Consumers are constantly on the go. Mobile has become the norm as it replaces desktop computers as the most used device worldwide. On top of that, consumers get a majority of their information in apps because they’re quicker and generally simpler from a user perspective. Digital-marketing firm Smart Insights reported that 90 percent of time spent on mobile devices is in apps. This begs the questions: Should your self-storage company have an app? Will it help you get a leg up on your competition?
As of now, apps are a huge untapped resource for self-storage operators. Today’s consumers are used to having everything at their fingertips, why shouldn’t storage rentals be the same? Enhancing your strategy with an app will give you an edge on your competition, which likely don’t offer one.
Consumers tend to seek out the easiest possible solution to meet their needs. People prefer to live behind the comfort of their phone screens, and they like to handle their business on their own time. They would rather find information or pay a monthly bill in their pajamas at 2 a.m. than carve out time from their busy work day. Not only would they rather not change their schedules, but at this point, they’re used to this behavior. People are willing to pay for convenience. In saturated storage markets, convenience sells.
An app also lets customers manage their storage unit needs more efficiently and on their own time. They put the work into the hands of the customer, from finding information about your property to reserving a unit. And get this: With an informative, well-designed app experience, consumers want to take on the extra work, which cuts down on yours as a self-storage operator. In addition, they provide your company with more time to take care of business by creating a virtual bridge and eliminating the need to answer customer questions more than once.
What’s more? An app will help you gather data on your customers. From their preferences in unit sizes and features, you’ll have improved data to make better, customer-oriented business decisions.
When it comes to mobile apps, you first need to think about what your customers want. It’s likely convenience and control. An app gives you that as well as an edge on your competitors. Technology is growing at an exponential rate, and as more storage companies realize the trends in consumer data, you may not always have this first-mover opportunity. Below are a few tools that will make this process easy for you and deliver great results.
- SpiderDoor is a storage-app creator that includes various components to make your customers’ lives easier. It allows customers to pay bills, see their move-in and move-out dates, and report an issue via picture. It can even open access gates with the click of a button—an important feature as sometimes customers visit at night or during bad weather. It may seem simple, but at the end of the day, it could be a huge convenience for your customers that may make significant differences in retention rates.
- NextDoor is an app that lets communities discuss what’s been going on in their neighborhood and offer recommendations. Users can give feedback and post to their neighborhood feed about their experiences. Neighbors can ask specific things such as, “What lawn care service do you recommend?” or “What is the best self-storage company around here?”
While it seems like there’s an app for just about everything these days, would it be right for your business? First, ask yourself if and how an app might benefit your company. Determine which features would be most valuable to you and your customers, then select a corresponding storage app from there. Mobile usage is here to stay, so how will you meet the demands of technology?
Julie Etzler is an account-planning coordinator for Go Local Interactive, a digital-marketing agency that partners with national and regional brands across a wide variety of industries including self-storage, home services, retail, financial services and e-commerce. For more information, visit www.golocalinteractive.com.