Years ago, people asked the question; “Why would my business need a website?”
Seems like a silly question now, doesn’t it? With the massive explosion of the digital world, Wi-Fi spots, 3G, 4G, 24/7 connectivity and the like – it would be ludicrous for your business to not have a solid presence on the web. The same goes for your presence on social media.
So, does the same apply to apps?
As an app development company, you’d probably expect us to attempt to convince you that it’s an absolute necessity for you to build an app for your business. However, in this article we try to take an objective standpoint in understanding how organisations could use a mobile app to excel in their respective industry.
Here we look at some examples of how apps can be used in different industries;
Pubs & Restaurants
If you have one particular local haunt that you and your family frequent, how handy would it be if you could book a table at the touch of a button on your screen? You could even view the regularly-updated specials and make a decision based on the menu available that day.
Your chosen establishment could send you push notifications for offers and vouchers, and inform you of the entertainment that is upcoming on that weekend or on that evening.
An app for a restaurant doesn’t need to be narrowly branded, either. The owners of an established restaurant are able to offer useful advice to tourists visiting the area, so perhaps it would be a good idea to develop a mobile app that helps these people to experience the best of their surroundings. They could pair this up with some cross-promotion for their eatery and even embed satellite navigation so visitors can find it easily.
Furthermore, for businesses offering takeaway, a mobile app can open their service up to people on the move much easier. As a user, rather than sifting through the pile of menus in the kitchen drawer, you’re able to whip out the iPhone and order in a matter of seconds.
Lawyers & Solicitors (or Insurance Firms, Accountants, etc.)
Complicated industries are confusing to everyday folk. Law is complex. As a consequence, people regularly seek legal advice. A simple and informative database outlining the most common legal issues and translating them into plain English could be of huge benefit to ordinary people, and also students of Law.
This could be a lead generation and data capture tool for one firm, whereby they provide enough information to encourage an enquiry for their services.
This is just one example of how so-called “dry” industries can operate in the digital sphere.
Retailers have been severely challenged in the past few years, with e-commerce stores and massive firms such as Amazon and Play.com popping up all over the place. But many are clawing back some ground in the digital world, with retailers such as Next offering a second-to-none online experience with groundbreaking delivery options.
Many high-street stores have reacted too slowly, and this has seen the demise of household names such as HMV.
The more dynamic retailers are also entering the mobile app fray, recognising that many of their customers will do their shopping on the move – perhaps on the bus or the train. Relatively simple applications allow the user to browse products and order through their phone, with an intuitive interface producing a seamless experience.
Whole Towns & Cities!
Whilst it can be highly beneficial for businesses to offer a mobile app to their audience, many towns and cities across the UK rely on tourism to propel their economy – an increasingly challenging prospect. Marketing is key to generating interest among tourists, and a mobile app provides yet another avenue for people to utilise.
A “Visit Oxford” tourism guide app could provide all the useful information about sightseeing, hotels, restaurants, and much more. An interactive satellite map could lead the user through a pre-prepared itinerary, perhaps to some of the city’s famous pubs. Feeding in data about train times and traffic congestion could also save visitors time and effort in their day, allowing them to enjoy everything the area has to offer.
Not all mobile apps need to be direct in their nature. There are also huge benefits to businesses developing apps that are appropriate to their audience without necessary reflecting what they offer as a company. These apps can be purely entertainment-based, to increase interest and awareness of a brand.
We recently completed a project for Nominet, one of the planet’s leading internet registration companies. In a bid to promote the release of the .uk domain at the Business Show London in May, we developed a game called “The Domain Space Race” which successfully caught the attention of many attendees. This is an excellent example of how fun apps can be used for entertaining marketing.
Why Build An App?
Almost without exception and regardless of your industry, your audience will all be using their mobile devices more and more over the coming years. You need to ensure that your business engages with its target audience, and part of this is understanding its behaviour and adapting as necessary.
An app can be hugely beneficial on a number of levels; customer engagement, marketing & promotion, and service & support. Furthermore, the app stores are global marketplaces where you can expose your brand even further to an audience of billions.
For more information about our app development services, and to discuss what you’d like to achieve with a mobile application for your business, call 0845 834 1008. You can also get in touch online.