Five Reasons Your Small Business Needs a Mobile App

Tue, Aug 7, 2012


Marketing trends can be a tricky thing for small businesses to navigate. On one hand, you don’t want to be suckered into a costly fad strategy that’s going to leave your business broke and ineffectively marketed. On the other hand, you don’t want to miss the bus on the next technology-driven leap forward in your industry. How many successful businesses can you think of that still don’t have a website?

I’ll wait…

Can’t think of any? Me neither. Mobile apps are today what websites were 15 years ago. Not everyone has one yet, but almost everyone can benefit from one. Tablets and smart phones are both technologies with staying power, and the way a typical consumer interfaces with his or her mobile device is through applications. According to Pew Research, a majority of cell phone users in the United States are now armed with high-powered smart phones. That’s millions of potential customers accessing data through mobile applications every day.

Still not convinced? Consider these five reasons that your small business needs a mobile app today.

1) Mobile apps boost sales

E-Commerce is an increasingly significant piece of the world the economy. As Generation Y-ers come into adulthood, your business will be faced with an entire generation of consumers accustomed to making their purchases with the click of a button…on their iPhone or Android. If you want to tap into these customers you need to make your products accessible. A mobile app is the easiest, least expensive way to accomplish this task.

2) Coupon distribution

The incredible capabilities of most modern mobile devices allow you to design some truly innovative coupon models. Your mobile app can tap into a smart phone’s GPS system and reward potential customers with a coupon just for entering one of your stores or driving through your city. Imagine the possibilities. A potential customer drives into your town and gets an alert that they’ve just received a coupon for ten-percent off at your restaurant. Where do you think he or she is going to stop for lunch?

3) Customer incentives

Mobile apps have all but replaced the customer loyalty cards of yore. If you’re thinking about starting an incentive program for repeat customers, why not do it through an app? After all, it’s much easier for your patrons to remember their cell phones than some otherwise useless plastic card taking up real estate in their wallets.

4) Process payments

We live in an increasingly cash free and paperless society. Younger consumers are even less likely to carry wads of greenbacks than their parents, and this trend is only going to continue. You can set up your mobile app to take payments in store using Swipe or simple encryption software. What better way to encourage your customers to spend more than to connect directly to their checking accounts through an app? There are several app builder programs on the market designed to help small business owners do just that.

4) The hip factor

Let’s face it: image matters. We are sitting on the precipice of a new, digital age wherein any store without a mobile app will look just as behind-the-times as a store without a website. Sure, retro can be cool, but even vintage clothing stores in Brooklyn have websites…and mobile apps.

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