Small businesses are often slow with adopting new technologies due to more restrictive budgets and lack of resources. For every emerging tech trend, small business owners ask themselves the following question: “Does it make any sense?” And it’s not a bad question at all.
Why Business Needs a Mobile App? Today its mobile apps’ time: do they make sense for your small business or is this just another fad?
The idea of small businesses using mobile apps is not new – it’s already been several years since online marketing resources have been highlighting the benefits of getting one. In the meanwhile, mobile apps have become increasingly affordable and accessible to small companies, and their success is already proven.
Here’s why you should consider getting a mobile app for your business in 2015:
Reaching your customers 24/7
A study from 2014 suggested that there is still plenty of room for smartphone usage growth on the Australian market. Furthermore, people included in the study spent an average of 18 hours a month using smartphone apps compared to 4 hours used for smartphone browsing.
Using apps seems to be Australians’ favourite online activity when it comes to mobile devices, which means your prospects are very likely to be reached via mobile.
Unlike computers, smartphones are functioning 24/7, and mobile devices are often the first choice when people need to “kill” time, such as in the evening before going to bed or while commuting. If you send push notifications through your small business mobile app, you will reach your prospects immediately, at any time of the day.
Improving brand awareness
If you want to attract customers, people need to know about you first. Custom-made mobile apps for small businesses are branded and include those features that customers like the most.
Moreover, having your mobile app installed on your prospects’ phones makes you more visible and familiar, which increases your chances of selling your product or service.
Creating a direct marketing channel
Think of all the features you can include in your mobile app: products, services, prices, news, e-commerce, user accounts, messages, and so on. All these can be promoted directly through push notifications, instead of depending on email, social media newsfeed algorithms, search engine rankings, or customers deciding to access your website. Mobile apps also reduce the competition represented by the flood of ads that people come in contact with every day, and lets prospects focus only on the value you provide.
Including useful features that engage your customers
Providing customer service through your mobile app or implementing loyalty programs (instead of using cards, customers can collect benefits on their smartphones) are just two examples of how you can improve customer engagement by using this technology.
Mobile apps are convenient and easy to access, which will make your prospects more likely to use these features.
Standing out from the competition
This is the perfect time to get a mobile app for your small business: audiences are already accustomed to this technology trend as larger companies have already been using apps for a while, but little if any of your competitors have one. You won’t be proposing to your customers an unheard-of idea, but neither will you offer them the same thing as all your other 10 competitors in the area. Be ahead of other similar businesses and get a lot closer to your customers at reasonable costs!
Case study: The ONYX Restaurant & Cocktail Bar
Onyx is a restaurant located in Broadbeach, near other sophisticated dining and shopping venues. The setting offers Modern Australian food and cocktails prepared by talented mixologists and a great atmosphere ensured by Gold Coast musicians.
Onyx is also a reference local business due to its successful mobile app, available for free in Google Play. The app offers the following features:
- Contact information and the possibility to call the restaurant straight from the mobile app
- A loyalty rewards tool
- A calendar
- Restaurant menus
- Push Notifications
- A tip calculator
- A testimonial form
- Information about the restaurant
- A photo gallery
- Other functions, like birthday parties and Hen’s nights.
The app has been installed by up to 500 users, which is an excellent result for a small business app and suggests that many of the restaurant’s customers are loyal and like to engage with Onyx.
So, should you get a mobile app for your small business?
First of all, you need to identify the business problem that the app is going to solve for you. Otherwise, you don’t need an app.
Furthermore, the app needs to be relevant to its users, so it doesn’t get lost in your customers’ app stack. Make sure that your small business mobile app provides value to customers every day and they see it as a favourite tool.
Apps are great for:
- Airlines and transport companies
- Auto Repair Shops
- Bands & DJs
- Banks (banking and transaction apps)
- Bars & Clubs
- Beauty salons
- Discount and coupons websites
- Email services
- Event planners
- Financial Industries
- Fitness centres
- Golf Clubs
- Hair Salons
- Health Spas
- Hotels & Resorts
- Insurance companies
- Job portals
- Law firms
- Medical offices
- Online flower shops
- Online stores
- Service centres
- Service Contractors
- Taxi companies
- Travel agencies
- TV and radio stations
- Utility companies (water, gas, etc.)
- Waste management companies
- Or any other small business in fact!
If you meet any of these conditions or believe you may benefit from a mobile app, we strongly recommend you contact us to discuss getting a mobile app. As a result, you will be seen as easy to do business with and you will attract a larger number of loyal customers.