A mobile app that’s well-planned for in advance and well marketed (before and after it’s been developed and ready for deployment, respectively) can work wonders for your small business. At the very least, it takes your business offerings the closest they can possibly get to the prospective customer – right to his/her mobile phone. And if you have worked hard on developing the concept for the mobile app, you may well derive all the extra mileage that you wished out of it in the first place.
Mobile commerce / m-commerce, mobile apps – the whole idea of buying and selling over the mobile handset – are yet to take off in the US of A. But the day isn’t far when it will get big enough to mean a major difference to the bottom lines of small businesses and all businesses. Technology that allows commercial transactions that are secure hasn’t yet arrived, so to speak. It’s there, however, and it shouldn’t be long before all of America is shopping over the mobile.
My confidence stems from the quality and kind of business apps that I’ve already seen and the way America has taken to online shopping. If, as a small business, you were to get an app made now, it might be only a matter of a few months before it properly takes off and brings in the customers in droves. That will of course depend on the sort of a mobile app your developer creates for you.
An application for mobile handsets cannot simply be an extension of your website. It must deliver such value as only a mobile app can. If you are getting to be as close to a consumer as his/her mobile phone, you must also offer something significant enough in ways that make a difference big enough.
Surveying existing customers for what they’d like to see in a mobile app for your business might turn up some great ideas. Loyal customers should be able to pinpoint what exactly you might achieve in offering a mobile app.
Let me think aloud of all the possibilities: special deals, location-based discounts, build your brand, spread the word, create an extra and easier channel of access for your customers, and does a whole lot more depending on how you choose to have it made. Your mobile app developer’s creativity is the only limit.
A business app can and should:
- Solve an issue
- Serve a special or exclusive function
- Allow mobile payments
- Build a community of fans
- Be social media friendly
- Offer features that every customer could use
- Reward your customers attractively enough
Finally, your mobile app must TAKE OFF. Maybe not immediately, may be a few months of promotions and offers later, but take off it must. Hence my previous stress on planning on it. I’d say, wait and watch. See where apps are taking other businesses. Determine whether your business could use a mobile app.
However, don’t wait so long that the competition gets one before you do. Tread softly but nimbly.