Consistency is an important element of a franchised business. Customers who frequent a franchise do so because they are familiar with the product and know what they like. Deviations from what they expect can dampen their view of the company and may make them less likely to visit a new location again.

Franchisors have long been relying on uniform marketing plans, business outlines and comprehensive training programs to help ensure each of their locations are hitting the mark on the branded experience. With new technologies come new opportunities, however, and many franchisors are utilizing mobile apps to help keep their businesses connected and on mission.

"Apps can be built to help incentivize customers."

How apps help franchises
According to Franchise USA, one of the biggest draws of franchise mobile apps is the sharing of information. All of the details about a company, like the menu of a restaurant and the numbers for customer service, can be found in one convenient place for customers to access at any time. Apps can provide more instant access than navigating to a website, so on-the-go consumers can just open their phone and hit a single button. 

Apps can be built to help incentivize customers. They can check in each time they use a business's service to earn reward points that can be redeemed for discounts or track their favorite purchases for easy reordering. For an app to be successful for a business, there needs to be a reason why customers would want to use it. Build apps that make using the business easier and customers will want to patronize more frequently.

Apps make it easier for customers to spend
Another business perk to the brand mobile app is its ability to influence customers to buy more. Franchise Update suggests developers include payment options in their apps to make buying easier for consumers. Programs like prepaid digital accounts offer customers discounts for using the app, but requires them to put money in up front to use it. Businesses are then able to collect that money before a purchase is even made and often encourages a cycle of repurchasing.

Equipment and franchise industry piece brought to you by Marlin Equipment Finance, a nationwide provider of commercial lending solutions for small and mid-size businesses. Marlin's equipment financing and loan products are offered directly to businesses, and through third party vendor programs, which include manufacturers, distributors, independent dealers and brokers in the security, food services, healthcare, information technology, office technology and telecommunications sectors.