Consumers today have multiple options to satisfy their shopping needs. Apart from the traditional in-store, enter the digital channels via laptop, tablet, smart TV and smartphone that consumers are using to browse, research, and purchase services and products. These multiple options mean more opportunities to market, promote and engage the consumer to generate revenues.
Small business owners with web presence or even a mobile friendly site can feel confident they are satisfying the needs of consumers who want to connect to them digitally but the most recent research suggests that marketplace behaviour is shifting towards apps for a seamless mobile experience. Consider this, 60% of local searches on mobile convert into buying customers within the hour, making apps an increasingly important channel for consideration.
Today, online activity continues to grow and shift rapidly to the mobile with the number of global smartphone owners at an all-time high and steadily growing. Further, the amount of time those users spend in apps is also increasing and 2015 saw a 58% increase in app usage from 2014, according to TechCrunch. As much as 90% of the time we now spend on our phones takes place inside of apps.
The findings and numbers reveal that mere web presence isn’t going to be enough to compete and ignoring mobile apps as part of a marketing strategy is in fact denying customers direct connectivity to businesses. A mobile and web strategy together works very well and adopting such a strategy caters for these buying behaviours and usage trends; business owners risk losing increasing numbers of customers and revenue by not adapting.
So how do apps help differentiate? Foremost, mobile apps increase engagement with customers via a much more personal, real time and seamless touchpoint. They boost repeat visits, and permit a wide variety of online transactions, including the deployment of loyalty cards, push promotions, and ecommerce transactions. Apps deliver coupons and send announcements that build your sales with customers. Apps also accelerate contact with your company, which enhances relationships with customers in a world where speedy responses are valued by shoppers. Smartphone icons even help build brands by providing a visual design that customers recognize.
Apps are not the privilege of big brands today. Many small-business owners need to bring in this valuable channel into play but are intimidated by the technology and associated costs. They are worried about the need to build different apps for the various platforms customers are on – iOS, Android, Windows and Blackberry. They are unsure about building dynamic or static apps, and the difficulty of coming up with an app design. Moreover, most small-business owners don’t have the expertise to build apps themselves and are put off by the complexity and costs presented when interacting with the multitude of software developers and consulting house offerings.
This growing need however hasn’t gone unnoticed and a few young companies are simplifying the process of creating and deploying smartphone apps, creating multifunctional platforms and putting the capabilities easily in small-business owners’ price range. Even the smallest companies can now take advantage of the benefits that a mobile app can provide in attracting customers, speeding sales, and building a brand.
PRESTO, a growing young company offering commerce apps, started with a simple idea that no business looking to embrace mobility should find technology intimidating. Recently partnered with LawBite, who look after small business with simple law offerings on a technology platform, the synergy in approach and attention to customer care has led to the extension of an eco system of benefits on offer to small businesses to also include app development. PRESTO offers small business owners custom branded apps delivered via a complete do-it-for-me service including integration with existing POS, payment gateway and business SW systems.
Their unique capability allows app deployment in less than 72 hours and stems from a highly capable platform with all the native features, functions and a rich library of mapped consumer journeys aligned for ecommerce that also extends to websites. This is coupled with a management dashboard for business management control and analytics. All this is ultimately wrapped up in a pay-as-you-grow SaaS business model making it cost effective for small businesses.
If you have an app idea but need help on what to do next or you decide on getting an app for your business, simply get in touch with their friendly team for a free consultation.