As a small business owner, you’re probably thinking: “I’m not a top-500 retailer. I don’t need a mobile app.” You might also be wrong on that point.
Even for small businesses, maintaining a traditional web presence is not always enough to build a customer base that will keep coming back time and again. As customers shift toward mobile engagement, app-based marketing might be too important to pass-up for much longer.
The Importance of Mobile Apps in Contemporary Commerce
Roughly 3 out of 4 Americans check their phone at least once every 60 minutes, and average users spend more time looking at their phones than they do watching television these days. Of that time spent interacting with a screen, about 90% occurs in a mobile app, rather than a browser.
Mobile is an even more vital platform outside the US. Countries like China have a massive, increasingly-affluent consumer base, most of whom are “mobile-native,” meaning they are skipping over traditional stepping-stone technologies and going straight to mobile. All these factors make mobile a key marketing avenue…no matter your business’s size. Mobile platforms encourage:
- Increased customer engagement
- Repeat visits
- Greater flexibility in payment methods
- New marketing avenues
- Establish greater brand recognition.
So, we’ve established that mobile apps present a great opportunity for small businesses to take their organization to the next level…so why do so few take that step?
What’s the Problem?
For most, the two key obstacles are cost and technical difficulty.
There are multiple platforms to consider; you’d need to build what is essentially the same app for both Android and Apple operating systems. Also, few business owners have the necessary expertise to design a mobile app themselves, and even fewer have the time to build and promote it. That means hiring people, which means higher costs with no guarantee of a payoff.
New options on the market are making it easier—and more cost-effective—to create and test DIY mobile apps with relatively little expertise or experience. Companies like Bizness Apps allow business owners to create apps based on existing templates with simple drag-and-drop methodology. This gives you the chance to quickly and easily create an app for your business and start connecting with customers overnight.
Of course, even with a simplified design process, there’s still the problem of testing and debugging. This requires proactive action before the app is published or updated, as well as reactive action that is responsive to customer’s impressions and feedback. There are also services on the market to help with debugging, though, which can make the process a much simpler and less-painful experience.
You have the tools in your hands to create a great app…what are you waiting for?! Start designing your mobile app today!