Ever thought about an app for your business, now might be a good time.
An article that I read recently got me thinking about how SMB’s in the AU market should really be starting to plan their digital future sooner rather than later.
As many people within my network know, I am very passionate about sales improvement, the digital business “space” and how the convergence of these two worlds can rapidly help businesses in achieving greater efficiency, growth and maintaining a competitive edge.
As a daily user/consumer of app’s and digital products, I find it puzzling that more SMB’s aren't embracing this rapidly evolving “digital” landscape and carving out their own niche for themselves.
With the explosion of App’s over the last few years & the industry's future predictions, to me it makes sense that businesses investigate what it’s all about and how they can get involved.
So why all the hype about App’s?
The way our audiences now consume content has radically changed, the way that we “sell” to our audiences is changing quickly and the way that our audiences now purchase has already surpassed the outdated ways that many businesses are still selling - in short, there is a big divide between those at the front of the curve and those at the back.
Creating an app for the app store for $1.99 is not going to be the silver bullet you are after, but I do believe that if you sell a service and/or products - then you have something that is of use/interest to people and here is where businesses should start to consider the way that they could be leveraging the app world.
App’s can be used in many different ways, just in the small array of mobile applications I have on my smart phone I can watch the NFL, AFL, purchase items from all over the world on eBay, I pay with those items via the Paypal app, I get alerts from the news store app when my favourite magazines are available for download and so on - most likely if you're reading this post, it's probably from a smartphone & this is where the opportunity starts to pull together.
It's anticipated that in 2016 the world's population will be 7.3 billion, with an anticipated 10 billion connected smart devices - that equates to approximately 1.4 devices per user. You might not be trying to reach the world's entire population - but being more accessible in this space makes sense.
Smartphones make our lives easier (albeit more disruptive) and apps power smartphones. Apps can make your business more accessible and easier to deal with, you can distribute content via an app (written/audio/visual), you can offer specials deals, clients can log service calls, make enquiries, check the status of an order, track a parcel, open up a chat, buy your products, alter a service etc etc.
App’s have the potential to make your business extremely easy to do business with & this is what the new world buyer wants. A little over a year ago when my Telstra app didn't have the ability to allow me to upgrade my phone and plan, I got annoyed - I wasn't annoyed that the app didn't allow me to make the upgrade, I was annoyed that I was going to have to drive to my local Telstra store, find a park, wait in line and most likely run out of time on my lunch break and have to return again.
12 months on, I updated my mobile plan and phone on the new Telstra mobile app - from the comfort of my couch, at a time that was convenient for me. This is the difference & this is what the majority now want - convenience!
The app market itself may hit $77 billion a year by 2017, but that figure represents a mere fraction of the total sales that will be generated via apps for those businesses that can show agility and adapt to this new world.
Like all things in life, the more crowded the space becomes the more affordable the product becomes for the consumer - so developing an app specifically for your business is probably more accessible than you realise.
As I always say, work out exactly where you are now - where you want to get to & why, then map out the steps you need to take to get there and proceed accordingly.