As smartphone technology has developed, so these devices have had a bigger impact on our lives. One area where their presence is particularly felt is the corporate world, with companies frequently using them to score an edge over competitors. These are five ways that they have helped to change businesses.
- Cost cutting
A lot of businesses nowadays exist as little more than smartphone apps – with start-ups frequently doing away with concrete office space and other expenses that used to be considered essential to running a business. The reduced overheads that being online and mobile-based can enable businesses to offer products and services cheaper – like the app-based taxi firm Uber. Users just download the app, submit a journey request and a driver is sent to them, and the lower fares have left rival taxi firms standing.
Some businesses have learned that a mobile-friendly website will let their customers access the site at all times during the day. An example of this would be online casino and sports betting firms that have ensured their games and betting services are reaching more people than was the case when people needed computer access to use them. Mobile websites are now standard in this industry, as all online betting firms realised the benefits.
- Start-up innovation
The potential that smartphone apps offer for anyone with the IT skills and an idea to launch their own business, has led to an explosion of new business talent. The ones that prove most successful are those that recognise a clear need and fulfil it – for example the creators of the AroundMe smartphone app. This lets people who have just arrived in a country or a city locate good hotels, eateries, nightclubs etc – and then uses smartphone GPS software to supply directions. It reduces the need for traditional travel guides.
- Marketing opportunities
Smartphones have enabled people to access social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube at all times which has provided great marketing opportunities for those companies that can exploit these sites. One company that did so was Heinz, which developed a Facebook game asking users five different questions, similar to personality tests. Types of baked beans were used for giving the results and winners received personalised ones. This sort of quirky strategy engages customers and helps keep companies like Heinz in the minds of the public.
- Speedy service
Smartphones present opportunities for speeding up customer service – such as QR codes. The estate agency website RightMove adds these to For Sale signs outside properties so those browsing while on the move can scan the QR codes using their smartphones and be taken straight to information about the property. This provides a clear advantage over estate agents not using it, as it is much faster and more efficient.
There are a number of popular companies that have used the potential of online technology to really change how their industry operates. You could always try giving your company a competitive edge by trying one of these ideas.