Before mobile marketing and mobile commerce were widely accepted as revenue drivers, marketers couldn’t quite articulate their business case for a mobile app. Smart CMOs knew a mobile presence was needed, but were less clear as to why.
Just a few years ago when we’d ask a prospective retail client to define their mobile goals, the response was often, “We just want something cool for our app.”
As if “cool” were a strategy.
The factors of real ROI
Fortunately, we’ve entered an era where investment in mobile is not only accepted, it’s a necessary pillar of business. Retail marketers are much more familiar with the capabilities of mobile, being the fastest-growing source of revenue for retailers. More and more, the brands that approach us already understand that flashy features and gimmicks aren’t motivation for creating or revising an app. In fact, most actively avoid incorporating them at all, and rightfully so.
“Cool” can get initial downloads to an app, but utility and relevancy foster long-term usage and return visits. Functionality and ease-of-use – not animations, augmented reality, or download-driving contests – are the elements that drive a mobile app’s success.
Grainger gets it
Take the Grainger App, tailored to an audience who are ordering parts and supplies while in the field. This mobile app was designed with the goal of building brand loyalty through improving a customer’s workflow and saving valuable time. Facility managers can use the application to quickly look up and create lists of needed supplies, or scan for increased convenience. The supervisor receives a push notification to the same app to approve pending orders. This streamlines the reordering process, with app users approving orders 40% faster than their online counterparts (Source: Internet Retailer).
App usage stats gleaned from comprehensive reporting integration not only allows Grainger to understand app users and their habits, but also provides a clear path of analytics driven app enhancement and feature prioritization. This understanding, and data driven iteration, has directly contributed to the app’s success and popularity with its user base.
Ultimately Grainger realized that what makes mobile cool is not one feature, but making mobile a useful tool in the purchase process.
Using your app to solve customer problems? That is the ultimate in mobile maturity.