An iPhone in a docking station.
An iPhone in a docking station.

wicker_man/flickr

Mobile apps help small business owners stay ahead in the marketing game by providing a direct and cost-effective channel for consumer engagement and satisfaction.

To most people, apps are something of a novelty — a fun way to interact with friends or pass the time on your commute home from a long day at work. But to the small business owner, apps are a vital part of their ability to survive, providing intelligent, results-oriented marketing channels with relatively low operational overhead.

Here are just a few of the ways that mobile apps are helping SMEs stay afloat in the midst of heavy competition:

Direct Marketing Channels

Getting your app on a customer’s phone creates a unique opportunity for a more direct and meaningful level of communication. By sending customized (or even geo-tagged) push notifications, you can grab their attention at key moments and increase the likelihood of a sale.

Now, with the help of beacon technology, you can also send automated push notifications to announce the day’s specials as shoppers enter your store, or even let potential customers know you’re open for business as they pass through the neighborhood in their car.

Increased Visibility and Reach

Apps also have the ability to significantly increase your visibility. According to Flurry Insights, the average American spends over two hours perusing mobile apps each day, compared to a relatively meager 22 minutes spent browsing the traditional mobile web.

What’s clear is that limiting your efforts to mobile web optimization will likely get you lost in the shuffle — embracing the app platform maximizes the chance that consumers will actually look at and engage with your brand every day.

A Frictionless Purchasing Experience

Apps aren’t just more visible on a superficial level — they’re also a great tool for improving the customer experience. The Starbucks app, for example, allows customers to carry their loyalty card on their smartphone, adding a new dimension of convenience and simplicity to the purchasing process.

Target offers another great example — the company developed an app that help customers to shop more efficiently by pointing out the availability and in-store location of items on the customer’s list.

By adding value to the traditional shopping experience, you’re ultimately generating loyalty to you brand. Recognizing the needs and values of your consumer base and taking the necessary steps to address them will make your business stand out from the crowd, gaining you customers for life.

Built-in Metrics and Data Analytics

Apps also have built-in metrics and data analytics that can provide valuable insights into current market trends and the success of specific products and campaigns, which will come in handy when it comes time to assess and optimize your internal operations. This kind of real-time feedback is invaluable when you’re aiming to create a seamless customer experience.

Get an App!

While every small business would surely benefit from having a mobile app, many might be worried about the high costs associated with traditional mobile app development. Well, Infinite Monkeys provides a powerful and affordable app building solution to this longstanding problem.

For just $1 a month, anyone can build an app to reinvigorate and inspire their customer base, with no prior programming experience required. Now, you don’t have to spend big bucks to make your small business stand out — create an engaging app and let it do your marketing for you.