Why Small Businesses Need Mobile Apps

May 30th, 2018

Why Small Businesses Need Mobile Apps
David Bell

by David Bell

CEO at Gummicube, Inc.

A common phrase known around the world is “there’s an app for that.” If there’s an app for nearly every need, why aren’t more companies making mobile apps? Well, big-name businesses like Starbucks, Macy’s, and more have successfully shifted their business platforms to incorporate mobile. Thanks to their efforts, they’ve managed to capitalize on m-commerce, which alone is forecasted to reach $284 billion (roughly 45% of total US e-commerce) by 2020. Businesses big and small recognize that having a website alone is no longer enough. Apps are the future of communicating and engaging with customers, so businesses should start incorporating mobile apps into their business models sooner rather than later.

How Apps Benefit Businesses

In 2017, people on average spent more than 5 hours a day on their mobile devices. Knowing that users are actively engaging with their phones shows the importance of moving into the mobile space to increase a company’s visibility and drive sales. Additionally, there are some key benefits that come along with creating an app:

  • Instant access to companies’ products anywhere and on-the-go
  • Creation of an additional revenue stream that entices customers via Push Notifications of latest offers and coupons
  • Easy capability to highlight products or services your business offers
  • Maintain and acquire new customers with a new channel from which they can access your business and easily make purchases

Nearly 60% of shoppers use their mobile device to research products and make purchases, which makes having an app vital to remain competitive in the current market. Companies with an app can keep customers regularly engaged with a gentle but frequent reminder that the business is present. This encourages users to interact with the app and can help build a loyal customer base.

How Has the Market Changed?

The proof is in the numbers: there are roughly 4.2 billion global mobile users, and out of those, over 38% are global e-commerce users. $2.87 billion in sales were generated from Black Friday in 2017 and nearly 80% of those sales were online transactions. It’s clear that consumers are going mobile for their shopping needs, which makes it critical for small and large businesses to have a mobile presence. With billions of users and sales at play, more businesses are developing apps to capitalize on the growth of the mobile market. Having an app available does not always guarantee success. As such, it’s equally important to have an effective marketing strategy to drive in users in the app stores. Keep App Store Optimization (ASO) Best Practices in mind when developing an app to ensure that it’s visible to users.

Why Develop an App for Your Business?

Any business owner that is entertaining the idea of developing an app should take the plunge and create one to expand their business’s reach on potential customers. During the development process, developers should leverage an ASO strategy to make sure their app’s metadata is relevant and up-to-date on current user trends. Business owners that focus their efforts on marketing their app with ASO can engage with their customers easily and immediately expand their company’s name faster. More importantly, having an app will increase their bottom line and maintain brand loyalty. Consumer behavior continues to change with advancements in technology. The businesses that can thrive and succeed are those that not only adapt to those changes but leverage them for a competitive advantage. Mobile apps are now a key part of the consumer experience, so businesses that want to remain relevant need to develop accordingly or be left behind.

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