By Atman Rathod
The app market is literally brimming with apps of all types and businesses. According to Statistica, Google Play store now has more than 3.5 million apps, and the Apple App Store has another 2.2 million apps. From the outset, it gives an impression that every second business probably has its own mobile app. But that’s still not the case. A vast majority of small businesses still do not have an app for their business. But the situation is fast changing and most businesses irrespective of their size and business outreach is striving for a mobile presence.
This is expressly the reason why it is important to know why small business needs mobile apps or to be more precise, what value additions mobile apps offer to a small business.
Before we explain the reasons let’s put forward some recent statistics on the popularity of mobile apps among small businesses.
- 42% of small businesses now already have a mobile app to their name and another 30% of small businesses wish to have one in near future.
- The vast majority of small business preferred having a mobile app for the express reason of attracting new customers.
- Small businesses owned by young people and millennials are particularly geared for a mobile app. 55% of small businesses owned by millennials have mobile apps.
Here are the key reasons for a small business to have a mobile app to its name.
Remaining Discoverable All The Time
As per recent statistics, an average American spends at least a couple of hours looking at his or her mobile screen. While only a handful of apps grab the large share of their mobile usage, the users still try to find new app appropriate for their purposes and uses.
Moreover, most users prefer using an app from a brand or business they are fond of. Naturally, if you have a loyal or regular customer base, there is no better way to drive engagement than with a mobile app. A mobile app will help your seasoned users to stay connected with the brand throughout the day.
Mobile Web And Mobile App Are Complementary To Each Other
If you have a business website it must perform well on mobile devices as most of the users now access the web on their mobile devices. Now, if your mobile or responsive website finds steady traction with a group of users, you can further promote them to download your native app and stay connected. Having a mobile website and a mobile app can be complementary to each other in terms of the scope of business promotion and brand loyalty.
Remember, it is the mobile user experience of your website that can be crucial to making the first impression of your brand. When you are successfully through with great mobile web experience, the users can better respond to your call for downloading and engaging with your mobile app.
Beat The Competition With An App
A mobile app is also a competitive tool for your business. If you see that the closest business competitors from your area have mobile apps to their name, you can consider them to be better positioned on the digital landscape. Check out the App Store and Play Store to see whether any of your competitors have already an app. Check out their app rating, reviews and have an idea of the user experience and how they are serving their target customers.
When you evaluate the mobile apps of your competitors you have the better chance of delivering a better user experience by avoiding the shortcomings of your competitor apps. Simple user interface optimised to help your customers in real life situations make a great business app.
Develop Branding And Recognition
A mobile app is also an invaluable tool to push brand awareness and recognition for your business. A business brand and its recognition are built over a period of time through consistent user engagement and a mobile app plays a crucial part in it.
Brand: A mobile app works better than any outdoor billboards or media ads. With a style statement in the user interface, superb functional output and performance on the user experience front and continuous value additions with subsequent updates you can create a lively entity out of your mobile app that continuously draws attention to your brand.
Recognition: More frequent becomes the involvement of your customers with the app more they are likely to opt for your products and services. An app by becoming always discoverable and visible open the chances of engaging users on a continuous basis and thus actively helps to push sales and business conversion.
Enhance Customer Engagement
Whether you are selling products or providing services, customers should find a means to contact your business brand. When your digital presence opened the avenues to get visible customers far and wide, your physical presence in the form of a store or office doesn’t matter until and unless they can reach you over the web or mobile app.
Through an app, you can provide your customers with a help desk that remains open throughout the day. Instead of calling for food delivery, you can book a restaurant seat or order food through the dedicated app just with a few clicks. Customers can book a hotel room or buy the latest gadget with a few clicks on the mobile app and get notified about promotions and delivery status.
An App Should Solve The Problem
Mobile apps particularly gain popularity when they solve problems of customers in a contextual and relevant manner. If your app can help customers to solve problems in their practical life, it clearly gives your brand an upper hand. For example, if you are selling equipment for construction and your app offers various measurement guides and tools to help engineers and construction workers, you are likely to get more traction and this will positively impact your sales as well.
A mobile app can become the most important storefront or channel for your small business provided you built the app with your target customers in mind. By launching a mobile app besides your regular mobile website, your digital footprint can be complete.
Atman Rathod is working as the Business Director at CMARIX TechnoLabs, a leading web and mobile app development company with 13+ years of experience. He loves to write about technology, startups, entrepreneurship and business. His creative abilities, academic track record and leadership skills made him one of the key industry influencers as well.
Mobile stock photo by maicasaa/Shutterstock