An app for your customers is great to retain customers and grow revenue, but it isn’t enough to run your business efficiently to make it grow.
It is necessary to employ software solutions or apps that will help your business’ ecosystem be more efficient and productive. Apps are more accessible than web-based solutions, as apps can be accessed on mobile devices which are cost-effective to install across departments. Apps can also be easily accessed by customers on their smartphones. You can use an app builder online to create apps for selling, business management, point of sale, etc.
Cloud-based apps even ensure that all captured data is saved on business’ cloud instead of local mobile or computer devices.
Also, it is essential for these apps to be integrated, so that everybody in the organization is on the same page and there are no fragments of information that are not utilised to make sound business decisions and actions.
In this article, we will discuss about the types of business apps businesses need to grow and the benefits of ensuring proper integration of all the apps you use.
Types of Apps a business needs
Here are a few types of app you should build to run your business smoothly:
1. M-commerce Customer app
This is one of the most important apps that your business needs to grow in today’s age, when customers are using smartphones and mobile devices more than ever. M-commerce apps are downloaded by customers on their mobile devices, which shows that they are committing to make purchases with you in the future.
M-commerce apps enable your customers to order good at their own convenience. They can make payments easily, encouraging them to complete more orders successfully while they are in a favourable frame of mind of purchasing. If you already have a Woocommerce website, you can convert website to mobile app for an integrated selling environment.
Apps are a great way to reach a wider audience and to retain customers for a long period of time. Customer apps also help market products, events, etc. cost-effectively.
2. POS app
Another app that your business should make or subscribe to is point of sale app that can be used to streamline your selling process. Such apps help merchandisers in managing inventory, making selling process smooth and fast, helping manage staff efficiency, and collecting valuable data on customer behaviour and staff performance.
A well-integrated POS app can help streamline all the departments of your business including Buying, Merchandising, Sales, HR, Delivery, and Finance. This helps run your business efficiently and helps reduce waste and inventory loss.
POS apps also help in maximizing revenue by recording customer data and using that data for marketing activities. They also help in revenue management and optimization.
3. Intra-business communication app
To run a business efficiently, it is important have a free flow of information among your employees. Lag in information transfer can lead to duplication of work and over or under-stocking of products. With an intra-business communication app, your staff and managers can be on the same page.
Many POS apps also enable different departments to transfer necessary information among each other. Such apps help combine facts from POS systems with ideas of staff members to enable decision makers to take profitable decisions.
An intra-organization communication app should enable efficient and necessary communication only. It should be designed to save time, not waste time.
4. Vendor communication app
The other kind of app that is important to have is the one that helps you communicate seamlessly with your vendors. This enables merchandisers and buyers to place orders without delay or hassle. There should be provision in the app to raise tickets for any discrepancy in the orders, so that quality products are made available to customers.
Vendor app can also be made independently or as part of your POS app, as POS apps give real-time data on the amount of stock available with stores. This helps in ordering stock as soon as your POS software indicates the need to do so.
Vendor communication app can also be used to receive invoices electronically and make payments to vendors in a systematic manner.
Benefits of integrating all business apps
Unify or integrate all the above apps to avail the following benefits:
1. Free flow of information for efficiency
When the apps that your have created or subscribed to are integrated well with each other, there is a free flow of information among all relevant departments. This helps in bringing all the connected departments on the same page.
Customer apps give information about customer preferences, this data is made available to sales staff, merchandisers and marketing department through integration of sales and POS management apps.
This improves business efficiency, as merchandisers are able to stock products optimally and price products well, sales staff is able to optimise its pitch to solve customers’ real pain points, delivery department is able to complete orders efficiently, marketing department is able to make their messages effective, and more.
2. Informed business decisions
Unification of information from all sources into one place to make sound business decisions can be revolutionary for a business. Analytics and information on products, customer behaviour, staff performance, etc. from a POS app can help managers to make informed decisions. Managers can also share insights derived from data analytics with different departments to highlight the areas they need to work on.
Customer apps allow customers to leave feedback about products and businesses, which can help business managers to make relevant changes to satisfy customers.
Integration of vendor apps with POS apps can help merchandisers analyze how well products from each vendor are sold from the shelves and how products from which vendor are available in time to make the most of a selling opportunity.
3. Optimal inventory
Customer ordering apps and POS apps give merchandisers a good idea about what customers like to purchase. As merchandisers are aware of the preferences of customers in different seasons and time of the day, they are able to stock products to maximize revenue and avoid overstocking. The information available from these apps also helps understand how fast a product moves from shelves.
Also, one can understand what sells in which season and at what price. This enables product managers plan their inventory well to utilize the shelf space of the store in the most profitable way.
Information about customer preferences can also be used to package products in a way that encourages customers to purchase often and larger baskets of goods. With POS app in place, product managers can also audit their inventory to prevent loss and theft.
4. Effective marketing
As POS app, customer app and inter-business communication apps are integrated, marketing departments can understand what works and what doesn’t work in getting customers to purchase products more often and in larger quantities.
With POS and customer apps, marketing departments can send marketing and promotional messages to customers cost-effectively. Customer data collected through POS software or app can be utilised to connect with customers who purchase with you.
Free flow of information between sales and marketing departments can help marketing department get first-hand feedback on how customers like to make their purchase decisions. This information can be used to design marketing campaigns that are effective in achieving desired business goals.
The above apps and their integration benefits show that achieving business growth is possible if you create an ecosystem where you are able to capture vital information about customers, staff and business processes, and your team and managers are able to access that information to make decisions and are able to share ideas to enable sound-business-decision making.
You can use an app builder online to create apps for your web-based selling and business platforms, so that it is cost-effective to enable all customers and staff members to access relevant software solutions that help your business run smoothly and productively.