As a consultant who has spent over a decade advising small and medium-sized business owners, I‘ve seen firsthand the digital transformation that has completely changed the competitive landscape. For today‘s entrepreneurs, having a strong mobile strategy is no longer optional – it‘s absolutely essential for reaching customers and scaling your venture.
Let‘s examine the top 8 reasons why successful SMBs are investing in building custom mobile apps:
1. Dramatically Increase Sales and Revenue
Mobile apps make purchasing frictionless by allowing users to buy anytime, anywhere in just a few taps. This convenience directly translates to more sales transactions and higher revenues. A 2020 study by Swrve found that retail mobile apps generated an astonishing 131% more revenue per mobile shopper compared to mobile sites.
One client, a small brick-and-mortar gift shop, saw online sales double in the first year after launching their app – accounting for 35% of total revenue. The ability to directly engage customers and enable in-app purchases was a total game-changer.
2. Create a Direct Line to Your Best Customers
Mobile apps allow constant communication with your most engaged users. Tactfully sending promotions, alerts and other messages keeps your brand top of mind while prompting return visits.
I advised a boutique fitness studio that used their app to send goal reminder notifications. This simple nudging increased workout class attendance by over 20% among app users! Having an owned channel to instantly reach customers provides unprecedented growth opportunities.
3. Turn Casual Visitors into Loyal Brand Advocates
The branded environment of a mobile app strengthens attachment between customers and businesses. With regular app use, users come to intuitively associate your brand‘s visual identity, voice and offerings as part of their lifestyle.
One client, a specialty cupcake bakery, leveraged this effect by offering an app-only VIP program with exclusive perks. Power users who engaged heavily with the app became their most vocal brand champions – providing valuable word-of-mouth marketing.
4. Meet Customers Where They Are
The average user spends 90% of mobile time in apps. For SMBs, having an app presence gives you a spot right in your customer‘s pocket next to the apps they use daily. This grants unmatched convenience compared to businesses without one.
Over 65% of the small e-commerce companies I consult with see at least 50% of purchases made via mobile app. Converting that impulse purchase while a user is standing in line or sitting on their couch is powerful.
5. Gain a Competitive Edge
Adopting new technology early, like mobile apps, sets you apart from competitors just relying on older solutions like mobile sites. It signals you are modern, innovative and care about customer experience.
Social Club, a premium gym, saw memberships rise 15% after launching their app. Users switched from competitors based on the convenience, curated content and connectivity the custom-built app provided. It was a key differentiator that stole market share.
6. Streamline Internal Operations
Mobile apps provide backend access to reporting tools allowing businesses unparalleled visibility into critical KPIs like sales, web traffic and user engagement. Data empowers smarter decision making.
For one client, a house cleaning services franchise, the HQ dashboard helped identify specific geo-targeted mobile promos during demand surges that boosted monthly bookings by 10%. That‘s the beauty of access to accurate, real-time intelligence.
7. Keep Pace with How Customers Want to Engage
Today‘s consumers have high expectations for convenience and personalization from brands. Mobile apps allow delivering the customized, frictionless experiences users now demand.
Over 80% of the small retailers I advise have now invested in apps because mobile shopping continues to expand. Early in the pandemic, lockdowns forced adoption of mobile ordering and delivery – habits that continue accelerating.
8. Future-Proof Your Business
With analysts forecasting mobile commerce to hit $600 billion by 2024 in the US alone, SMBs need an app to remain relevant in the years ahead. Nearly all the growth in e-commerce now comes from smartphones.
Many entrepreneurs I talk with feel overwhelmed by the pace of tech change. My advice is to start taking incremental steps forward, beginning with a basic branded app. From there, add advanced features to continue driving value for your users and business.
The bottom line is mobile apps provide transformative benefits for small businesses. From increased sales and happier customers to operational efficiencies and market share grabs, apps empower SMBs to scale using world-class technology.
What competitive threats or opportunities is your SMB facing that could be addressed by an app? Let‘s discuss how we can put mobile to work for the unique needs of your growing venture.