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We may take for granted the existence of an app for virtually every human need or function, but we must acknowledge the power of apps in business. Traditional processes like financial transactions, sales and marketing, customer engagement, and shopping can now be done through apps, which was unheard of years ago. This article explores how mobile apps have transformed businesses over the years.

Evolution of mobile apps over recent years

The first app to ever run on a mobile phone was Snake, a built-in arcade-style game on the legendary Nokia 6110, released in 1997. The first iPod closely followed this with its built-in game called Brick. Soon, Apple embarked on a mission to realise Steve Jobs’s dream of the App Store, which was launched on June 10, 2008. On October 22 of the same year, Google released the Android Market, the app store for Android phones. It was later rebranded to what we now know as the Play Store. These mobile app stores have grown to include apps for virtually any game or service you can think of, hence the phrase, “There’s an app for that!”.

Impact of mobile apps on businesses

Mobile apps are preferred over mobile versions of desktop websites due to several advantages. First, apps are more convenient. One touch of a button and you’re playing a game or transacting in your bank account. Second, mobile apps utilise the smartphone screen better. There is no address bar or other items on the screen to obstruct you from the experience, leaving you completely immersed in a game or other activity. Third, mobile apps have push notifications, which keep you connected and informed in real-time.

These qualities have allowed mobile apps to transform businesses in many ways, including:

  • Increased customer engagement

No communication channel masters such convenience when browsing, shopping, and interacting with brands as apps do. When customers are immersed in your app, there’s little chance they’ll consider your competitor’s products and services. What’s more, is that while customers remain locked into a company’s app, as a result they are often eliminating consideration for the competition, which is a huge benefit to many businesses!

  • Efficient customer support

Mobile apps allow instant communication, thus easing information provision, feedback collection, and record-keeping. By ensuring adequate customer support, your app helps to increase customer satisfaction which is key to increasing sales and brand loyalty.

  • Enhanced brand awareness

Mobile apps simplify and increase the efficiency of your efforts to build brand awareness. Apps give customers easy access to your brand, encouraging regular interaction, and reinforcing your brand in their conscience, conversations, and overall life. Regular interaction also builds trust in your brand, compelling customers to buy only from your company.

  • Personalised communication

Personalised communication is the best way to grab a customer’s attention. Mobile apps leverage their profiling capabilities to learn more about a customer, thus enabling a personalised approach to communication, product offerings, price ranges, and other thoughtful presentations that delight yet feel familiar. An app makes a customer feel highly valued because of how personal the interaction is.

Business sectors making the most of mobile apps

  • Retail eCommerce

A large chunk of all online shopping is now done on mobile apps. The convenience of online shopping is further enhanced through mobile apps, which are more convenient, personalised, and serve intuitive suggestions that customers like, which many businesses in the retail sector are taking advantage of to benefit their companies.

  • Finance

Banks are the biggest beneficiaries, through their personalised and secure mobile apps. Banking apps are among the most downloaded and used apps because they eliminate the long queues people used to make to conduct financial transactions, not to mention the insecurity of walking around with all that cash.

  • iGaming

Virtual gambling or iGaming is fast catching on, with consumers preferring the convenience of placing bets on their phones rather than visiting a brick and mortar casino. Mobile apps enable people to participate in virtual gambling, and they can even access mobile slots and more from online casinos like for gamers across the country to get involved in.

  • Travel and tourism

Like the finance sector, those who wish to travel for leisure or business don’t have to visit tours and travel agencies to make their bookings or call airlines to book their flights. There are mobile apps for booking accommodation, flights, and other travel and tourism considerations.