App will grow your business

Heather Smithard.

Heather Smithard, the owner and founder of WebMedia, spoke on applications (or apps) at Hirsch’s Carnival on June 8.

She said there are three types of apps:

• Stand alone (games or interesting apps that stand out from their competitors)

• Corporate (banking apps to improve communication between the business and existing and potential customers)

• Facilitator (these have the end-user in mind and are used to improve a service that benefits and impacts the user’s life, for example, pregnancy applications.

“It is the tool that users will turn to when they are out and about, when they are not desk-bound to their laptop or PC to search for any information,” said Smithard.

“They will use an app when they search for information, need directions, want to purchase something from their favourite store, book their next golf game, schedule their next appointment at their favourite beauty salon, listen to their favourite radio station, reserve a table at their local restaurant,

or even order a meal online.”

She said people spend a large amount of time on their phones, which would benefit businesses with applications.

Smithard shared these global statistics:

• 51,3 per cent of website visits come from mobile devices

• 54 per cent of online shoppers expect companies to have mobile apps

• 71 per cent of people believe they will get a better deal online than instore

• 87 per cent of people always have their smartphone by their side

• 90 per cent of time is spent on mobile apps compared to the mobile web

• 94 per cent of smartphone penetration is among millennials (18 to 34 years old)

• Mobile apps drive 20 times more user engagement

• The average user checks their phone 150 times daily

Smithard said apps will benefit your business in the following ways:

• They reinforce brand recognition

• They create more visibility for your business

• Apps can offer personalised experiences to users

• They make higher engagement with customers possible

• Online sales are pushed

• A company’s exposure across the different mobile devices is increased

• Apps connect businesses with customers who are on the move

• They build a database of clients, consumers and prospects

• Apps help you stand out from competitors

• They drive customer loyalty.

The benefits to customers are:

• They will have easy access to your inventory

• Your contact information will be a tap away

• They will be notified about special discounts, launches, sales, to name a few.

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