• November 20, 2015

What’s App With That: 3 Ways Mobility Boosts Business

By Terry White, Chief Technologist, Applications Services & Industry Solutions, and Fellow, Enterprise Services, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

From shopping to personal banking, customers rely on mobile apps to make it easier to complete tasks, gain insight and information, and purchase goods and services wherever they are, on the device of their choosing.

Just five years ago, mobile apps were a much more cumbersome and expensive venture for the enterprise; however, thanks to standardized frameworks, platforms, and as-a-Service resources, it’s easier and more cost-effective to leverage a mobile app technology across devices.

Benefits of Apps

There are three key areas where mobile apps can boost business:

  1. Increase sales and profit: By giving customers another channel through which to purchase goods and services, businesses can capture greater market share.
  2. Increase productivity for the end user: For customers and employees, ease of use and convenience go a long way. As the landscape moves toward self-service, increasing productivity is key. If employees can access their work email or intranet on their smartphone or mobile device, they have the potential to accomplish more with greater efficiency.
  3. Increase brand engagement and loyalty: Mobile apps help a brand promote its presence. Studies have shown that even if a brand doesn’t sell through the channel, the fact that there’s an app gives customers a chance to engage with the brand in a single click, providing the perception that the organization is innovative. Apartment communities are a good example: They can provide virtual tours even though a potential renter probably can’t lease a unit through the app. Restaurants are another good example: Even if the customer can’t purchase food via the app, he or she can still look at the menu or get the number to call for a reservation.

Who Needs an App?

While apps have become standard practice for most retailers, organizations in healthcare, food service, financial services, transportation, and the public sector are increasing their usage. In reality, most industries can find ways to benefit from mobile apps, but depending on the size and scope of the customer base, certain organizations make more sense than others. Here are a few tips:

  • Know your audience: If the audience isn’t prone to using apps, then it probably won’t benefit the organization to have one. Does a local dry cleaner need a mobile app? Probably not. If the audience is growing, then it might make sense.
  • Offer an option: Give visitors the opportunity for full-site access. While the full site tends to be clunky and load slower on a mobile device, the user may prefer the enhanced feature-rich experience.
  • Create a good experience: Positive customer experiences are sticky. When your app meets or exceeds the customer’s expectations, you’ll build loyalty. Conversely, if a customer is frustrated, he or she won’t go back.

Mobile apps offer more than convenience to customers and employees. When done right, they can promote the organization—and become a significant business differentiator.