The first question I am asked by businesses who are exploring the possibilities of having their own branded mobile app, is 'How can a mobile app improve my business?'

Every app built must have a purpose. Creating a business app for your business must also have a foreseeable Return On Investment (ROI) and it will be different for each type of business. There are many ways an app can improve your ROI and therefore improve your business. The ROI may be indirect or direct. Here are some ways this can be achieved :

Direct ROI

Direct RIO is achieved within the app directly.

1. Merchandise.
A business can use the app to sell merchandise. This is done with a built in cart and shop. Having your shop built into the app saves your profits being spent on 3rd party fees. If you have an existing online shop this can be integrated into the app. Having an app based shop also eliminates the potential of customers being redirected to an external browser window where adds and other information distract them from purchasing, resulting in lost sales.

2. Intellectual Property.
Selling your Intellectual property (IP) through the app is a fantastic way for customers and followers to have quick and easy access to your content. For example, you may have a business where you sell your advice or knowledge in the form of templates, documents, exercises, plans, recipes, training courses etc. These can be loaded into and purchased through the app shop. Your IP might be in the form of video or audio clips, documentation (PDFs) or images. For example. A business may supply stationary templates, these could be purchased through the shop and the relevant template then gets email to the customer.

3. App Purchase/Download Price.
Some businesses may require their app to have a download/purchase price within the app stores. This is often done if the app is to contain imbedded content that you want all the app users to have access to. Subscriptions can be done by linking to your own website.

Indirect ROI

Indirect ROI is achieved by income received or processed outside of the app as a result of the apps functions.

1. Bookings/ Appointments.
Using onboard functions like bookings and appointments, is a great way to provide a level of service to your customers without incurring 3rd party fees. By providing a system to your users that allows them to book at anytime of day, increases the probability for bookings and repeat business. A customer is more likely to book if its easy and available to them when they need it.

2. Referrals.
Organic referrals are easily generated when customers are happy with your new app that is so packed with amazing helpful content, they cannot wait to share it with friends! This can be done by the inbuilt share function of via the iOS and Android app stores.

3. Push notifications.
Sending push notifications is the most powerful marketing tool you have. Messages can be sent regularly and are custom. There are many ways to get the most out of your push notifications. Whether you have new content ready, a sale to share, last minute appointments to fill or end of day cakes to sell. Push notifications give you direct access to your customers or followers in an instant. They are unlimited and free unlike most text messaging campaigns.

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