The digital world is always changing, and right now #mobileapps is what is trending. In fact, 90% of consumers’ mobile time is spent using apps. The reason—people today are always on the go, and apps are fast and easy to access. To a small business owner, this means that your business and your customers’ smartphones must go hand in hand. Otherwise, you risk losing a big chunk of your clients to those companies that cater to a fast-paced lifestyle. Taking advantage of what mobile has to offer is a simple key to success.
Here are six reasons why you need to embrace mobile if you are a small business owner.
Most small businesses are apprehensive to consider a mobile strategy because of the cost associated with app development. But what many small business fail to see is that the cost to develop an app has drastically decreased. What used to cost a company in the ballpark of $50,000 can be built and maintained by small, local app companies for a monthly fee between $50-$100.
Just like any other technology fad, as more people begin to learn the ins and outs, the less expensive it becomes.
Numbers don’t lie, and recent polls show that 56% of consumers are loyal to brands that offer them incentives. Loyalty programs are a time-tested approach that rewards clients and keeps them coming back. A free cup of coffee after every ten purchases is a small price to pay to keep a customer loyal. It’s a well-known fact that it’s five times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep an existing one.
The problem with loyalty programs today is that people don’t like “stuff” and clutter. If it doesn’t fit in a virtual wallet, it’s not important. Look at Apple Pay and Samsung Pay–people have surrendered their credit cards to mobile. So, without a mobile loyalty program, you risk losing your loyal crew to the business with an efficient approach.
Loyalty programs do not just make it easier for the customer to take advantage of your services, their allure gives you a direct line to your clients’ most coveted form of communication–their smartphones. And since the average person checks his phone 110 times per day, your free cup of coffee just drastically increased the number of times your customers notice your brand in a day.
With your new direct line of communication, you can quickly implement a robust mobile marketing strategy using geofencing and push notes.
Geofencing and Push Notifications
Small businesses can take full advantage of the geofencing options that are easily integrated into any app. Targeting your messages to clients in specific locations can drastically increase sales, and it can keep you competitive with big box chains.
How does geofencing help your small business marketing?
- Restaurants can send out messages with special deals when your customers are nearby.
- Travel agents can send notifications to a client when they are near excursions they might enjoy.
- Event and conference planners can share information with guests.
- Car services can send ride offers to clients at bars or nightclubs.
- Real estate agents can send messages to potential buyers when they are near a home that is for sale.
There are many different ways to grab your customer’s attention with the help of the geofencing. You just need to develop the right mobile strategy for your business.
With a solid mobile push strategy in place, you can seek reviews from customers. This approach is sure to increase web page ranks and create higher Yelp scores. Positive reviews will boost your business’s visibility on many different marketing channels.
Carrying credit cards and paying processing fees are on their way to becoming null and void. Again, look at Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. In-app, payments are the new black for small businesses. You can simplify your financial relations with your customers by enabling mobile payments.
Just look at what Starbucks did. The coffee giant implemented an order-ahead feature that allowed customers to order their coffee, pay for it, and have it waiting for them. This new mobile ordering approach now accounts for over 21% of the companies’ transactions. The baristas do not have to ring up a single sale thanks to apps.
The bottom line is quite clear: mobile payments are a way for small businesses and customers to save time and money.
Small businesses can take advantage of mobile apps to provide customer support to their clients in a matter of minutes. In fact, 70% of millennial consumers expect some form the right now, self-serve, customer service.
An app is an ideal tool for providing just that. Mobile apps offer these real-time features that cater to the millennial mindset.
Social Media Management
Apps can directly connect to your social media channels, which is another great way to solicit reviews to grow your following.
Unique apps designed for small businesses help companies stay on top of their game by creating engaging content for their target audience and scheduling posts. You can easily set your app to send push notes to your social media channels as well as your clients, thus opening yet another marketing channel.
The majority of people in the world reach for their smartphones before they lift their heads from the pillow. That’s why designing the right mobile app is the easiest way to catch a client’s attention. If you can reach your customers before they brush their teeth, you are without a doubt sharing your brand through the right channel.
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About the Author
Erin Schollaert is the founder and CEO of Main Street Mobile Apps, a mobile app development company with a vision of giving small businesses affordable 21st century marketing tools. Her goal is to develop and create solutions that support small and medium size businesses in small communities. Erin and her company truly believe successful small businesses foster a sense of community that is vital in the world today.