You might think an app is the domain of major brands and big businesses. You might think your SME will have a hard time muscling in on the home screen of your target customerâ€™s smartphone. And with over 2 million apps on Google Play, and another 2 million on the Apple App Store, you might think thereâ€™s no point in building one, due to over saturation and competition.
Well, weâ€™re here to tell you that you shouldnâ€™t dismiss the idea out of hand.
Yes, itâ€™s tough out there when it comes to marketing a new app. Tough enough to put you off. But thereâ€™s a lot to be said for developing a dedicated smartphone app for your small business.
In this post, weâ€™ll make the case for why an app might work for your business, and what you need to consider before pushing ahead.
Building An App Allows Your Business To:
The UK is now a smartphone society. We spend two hours online on our smartphones each and every single day. And while only a small selection of apps make up the majority of this smartphone use (more on this later in the post), it still means your customers will scroll, swipe, and scan their way through their phone several times a day.
Provided theyâ€™ve downloaded your app, that will go some way towards increasing visibility and keeping your brand front of mind.
There are apps for everything. From informational to actionable, apps can offer so many useful features and functions for your customers.
Yet one of the biggest benefits of building a smartphone app is its performance as a direct marketing channel. Thanks to push notifications and geo targeting, you can send offers and promotions straight to your customer based on the time of day or their current location.
For an app to be successful, it must offer value to its user. And one of the best ways of doing this is to encourage repeat usage via a loyalty rewards scheme. By offering your customers the opportunity to collect points and exchange them for discounts, you can create a level of customer loyalty the likes of which your competitors can only dream.
By building a user-friendly, eye-catching, and useful smartphone application for your business, you have the potential to increase your brandâ€™s recognition beyond the usual marketing channels.
And the more often your customers have your app at their fingertips, the more likely they are to buy your product or use your service.
It doesnâ€™t matter what your business doesÍ¾ communication will always be fundamentally important. A dedicated smartphone app can allow you to easily gather valuable feedback, and provide a quick and simple option for your customers to contact you via either a â€˜tap to callâ€™ feature or an integrated enquiry form.
Should You Build An App For Your Business?
We have taken a brief look at just some of the benefits a smartphone application can offer small and medium-sized businesses.
However, just because these benefits exist does not necessarily mean an app is right for every single business. In fact, research has shown that, although consumers are spending more time than ever on their phones, the majority of their time is spent using only five non-native apps that theyâ€™ve installed from the App Store.
Typically those apps vary from user to user, but it is worth keeping this in mind when considering the difficulties in building and maintaining an active user base for your app.
Another study, this time from Nielsen, suggests that there is an upper limit to the number of apps a consumer uses on a monthly basis (around 27 apps per month in total).
Beyond considering the work that will go into building and marketing a successful smartphone app, you must also think about your businessâ€™ current situation. Do you have the correct systems and processes in place to support a smartphone app?
As we have previously discussed when looking at cloud accounting, an app isnâ€™t the silver bullet when it comes to attracting and engaging customers and increasing sales.
You should also establish if there is a desire for a smartphone app from your customers in the first place. If your app is solving a problem that doesnâ€™t exist, it will very quickly become an expensive mistake.
Food For Thought?
If we have given you food for thought with regards to building a smartphone app for your business, you should know that we often discuss topics like this one with our clients who use our “mentoring and business growth services”.
Do you think you would find this service helpful? Why not put us to the test and speak with one of our friendly advisors today.