Smartphone users are expected to reach an all-time high of 4.3 billion by 2023. Meanwhile, the average time spent on mobile phones worldwide is also on a steady rise. This means that with each passing day, more and more people are adopting smartphones and spending more time using them than they ever did. This is, of course, a brilliant opportunity for businesses wanting to reach a mobile-centric audience, and mobile app development has become one of the most sought-after investments in our current day and age.
Building a mobile app might be a great way for big and established companies to diversify and grow their business online; but SMBs however, often tend to struggle with launching their mobile apps. Most of the time, small businesses lack the time and resources required to invest in building an application. Lack of access to skilled and experienced developers and the absence of an appropriate business model focused around their mobile app are also some major challenges SMBs face.
As overwhelming as they may seem, these challenges are fairly manageable, especially when a business is committed to trying out an app. The interesting bit though, is that SMBs are likely to benefit the most from building a mobile application, assuming they do it right. Mobile apps today are among the most scalable options available when it comes to improving sales and brand reputation. Thus, small businesses need to take full advantage of this opportunity whenever possible.
Here are a few ways in which small businesses can benefit significantly from having a mobile application:
An app can help you reach your audience better
The app stores are populated by millions of apps, each competing with the other to secure downloads. In a market so competitive, it is natural for small businesses to think that building an app won’t be a sound investment since, given their limited resources, they’ll fail to ever reach a substantial audience. Besides, most businesses these days have a mobile responsive website which they believe should be good enough to serve their current customers.
Both of these assumptions are flawed. First, you don’t need to reach a massive audience to make good money, and second, it’s not as hard as it may seem to get your users to download your app. Asking yourself the question: What value does our mobile app provide to your users? Can go a long way. For instance, brick-and-mortar stores can provide special discounts, coupons, and offers to encourage more downloads. And Local businesses can engage the local community by building an app tailor-made for community-specific needs. The key is to try to figure out ways in which your business can offer better value to your users. If you add value, they’ll come.
Once you have your potential customers in the fold, you can reach out to them much more easily and effectively via mobile apps as opposed to any other form of marketing and outreach. This is because mobile apps directly connect brands and customers as opposed to other marketing channels that require an intermediary. Being connected with your customers 24/7 (Via push notifications) through mobile apps is a huge advantage, especially for small businesses.
Apps are an excellent Marketing channel
What good is being connected to your customers at all times, you ask? Well, now that you have a direct link between you and your customers, you can roll out timely discounts, offers, and news or announcements. Timing your push notifications right can also help ensure that your users do not forget about you and keep coming back. What’s better is that the notifications can be personalized based on every user’s in-app browsing history, preferences, and buying patterns. Push notifications also offer a significantly higher click-through rate compared to traditional marketing channels ensuring a better ROI on your marketing efforts. Hence, most of the major mobile app development companies in USA and worldwide often design apps to be used as a reliable marketing tool.
What makes mobile app-based marketing great is that it isn’t the same marketing campaign across the board, but rather you can customize your outreach for every single customer depending on their relationship with the brand. For newcomers, you can throw in some of your best deals or help them understand what your brand is about, for old veterans, the brand can e immense, and small businesses are sure to benefit from these.
Mobile apps can boost customer loyalty
Mobile apps are great for reaching a large audience and initiating communication with users. Brands can further use this communication as an opportunity to nurture their customer relationships and build a solid brand reputation. In fact, one of the best ways in which businesses can inspire customer loyalty is by leveraging mobile apps.
Around 86% of customers say they prefer shopping with brands that offer reward programs. This is great news for businesses offering mobile apps because apps are hands down the best platforms for running reward schemes. Not only do mobile apps help businesses track, manage and execute reward programs better, but they also help customers access and utilize the offered reward scheme better, boosting user loyalty in return.
Beyond just loyalty programs, apps also serve as a great channel for gathering user feedback. In-app forms and surveys allow users to reach out to brands directly rather than having to seek out other channels to make their doubts and complaints heard. When brands ask for feedback via direct channels like apps, users feel like their voice is heard and valued by the company in question and are more likely to offer their honest feedback and stick with the company longer. The same goes for customer service. Apps have introduced new ways of providing customer service with features like automated chatbots and other similar technologies. These services help provide a faster, more efficient form of customer service while also saving labor, time, and resources for the brand. They equip users to solve their own problems while also making your brand look much more responsive.
Apps can be your online storefront
Another key area in which a mobile app can help your small business is that it can simply help you sell more by acting as your online storefront. Having an app is critical for e-commerce stores, but even traditional brick-and-mortar businesses can benefit from selling via apps. Cart abandonment rates on mobile apps are significantly lower than that on mobile websites, and with every passing year, consumers are wailing to spend more time and money on shopping via mobile apps.
Apps let you connect with and sell to a lot more people online than what could have ever walked into your stores. In addition, apps can seamlessly integrate with third-party payment services like apple pay allowing users to make smooth and secure transactions. Combine that with how apps can personalize the user’s experience, offer irresistible personalized rewards, and improve the overall marketing ROI for your business, and apps quickly begin to look like a necessity for almost any business trying to sell their products online.
As a small business, committing to a mobile app can seem like a daunting challenge. Businesses are often concerned about the high price of development and app maintenance. The lack of talented developers that can deliver to the required standards is also another concern. However, over the years, outsourcing mobile app development has got significantly cheaper and much more reliable. You can check out Goodfirms, we have curated a list of major app development companies that you can outsource your development projects to at a fine balance of affordable pricing and great product quality.
With these major hurdles addressed, mobile apps are quickly emerging as an attractive business opportunity for most small and medium businesses. Given the extended list of benefits that apps offer, from significantly better market opportunities to greater revenue, building a mobile app to accelerate your tiny business begins to feel like the right choice. As mobile apps continue to transform the business landscape, it is yet to be seen where this growing trend will lead. What we do know, though, is that apps are here to stay, and brands are doing their best to leverage their businesses via mobile apps.