Ever wished your business had a mobile app to offer your customers and clients? Mobile apps (applications) are, in fact, vital to an increasing number of small businesses. Prospects and clients need to reach you easily and immediately. They need to find you quickly among all the competition out there. They need to see your logo, find your location, examine your products/services, and pursue your links. You can’t wait for them to get home to their desktops (and neither can they).
Still, it is a daunting technology which presents fears of getting into the mix – and of staying out of it. There are concerns about set up, pricing, and expertise. It’s a sunk cost to large corporations, but the same costs have spooked small business owners.
App Express is 2011 start-up ready to bring mobile apps to small businesses owners- at a price and ease they can afford. In the words of Mary Beth Brendza, CEO of App Express, the company wants to enable small business owners “to run their business from their pocket.”
They offer an attractive and easy to navigate website at http://appexpress.com The site offers videos, trials, and samples (only fitting for a website claiming to promote same.) It promises professional and sophisticated maps to facilitate payment making, appointment scheduling, daily couponing, deal messaging, and social sharing. And, they provide you with the pricing.
25% of all US mobile users (smartphones, tablets, PDA’s, etc.) use only their mobile device (and mobile apps) to shop, schedule, set appointments, make payments, and so on. The growth in sale of mobile devices and such uses is exponential in speed and size.
Current and future customers rely on their mobile devices to the increasing exclusion of their desktops and laptops. Look around the room at your next Chamber of Commerce lunch to see people multi-tasking. For good and bad, mobile apps have become an integral part of our personal and work-lives. Google Mobile Ads reports:
- 9 out of 10 smartphone searches lead to action (purchasing, visiting a business, etc.)
- 24% recommended a brand or product to others as a result of a smartphone search
- 95% of smartphone users have looked for local information
- 88% of these users take action within a day
- 77% have contacted a business, with 61% calling and 59% visiting the local business
- 79% of smartphone consumers use their phones to help with shopping, from comparing prices, finding more product info to locating a retailer
- 74% of smartphone shoppers make a purchase, whether online, in-store, or on their phones
- 70% use their smartphones while in the store, reflecting varied purchase paths that often begin online or on their phones and brings consumers to the store
- 71% search on their phones because of an ad exposure, whether from traditional media (68%) to online ads (18%) to mobile ads (27%)
- 82% notice mobile ads, especially mobile display ads and a third notice mobile search ads
The times, they are achangin’, and we need to be on board. It is vital for small business to be able to develop a cross-channel strategy and implement an integrated marketing strategy that makes puts you in the hands of mobile users. Mobile apps might just be a great way to make that happen!
By Steven Schlagel