Creating an App that’s Worth It
Whenever a new platform starts gaining popularity, most brands assume they should jump on the bandwagon. “We need to build an app.”
But simply chasing the latest trendy platform is an expensive and resource-intensive approach to finding new ways to reach customers. And some platforms are more costly than others. Mobile apps can be particularly expensive and unwieldy to develop, and the return can be fleeting. You’re always just one push notification away from pushing customers to delete the app altogether.
What is an App?
An app shouldn’t just be a recreation of what you offer elsewhere. You need to think of the real benefits of taking the time and money to develop it. Good apps better solve a customer pain point or improve a customer’s experience. That improved experience could be everything from an online ordering system that utilizes GPS to downloadable content that can be accessed without an internet connection.
Or, in the case of L’Oréal Paris, it can be a whole new way to try on makeup. The company’s Makeup Genius App lets you virtually try on its makeup products in real time using a smartphone camera. It allows users to try on many different makeup styles, something that can be difficult, time-consuming and messy as an in-store experience. Users can then buy the makeup they tried on directly through the app.
L’Oréal says the app will “change the way you try on and test out makeup.” It offers customers a convenient experience that cannot be offered in store. It doesn’t hurt that customers can try on more makeup and purchase it with the tap of a finger without leaving their homes.
Long story short: Trends and ways to connect with customers change so frequently, it might seem important to be present on all platforms. However, it’s often better to concentrate your efforts on the platform that will truly offer something different or better to your customers.