Online retailer Zappos.com just launched a new app for iPhones, iPads, and Androids. It's a digital magazine and catalog that provides editorial content along with the ability to shop and purchase products within the app. They're promoting the app on their homepage, paid ads on Google and Facebook, and soon will roll out social sharing features. To incentivize people to use it, they've offered free next day shipping for any purchases made within the app, with no minimum purchase price. Talk about just in time for those last-minute holiday shoppers!
As usual, Zappos has nailed another aspect of its marketing. They've crafted a useful, beautiful app and executed a successful launch. But let me ask a question to all you B2B marketers and business owners out there: are you that surprised? Doesn't it feel like if you were in the B2C space, you could conjure up an app that drives conversions in the snap of a finger?
B2B marketers really do have a rougher time coming up with ideas for good apps, and it might be why they're reticent to invest money in mobile apps despite the burgeoning market. After all, why allocate limited resources to a mediocre idea with results you can only guess at? If you're interested in developing a B2B mobile app but just can't get your creative juices flowing, consider these 10 ideas for B2B mobile apps that you can customize to your business to yield real results. You may just find that B2B and B2C aren't so different after all!
10 Fantastic Ideas for B2B Mobile Apps
1.) Supply Ordering App: Are you a business product supplier? Create a supply ordering app that lets people order new supplies by photographing a bar code on the product they need restocked. Users can securely store their shipping and billing information in the app, edit the quantity, and quickly get more of the supplies they need. Make their lives even easier by tapping into their buying history and providing push notifications for when they are likely running low on a certain supply. You should also include reviews, recommended products, and shipping status notifications for a superior experience.
2.) Event App: Plan on hosting an event this year? Create an event-specific app with exhibit maps, session schedules, speaker bios, and attendee-provided contact information for networking. You can also let people push out messages to Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook right from the app.
3.) ROI Calculator: The ROI calculator is a tried and true app for business people who are constantly on the hook for proving ROI. Whatever action you want your prospects to take, an app that lets them quickly calculate the ROI of some aspect of it not only makes them happier, but it also makes your sale easier.
4.) Code Generator: Have an audience that has to do online design during their day job? Create a code generator to make it easier! For example, a marketer who is a novice with HTML might select your HTML code generator to quickly figure out how to code her next email campaign. That's one helpful app that can be used over and over, and spread to a wider audience quickly.
5.) Security Alert App: Are your customers concerned with online security? People in IT security or software can create an app that delivers security alerts when customers experience a security breach. IT departments the world over will love you for it.
6.) Networking App: Use the location-aware capabilities of mobile devices to create an app that lets your prospects and customers find people in their industry with which to network. Couple this with thought leadership content delivered through your app, and you're on your way to becoming the LinkedIn of your industry.
7.) Content Segmenting App: Is your content one of your biggest assets? If you're publishing high volumes of content, create an app that lets your readers select only the topics they want to learn about, and receive updates when you publish something new on that subject.
8.) Software Features App: If you're a software company, make an app that lets people use features of your software on their mobile devices. For example, create an app that alerts your sales team when a new lead needs to be contacted. This way, they can beat your competitors to the punch and make sales even when they're not at their desk!
9.) Calculator App: B2B companies with an audience in a mathematical field can create a calculator app. Provide quick calculations based on frequently used formulas to help them out in their day-to-day job. This will solidify your status as a reliable and helpful resource in your industry and make you a part of their daily lives.
10.) Legal Compliance App: Do your prospects and customers work in a highly regulated industry? Create an app that answers legal questions, delivers results for government guidelines, and provides safety requirements so people can figure out if they're being compliant at all times.
Have you created a mobile app for your business? Do you have any cool mobile app ideas you can share with other marketers and business owners?
Image credit: Zappos