As the rise of internet-connected devices continues, mobile apps will be a major priority for companies. Here are eight reasons why an investment in mobile app development is a smart one…

Businesses have always needed to provide a good customer experience. Today’s marketplace is undergoing a radical transformation, and establishing a satisfying omni channel customer experience depends on providing a mobile app as one of the main channels. The amount of revenue that comes in via mobile apps is already substantial, and growing fast. Revenues from customers via mobile applications are set to grow by $50 billion between 2016 and 2020, according to a study by Statista. Here’s a look at how your organization’s ongoing strategy depends on mobile app development.

Customers Expect Mobile Apps

Developing a mobile app for your business is no longer an optional perk that will show how forward-thinking your company is. At this point, mobile apps are simply something your customers have come to expect. As they seek to develop a relationship with your business, searching for useful information and special premiums, they will feel disappointed (and possibly even frustrated) if you don’t have a mobile app available to them.

Users Are Becoming More Mobile

Statistics tell us that 1 billion smartphones will be purchased in 2016, which will bring the global number of mobile devices to 1.4 devices per human being on planet Earth. Furthermore, half of all smartphone users have apps installed on their phones, and 57 percent of these state that they use their apps on a daily basis. By 2017, it is estimated that the number of app downloads will reach 268 billion. These huge numbers make it obvious that mobile technology is penetrating a worldwide market.

Websites Don’t Translate Well to Small Screens

You may wonder why it’s necessary to have an app, since you have undoubtedly ensured that your website responds well on small mobile screens. When websites first became responsive, allowing phone users to click on links and navigate successfully from one page to another, businesses felt that they had successfully mastered the mobile culture. The evolution of apps has now changed the user experience, however, presenting an experience of direct contact that takes advantage of mobile technology. Bank customers, for example, can use their device’s camera to deposit checks remotely. Restaurant and utility customers pay their bill with a few clicks, while shoppers in a large department store use beacon technology to navigate to items on sale from their particular wish-list.

Customers Can Easily Find Mobile Apps

You may be wondering how your customers will know you have an app. Once you’ve invested in development, you’ll have many channels from which to choose, and you can position special offers that are only available to your customers from within the app. You can also post physical notices, if you have a brick-and-mortar store, and you can send emails to your customers. Advertising your app on mobile devices is an option that’s becoming increasingly popular. Facebook states that mobile ads now account for 59 percent of its revenue, and many of these are ads for mobile apps.

Location-Based Communication is Growing

Mobile devices are aware of their geographic location, and this location technology forms the basis of an important way in which mobile apps provide you and your customers with unique value. People are increasingly likely to pick up their phones to find out what types of merchants and services are nearby. When your location-aware app discovers a customer’s device nearby, it can trigger special invitations and offers that are tailored to that person’s history and tastes. The data that you have gathered with respect to each segment of your users now has real-time proximity added, allowing you to reach out and communicate with customers wherever they are.

Social Sharing Is Easier Than Ever

With in-app messaging you can encourage loyal customers to perform as brand advocates, sharing their purchases, reviews and experiences with their entire social network. One click also connects your app with any social media platform, as the integration becomes increasingly seamless. These sharing capacities are continually increasing as geographic location capabilities add to people’s ways of connecting with others. A customer can share his or her location with anyone in their contact list, adding in maps, sales and other details. The brand loyalty that you build can now be multiplied through people’s natural desire to share their discoveries and experiences with others.

Users Relate in a Personal Way to Their Devices

There is something profoundly personal about the way we relate to our smartphones and tablets. People carry them in pockets and purses, increasingly using voice and gestural commands, and they rely on these devices to provide music, mapping information and storage of all their life’s information. This sense of personal connection is fostered by the evolving app technology, which allows your business to combine a customer’s personal history, interests, demographic data, geographic location and more. Apps allow you to create a multi-layered digital strategy that includes customized communications sent automatically to each user.

Enterprise B2B App Functions Are Multiplying

The benefits of apps extend to enterprise-level communications, providing unique channels of communications within an organization and with outside vendors and customers. Internal mobile applications are being used to streamline project management, inventory processing, delivery information and document handling.

To stay ahead of the competition, you have to expect your communication channels to evolve along with technology. As our lives continue to transition to digital channels, wearable technology and the Internet of Things will provide some new frontiers in mobile customer experiences. With the right spirit of enterprise and adventure, this is an exciting age in which to be part of the global marketplace.