Mobile Apps

5 reasons for Mobile Apps in Zimbabwe for your business

Posted on Posted in Mobile App blog post, Mobile Apps

The smartphone revolution has taken the world by storm and Zimbabwe is no exception. With mobile penetration rates in excess of 94% and ever faster connection speeds, Mobile Apps in Zimbabwe are being adopted at an accelerating pace. Mobile apps in Zimbabwe are being used for a myriad of things. These include for communication (WhatsApp), worship (Bible apps), learning to drive (Road Rules) and everything else under the sun.

More and more local Zimbabwean businesses are adopting mobile applications. Applications give them a competitive edge over their rivals and deliver value to their customers. Below are 5 reasons why your Zimbabwean business would benefit from a mobile app.

 

1. Create a direct marketing channel with your customers

Smartphone applications serve many functions: they can provide general information, prices, booking forms, search features, user accounts, messengers, news feeds, and much more.

One of the biggest benefits of having a mobile app is that all the information you’d like to provide to your customers – including special sales and promotions – is right at their fingertips. Through push notifications you’re getting even closer to a direct interaction, and can easily remind customers about your products and services whenever it makes sense.

Churchify mobile app - Mobile Apps in Zimbabwe
The Churchify mobile app developed by webgems takes advantage of rich media features including High Definition video
Churchify mobile app tithes - Mobile Apps in Zimbabwe
Our app takes advantage of mobile money like Ecocash to enable collection of tithes and donations from the app

Moreover, you can take advantage of the rich media features available on mobile smartphones including high quality images, video and the ability to make phone calls and send text messages.

 

2. Improve customer engagement

No matter whether you are selling automobiles or hotel bookings, your customers need a way to reach you. Having a messaging  feature within your app can really make a difference in the way you communicate with your customers. Think about it: OpenTable, for example, built its entire business model around this principle. Instead of calling a restaurant for a table, you can book it with less than five clicks on their platform. Now think about it: How many customers would prefer to communicate with you via text than via phone? Is it more cost effective to have people manning the phone lines 24/7, or having a platform on mobile devices that people are already using.

Closer to home here in Zimbabwe with the biting cash crisis we are experiencing, mobile banking applications have been a godsend. These mobile apps have helped ease the congestion in banking halls with customers able to transact wherever they are. This has brought increased value and convenience to the customer. It has also lowered costs for the banks as conducting transactions online is cheaper for them than in the banking hall. Due to this, the banks that adopted mobile apps and executed them well have enjoyed a massive competitive advantage over their rivals. most noteworthy is that it is the early adopters who benefited most. This is due to the first to market principle.

 

3. Cultivate customer loyalty

Another one of the most important reasons why you should consider building a mobile app for your business in Zimbabwe is customer loyalty. With all the noise out there — roadside banners, flashing signs, newspaper ads, flyers, websites, Facebook ads, and email marketing — we slowly lose our impact on customers because of the immense amount of advertising surrounding us all. It’s time to go back to making a true and sincere connection with your customers. Make them a loyal lover of your product and/or service. I am not saying a mobile app is going to save your business, but it can be a way of staying closer to your customers, and most of all being just a “fingertip” away at all times.

 

4. Stand out from the competition

These days mobile apps in Zimbabwe at the local business level are still relatively rare This is because many business owners have not explored how mobile apps can help their companies. Hence, this is where you can take a big leap ahead of your competitors. Be the first in your industry to offer a mobile app to your customers. They’ll be impressed by your forward-thinking approach! Therefore they will reward you because of the additional value you provide over your industry peers.

 

5. Mobile Apps are affordable

Finally, we come to the cost of mobile apps. Of course, there’s no dearth of vendors and individuals who will create an app for you. Trusted companies like webgems, which has built a solid reputation as a partner to Zimbabwean businesses, are making apps accessible to local businesses of all sizes. Webgems offers flexible payment plans that suit your circumstances. As a result our service makes building apps scalable and affordable.

ICDL Africa Zimbabwe app by webgems - Mobile Apps in Zimbabwe
The ICDL Africa app created by webgems has helped the client engage with customers in a cost effective way.

Finally, marketing on digital platforms like mobile apps is more cost effective than traditional methods. This is because it offers the added advantage of data analytics and also performance reports. Therefor,e the effectiveness of your marketing will be transparent. Consequently, this improves return on investment.

 

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  • The points you raise are valuable points to any business. It is important for businesses to engage their customers, stand out from their competitors and to retain their customers. I have a question concerning engagement, how does the business owner engage with their customers via a mobile app? Isn’t the communication in a mobile app only done in one direction i.e Business to the customer via the app?

    Secondly, should all business have mobile apps or are apps applicable to certain types of businesses? I extend this question to websites and social media pages. Do you think all businesses should have these?

    • admin

      Thank you for your comment Vuyisile.

      Communication can happen in both directions. For example in e-commerce apps, buyers can leave ratings and comments on products that they have bought. This allows the business owners to get valuable feedback on what their users think of their products. An app could also have a survey feature and collect more specific and detailed feedback on whatever information the business owner may be interested in gathering. Other more advanced apps have built-in analytics capabilities. This means that the app collects data about user behavior. For example statistics on how long they view a particular product, how many clicks a product gets etc. Really the possibilities for engagement are limited only by your imagination.

      Onto your second question, I would say yes all businesses should have apps. However, they should choose carefully which types of apps they get. The type of apps I had in mind when writing this article are consumer-facing apps, which as you correctly point out are applicable to certain types of businesses. However, there are in-house apps, used for increasing productivity within the business itself. Think of a warehouse manager using a stock-taking app that feeds data to the headquarters in real time. An NGO field officer collecting data and sending it in real-time using a data collection app. Any manual business process can be streamlined using apps. Again the only limit is your imagination.