5 Reasons Your Small Business Needs a Mobile App
If your business is small, you might never have considered adding a mobile app. You might think that mobile apps are only for the big players in the marketplace, or feel that it would take too long to see a return on your investment. At The BHW Group, however, we find that small businesses that add a mobile app often experience the most radical improvements to the bottom line, because their starting budgets and customer numbers are proportionally smaller. A mobile app is a relatively inexpensive way to build your brand and develop customer loyalty.
Here are 5 reasons why:
- Relationship building
At the small business level, companies live or die by their individual relationships with customers. Building those bridges can turn one-time buyers into lifelong loyalists. Yet nurturing relationships face to face or over the phone takes a great deal of people power, which can be tough for smaller companies to spare. A mobile app helps you fill in the gaps by creating a novel and highly engaging experience that requires minimal people power to maintain.
A particularly important feature for building relationships is the ability to make contact with your company directly from the mobile app. A messaging option allows the customer to ask a question or initiate a purchase at the moment he or she thinks of it, rather than having to remember to call you during regular business hours. While a website can provide similar functionality, customers use their phones when they are away from their computers. The fewer clicks required, the more likely the customer is to actually initiate the conversation or transaction.
- Reaching new customers
Smartphone use has exploded in recent years, and is expected to grow even more. According to the 2014 Ericsson Mobility Report, mobile phone use will hit 9.2 billion by the year 2019, with smartphones dominating the market. That translates into a phenomenal opportunity for small businesses to reach new customers.
If your app is well-designed and engaging, your existing customers will not only download it, but also recommend it to their friends. In addition, you can promote your app as part of your marketing scheme and also make it available in the iTunes and Google Play stores. Word of mouth spreads rapidly about new apps, allowing those that provide real customer value to rise to the top.
A mobile app makes it easy to quickly push promotions to registered users. From exclusive coupons to online loyalty programs, a frequently-changed roster of promotions gives your customers an ongoing reason to check back in. People like to feel important, and like they are part of something special, so make your app as enticing as possible.
If you have an existing customer loyalty program, such as a punch card, consider integrating it into your mobile app. allowing customers to quickly view their rewards and present them digitally to the cashier streamlines the process, adding perceived value.
- Brand recognition
Every time you put your logo and message in front of someone, he or she forms a lasting subconscious impression of it. The more impressions you make, the more likely that person is to remember your brand. You might not have the budget for TV commercials and radio spots, but you can get your app onto people’s phones. Every time they scroll through their list, they will see your logo and gain an impression of your brand. Over time, yours will become a recognized brand.
- Standing out from the crowd
Although they are hugely popular with bigger companies, mobile apps are not yet incredibly common among smaller businesses. Creating a mobile app helps your company stand apart from your competitors of a similar size. It can help build trust with your customers, as they can visit your app to learn what to expect before ever making direct contact with you. It can also keep your more visible in their minds, making it more likely for them to call you instead of a competitor when they are ready to make a purchase.
Do you need an expert in mobile app development? With a team of specialists covering a wide range of skill sets and backgrounds, The BHW Group is prepared to bring your vision to life.