Though mobile apps continue to enter the marketplace at a roaring pace, data from Mobile App Daily shows that an average user only uses 9 apps per day and 30 apps per month. The over-concentration of apps and predetermined mobile behavior of today’s consumer base can make it an uphill battle for businesses to generate new customers from their app.
Today’s blog will break down some of the key reasons why manufacturing companies may need to temper their expectations for new business leads to come in through their mobile app.
Reason #1: App downloads are one of the final, not the first steps to customer acquisition.
Your print company has been paying attention to the increased mobile usage of your customers and invested in an app that will allow orders to be created online, repeat ordering to be a breeze, and will include AR content that offers a detailed look at the printing process. Though a fair amount of orders have been created by existing customers, after a month there has been little-to-no business generated by new clients from the app. Why? Because before a prospective user will even download your app, they will want to learn more about your company and the purpose the app serves.
Instead of tucking a bunch of potent content away in an app, consider creating targeted content (social posts, videos, website landing pages) that will provide education about your company. After the content is viewed, there can be CTAs stating “Download Our App” placed on these posts, videos, and pages that will drive in newly-educated, prospective customers. Securing business through an app is feasible, but it’s much more feasible when the app is downloaded after an education process has taken place.
Reason #2: Poor search functionality within app stores makes it difficult for your business’ app to be found.
In early 2020, there were almost 2.6 million apps in Google Play, 1.9 million apps in Apple’s App Store, 670,000 apps in the Windows Store, and 500,000 apps in the Amazon App Store. Making your app discoverable in such a large pool is akin to catching multiple home run balls in the stands at a baseball game. Could happen, but probably won’t. Though there are some ways to increase your app’s visibility in these app stores through descriptive titles, solid keywords, and high-quality screenshots, getting your app to rank higher for customer searches is a great challenge.
Instead, focusing on SEO and optimizing your website can be a great launching point for your business. Getting new customers to visit your website and learn more about you, and then download your app at a later touchpoint, can be a more solid approach for securing new interest. If you’d like to optimize your website for search engines, here are 6 places for you to begin.
Reason #3: The features within your app are more meaningful for existing customers.
For some companies in the manufacturing industry, the complexity of a product or ordering process may make it more difficult for an app to be successful. Let’s look at the example of the Thermwood Cut Ready Mobile App. Thermwood Cut Center, a manufacturer of cabinetry and furniture, launched this app as a way to view products and remotely create jobs. And though this app can be purposeful for existing clients, several of the features make it more difficult for a new user (customer login requirement, access to existing jobs, and assembly documents that serve little purpose until a purchase is made).
When creating an app, it’s important for customers to consider how a new user (someone who is totally unfamiliar with your company, products, or processes) would experience the app. If it leads to too much confusion, the convenience that you aimed to establish with this app will actually be replaced by frustration, ending in you losing your prospective customer.
The creation of a mobile app is a huge investment, both in terms of time and money. It’s important for your business to begin by giving some consideration to whether a mobile app is a sensible decision for your needs. If the main incentive behind creating a mobile app is to generate interest from new customers, you should be aware of the aforementioned reasons why some mobile apps aren’t meant for driving new customers. The reality is that a mobile-friendly website can be equally impactful.
If you’d like to discuss mobile apps, responsive websites, or anything else related to digital marketing, feel free to connect with our team here.