Entrepreneurs and business owners know that innovation is imperative in pushing any business forward. Being innovative, however, is not easy and is often risky as well as very expensive.
As with any business outlay, measuring return on investment on any innovation is crucial. Measuring that return is usually done in some abstract way. Rarely is it calculated clearly.
A small pizza and food/coffee business called My Goodness Pizza, is based in St Kilda Road, Melbourne, and for some time its enthusiastic owner, Danny, was looking to have a mobile app. He intended the app for promotion of specials and to allow ready ordering of food by his customers. Danny has an excellent point of sale system which makes running his business very efficient.
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The point of sale system was integrated into the My Goodness Pizza app. It was combined with their social media and a menu for ready ordering of any food item.
Next step was the promotion of the My Goodness Pizza app as it was crucial to let customers know of its existence so they could use it. Understanding that customers check their mobiles some 200 times a day, it was important to ‘think like the customer’. We allocated Danny as many SMSs as required to promote the app via SMS alert. In fact, we know that more than 90% of SMSs are read within three minutes and that, in total, more than 99% of SMSs are read. Given that on average only around 22% of emails are opened, we knew that email promotion would not generate the impact needed.
So you’re wondering how Danny’s app has gone? Well we were quite shocked by its outstanding return. Its success is not just in getting orders but making those orders easier in ways no one expected. For example, the deaf school nearby loves being able to order their pizzas using the app (considerably easier for the hearing impaired) and we’re excited by the ongoing growth that Danny is driving. And when it’s not overly busy, Danny can promote specials and drive more business with free alerts at any time. It’s great for customers too, as they can opt in to receive alerts and special offers. Now Danny is working on increasing awareness of his app in store. The more the promotion and customer awareness of the app, the more ‘dough’ he makes.
Stories like Danny’s little pizza business are becoming more common. We now have case studies in everything from the promotion of health clinics to car dealers promoting service specials and entertainers engaging their fans and selling more merchandise.
These opportunities aren’t going away. Good-looking, user-friendly and useful apps are only growing in popularity. Today, more than ever, businesses need to engage with their customers and prospects. Being able to do this in a measured way with a return on investment is enlightening.
One word of caution, however, is that like everything else in business, apps need to be embraced as an important channel for growth and not be expected to bring instant rewards without work. Of course a good app company should also have the capability to assist with ideas and tools for promotion to support such an important innovation.
Dennis Benjamin is the founder and chief executive of mobile apps specialists AppsWiz and the Informatel Group. He is an expert in the areas of mobile trends, mobile apps, apps for businesses, entrepreneurship, and startups.