B2B marketers used to rely on traditional channels such as print media, radio ads, banners, etc. to reach potential buyers. However, the rise of the internet and the growing popularity of mobile smartphones and tablets has changed the scenario. Moreover, today’s B2B buyers, who are constantly on the move, prefer cloud-based solutions that can be accessed anytime, anywhere. It is, therefore, becoming increasingly crucial for B2B businesses to actively engage with their target audience using online channels. In other words, you need a B2B mobile app to engage potential buyers and build long-term relations.
In fact, the mobile business applications market is expected to be worth $140 billion by 2023. Moreover, mobile devices account for more than 40% of B2B e-commerce sales. If you’re still contemplating developing a B2B mobile app, it’s high time you take the plunge.
In this blog, we’ll discuss the benefits and key features of B2B mobile apps. But let’s first understand what differentiates them from B2C mobile apps.
B2B Mobile Apps vs. B2C Mobile Apps
The most significant distinguishing factor between a B2B mobile app and its B2C counterpart is its target audience. While B2C apps are meant for regular consumers, B2B mobile apps target strategic decision-makers. They’re looking for cost-effective solutions to maximize the revenue and efficiency of their business. Moreover, they’re likely more selective and demanding than regular consumers.
Such users have zero tolerance for slow apps that are ridden with bugs and frozen screens. Therefore, a B2B mobile app must be extremely reliable and user-friendly. Moreover, it should be capable of serving a multitude of users without any interruptions. It should also work efficiently across multiple devices and seamlessly integrate with other software solutions a company might be using.
It’s also important to ensure that the app provides top-notch security. Users will likely share sensitive and confidential business information on the app. Even a minor data leak could result in catastrophic consequences for a user’s business. This, in turn, will adversely affect your reputation, credibility, and revenue.
Benefits of B2B Mobile Apps
If your business already has a mobile-responsive website, it’s only natural to wonder why you need a mobile app. While a website is a great tool for boosting awareness and showcasing company information, it offers limited scope to communicate with your audience. Moreover, a limited cookie lifetime doesn’t let you track user behavior over a long period. A mobile app, on the other hand, can be used to constantly monitor user behavior and send personalized offers and upgrades.
Here’s why your company needs a B2B mobile app:
New-age B2B buyers aren’t always stationed in their offices. They’re likely on the move, meeting potential clients, conducting field research, and supervising operations at different business locations. It isn’t always feasible for them to check out your website and learn more about your product/services.
They’d rather use a fast, user-friendly, and cloud-based app that lets them easily browse your product catalog and place an order. If they can log in to the app from any device irrespective of their location, it’ll make their life even simpler. The seamless 24×7 accessibility of mobile apps makes them a preferred choice over websites for today’s B2B buyers.
Once a potential buyer downloads your app and signs up, you get access to a treasure trove of useful analytics and insights. You can monitor various parameters including their online behavior, purchasing history, and geographical location. This, in turn, lets you create personalized catalogs, discounts, upsells, etc. for each user.
For instance, you can sort your product catalog based on a user’s location. You can list your products in ascending order of delivery period. Likewise, you can recommend relevant upgrades based on a user’s purchasing history. The best part is that you can access these parameters 24×7, as long as the app is installed on the user’s device.
One of the biggest advantages of mobile apps is that they let you directly communicate with users. You can leverage in-app messages and push notifications to send tailor-made offers and upgrades. Moreover, you can send important reminders related to service renewal, license expiry, scheduled maintenance, etc. It keeps your business alive in the user’s memory, nurtures qualified leads, and helps convert them into a paying client.
24×7 Customer Support
A mobile app can change the way you provide customer support. Most B2B buyers are constantly juggling multiple responsibilities. They likely don’t have the time to log in to their desktop, raise a ticket, and wait for your response. Instead, they’d prefer to use their phone to communicate with your customer service executives in real-time.
A mobile app gives them a channel to reach out to you anytime during the day, irrespective of their location. Your customer service reps can monitor their messages and immediately provide the most effective solutions to their problems. Additionally, you can track orders and monitor services to resolve problems on-the-go. This can be instrumental in winning their trust and improving your brand reputation.
Improved Customer Retention & Loyalty
A mobile app lets you directly communicate with potential buyers, create a personalized customer experience, and provide flawless customer support. All of these factors help you build a long-term relationship with your clients. It makes them feel valued and ensures that they keep returning to you for more solutions. It reduces the overall churn rate and maximizes your revenue.
Moreover, a mobile app helps build your brand and etches it in the user’s memory. You can even reward regular clients with special discounts, product upgrades, and other promotional offers. This, in turn, impresses them further and converts them into loyal advocates of your brand. This, in turn, strengthens your reputations and helps you reach a wider audience.
Key Features of B2B Mobile Apps
There isn’t a standard formula or template for building a B2B mobile app. It can range from a simple app-based product catalog to a full-fledged e-commerce application. The features you include would depend on your products/services and target audience. However, here are a few essential features that will improve its overall usability and performance:
One of the primary purposes of creating a mobile app is to directly communicate with potential buyers. From the latest promotional offers to license renewal reminders, you have to convey crucial information at each stage. Therefore, enabling push notifications is a must.
Do you want your clients to directly purchase your products from the app? Do you also want to receive payments and track orders through the app? Then your app must include a feature that lets you easily create and share invoices with your clients.
Meeting a potential client is crucial to resolving their queries and convincing them to purchase your product/service. But it’s no longer practical to chase a lead for months before getting an appointment to meet them. Instead, you can use your mobile app to let potential buyers schedule an online or in-person meeting with you. The app can also send a notification reminding both parties about the meeting.
If you want your clients to directly purchase your products from the app, it’s crucial to provide a simplified checkout process. It must be quick, hassle-free, and secure. Additionally, it should include complete details of your shipping and return policies.
Include a live chat feature on the app to let users easily reach out to you for help. You can also use in-app messages to seek feedback about specific products and features. Likewise, you can include an option to let them directly call or email your customer support team.
A B2B mobile app is your most powerful marketing tool. It lets you communicate with potential buyers, impress them with personalized offers, and influence their purchase decision. You can even monitor their behavior and modify your marketing strategy to suit their needs. It’s also a great way to provide round-the-clock customer support and boost customer loyalty.
Has your company ever considered building a B2B mobile app? Share your views in the comments section below.