Mobile Apps for Small Businesses

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As a small business owner, have you thought about having a mobile app for your business? If yes, there are things to consider in regard to will it help grow business or be a waste of time and money. There's no single answer, as the option you choose depends on a number of factors including your business plans, your resources, and the web properties you might need.

Before you consider developing a mobile app, take a look at your company’s website on a mobile device. Responsive web design is the norm, meaning a website responds to whatever device the consumer is using, that is why Shaw Media Marketing only builds responsive websites. A mobile friendly site improves a user’s experience, and responsive web themes are readily available. Despite this fact, many small businesses don't employ mobile-friendly website design. If you’re one of them, consider upgrading your website before you devote your attention to developing a mobile app.

When evaluating whether or not your business should develop an app, check to see what your competitors are doing. Do they currently offer an app? If yes, check out the statistics available from app stores like Google Play or Apple. The number of downloads and user reviews will give you valuable insight into how your competitor’s app is being received by consumers. If it seems that their app is getting some traction, you may be left behind if you don’t offer your customers an app with similar or improved functionality.

If your app doesn’t offer any additional functionality or convenience to your mobile-optimized website, it will likely struggle to gain traction with consumers. How can an app resolve any pain points with your customers? Those of us who have ever had to stand in line at the bank to deposit a check likely thought it was magic the first time we skipped that process by scanning a check with a mobile app. Aim for that kind of wow factor when developing a feature set for your own app.

Do you offer a customer loyalty program, having an app makes it easy to ditch punch cards. It also makes it easy to reward customers with targeted discounts, coupons, and other incentives.

When consumers download your app, they’re giving you a valuable piece of real estate on their mobile device. Simply having your logo on the home screen of a device that your customer looks at many times each day will help keep your brand top of mind.

Apps that utilize the functions of mobile devices, such as a camera, are particularly popular with users. These offer a user experience that a website can’t match. Build functionality that allows your customers to share content, such as photos and video, featuring your products across social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and other channels. This gives your customers ownership of the app by encouraging them to be engaged to grow your business.

If you’re a small-business owner, it may well be time to build a dedicated mobile app for your business. But simply building an app is not enough. Focus on delivering tangible benefits to your customers, and the hard work you put into building your app will pay off, time and time again.

Focus on converting your new prospects to customers, then keep the cycle going. If you are interested in learning more about Mobile Apps and Responsive Websites, contact the experts at Shaw Media Marketing.