I read an article in Inc Magazine about a study conducted by AT&T. AT&T surveyed 2,246 small business owners (i.e., between two and 50 employees, both part-time and full-time) and found that 72 percent of small businesses used mobile apps in their operations. Who knew?
Of those polled the most frequent reason for using mobile apps were in this order:
- Saving time – 62 percent
- Increase Productivity – 59 percent
- Cost Saving – 29 percent
- And 11 percent admitted to using mobile apps “to be cool and hip.”
Upon further inspection AT&T found GPS and mapping apps were utilized/leveraged the most with nearly half (49 percent) of companies using them. In second: A tie between social media marketing and document management, with 26 percent of firms apiece. Other popular apps used included: Location-based services (24 percent), time management (23 percent), travel and expense tracking (22 percent), and mobile credit card payments (20 percent).
Other findings in the survey:
- Small businesses with Facebook pages jumped from 27 percent in 2009 to 82 percent in 2018
- 55 percent of those polled said social media (Facebook et al) was good for business in part because it increased traffic to their company Websites.
The survey cited here clearly indicated mobile apps can be a powerful tool to connect with your new and existing customers as well as manage your own business. For those of you sitting on the fence about getting a mobile app for your small business, imagine having the ability to instantly connect with your customers and/or employees. Imagine having a venue to keep your coming back to use your services or buy your goods. That said, let’s look at how mobile apps can really benefit you, your customers and your employees:
- Push notifications – Sending out free push notifications to all your customers who have downloaded the app is quick and easy, not to mention cheaper than text message marketing. Send out notifications of your latest sales, specials and events and keep your customers in the forefront of their minds.
- Events – An Events tab can be included in your app displaying all your upcoming events within the app. Your customers will be able to view your events and add these to their phone calendars and set reminders.
- Loyalty – An easy and effective way to make sure you get repeat business from your customers is to incentivize your customers. You can do this by offering QR coupons and loyalty tabs within your app. Your customers can redeem these “vouchers” easily and quickly when go to your brick and mortar location.
- Referrals – Acquiring new customers can be easily accomplished customer referrals. Traditionally, this has been done through word of mouth. Now your customers will now have the ease and convenience of doing this with your app.
- Newsletters – Knowledge is power and if you have or want a newsletter to attract and keep customers they can effortlessly subscribe to your business’s newsletter, keeping them up to date with the latest news and information. In addition, this can actively engage your customers up to date with the latest local business news and events.
- Social Media – Word of mouth is one of the most effective ways to create a ‘buzz’ about your business. With a mobile app you can engage with new and/or existing customers via Twitter and Facebook. In turn, this can help raise the profile of your business within the local business community
- Photo Gallery – Customers can upload photos of your events directly via your mobile app. This feature can help to create a ‘buzz’ around your business and events pertaining to your business.
- Blog – Give your members the ability to read your latest news and insights into business through integrating your existing blogs and any RRS feeds within your business networking group’s app. This is another great way to create a ‘buzz’ around your business and to keep your customers up to date with all the latest news and trends.
- Testimonials – You are able to allow your customers to post their comments and testimonials in your testimonials tab within your mobile app. This is a great way to get your customers to engage with other customers.
- Registration – If you are having an event, you can utilize your mobile app for customers and interested parties to join and register for your business’s event(s) within your mobile app.