The app trap – how building a mobile app can hurt your business

As consumer-facing businesses seek new ways to reach their customers, more and more are looking at developing their own mobile apps.

April 8, 2013

As consumer-facing businesses seek new ways to reach their customers, more and more are looking at developing their own mobile apps – but, says Lee Hartman of Connecto, this could be an expensive and brand-damaging trap.

“The average consumer has around 30 business relationships,” says Hartman, “and they are simply not going to download a separate app for each one. We’ve surveyed over 1,000 smartphone users and the main thing they consider when deciding whether to download an app is how often they think they will use it. Apps dedicated to a single business just don’t get used enough to get over this hurdle.”

“Many businesses have already abandoned their mobile apps. This is damaging to their brands, as well as meaning that the whole expensive development process was a waste of time and money.”

Yet mobile apps have enormous benefits, says Hartman. “The mobile phone is an ideal engagement platform because it’s always in the customer’s hand. Having an app means you have a permanent presence on the phone, with access to the hardware and information like contacts and location. This can help you to design more relevant and attractive offers, and to send push messages at very low cost.”

Hartman adds that unlike email, a phone message is likely to be read: “International research shows that 80-90% of mobile push notifications are read, compared to less than 20% of emails.”

Connecto’s own app, says Hartman, solves the problem of app overload by providing a single space in which users can connect with multiple businesses. “This means users don’t have to download multiple apps to connect with the businesses they use and love. For businesses, it means they can make meaningful connections with their customers without having to build their own apps.”

Combined with a mobi site and customer data, Hartman says Connecto can help to create a mobile customer experience that is seamless, integrated and immersive.

Hartman says Connecto is suitable for any business, no matter how big or small, that wants repeat customers. “Whether you’re a local restaurant, a plumber, a hotel, a taxi company or a national retailer, this is a highly effective, low cost way to connect with your customers – at their own convenience.”