As technology continually expands, more people are accessing the internet than ever via a mobile device. Many businesses respond to this growing trend by considering the creation of a mobile app for their business, allowing customers to easily connect with the business on their phone. Yet this is not the ideal solution for most businesses. In fact, if you are a local business, you probably don’t even need a mobile app.
Consider the Value of the App
To determine if a mobile app would be useful to your business, consider what the value would be for your customers. What would they utilise the app for? How would it help them, or what services would it provide? If the potential app holds no real value for you and your customers, it is definitely not worth the cost to build and maintain. . There are countless useless apps on the marketplace, that individuals download and never use. There are even more apps available that are just don’t get downloaded in the first place. You don’t want your mobile app turning into a waste of space on someone’s phone. Don’t invest in something which will not be an asset to your company.
As a basic marketing principle, you want it to be as easy as possible for people to find your business when they are looking for your services. Going to the app store, finding the app of a specific local business before downloading/installing the app, just isn’t the fastest way to find a phone number or business address.
If your app will do something useful for the customer, allowing them to interact with your business in a necessary way, you can further consider an investment in development. Some local businesses find apps to be an effective method of implementing a loyalty rewards program. But remember, apps cost thousands to create and will require ongoing maintenance to fix bugs and remain updated.
Other Ways to Go Mobile
Most local business do not need an app at all. In fact, the better solution is simply to optimise your existing website to be mobile friendly. Chances are, your customers (or potential customers) will be finding the information they need via your website, or even through the map application on their smartphone. Mobile apps are wholly unnecessary when you already have a polished website that provides everything you need.
If you’re looking to engage further with your mobile-using customers consider expanding your social media outreach. The majority of smartphone users are spending a large part of their time connecting to social media networks. Don’t waste time creating another app they’ll never use. Instead, focus on improving your social media presence, via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. Promote new offers or sales. Advertise big events. Offer discounts or prizes for those who “Like” your business on Facebook. This is the way to engage your audience! Your customers are already utilising these platforms in full force. Connecting with them there will make it much easier to reach out and keep your customers informed and active.