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10 Examples of Effective Mobile Business Apps

Author's avatar By 21 Jul, 2014
Essential Essential topic

What can the best business apps on the market teach us?

Business Apps

A great mobile app adds that little something extra consumers just don’t get from a desktop or mobile site.  Offering instant information and efficient access to products, an app can increase loyalty by providing the consumer with an immediate handheld solution.  A well-designed app well allied to a wider integrated multi-channel retail policy can offer both consumers and brands with huge benefits. Here are 10 inspiring business apps that do just that.

Debenhams

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 13.29.02The Debenhams mobile app offers customers a simpler alternative to the department store’s desktop and mobile sites, allowing them to swiftly shop the full Debenhams collection.  The app enables users to scan barcodes while shopping in-store to check for sizes and prices as well as read other customer’s reviews of the item.

Also available for download on Android.

Zappos.com

Zappos

Zappos' mobile app offers users the opportunity to manage their accounts and track their orders on a map, it also saves searches and notifies users when their desired products come back into stock. The use of push notifications means customers do not forget about purchases and are reminded when stock becomes available.

Also available for download on Android.

Domino’s Pizza

Dominos

An effective app for ordering food that offers a built-in pizza tracker allowing users to keep an eye on what stage their pizza is at in the preparation and delivery process. Consumers can quickly order tailored takeaway meals and effortlessly pay while Domino’s has effectively cracked the age-old problem of customers calling up to find out where their pizza is.

Available to download for iOS and Android.

EDF Energy

EDF Energy

EDF Energy’s app enables users to manage their electricity and gas accounts on their smartphones as well as quickly submitting meter readings by uploading a photo of the meter.  The recently updated Self Service feature also allows users to request paper copies of their bills as well as altering their direct debit amounts and offering energy saving tips. EDF’s app makes it easy for consumers to keep on top of their utilities and an eye on their outgoings.

Available to download on iOS and Android.

Autoglass

Autoglass

Autoglass app users can instantly diagnose the damage to their windscreens or side windows to find out what work is required to fix the glass.  A full overview of branch locations can be displayed on a map and users are given the opportunity to choose where they would like the work to be carried out along with an estimate of how long it will take and how much it will cost.

Available to download on iOS and Android.

ASDA

ASDA

ASDA app users can shop and pay for groceries on their smartphones as well as instantly adding items using a barcode scanner.  The app automatically syncs shopping lists across devices and enables users to shop from their Favourites, view ASDA’s petrol price at their closest petrol station and find their nearest ASDA store.  Additionally, the app makes use of a popular recipes suggestion feature to aid users with their grocery shopping.

Available for download on iOS and Android.

Amazon

Amazon

One of the most downloaded shopping apps in the world, the Amazon app enables users to shop the full selection of Amazon products and purchase items on the move.  The app uses push notifications to alert the customer when their parcel has been shipped and delivered, keeping them in the loop with their purchase and the brand’s name regularly popping up.  Amazon also offers a shareable wishlist feature with its app, encouraging family and friends to buy gifts through the retailer.

Available to download on iOS and Android.

Just-Eat                

Just-Eat Just-Eat’s easy to navigate mobile app enables users to search for a takeaway using their postcode before ordering and paying with their chosen method.  In 2013 downloads of the app increased by 500% while Just-Eat predicted that the app would reach 41.9 million smartphone users by 2015.

Available to download on iOS and Android.

thetrainline

thetrainline

Customers can use thetrainline’s award winning mobile app to check train times, plan journeys and buy tickets on-the-go.  Mobile visitors are prompted to download the app for free before accessing the site. It allows users to book tickets in advance, browse the best fares available, save favourite and past journeys and also allows users to pick up tickets from stations across the country.  First launched on App Store in October 2009, the app has since been downloaded more than six million times.

thetrainline can be downloaded on iOS and Android.

easyJet

easyJet

Using the easyJet app customers can search, book and manage flights as well as check-in and download their boarding passes onto their smartphones.  Overall customer reviews on App Store and Google Play demonstrate they are impressed with the speed and function of the easyJet app, particularly in comparison to Ryanair’s much less popular counterpart which is regularly criticized for its slow loading time and unreliability.

Available on iOS and Android.

What Benefits Can Apps Deliver For Brands?

These well well-designed apps all sit within a well-considered multi-channel marketing and operations strategy and therefore they are able to offer a host of benefits to consumers, including time savings (Amazon and ASDA), advice and guidance (ASDA recipe suggestions), fast and efficient problem resolutions (Autoglass), delivery and stock notifications  (Domino's, Amazon, Zappos) and instore interaction (Debenhams).

These perceived improvements to the customer experience deliver significant benefits to the brands involved including...

Repeat purchases, cross sell and upsell

ASDA's use of favourites and recipe advice are worthy of note. While the favourites listings on the app is helpful and generates brand affinity by offering time savings and a more personalized shopping experience, it also allows ASDA to push repeat purchases and highlight promotions. Its use of recipe advice is also dual edged: it offers useful advice to consumers thereby improving the brand experience and saving time on online shopping, but it also allows ASDA to push new products and back up wider ecommerce promotional activities.

Permission marketing and brand affinity

Zappos' use of push-notifications to inform consumers that products are now in stock are a prime example of permission marketing. Due to the fact that the customer requested a product update, this second stage push to sale is seen as a service and a gentle reminder, rather than as an unwanted direct response call to action.

Third party purchase requests

Amazon's use of wishlists enables consumers to create lists of desired purchases. This then not only generates repeat purchase activity, but also enables people to share lists of presents they'd like for special occasions. Both of these increase sales, and third party interaction.

Customer service resolutions

One of Domino's pizzas biggest problems historically was people phoning their shops to ask when their order would be delivered. The new app resolves that problem by telling people when they can expect their delivery.

To Sum Up…

The truly great apps are part of an integrated marketing and operations plan.  So when developing an app for your brand it is paramount to ensure that this it is integrated with other areas of the business, once all that is in place you need to consider the best way for it to offer an effective resolution of a customer pain point while also offering a solution to a specific pre-existing problem in your business that is unresolved by desktop or mobile sites. Do all that, and your app will be the cherry on top of your digital marketing strategy.

Autoglass, Domino’s and EDF Energy will all be speaking at Smart Insights Digital Impact 2014.  To book your ticket click here.

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