Why It Is the Right Time for Small Businesses to Build a Mobile App [Infographic]

Posted on February 24, 2017   4:29 am by Kintan

Mobile apps were once seen as the realm of big corporations who could afford to market them and had the consumer base to benefit. Who would want to download an app for a local restaurant or small online business? However, today the answer to that question is ‘a lot of people’ as more of us come to rely on our mobile devices for our daily activities – choosing them over desktop PCs and laptops.  

Mobile commerce revenue is expected to account for 45% of all e-commerce by 2020 according to data we compiled for our new infographic. This equates to $284 billion in sales!

If you own a small business, be it locally or online, there are many reasons why now is the time to develop an app. Here are just some of them as backed up by the data:

Can Be Accessible To All Customers:

The most obvious reason to create an app for your small business is that it casts the net as wide as possible. There will be a certain amount of existing and future customers that would prefer to interact via mobile app or might want to do so because they are on the move.
Why deny them of this?

One of your prime goals as a business is to keep as many people happy as possible, and the more people caught in the net – logic dictates – that the more sales you will make. An app will help you be accessible to all customers.

Most Millennials Own a Smartphone:

Did you know that 85% of US millennials own a smartphone? Although the app market still has room for growth, this proves that the overall potential market is huge. Getting on board now could give you a leg-up over the competition and will at least leave you in an experienced position as the market grows.

Half of Millennials Purchase Products:

49% of millennials (mid-20s to early 30s) say they purchase products or services weekly on their mobile device. In the generation below it’s 40%, and its 26% for the demographic above – Generation X. If your business sells products or a service, then there is already a substantial audience waiting to use your app. There’s no reason not to give it to them.

Over Half of Small Businesses Already Have an App:

The old saying ‘if you can’t beat them join them’ certainly applies when 62% of small businesses surveyed said they already had a mobile app or were developing one.

If you’re not one of them, you will be at a disadvantage compared to your competitors that are.

Time and effort needs to be taken to ensure that you’re creating an app that benefits users. Just having an app doesn’t mean people will want to or enjoy using it.

Enhances Customer Support:

Whether you’re selling a product or service, customers will at some point wish to contact you with queries, problems and complaints. Having an intuitive chat, ticket or even phone support option within the app itself will enhance your customer support profile. You will have to respond in a reasonable amount of time and address the customer’s concern adequately for this to matter.

Apps can also streamline the process by logging data relating to the customer (date of purchase etc) and can easily segment the support requested.

Mobile App Revenue Is Growing:

Mobile app revenue is growing at an exponential rate, so if you want a piece of the pie now’s the time to get on board. In 2015 the figure was $45 billion and in 2016 it was $58 billion. By the end of this year it is expected to rise to $77 billion. The natural transition from regular e-commerce to m-commerce means you cannot afford to wait much longer. Customers might overlook you if you don’t have an app!

It’s an Affordable Investment:

Everyone can agree that a business needs a website, even just as a base for customers and other interested parties to find details about the business and contact information. The mobile world is becoming just as important as the traditional web, so comparing the cost of a website to an app gives us a good idea whether it is an affordable investment. Website costs can differ depending on your requirements, but the average cost to develop a native app is $25,000. It is not uncommon for websites to cost this much. When you factor in the likely increase in sales that an app can bring, it’s an affordable investment for a lot of small businesses.

Aids Direct Marketing:

Every marketer’s dream is to have a direct line to consumers. Mobile apps offer just that – at least to consumers that have already taken the step to install your app.  Apps allow you to send alerts and notifications (push notifications) that show up on the user’s home screen. The catch is that you can annoy users by making use of this, causing them to turn off notifications or uninstall your app.  Therefore it is wise to only send a notification if it directly relates to their usage (i.e. they purchased a product and you need to inform them of something) or if you can offer something of value, such as a discount.

Builds Brand Loyalty:

When customers become familiar with seeing your brand (through social media and/or in person), they begin to develop trust and loyalty.

If you have a user-friendly app that provides an overall positive experience, you will also be able to build trust and loyalty.

Allows You to Accept Point of Sale Payments:

M-commerce does not just refer to ‘online purchases,’ apps can also aid in making purchases at a retail outlet or other establishment at the point of sale. If you incorporate Square or another popular mobile payment system into your app and business, you can save money and time on old-fashioned, bulky and often more expensive payment processing.  

Check out the full infographic for all the data and reasons why now is the time for your small business to build a mobile app!

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