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10 Reasons Why Small Businesses Need Mobile Apps

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Amy Parker
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If you own or work at a small business, you probably don’t have the time, money, or resources to build an app from scratch. Fortunately, there are plenty of solutions that make it easy to get an app for your business up and running within just hours or days. And these apps don’t have to be expensive either; many options are free or relatively inexpensive and integrate with popular business software programs like QuickBooks and Shopify.


Here are ten reasons why small businesses need mobile apps to help them grow.


1. Control Your Marketing


There is no bigger trend in online marketing than mobile—and it’s only going to get bigger. More than two-thirds of U.S. Internet users will own a smartphone by 2014, according to eMarketer, and eMarketer predicts that nearly 1 billion people worldwide will use smartphones by 2013 (up 24% from last year).


Why are these numbers important? Mobile makes your business more accessible and easier to track. The ability to access information on a mobile device allows business owners to track their day-to-day sales stats in real time, or keep their inventory up-to-date while they’re out of office during an offsite meeting.


2. Save Time


Gone are the days when finding a place to eat or a movie took up an entire afternoon. These days, many of us turn to our smartphones for just about everything. Don't you think small businesses could benefit from using mobile apps as productivity tools? Not only will it save you time (and help you keep your sanity), but mobile apps can also make it easier to market, manage and develop your company. 


3. Grow Brand Awareness


The average American spends about 1.7 hours on their phone each day, and over 85% of us check our phones within 15 minutes of waking up. That’s a lot of potential customers who could see your brand logo in their daily lives—what are you doing to take advantage? For many small businesses, a mobile app is an easy way to get themselves out there and drive traffic back to their website.


Once you have visitors on your site, mobile apps can help you turn them into paying customers. You can include exclusive discounts or special offers that only appear via your app, offer in-app purchasing options, give users access to engaging content and much more. A simple shopping cart integration makes it easy for users to buy things while they’re browsing through your app.


4. Streamline Workflow


Research shows that nearly 80% of customers have used their smartphones to search for products or services. Yet over 50% of small businesses don’t have a mobile-friendly website. Most likely, these same small businesses also don’t have an app for your smartphone either.


Why are some small businesses still without a mobile app? The vast majority aren’t sold on whether or not they need one, and there is certainly a case to be made for having an app—the benefits far outweigh any cost and time investment required to develop it. Whether you run a retail store, service business, restaurant, medical office or another kind of small business—your customers want access to you through their phones. 


5. Attract and Retain Talent


By putting your app in front of customers 24/7 and making it easier for them to do business with you, they’ll have a better experience that’s more likely to lead to referrals and repeat business. Studies show that mobile apps increase customer retention, acquisition, engagement and average order value. Plus, research shows that businesses can realize ROI on their app investment within three months.


So if you haven’t already added a mobile app for your business, now is as good a time as any. And since more than 50% of small businesses don’t yet have an app, you’ll also get a leg up on your competition by getting out in front of mobile technology.


6. Stand Out from the Competition


If your business is more than just a product or service, you need to build an app to set you apart from competitors. There are plenty of reasons why mobile apps are beneficial for businesses, including allowing them to market their products, get customer feedback and collect leads. But don’t start building an app until you understand why it will be important for your business.


And know that there are different types of apps: The most common is a mobile-friendly website that’s easier for users on smartphones and tablets to navigate than navigating a full-sized website on their devices; others include web apps and native mobile apps. Decide which type best fits your needs before moving forward with development so you can build an application that works best for both customers and employees.


7. Launch New Products and Services Easily


Your customers are using their smartphones for everything—and there’s no reason you shouldn’t too. An app can give you a mobile perspective on your market and allow you to collect real-time feedback from your customers. In fact, it’s proven that companies with mobile apps experience higher customer satisfaction scores than those without them.


Use an app to access insights about where your target audience is, what they like and how best to reach them based on their habits, interests and engagement points with other brands.


8. Keep Customers Engaged


The first reason businesses need mobile apps is to help engage customers. Your business can’t survive without a constant flow of new customers. That means giving them reasons to keep coming back over and over again. Make sure you have an app that gives your customers a way to connect with you and learn about your services and what’s new with your company.


Make it simple for them to book appointments, contact you with questions or problems they may be having, or check out what other people are saying about your business on social media. Your app needs to work like a Swiss Army knife, giving them everything they need right in their pocket at all times.


9. Gain Market Insights


The first reason small businesses need mobile apps is to gain market insights. Marketing strategies change with time and technology, so it's important to have access to real-time data. An app can make it easy for you to monitor customer behaviors, track user trends, and better understand what consumers are looking for in products.


If a new feature or product fails to sell well on a large scale, you can then analyze its popularity and adjust your strategy accordingly. Being able to access data from anywhere will help keep your business ahead of other competitors.


10. Provide Excellent Customer Service


Small businesses need to have excellent customer service because their survival depends on it, says Paul Ritter, vice president of small business for Fiserv Inc., a financial services company. If a customer is treated well, they will do business with you again and they'll tell others.


He adds that having an online presence helps improve efficiency as well as service. If your customers can't reach you through your website or mobile app, you may be putting your sales at risk.


Conclusion


The bottom line is that mobile apps can help your small business stand out from your competition, communicate and engage with customers in a new way, and increase sales. In today’s marketplace, you simply cannot afford to take a mobile-first approach for granted.


If you are business owner and want a secure, scalable and affordable mobile apps, then you should hire mobile app developers in India. As leaders of small businesses everywhere know, staying ahead of market trends can be tough. But now more than ever, companies that don’t invest in developing a mobile app are bound to fall behind their competitors who have one—and fast.


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