The Benefits of Mobile Apps For Businesses

Jul 24, 2012 9:20:13 AM

Ten years ago, the term 'mobile applications' meant very little to the general population. Today, there seems to be a mobile application to do just about anything. From personal banking to tracking ones health. You can do just about anything using mobile applications ...even hail a cab.

But how are businesses benefiting from the widespread use of mobile applications?

I've outlined 4 different ways companies have successfully used mobile applications, and have benefited from integrating them into part of their business.

As an add-on or enhanced feature to an existing product

Companies are offering their customers more ways to interact with their products by developing mobile applications that allow users a new way to interact with their product or service. This could be a mobile application that allows users to view similar data as they would on their website or even a product that directly connects to hardware and opens up easier ways to connect and control that hardware. A few examples of this type of application include:

FitBit - The FitBit is a fitness tracking piece of hardware that measures your steps and other physical activities. The first generation device was able to record information and, once connected to a computer, send that information to a website where a user can then analyze their historical data. Later generations of the hardware and companion software allowed the FitBit hardware to connect to a smartphone via bluetooth low energy and record data real time to a mobile application. This added value in their product by eliminating the hassle of having to plugin the device in every time a user wanted view their data.

AEMC - A world wide energy monitoring company manufactures hardware that monitors energy consumption in large buildings and facilities. In order to view the data from the energy monitoring devices, a user had to connect a laptop to the piece of hardware via USB and open up the AEMC desktop software. In a later version of their hardware, they added a bluetooth low energy chip which allowed for wireless communication to their desktop software. From their, it was really a no-brainer to create a mobile application which would allow their user base to perform all of the tasks that they could from their desktop software directly on their smartphone.

As a new product or service offering

Other companies are benefiting from mobile applications by creating new markets or new products to sell to their current market. Some of these companies are even building their entire business models directly around their mobile applications.

Uber - Without it's mobile application, Uber wouldn't exist. Uber is a service that offers users safe and reliable transportation. Uber has a network of tens of thousands (maybe even hundreds of thousands) of drivers who respond to user requests for rides. You can think of it as the the modern day "whistle for a cab" except in Uber's case, the whistle is an app. Users log in to the app, enter their destination and drivers respond to the user. A user can then select a driver they would like and wait for their pickup. Their credit card is automatically charged and the drivers account is automatically credited.

As a marketing and lead generation tool

Companies are also developing mobile applications to allow better communication and engagement with their fans, customers or potential customers. I've outlined an excellent examples of this below.

Empire Loan - Empire Loan has a chain of pawn shops that people can buy and sell merchandise in. Like a traditional pawn shops, customers bring in items that they would like to sell to the pawn shop so that Empire Loan can then resell the items. In order to increase engagement with customers they created a mobile application that allows users to take pictures of items that they would like to sell and send those pictures to the nearest Empire Loan pawn shop. If Empire Loan is interested in buying it, a customer service rep will then respond with a quote and ask the user to bring the item into the store.

As a way to improve business processes

There are many benefits to adopting mobile applications for your business including productivity gains, cost reduction, sales performance, customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction. These benefits can be seen for both custom mobile solutions as well as off the shelf solutions available in app stores on Android and Apple.

The benefits are even greater when companies decide to develop a custom mobile application that allow more flexibility and can address specific industry needs. The integration of custom mobile applications can allow your company to radically redesign specific processes, allow mobile integration with core business processes and allow you to accommodate specific requirements into your application.

The key distinction between AndPlus’ Enterprise Solutions compared to off the shelf solutions, is that our solutions are fully customized for your specific industry, company and those processes within your company. Where generic off the shelf solutions can be used across multiple industries and a multitude of department types within those industries. If you are interested in discussing how AndPlus can help your business build a mobile application for your products, service or enterprise, contact us using the contact form to the right!

Brian Geary

Written by Brian Geary

Brian is a true believer in the Agile process. He often assists the development process by performing the product owner role. In addition to his technical background, he is an experienced account manager with a background in design and marketing.

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