The opportunities for mobile applications are sweeping the world. There are so many mobile apps that we almost never need to touch a computer again! For instance, mobile apps allow anyone to check their email and social networking sites, the weather, sports, and even read the news. But wait! There’s more! We have apps for music, videos, and for chatting with friends.

And mobile devices are not just used for these simplistic apps. No. Now there are mobile apps for check-in services. The check-in services are becoming more popular by the minute. The Trump Tower in Chicago and Trump SoHo properties are testing their check-in service app that allows customers to check-in and out without ever approaching the front desk. Customers can even arrange for room service from their mobile devices! If the check-in service works as well as the Trump properties hope, they will expand the service to all Trump hotels. Even flights have check-in services. You can use the boarding pass on your phone to board an airplane.

But as we all know – mobile apps need to provide a service, with an easy-to-use, dependable interface. What we must remember about mobile apps is that consumers want the apps to be easy to use over any other factor. Consumers are not as concerned about security as much as they are about ease of use.

How can a business take advantage of the app explosion? A reliable, useful app is a business’ hot ticket to online marketing and customer retention. Think about the benefits:

An app is a brand identifier. Your companies’ brand logo pasted on the screen of your customers’ mobile phone.

A reliable app promotes good will. You show you care about your customers so much that you are willing to give them something fun or useful for free!

Good apps bring good reviews. Want people to talk well about your company, products and brand? Then give them an app that they will enjoy time and time again. Make your app user friendly and reliable and your customers will write good reviews about your app on your behalf.

Effective apps increase website or store visits. Make it easy for your users to get to your website or your store. Reward users who download your app with on-site or in-store coupons.

Apps provide cross marketing. Promote your site on your app and your app on your site (and LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook).

Think about your customers. Devise an app that will make their lives easier. Build it. Promote it. Reward your users. Enjoy the long-term benefits.