Small Businesses: Why Getting Your Own App Is Always Better Than Sending Flyers

  • By Divyang Metaliya
  • 27-03-2020
  • Mobile Apps
own app is always better than sending flyers
Mobile apps are essential to survive in modern times for small businesses.  “Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves” - Steve Jobs.  
The modern-day mobile apps are trying to achieve this same objective. Additionally, these apps assist you in knowing your customers better by improving customer engagement, sales, luring new customers, customer loyalty, and, last but not the least help you retain existing customers.
According to a survey, close to 42% of existing small businesses have mobile apps, while 30% are thinking of investing in one as soon as possible. 
The most significant reason for building a proprietary app for small business is to simplify the communication process between customers and businesses.   
How Can Apps Change Traditional Marketing Channels Used By Small Businesses?

The world is changing, and it’s changing fast. Fast still not justifies the enormity of change I am trying to explain. Especially in the world of apps rate of change is unprecedented.
Mobile apps are changing the way we consume products and use services. This change is inevitable and is changing the core principles of the way we understand and do business. No strata of business will be spared from this change. 
The same way traditional marketing is also integrating apps into their business model. All the old rudimentary channels are slowly evolving into digital products. Therefore the future will be free of printed marketing materials.
Even small businesses are digitizing their ways to market. As their primary consumer is always online and connected. They have to go the extra mile to keep up with the ever-changing diaspora of modern-day consumers.   
How Apps Change/Evolve/Help Small Businesses?
Increase sales
For any business to survive, increasing sales has to be one of the top priorities. Only financial feasibility will ensure the longevity of a business. Even for small businesses getting into proprietary mobile apps, increasing sales is the main motive.
However, a mobile app doesn’t ensure an immediate increase in sales but can surely help you achieve your sales goal. An increase in sales metric depends upon unlimited factors—marketing, branding, ability to attract new customers, older customer retention, and so on. 
A proprietary app can help to improve everything mentioned above, but an app alone cannot directly increase sales. Everything needs to be planned with precisely defined goals to achieve the final goal of increasing sales.    
Attract new customers
28% of small businesses aspire to have their app. Building an app is a desperate attempt to attract new customers. However, it is not as easy as it sounds, especially in a time where both the IOS and Android app stores are overwhelmed with mobile apps. 
The total number is debatable, but still, there should be close to millions of apps on the app stores and millions more on the internet. With Google algorithms constantly changing the way apps are discovered, it is almost impossible for small businesses to attract organic customers. Additionally, marketing costs escalate the cost of attracting a new customer.  
Customer retention
Customer retention is a challenging thing to do in today’s day and age of hyper-competition. Ease of using a service defines the modern-day app industry. It is much higher compared to going to a website and availing the same service. 
For example: Think of two scenarios where your end goal is to get pizza delivered from three different places in three different ways. First, you call the location directly and place an order.  Second, you place an order using a mobile app and the third one where you go on to the website and place the order. Now contemplate which of these ways you’re more likely to order again. That’s all I rest my case. 
According to marketing professionals, retaining a customer is much more complicated than attracting a new one. Therefore, make sure you retain the customers you already have. With apps, you can think of new ways to lure existing customers and gain new ones. 
Customer engagement
An app can create a direct communication channel between you and your existing customer. With the extreme advent of mobile phones and it’s usage now, an app is essential for customer engagement and interaction. 
With the help of the app, you can directly push notifications, updates, and important announcements across a plethora of customers. To encourage downloads, you can even reward customers on downloads and initial transactions. 
This tactic is quite common among new apps. Where to increase their download number and customer registration, they reward them with in-app rewards. This way, you ensure higher customer engagement and push them further down the marketing funnel. 
Additionally, the data collected can further help you enhance customer engagement and educate businesses about their spending habits.   
On-demand marketplace
After Uber, on-demand services have skyrocketed. The same Uber model has been implemented over all kinds of services you can think. Apps opened up a lot of opportunities for small businesses to explore this same business model into different industries. 
A mobile app is a primary key to success for these on-demand services and products. The end-users or customers enjoy this uber model on-demand food delivery, laundry, etc. This model is beloved all over the world. Mainly because of their convenience to ordering, paying, and delivery from the same platform. 
Plus, real-time monitoring options make it more convincing and trustworthy. All this then adds up to better customer service and engagement. Thus is a solid reason for small businesses to build their mobile app.    
Customer loyalty
Easy access to services and buying products is every consumer’s dream come true after attracting more customers and increasing sales. Building customer loyalty is one of the top reasons small businesses are expanding their reach to google and apple app stores.   
Some apps with a loyalty point reward system do pretty well, and customer retention is higher compared to other apps. Such apps are a well-versed example of solidifying ties with existing consumers and attract new ones.
Loyalty points and rewards are devious ways to involve a customer but is necessary for the modern time. This can only be possible with the help of a proprietary app for a small business.  
Mobile is king
With over 3.5 billion mobile devices all over the world, it is almost preposterous to think of our lives without the involvement of mobile devices. This number is certainly going up in the years to come. There are still 55% of the total world’s population without cellphones. 
A vast number of prospective clients will enter the world of mobile phones in the coming year.    
Mobile devices like our smartphones have made our lives much more comfortable and simpler. One such aspect of mobile devices simplified is the ability to pay in an instant. Ask anyone this has to be one of the biggest convenience mobile added to our lives.
The skepticism which initially people had related to paying online is now generally accepted all over the globe. And the ever-increasing number of mobile phones will only make it more acceptable and straightforward. Additionally, the majority of the world’s internet browsing and usage is happening over mobile devices. Therefore building an app makes sense in the contemporary world.  
Scope of Improvement with data
“Data is king in the modern time,” this is one of the common notions around the IT industry. As every app we are using is collecting data about our user behavior, locations, our day to activity, and interaction with the app. 
This data collected helps businesses know where people are spending money and where they are not. What products make them more money than others. Answer to all these questions, and you can improve the way your business works.
Stay ahead of the competition.
This definitely should be one of the top reasons to build an app for your small business. Before your competition capitalizes on this opportunity, you should act swiftly. This is a matter of making business better with the integration of software.
An app ultimately increases the convenience for your customers while improving your own business. This modern-day software does a lot then helping you sell your service and product. Over time with, “bigger data set,” apps can change the way you do your business.
The software or the app will teach you new ways to sell your service and products. Over with more accumulated data, it can provide real-time stats and insights to eliminate the mistakes committed over the years of business existence.
This will surely keep you ahead of a competitor without an app. 
Stepwise Guidelines To Evaluate If Your Small Business Needs An App Or Not:
1. Evaluate all the current communication points customers have with you. Think of the ways a mobile app will enhance those communication points exponentially. 
2. Think of clear goals and the way a mobile app will genuinely impact your business and your end customer. Keep your end goals clear, like; increasing customer engagement, marketing, or increasing sales. These clear defined goals will show you a way to glory.
3. Set key performance indicators to reach this defined goal in a set period. Also, think of metrics for success or what qualifies as success. You can start with small goals and move forward towards the primary goal. 
For example: how many registrations you need in a month, how many registered email users should be there. Additionally, answering these questions will also help to know the problem areas and effectiveness of the app.
Look for the cheapest and most straightforward way you can build an app as the cost of developing an app is substantial. If the developed app meets the success criteria, continue the development process. Additionally, also keep the costs increase with timely updates and maintenance. 
What Small Businesses Get Wrong Before Creating Their Apps?

- Growth for these small business apps remains stagnant or slow.
- A complete full proof assessment plan is essential for small businesses wishing to have their app.
- A substantial amount of money is required to develop the product with recurring marketing and maintenance costs involved. 
- The mobile app market is extremely competitive. According to a recent survey, 40% of the users after one unpleasant experience, move on to a competitor. 
- Your end goal has to create an intriguing final product to awe more users. An app that can lure new customers as well as drive sales without any further assistance from any significant external marketing boosts.   
Summing Up:
Mobile apps surely bring more value, but you need solid defined goals and target audience before a small business builds an app. Do not build an app considering the social stigma attached to it. 
Better to do robust evaluation of your needs before you think of making the app. This well defined need will guide you to create an app that adds value to your customer and business. Additionally, the app should add convenience and improve the way communication your business with prospects and existing customers.

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Divyang Metaliya

Divyang Metaliya is a Business Consultant at FactoHR, an India based attendance management system provider. He is a creative business strategist with more than 8 years of experience.