7 Reasons Why You Need a Mobile App

Devin Meister

November 2, 2023

Vermont Systems WebTrac App keeps you connected to patrons anywhere.

A few years ago there was a rush to build mobile applications in many industries. Smartly, a lot of parks and recreation departments sat out this surge. The first series of apps often offered limited value to patrons or they were expensive to build and maintain. Things have changed with this current generation of apps. Now it’s possible to have a fully featured app that doesn’t take a dedicated developer (or development team) to build and maintain. That removes two main barriers to why parks and rec departments don’t have a mobile app. With integrated mobile app options available today, parks and recreation departments can quickly and easily bring an app online. Following are seven reasons why they should.

1. Push Notifications > Email

Do you want another email in your inbox? Probably not. Your patrons are no different. But while everyone recognizes that emails are a necessary part of life, they’re not right for every situation – like when you need to communicate critical information quickly and ensure that your patrons have received it. Push notifications in apps are far superior in this instance, with an open rate 10X that of email, and a similar click-through rate.

2. Mobile Traffic > Website

If you’re looking ahead at trends in communicating with patrons, take note in the mobile traffic growth. It’s now more than a 50% share of all internet traffic and 63% of all internet searches are completed on a mobile device. That trend is going to continue.

stats from https://www.zippia.com/advice/mobile-vs-desktop-usage-statistics/


Graphic from: 20 Mobile Vs. Desktop Usage Statistics [2023]: What Percentage Of Internet Traffic Is Mobile? – Zippia

People are not giving up their phone, and younger demographics of users are even more reliant on their phones.

stats from https://www.zippia.com/advice/mobile-vs-desktop-usage-statistics/

Graphic from: 20 Mobile Vs. Desktop Usage Statistics [2023]: What Percentage Of Internet Traffic Is Mobile? – Zippia

Having an app provides a seamless transition from mobile web surfing into your dedicated space.

3. Keep your Patrons’ Focus

A mobile app provides all the content you want patrons to see without distracting tabs and content from other sources unrelated to you or your selected partners. The result is an engaged and seamless user experience that helps direct patrons toward the outcomes your department needs and the information you need to communicate.

4. Better than Plastic or Printed ID Cards

More and more people simply aren’t carrying wallets because “everything” is on their phones. That can include your member id and passes. Better and cheaper for your department – with a scannable pass in your mobile app, you can ditch the cost of printing passes and never have to reprint or reissue a lost pass. Additionally, members are much less likely to forget it and it’s more environmentally friendly.

5. Streamlined Purchases, from Programs to Events

When people conduct their mobile search (see above) they want to complete their transaction right then and there. That’s good for patrons because they can finish what they started. And it’s good for you because you eliminate gaps in opportunities as they change platforms trying to complete their goal that can result in lost revenue for you.

6. Keep Your Community Informed with the Most Current Information

Your community relies on you to provide information, but now it’s also up to you publish and distribute that information. It’s a lot to consider and it’s easy to miss an audience by leaving out a channel. Fortunately, having an app doesn’t mean extra work for you and your staff. In a best practices app, updating your website will also update that information in your app. Your audience will see the information they need when they need it.

7. Better Understand Your Real Community Through Real Data

Apps can provide great insights into what your patrons actually do, not just what they say they do or are interested in. From clicks to location, you can see not only how patrons engage with your content, but if and when they show up and participate in your programs and events. The results can enable you to better tailor future offerings, gain insights on actual usage, and make smarter plans for the future.

Going Mobile Together

It’s clear that our reliance on smartphones and technology is here to stay. The new breed of mobile applications makes it easy for departments to provide an outstanding user experience, building both their brand and patron engagement simultaneously. Get a custom consultation to learn what a mobile app could do for your department or download a quick fact sheet.