good sight does for your business. Whilst sitting down with a group of business owners, a statement struck true to us all. A website is like a shopfront, a person walking past must see the layout and value that your business provides for them to come in and do business with you. A well-built website is an asset that will make money for you 24/7, as it introduces your businesses products/services to your potential market and reinforces what your existing client base knows about your business.
As a business you must now think mobile, due to the shift at the start of 2015 where mobile devices overtook desktops for online searches. A mobile site that is highly responsive is now more important than ever and the next logical step for all interaction with clients will be via the business apps.
A business app built around your products/services and your clients’ basic requirements is the future of your business and if not for you then maybe for your competition. Small businesses only need to look at the larger businesses to see how to grow their market. Big brands are on every social media platform and advertise because they understand that your clients must only think of your brand when they think of that product or service.
Facebook is the premier app on the planet with over 1.6 billion users, it is a social media platform that understands that its’ clients want a host of features in one location. The ability to connect, communicate, share pictures and videos, follow brands/sports stars/businesses, read and share articles and recently buy products within Facebook. In the space of three months from January to April 2016 the Facebook Messenger app has increased users from 800 million to over 900 million. Why does this matter you may ask, well recently Facebook introduced social commerce to the platform.
In Asia Wechat and Line, have over 600 million combined users (almost 900 million worldwide), are social media apps that were created for users to merely send messages. The Wechat app now allows users to watch movies, play games and send photos. These apps also now have social commerce as a feature which allows users to pay for products, taxis, buy groceries, send money to contacts and even rent or buy properties. Emma Hao, who is a real estate agent, sold a luxury 14 million dollar apartment in New York via a deal brokered on Wechat.
Facebook Messenger, Wechat and Linepay (mCommerce)
The truth is these apps have done well because they have evaluated what problems their clients face and then provided an online platform to provide them value. As a business you must now consider the price of your app and compare that against the price of being left behind when all your competition works out how to provide this value to your market.
A good business app should showcase all your online presence and have a host of features that will allow your users to use it on a regular basis. If clients can use your app to access their social media platforms, search for products/services, book appointments, make purchases, listen to podcasts and have the ability to share your app, then your business will build a loyal fanbase of clients. These clients will help grow your business through word of mouth if they are raving fans of the value provided by the features within your app.
For more information on how an app can benefit your business and your client base feel free to contact our team.