Golf Business Apps: Why Should the Industry Care?
“There-is-an-app-for-that” moment has disappeared several years ago; the focus from novelty has shifted to the innovation and long-term profitability. The app business has matured and become part and parcel of the economy itself, and this is the reason that your business should stop and take note.
“The UK is now a smartphone society” – Ofcom
This means that golf retailers looking to maximise upon the rise of online purchasing and golf clubs that are looking to recruit and retain the younger generation, without alienating their older existing members, need not fear or hold back because smartphones have become the hub of our daily lives and are now in the pockets of over two thirds of UK adults.
It comes as no surprise that the vast majority (90%) of 16-24 year olds own one, however 55-64 year olds are also joining the Smartphone revolution, with ownership in this age group more than doubling since 2012, from 19% to 50% and this trend is set to continue.
It is not only the rise of smartphone users but the usage of apps in the UK has also increased steadily over the past few years from 32.9 million in 2013 to 41.4 million in 2015.
The golf industry for apps is split into two different sections, retail and club, with the overlapping themes throughout of customer awareness, interaction and mCommerce.
For retailers, research from Barclays in 2014 predicted by 2024 UK consumers are projected to be spending £53.6 billion per year using mCommerce. That same research shows that in 2014 33% of retail sales that were made on mobile devices took place on apps.
As you can see from the graph of “Worldwide Mobile App Revenue”; the economists are predicting over a doubling of app revenues from 2015 (41.1 billion) to 2020 (101.1 billion) making apps powerful sales and marketing tools that the golf industry cannot afford to ignore.
Mobile Responsive Websites – The App Resistor
Many of the savvy businesses have already built mobile responsive websites; which is an excellent start because without one Google will penalise you in the searches; and research has also shown a very high percentage of smartphone users will not return back to your site if it is not mobile friendly.
However, as you can see from the mobile app revenue statistics, having a mobile responsive website is the very minimum requirement. If you are not offering an app for your retail business or golf club, you are missing out on a very rapidly rising revenue stream.
I have lost count of how many times I have heard “but I have a mobile website, I don’t need an app”, this often comes down to the speaker not understanding the difference in the roles that apps play and what they mean to their target market.
And this is very crucial because websites and apps are not interchangeable. Although there are areas where they overlap, they have very different functions and used together they can make a very powerful business tool.
- Most people will find your business via your website
- Your website is an excellent place for in depth details
- Apps are great for retention and repeat business
- Used correctly, apps can build strong relationships with your target audience
Apps – The Flexible Business Tool
“”Successful mobile applications build strong relationships with their customers” – IBM
Apps can be used for so many things and the biggest decision is to work out what the primary and secondary aims are for your app. It has to be a win-win for both you and your targeted audience.
Below are a few ideas of what two types of businesses could use an app for:
- Brand awareness
- Direct sales (both B2B and B2C)
- New and current product demonstrations
- Data collection
- Used at golf shows from data collection to product demonstrations
- Push notifications of new product releases
- Loyalty cards
- Advertising directly to the users smartphone via GPS location services (local or defined area) or iBeacon technology
- Data collection to aid all areas of club marketing
- Course guides
- GPS location
- Tee booking
- Events and fixtures, including push notifications of updates
- Coaching – lessons, tips, bookings
- Promotion of other aspects of the business like hotel, food and beverage, weddings, etc
- Advertising and sponsorship via push notifications that are sent using GPS location services or iBeacon technology
Apps are great for reaching out and speaking to your audience and whether you are a fan of new technology or not, they are here to stay; used by many and are serious contenders in the business world. Isn’t it time your business looked at investing in these powerful business tools?