The mobile application, indispensable tool for small businesses

 

 

In March 2017, Google Play and Apple Store counted respectively 2,800,000 and 2,200,000 applications, according to Statista’s figures. If game apps remain undeniably the most downloaded (25,04% of the total downloads), business apps come right after, with 9,88% downloads. Why? To what extent is the mobile app the core of small businesses’ commercial stakes?

 

What are the main commercial stakes of small businesses?

Small offices / Home offices (SOHO) are businesses that involve less than 10 workers. As for SMEs, they are businesses involving less than 500 workers, and whose gross annual sales remain below $100 million, according to the American definition. If we take these delimitations into account, the US Small Business Administration counted up 28.8 million of SMEs and SOHOs in the US in 2016, that is to say 99,7% of US businesses.

Faced with this vast competitive landscape, the main objective of a small business is to succeed in establishing itself in it, and to keep its rank. To do so, it has to set two main goals: reaching new customers, and keeping these customers.

How can a business reach new customers? There are several ways to gain them, that generally depend on the company’s budget. Three main approaches can be distinguished though:

    • Increasing your visibility:

On social networks, on Internet or even through advertisement in media… There are several ways to communicate, that depend on the company’s budget and on the kind of product or service sold.

    • Asserting your originality compared to competing businesses:

Unleash your imagination! Find a specific universe, be transparent in your actions, disclose your values, and innovate! Potential customers will be interested in you, and will simply become customers.

    • Attracting thanks to special offers:

The most obvious way to attract customers is to propose them advantageous offers, to make them feel they made a good deal thanks to you. But offering discounts isn’t enough; you also need to communicate about your offer!

 

Once these new customers are reached, how is it possible to keep them? In the same way, three main approaches can be distinguished:

    • Improve the customer experience:

If your customers came once, you need to make them want to come back. This can be done thanks to an attractive store, but also thanks to an intuitive and pleasant website, goodies, and amazing offers.

    • Win the new customers’ loyalty:

The first thing to do to win your customers’ loyalty is to create loyalty cards and customer accounts.

    • Reserve more advantageous offers for them:

Thanks to their loyalty points or their customer accounts, make your customers feel privileged by offering them very competitive prices.

 

The mobile application, an original mean to overcome these stakes

To face these stakes today, more and more companies choose the mobile app. Why? To what extent does the mobile app help them reach their objectives?

    1. It increases their visibility

Communicating through the application, and introducing the app on social networks increase the business’ visibility. The mobile app also gather all the links to their website and Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages

    1. It is a token of modernity compared to competing companies

To be distinguishable from its rivals, a small business can choose the mobile app. Indeed, the app is a modernity and innovation symbol; it’s in the spirit of the times! This innovative fiber will please the customers.

    1. It makes the communication with customers easier

The company’s catalogue can obviously be put online, on the app, and thus, discounts and special offers can easily be highlighted.

    1. It improves the customer experience

What’s better than an app to make the customer experience fun and practical? Without moving, the customer can easily find all the information he needs, directly on his smartphone. He can even purchase online and manage his account effortlessly.

    1. It enables the businesses to win customers’ loyalty

The mobile app can have a “loyalty card” feature. The user won’t have to juggle with his several loyalty cards anymore, since they will be available on his Smartphone.

    1. It enables the companies to reserve special offers to their customers

The mobile app is extremely practical for this. Indeed, customers can be real-time informed thanks to Push Notifications or the iBeacon technology.

 

Nowadays, the mobile app is slowly imposing itself as the new communication interface for businesses. It tends to become an indispensable tool to every company wishing to grow in a more and more connected world. So, you too, take the lead, and create a mobile app for your business!

 

Manon BRIOLE

 

 

Sources :

https://www.statista.com/statistics/276623/number-of-apps-available-in-leading-app-stores/

https://www.statista.com/statistics/263795/number-of-available-apps-in-the-apple-app-store/

US Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy (2016). United States Small Business Profile. [online] [accessed on 05/09/2017].
Available on : <https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/advocacy/United_States.pdf >

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