Among the many methods businesses employ to increase their revenue is the development of mobile apps. The funds invested in apps can generate a substantial return, but only if they are built correctly and with the right objectives in mind. Skilled programming, UI and UX design, and overall functionality are key to getting a solid ROI.
Define Your Objectives
The first step to creating a mobile app is to define your objectives. This should be more specific than just “to generate ROI.” What are you hoping to accomplish with the app? Do you want it to sell for profit? Build loyalty? Provide a valuable service? The answers to these questions will inform the type, functionality, and format of your mobile app.
If your goal is to develop an app that generates revenue all on its own, then it’s probably going to look more like a game or paid tool than an actual promotion of your brand. If this is what will work with your business model, then go with it, but keep in mind that these types of apps have to hold up really well if you expect customers to pay for them.
Promote Your Brand
Some apps can be used to advertise directly to users. You can make a useful or entertaining app, release it for free, and then utilize it as a platform for advertising products that users may find valuable based on certain parameters you set. When it’s designed well, this can be a powerful tool for increasing sales.
Build Customer Loyalty
One of the more indirect uses of a mobile app is to build customer loyalty. If users find that your app helps them with certain tasks, they will be more likely to remain loyal to your brand. For instance, an app that tracks when certain types of maintenance may be due on an automobile will be valuable for people who don’t normally pay much attention to that sort of thing.
Provide a Service
Apps can be used to provide services. This could be something as simple as allowing someone to track a package or check their bank balance, to name a couple examples. Other services may generate income directly with Cost Per Action (CPA) services. These charge a certain amount to access certain functions within the app.
Not all apps are strictly for customers. You may design something that will improve the efficiency of business operations. For instance, an app that integrates with existing business software can improve mobility and decrease the time spent on certain tasks, thereby improving ROI.
Unless you intend to develop a paid app, there is little chance that you’ll be able to an immediate return from it. The benefits of developing an app usually come long-term in the form of increased customer loyalty and subsequent reach to more clientele. These reach into middle to long term ROI as they improve the user’s opinion of the brand and increase the odds that they’ll turn to you to satisfy relevant needs.
Simply put, while apps with this goal in mind do not generate revenue directly, they can increase revenue through attracting more customers and generating more sales of your products or services.
Of course, in order to be successful, your app needs to be well designed. A poorly optimized or clunky application that thwarts people’s very attempts to use it will not get far, resulting in a loss rather than an increase in revenue (long term or short term). Some keys to sound app design are:
- Ease of use—the UI needs to be easy to navigate
- Optimization—the programming needs to be clean with quick load times
- Compatibility—the app should work on the intended device
- Valuable—the app’s functionality must not get in the way of its own usefulness
When designing an app for your business, you need to make sure the app’s design matches up with your objectives. To learn more about building ROI with a mobile app, check out our other resources or give us a call at 804-451-6016.