Evolution. It happens in nature, it happens in Darwin’s theory, and it is happening with consumers. Small business marketing strategies need to constantly change as the way consumers shop and buy evolves. This has never been more apparent than now, as the use of mobile devices is rapidly increasing. A website alone is no longer going to cut it. Customers want interfaces that are easy to use on-the-go, and businesses that offer them personal recommendations, special offers and answers when they ask for them. Business apps have become the solution mobile consumers are seeking. How can mobile apps improve your small business?
Improve Your Reach
Businesses must go where their customers are, and as of 2014, that is no longer primarily at their TV sets. The time spent by people on their smartphones, is now greater than the time that they spend watching television. You can see the gradual increase of time spent on mobile devices over the past 4 years in the chart below.
What are consumers doing during that increased time on their mobile devices? 8 out of 10 smartphone users in the US reportedly use their device to buy products or services online. That equates to 86 million consumers shopping online, and this is not including those who make purchases using a tablet. Users of a tablet are 300% more likely to buy a product or service than a user of a smartphone!
How do you ensure your business is reaching this large mobile audience who is buying online? A mobile app. It connects you with your audience in a way unlike any other medium, giving you the opportunity to continuously engage with your customers through push notifications, geo-targeting and more.
Furthermore, major app distributors, such as Google Play and iTunes, make apps available to a very large audience. You may be worried that your small business app will get lost in the large app marketplaces. However, Flurry mobile research showed that app engagement grew in the last year, and that growth primarily came from consumers interacting with independently developed apps. Great news for small business owners!
Improve Customer Engagement
Once you reach a larger audience of mobile consumers, then what does a mobile app do for your business? An astounding 84% of businesses report an increase in results after implementing a mobile app. Let’s look at the consumer’s point of view.
In an ABI Research survey, of those consumers who took part and downloaded an app from a retailer, the following results were obtained:
o 45.8% frequented the store more often
o 40.4% purchase more services and products from the store
o 35.8% informed friends of their shopping experience
o 30.8% recommended friends to the store
As the survey shows, mobile apps increased store visits, purchases, referrals and recommendations. All of these are key performance indicators which small businesses strive to improve.
These mobile trends give all you small business owners out there, the opportunity to increase your revenue, customer loyalty, and market share by implementing a mobile app. In doing so, you are meeting the needs of modern day consumers. Embrace the new evolved mobile consumer and reap great benefits!