The majority of small businesses still haven’t developed a mobile app for their business, despite acknowledging the fact that they believe it could help drive sales and help them engage with customers more effectively.
This infographic released by Endurance International Group sums it up well. Their recent survey carried out in February and March, 2015 Small Business Perspectives on Mobile, included over 900 small businesses. It revealed that nearly 70 percent of those surveyed agreed that a mobile app would be helpful and almost two thirds of them believe having a strong mobile presence is vital to staying competitive.
But almost 80 percent said they still don’t have one. These small business owners truly do see and understand why they need a mobile app, but at the same time they often lack the knowledge or resources required to develop and maintain one. Nearly a quarter of those surveyed said creating an effective mobile app is simply not within their budget, even though the cost would be a fraction of what it used to be and nothing in comparison to the rewards it could provide.
There are a number or DIY services that let you easily create basic apps for a nominal fee (sometimes even free). For example, Como.com lets you create and publish an app with plenty of features available. They even have a guarantee that if you don’t get results, they’ll give you six months of their service for free. For those who want something more in-depth, customized and unique, there are developers who can help create the perfect solution, ensuring it works and is secure. OCSICO is just one that comes to mind (learn more here).
While most of them haven’t developed their app yet, they do say they’ll begin developing a mobile app for their business in the coming year.
- 21 percent will begin within the next six months
- 29 percent will begin within the next 12 months
- 22 percent will begin within two years
- 16 percent don’t believe they’ll ever develop one
The rapid and steady rise of mobile devices means that customers are turning to mobile apps for not just company information or searching nearby business locations, but for comparing prices before even visiting a store. According to data from Deloitte, nearly 40 percent of in-store sales are influenced by digital technology. And they believed that half of all in-store sales would be influenced by digital technology by the start of 2015, though there hasn’t been a new study to confirm this yet, that I’ve found.
So it’s easy to see why even a tiny consignment shop or coffee shop around the corner shouldn’t put off developing a mobile app. A mobile friendly website is a step in the right direction, but it’s not the finish line. Actually, there will never be a finish line with technologies constantly growing and changing. But getting an app out there that helps customers is must-do if they aren’t going to be left behind.
They’ll be in the right place at the right time whenever they want to implement something new. Want to let customers virtually try on an outfit that’s on sale? Good luck with that if you don’t have an app to integrate that feature into.