If you are a small business owner and your business does not have a mobile app, you need to get one. Having a web presence alone is no longer sufficient, as online activity continues to shift to mobile. Simply put, smartphone apps have become too important a marketing tool for small business owners to do without.
Smartphone usage has been on a tear as of late. Nearly three-quarters of Americans check their mobile phones at least once per hour, according to a Gallup survey. Almost all – 90 percent – of that mobile-phone time is now devoted to using apps, analysis reveals. Americans now spend more time looking at their mobile phones than they do watching television.
This rise in mobile-phone usage means that smartphone apps have become a key marketing tool for companies of all sizes, including small businesses. Mobile apps increase engagement with customers. They boost repeat visits, and permit a wide variety of online transactions, including the deployment of loyalty cards, push promotions, and e-commerce transactions. Apps deliver coupons and send announcements that build your sales with customers. Apps also accelerate contact with your company, which enhances relationships with customers in a world where speedy responses are prized by buyers. Smartphone icons even help build brands by providing a visual design that customers recognize.
Many small-business owners still think that getting an app is expensive and difficult. They are worried about the need to build different apps for the various platforms customers are on – iOS, Android, Windows and Blackberry. They are unsure about building dynamic or static apps, and the difficulty of coming up with an app design. Moreover, most small-business owners don’t have the expertise to build apps themselves.