APPS IN B2B: EVEN MORE IMPORTANT
The app: for years a common tool for consumers and suppliers interaction in the B2C industry. But in B2B, the potential for apps is only now really being realized.
And just as in B2C – its potential is proving inestimable. Apps have already proven to be practical and versatile tools for salespeople. But this is just one of many possible applications. For the customer-supplier relationship, having an app can offer both sides great advantages.
Apps are also available for business to employee – in both internal communications and process control.
Advantages of a sales app for a sales force:
The advantages of an app-based presentation are undeniable, especially for sales in field services. It’s for this very reason that we ourselves developed a tablet-based sales app for our client, Silony Medical. Having this means always having an interactive and visually appealing product database in the field.
The advantages at a glance:
- Instead of using print material or PowerPoint, the sales representative presents products elegantly and fluently through a specially designed app.
- When updating a portfolio, or individual product properties, it’s not necessary to reproduce massive sales material or maintain sites. The data update and maintenance of an app are automated, via a connection to the ERP (resource planning system) or the PIM (product information management system). Thus, all information, showcases, and product features, are always kept up-to-date.
- An app can also work offline since all necessary data is stored locally on the device. This means the sales representative in the field isn’t dependent on an Internet connection.
Benefits of an app for the B2B relationship
- An app offers the customer of a service provider or supplier the ideal platform to explore a product and performance portfolio vividly and interactively. A good example is the portfolio app that we developed for our Siemens. If required, it can also function to package the customer’s desired services.
- Products and services can be presented intuitively and convincingly through the app. Complex constructions or performance portfolios can be demonstrated simply and clearly, for example through animation. An example of this is the Remote Diagnostics App (UX Award Winner, Professional Award Finalist) that we developed for Siemens. Sure, a website can meet these requirements, but in addition to its other advantages, an app has an immediate "showcase effect" lacking in websites.
- Likewise, an app can take over the role of an online shop, so long as it’s built so that customers can simply assemble the desired services and products themselves. The app can’t offer more than an online store, but it offers the advantage of visibility and simplicity: because an app is a symbol on the home screen, while the link to an online store is its existence in the bookmarks of the browser.
An excursion into technology: native app, web app or hybrid app?
The question of which type of app is right for you, cannot be answered in a few sentences, it’s highly complex and completely dependent on your needs. But we can at least provide an initial overview.
An app that has been specifically programmed and optimized for an operating system is known as a Native app.
The most important features of native apps at a glance:
- All of the device’s hardware and software resources can be optimally integrated. For example, the app can use push notifications.
- Technical or content updates are installed automatically.
- The technical possibilities are practically unlimited, restricted only by a system or hardware.
- Native apps are usually distributed via the respective app store. And placement on an app store is immediately a marketing plus.
Web apps are basically websites, but they work like apps.
The most important thing about web apps at a glance:
- Both development and updates are easier and more cost-effective than native apps.
- They always work across the entire system, i.e. on all user terminals.
- The publisher doesn’t have to go through the bureaucracy of placing the app in an app store.
It is only complicated if one means it to be!
In order to provide the right solution for your customers or employees, you need precision and experience: starting with an exact specification of the requirements, the resulting decision for a technical implementation variant up to the design of the app.
Thanks to our in-house department for all things digital, our 360 ° portfolio offers the necessary and appropriate expertise for such specialties.
If you need professional advice, just get ahold of us.