According to eMarketer research, mobile-device users spend two hours and 11 minutes per day using mobile apps, but just 26 minutes browsing the web on a mobile device. App time made up nearly 20% of total media time in 2017.
According to ThinkWithGoogle, 81% of the users search for a product or a service online and 26% of them search for the apps related to that product.
As you can see, mobile apps have become necessary for businesses of all sizes and industries. A mobile app can help small businesses engage with and build their customer base, improve their reputation in the market, and drive sales.
The following are some of the most important reasons why you should invest in developing a mobile app for your small business.
1. Building an App Isn’t So Expensive.
Do not worry if you have a tight budget since developing a mobile app does not need to be expensive.
The cost of the app depends on the app’s complexity, the type of firm employed, the developing team’s experience, etc.
For instance, a basic app (with no API functionality, back-end database, or social media integration) costs from $2,000-$10,000. An app with moderate complexity costs from $10,000-$40,000, whereas complex apps that require backend support and social media integration cost from $40,000-$100,000.
According to Clutch survey, the average cost of a design stage is less than $5,000. The design stage includes creating a prototype to visualize the app. When the app is planned out and defined, the app development company can start designing it.
However, the cost depends on how many screens the app will have. Each screen requires its own design, therefore if the app has many complex screens, you will pay more for the design stage. We advise you to find a company or an individual app developer on freelance platforms like Fiverr or Upwork.
Do not forget to set a budget for app maintenance and bug testing. The company that developed the app can perform these things.
All this may seem too expensive for you but the rest of this article will persuade you that the beneﬁts of developing a mobile app exceed the cost of investing.
2. People Spend a Lot of Time on Their Smartphones.
Statistics say that over 80% of adults in the US own a smartphone. People spend more time than ever watching videos or browsing social media. A study conducted by Deloitte outlined US adults collectively check their phones more than 8 billion times per day.
In 2018, an average person spent 3 hours and 35 minutes a day on mobile devices, which is an annual increase of over 10 minutes.
According to MarketWatch, in the first quarter of 2018, American adults spent 3 hours and 48 minutes a day on screens. Apps account for more than 90% of the time spent on smartphones. American adults spend almost 74 hours per month on mobile apps, which comes to about 2 hours and 30 minutes a day.
3. An App Helps You Connect & Engage with Customers.
Having a mobile app allows you to communicate with your customers in real time. Whether you are selling jewellery or offering cosmetic services, a mobile app allows your customers to reach you at any time.
In addition, a mobile app allows you to continue the buyer-seller relationship even after the purchase. You could inform customers about new products, offers, and discounts, thus encouraging them to use your services repeatedly. Only with incentives like these, you will encourage customer engagement.
Once the app is available on app stores and advertised online, more people than your regular customers will find out about your services or products, leading to increased sales. You can integrate your apps with social media and reach a larger audience online.
Finally, a mobile app gives your customers an opportunity to say what they want —a suggestion, a review, or a complaint. This will help you identify the improvements you need to make in order for your business to run better. It is also a great way to show your customers that you care and build a positive brand image.
4. Increase Customer Loyalty by Reaching Your Best Customers.
Besides providing general info about your business, the app offers search features, user accounts, booking forms, messengers, and more.
Did you ever get a ping on your smartphone from an app? That was push notification. You can develop and maintain customer interest with regular updates but you can use push notification as a strong marketing tool. Push notifications allow customers to choose to receive information on new deals, to track their orders, and more.
Push notifications allow you to send reminders about your services and products. For instance, if you want to sell a certain product in a clearly defined short period, you can send time-limited promo coupons to encourage sales.
Research from Localytics discovered that mobile app users who received push notifications were much more likely to keep using an app (and log into it regularly) when subscribed to push notifications than those who weren’t.
By taking advantage of push notifications, you will get the best advertising real estate you could ever ask for with your best customers. You will establish on-demand, relevant, timely communication.
5. Your Business Will Benefit from a Mobile App.
Your mobile app acts as an ad for your business. You can present your products and services to your customers with your app.
With the feature geo-targeting, you can know exactly where your customers are and provide them with information on how to find you. You can easily attract new customers and grow your business.
Businesses with a strong digital presence that create content will benefit most from a mobile app. When you combine mobile apps and social media, you will get an effective marketing channel. People spend a lot of time in apps so they are a good sales booster for the business.
A must-have feature for your app is mobile shopping/payment. You should make as easy as possible for your customers to use your services and purchase your products.
In addition, integrate a customer loyalty program. Manage it through your app so customers can easily monitor, acquire, and redeem their points using their phone. The business will benefit by inducing customers to shop again.
6. An App Helps You Build Brand Awareness.
A mobile app significantly helps you in creating your brand awareness. Your app represents your brand similarly to a billboard. Mobile apps provide personalization that offers users info about their interest, behaviour location, etc.
You should include in-app promotions and offers to keep your customers engaged. An easy-to-use app will engage your customers more and they will recognize your brand when they see it. The more engaged your customers are, the more inclined they are to buy your product.
We advise you to check out your competitors’ apps thoroughly before designing your own app. A unique design with a good brand voice will set you apart from your competitors.
7. Better Customer Service.
According to SalesForce, 70% of purchases are influenced by the customer’s experience alone. The apps offer a more effective channel for the customers to get in touch with your brand. With simplifying online purchases and providing a user-friendly experience, the apps can considerably better your customer’s experience. If their satisfaction rises, the sales will rise too.
The accessible nature of mobile apps makes it a perfect customer service channel that will improve customer experience. For instance, having a help desk or messaging feature within your app will make a difference in communication with your customers.
8. An App It Allows Easy Collection and Analysis of Data.
Your app will allow you to collect, export, and analyze different types of data quickly and easily.
Here is some of the information that will be available to you:
- The number of downloads
- The number of active users
- The most used features
- How users engage and interact with the app
- How often they use the app
- Where most of the users come from
- Any technical issues or UX problems
- Most (and least) popular products
- How users view products and complete transactions
- How much revenue each product generates
This is just a part of the data that will be available to you. Once you conduct the analysis, you will be able to determine where you need to double down your marketing efforts or whether you need to make any changes and improvements.
If you are still not convinced in the benefits of having a mobile app, you should at least consider creating a mobile-friendly website. By optimizing your website for mobile, you could to engage mobile users and offer a great UX. In fact, having a mobile-friendly site is necessary even if you do have a mobile app for your business.
Since the number of small businesses that have mobile apps is still small, being among the first to offer an app will help you stay ahead of the competition. Besides, your customers will be amazed by your progressive outlook, which will reflect in increased traffic, engagement, and sales.