Mobile apps have become a critical tool in the belt of marketers and brand managers. Even without hard evidence that mobile apps work, these professionals can see the impact that their apps have everyday, whether it's customers commenting on social media or a sudden increase in rewards club members. However, there's definite proof that mobile apps are revenue earners.
Iowa State University recently conducted a study on mobile apps, customer connections and corporate bottom lines, and the researchers discovered that mobile app activity positively impacts purchasing. In fact, branded mobile apps have the ability to increase what a customer spends by as much as 48%. This is particularly true for mobile apps that don't even provide users with purchase options.
The more useful, the more valuable
According to the source, consumers who use mobile apps to look up information such as transaction history and credit balances or check-in at locations are more likely to spend more with brands that provide those capabilities on their mobile apps. Users purchasing the most, researchers noted, perform both of those actions.
However, apps must perform well, engage users and provide a "consumer benefit" if brands expect to see similar results, said Sun Jung Kim, the lead author of the study and assistant professor at Iowa State's Greenlee School of Journalism. Because if mobile apps aren't great, they will get deleted. Kim stated that over half of binned mobile apps were only used once.
Stop: Testing time
The need for getting a mobile app to app stores should never trump the importance of ensuring that apps are bug-free and deliver a great user experience to consumers. In this regard, mobile app testing should always be the highest priority before releasing a product or service to the public. Kim also commented on this topic.
"We understand the urge of brands wanting to get an app out on the market, but they really need to take caution and test it. Customers are not going to give the app a second chance," Kim asserted. "We found that people who stop using the brand mobile app after they download it become disengaged. In terms of purchase behavior, they purchase less frequently and spend less money."
Mobile apps are investments that pay themselves off over time, and the data from Iowa State only supports this fact. Therefore, putting a high-quality mobile app in consumers' hands from Day One is a best practice that should be followed by continuous quality assurance. Otherwise, brands are leaving money on the line.