If you’re a business owner, you likely try to stay on top of all the latest ways to increase customer engagement, whether that means improving sales at in-person locations you have, creating new ways to market your products to potential consumers, or simply getting more customers onto your website to view new offers and products.

But have you considered the potential that a dedicated app holds for improving your sales numbers and your relationship with customers? As one of the most effective methods of improving engagement today, an app is the perfect way to keep customers up to date on your company, to craft a strong brand image, and to make sure you’re a consistent presence in customers’ minds.

Keeping Customers Aware Of Your Company

Every business wants to attract customers who’ll make repeat purchases – after all, it’s one of the best ways to ensure consistent sales numbers. To gain consumers like these, you’ll need to establish a solid relationship between them and your business; a trustworthy app can play a large part in this.

Just consider the relationships you have with businesses through the apps currently sat on your phone. You probably use apps from companies like Amazon, eBay, or Instagram on a very regular basis, and even if you don’t often open them, just having the icon on your phone means that they remain familiar to you even when you aren’t interacting. Compare this to having to find a company’s website every time you want to make a purchase – clearly, an app is both more convenient and more likely to come up in your mind when you’re wanting to shop.

In fact, the success of many online retailers can be attributed to their innovative use of applications – Amazon, for instance. Though a customer might actually prefer to buy a product from a different place, the ease of having the Amazon app on their phone, complete with their billing and delivery details, means that they’re more likely to make a purchase with them. This means consistent re-engagement, with customers coming back again and again.

Creating A Relationship With Your Customers

So, you’ve crafted a solid foundation by getting your app on a customer’s phone – now you need to go further, taking their preference for your business from simple convenience to more active brand loyalty.

The most obvious way to do this is through a loyalty scheme in which your app keeps track of customer purchases, providing rewards for those who regularly buy from you. Though this used to mostly be utilised by coffee shops offering a free tenth drink for every nine purchased, businesses of all kinds now provide offers like this, and it’s a great way to incentivise customers to keep coming back. Apps also make this whole process much easier – think of all the cardboard loyalty cards you’ve lost in pockets over the years – and seeing the points go up on their phone screen transforms a single purchase into a much longer interaction.

One business that’s found success this way is the online giant Wish, a company that offers discounts and loyalty points that make customers feel inclined to shop there again. By simply using their knowledge of customer psychology in combination with targeted advertising, they’ve been able to grow to gigantic proportions in the last five years.

Essentially, a consumer just wants to feel as though a company appreciates their regular support – by providing a small saving, even on a purchase that they likely wouldn’t have made otherwise, they feel as though their loyalty is being appropriately rewarded, and will look at your business much more favourably.

Informing Your Customers Of Updates And Offers

Many companies have discovered over the last few years that notifications, when used right, can make customers buy from you much more regularly. A push notification appears on your phone lock screen and alerts you to things like social media notifications, system updates, and messages – but when used by a business, they can take a customer directly to a product page where they can make a purchase in seconds.

Basically, they keep customers aware of any new offers or products through a simple popup, and they can be extremely effective for situations like flash sales or new product launches, or to provide delivery updates on purchases that have already been made. In addition to giving customers the same information that can be found in a text or email, it also means that they’re aware of your business without even needing to open their inboxes and scroll through.

In fact, it’s been found that notifications can be very effective in encouraging purchases when compared to methods like email advertisements, which often receive very few clicks through and even fewer purchases.

But there’s a right way and a wrong way to use these notifications, and you’ll want to make sure that you aren’t overwhelming your customers – after all, they might just switch them off if they start to become irritated by constant beeps. However, this is still a proven method of keeping customers aware of updates, and is one of the most contemporary ways to boost engagement and increase sales when done sparingly.

Following The Latest Technological Trends

When you provide your customers with an exclusive app to navigate what your business has to offer, you’re also subconsciously telling them that you’re a company who stays on the cutting edge, and that you can adjust to suit their everyday needs. You might already have a website that regularly receives a good amount of traffic, but that doesn’t mean an app can’t be a useful companion to a main site, especially in terms of keeping consumers updated.

If you find that you’re seriously thinking of creating a dedicated app, you should do more research to make the most of this technology, look at the costs involved, and start looking into developers who can create an app that suits you and your customers.

In essence, an app is an extension of your business, and a key way of communicating with customers. If you take advantage of this ever-present technology, you could see some vast improvements in customer engagement.