March 18, 202012 min read
Authors: Mikołaj Saik
Smartphone ownership has been growing rapidly around the world. Given that nearly 80% of the world population already owns a smartphone, it shouldn’t be surprising that mobile apps can do pretty much anything these days. The ability to communicate, shop, manage finances (or any other service, for that matter), entertain yourself, and measure your activity - are just a few examples of what they’re capable of.
From a business perspective, though, it’s important to realise that mobile apps can easily add value to your company and contribute to its growth. Here are 10 examples of how enterprises can use mobile products to their advantage. No matter if yours already has an app in place, these cases should inspire you to develop it further or start from scratch.
There’s no doubt that mobile apps have been a transformative force for many enterprises out there. How exactly do they affect profitability and ROI, though?
Let’s start from the fact that companies with business mobility are said to achieve greater IT operational gains than companies without. As per usual, it’s the early adopters that benefit from mobile products in particular - by taking advantage of emerging digital ecosystems early, concentrating product development efforts on brand-new digital offerings, and restructuring existing business processes to be mobile.
What’s more, according to Motus: The Mobile Workforce Report, 84% of companies reported an overall increase in productivity as a result of mobile app implementation. Similar findings were reported by Forbes Insights & VMWare - the majority (81%, to be exact) of roughly 2,200 enterprise respondents claimed that mobility had a direct impact on company growth.
What’s also interesting is that 62% of IT leaders with a well-defined mobile strategy were said to achieve ROI in 12 months (or even less than that). Plus, those companies who reached their business mobility objectives, were able to bring new revenue streams online 35% faster than companies without the focus on their mobility. If both entrepreneurs and IT leaders claim this tendency to be true, mobility is likely to affect your company in the long run.
Speaking of mobility goals - they also vary from one business to another. Even though increasing revenue is often named as the most important objective, mobile apps are also developed to boost customer loyalty and retention, drive shoppers to physical stores, improve brand recognition & PR, or simply provide company’s services on mobile devices to meet their customers halfway.
One thing is certain: mobility goals should definitely be aligned with your business objectives and your mobile strategy. Depending on the specific needs, you might want to consider different ideas for your mobile products - both internal and dedicated to customers. Take a look at the following 10 mobile solutions that can improve your profitability.
If done right, mobile apps can easily boost user engagement and loyalty - and it’s mostly because they create an opportunity to make both shopping and participating in loyalty programs much more convenient. In fact, 75% of consumers would engage more with loyalty programs that offer mobile-friendly rewards.
Still, collecting points and keeping loyalty cards handy, browsing products, and paying via smartphone are just a few examples of how the potential of loyalty apps can be used. They are equally important for enterprises, who can leverage such apps to communicate directly with customers, engage them in various ways, and collect relevant customer data at the same time.
If you’re searching for a successful example of a loyalty app - look no further. At Future Mind, we had a chance to work on such a solution for Żabka Polska, the biggest Central and Eastern European convenience store network. Its “żappka” app focuses on both more convenient shopping and boosting customer loyalty, through the ability to collect points while shopping in-store.
App users can later exchange these points for attractive rewards, take advantage of preferential prices, and leverage personalised deals which are redeemed automatically for them once the barcode is scanned.
Read more about żappka and other examples of successful mobile loyalty programs in our guide to retail loyalty.
As already mentioned, mobile products can easily help collect various types of data, facilitate different internal processes, and help manage them on top of that. In fact, it’s often necessary for a company to store and organise information properly so that both employees and customers can quickly access and make good use of it.
That’s precisely why internal management software was created. ERP systems, advanced analytical tools or CRM software assists in managing and analysing available data effectively, especially when accessed via mobile devices. Take CRM, as an example - the “mobility” will be highly appreciated for any salesperson that is temporarily outside the office.
Of course, CRM or any other process management tools are quite popular, and don’t necessarily have to be developed especially for your business. In many cases, though, they just may not be enough. Large companies often require dedicated, complex tools that are capable of collecting data from different sources and can serve different purposes. That’s precisely why you might want to create an app that’s tailored exactly to the needs of your business.
“frappka” serves as an interesting example here. It was yet again developed by us for Żabka Polska - this time, however, to support its franchisees rather than customers. The company has over 4000 franchisees and the goal of the mobile app was to make the process of store management intuitive and convenient enough for them. In order to make that happen, the following features were introduced: product delivery module (which includes delivery tracking in real-time), sales reports that can be filtered and thoroughly analysed via the app, as well as the franchisee's income simulator with ongoing payment info, just to name a few. Application has also different modules with special permissions for different management levels: regional directors, sales controls and even c-level representatives.
Mobile solutions don’t necessarily have to be as comprehensive as internal management apps. They can easily be used to streamline only certain processes with your business - especially when these processes revolve around identifying, filling in, and processing data. This way, they can also relieve your employees from manual, time-consuming tasks and boost their efficiency in the long run.
An interesting example of such a solution is the app created for Generali, the third-largest insurance company in the world. Generali tied agents struggled with adding numerous data from the registration documents manually in order to calculate the premium. Thanks to the app that scans the 2DAZTEC codes from registration documents, the calculations happen automatically. The app has not only improved the internal process but also strengthened Generali’s position on the insurance market along the way.
Another example of the process that can be streamlined within your company is internal communication & team management. Let’s face it: doing it effectively can be really difficult and time-consuming, especially in large corporations. Luckily, enterprise mobile apps are not only able to collect & give access to real-time insights and performance data, but also boost employee engagement in the process.
In fact, mobile solutions are increasingly used to:
Assess & improve employee satisfaction,
Involve employees in the decision-making process,
Help them apply for internal job opportunities,
Share company news,
Keeping track of all vacation days and sick leaves,
Measure everyone’s performance,
Report bugs or any issues with IT systems or the office itself,
Or even book conference rooms.
There are plenty of solutions that you can use for each and every one of these aspects - but having so many separate tools that can’t be integrated with one another is likely to complicate things in the long run. To put it simply: the more holistic and “tailor-made” your app is, the better for your business.
With a dedicated mobile app, it’s easy to create yet another platform for selling products in your online store. Especially since mobile app conversions tend to be even 3 times higher than when it comes to mobile web.
According to Salesforce, buying via mobile devices became as popular (or even more so) than via one’s computer. In countries like the UK, Spain or USA, m-commerce has already become more popular than e-commerce. In fact, 70% of mobile e-commerce transactions in North America happen via applications (for retailers that have a shopping app, that is).
Zalando is a perfect example in this case - the company doesn’t only have a well-functioning mobile version of the online store, but also a dedicated mobile app. Back in 2018, already 44% of its sales was made through it.
Why does a mobile app work well in this case? Because it’s able to play an important role in the buyer’s journey. Let’s face it: whenever they want to buy something, smartphones will be the first device they will use to research the product anyway. Here’s when you can encourage them to download the app - with some special offers and benefits, for example.
And the best part? Once the user actually downloads the app, you can collect information about them, send them push notifications to keep the connection and engagement with the brand, and finally, expect them to be much more loyal.
While we’re on the subject of m-commerce, though, it’s also worth taking into account the B2B sector. Nowadays, 75% of B2B buyers prefer self-service from reaching out to sales representatives, and plenty of them use their mobile devices to make purchase decisions. To give you an example: 41% of all mobile sales for Grainger (which specialises in industrial supplies) already took place via a mobile app a few years ago - and the percentage is likely to get higher. It’s definitely not the only company achieving such results nowadays.
Enterprise mobile apps can also make it easier for everyone involved in the supply chain, mostly when it comes to the efficient data flow and communicating with one another. This ability is useful especially when there’s a need to report on the progress of the manufacturing process or order completion, as well as on any problems that can occur along the way. That’s precisely why supply chain management software is appreciated in manufacturing, retail, transportation, and shipping, above all.
As a matter of fact, there are already plenty of mobile solutions that revolve around scanning barcodes, QR codes and maintaining data on products that these codes have - which is especially useful in shipping, during flight departures, in big inventories and obviously in retail. How does it work? You are simply scanning the code with your smartphone or related device, and the app is providing you with needed information or is starring a demanded process. Scandit is exactly that type of a solution.
When developing mobile apps, it pays off to leverage the potential of modern smartphones - especially when it comes to their cameras and increasingly advanced 3D graphics. In fact, mobile devices are now enablers for Augmented Reality and thus, a variety of innovative apps.
With AR applications, you can check whether your brand new shoes will fit well (thanks to Wanna Kicks, to be exact), test makeup products (with ModiFace in cooperation with L’Oreal), or see how a piece of furniture will look like in your flat (Ikea). Dedicated technology providers like Augment or ModiFace can easily make that happen. Still, the market for this type of software is growing fast, and we’re likely to see more AR apps in the future.
With the proper software, mobile apps are also capable of recognising images and facilitating visual search. Why is it relevant? Research shows that consumers are very interested in using visual search as part of their shopping experience, and it’s only a matter of time before products are searched with pictures as effectively as now with keywords. Read more about product search & discovery on our blog.
In fact, with solutions like Syte, Markable or Slyce you can already leverage visual search, look for specific products in-store, or even find alternatives and compare their prices. Such solutions can definitely attract a considerable amount of users (and thus, potential customers) and, in some cases, also boost conversions.
It’s no secret that all your channels, both online and offline, should be integrated with one another. It’s especially important if you sell via brick-and-mortar & e-commerce, as it helps you track all your customers’ purchases properly. Luckily, “merging” online and offline customer activity gets a little easier with dedicated tech solutions.
In this case, however, it’s worth keeping in mind that mobile apps can not only help your business but your customers as well. With such a tool at their disposal, its users can have a truly omnichannel experience - for example by checking the availability of products, navigating through the store, or using the “click & collect” feature.
Target’s app is a good example, as it allows its users to fill out their shopping lists and easily find the items in the aisles, pay with their smartphone, and order through the app (and choose to have it delivered, pick it up at the local store, or even select Drive Up option to wait outside the store).
In certain industries, such as banking, insurance and telecom service, clients can leverage different offers or packages, and customise them to some extent. These services also require a top-notch customer experience & support on top of that, which is why many service providers offer dedicated apps to enable clients to manage their accounts easily. The app we created for Virgin Mobile serves as a good example here, as it allows its customer to do exactly that.
As a matter of fact, every subscription model that permanently connects the service provider with the recipient is suitable to be managed via a mobile app. Such apps can also help in creating an offline and online service ecosystem, making it easier for app users to request & receive assistance - as their smartphone is a tool that they keep close everywhere and always.
If you feel overwhelmed with enterprise mobile app ideas at this point - don’t be. The aim of the above-mentioned list is not to convince you to create 10 separate apps, but rather inspire you to take advantage of them in the first place. Some apps and features are dedicated for internal or B2B use, some others work better in the B2C setting - and on top of that, you should remember that the application should be the solution for your business needs, not just innovation.
In any case: it’s worth mentioning that so-called super apps, which answer complex needs and offer many different features, are on the rise. This means that you might soon have to develop your app further to be able to meet the market & consumer needs, and grow your business once you’re at it.
If you’re ready to take your mobile app to the next level or create a brand new application, you should choose a partner with expertise in mobile solutions, enterprise software, and dealing with legacy systems. Luckily, we know just a perfect software house.