Mobile applications have dramatically altered the way consumers interact with businesses. As a result, customers are becoming more hesitant to commit to a sale and more likely to take their business elsewhere at the drop of a hat. In order to stay profitable in this ever-changing market, companies must reach their customers where they are: their smartphones and tablets.
There are two major avenues in which a business can “go mobile.” First is to attract new customers through mobile advertising. Placing ads in mobile apps, posting on social media, search advertising, and having a responsive website are all ways to get your brand name in front of potential customers on the device they’re holding in their hand. These methods don’t fundamentally change your business in any way and could ultimately have no impact (good or bad) on your revenue depending on how you replace traditional advertising with them.
The other strategy is to creatively apply mobile technology to your business and generate brand new revenue streams that would be impossible otherwise. This approach adapts your company to the changing digital landscape and finds ways to drive sales even as customer behavior evolves.
But how do you create revenue for your business where it didn’t previously exist?
As customers want things faster and easier, consider offering your product on demand. For example, a hotel could increase the number of room service orders by offering mobile ordering with scheduled delivery because it can be done whenever and wherever, such as when the customer is on their way back to the hotel after a busy day. Or consider a grocery store could allow customers to order from the deli or bakery through an app and then just swing by to pick up their order as it is convenient.
Apps can be a conduit for delivering services that customers consider luxuries that they wouldn’t utilize outside of an app. An apartment building that couldn’t otherwise afford to manage concierge services could offer the same services coordinated through an app and fulfilled through partner companies. Food delivery from restaurants is a great example of a successful luxury service through mobile. Instead of going to a drive-through, the modern customer is very likely to consider paying a few dollars more for delivery. As long as luxuries are priced somewhat reasonably, customers will happily pay for services through a mobile device that they would skip if they had to go somewhere or call someone to get otherwise.
You are an expert in your industry. Offering your expertise in a way that’s easy for customers to consume and interact with opens up additional revenue. Clothing retailers could charge shoppers for a service that offers a stylist’s opinion on what pieces match items already in the customer’s closet. Event planners could offer basic planning services strictly through digital means without ever having to be in the same place as the customer. Finding a way to offer a simple element of your business in a virtual manner creates revenue that otherwise wasn’t possible.
Content that is traditionally delivered on paper, such as books, reports, and other texts, can be adapted to be interactive on mobile and sold in addition to the print versions. Children’s books can be animated and ask questions of the reader in a way that print cannot. Market research firms could deliver reports with dynamic graphs and data that responds to the user’s interests instead of static written reports. Offering content to be consumed on a mobile device hits a market that isn’t interested in print and expands your company’s reach.
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