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Mobile devices are one of the fastest growing consumer segments in the world right now; odds are not bad that you are reading this on a mobile device right now. Smart businesses try and keep up with changes, and the move to mobility is no exception. One of the ways in which mobile devices are changing the environment is with the introduction of mobile apps: quick little programs that sit on the phone itself and tie together a variety of internet resources and other functionalities. Here are some reasons why you should consider developing an app of your own.

It’s Where the Customers Are

One of the simplest reasons for using mobile apps as a business platform is that it is simply where the business environment is moving. Recent studies show that the smartphone and tablet platforms are booming, and more and more people are using these devices to access the Internet. These customers can be reached using mobile-optimized websites, but system-native apps work better, allowing a more nuanced customer experience. As customers learn to securely shop on their mobile devices, companies with apps will have significant advantages.

Showcase

Modern shoppers often use e-tailers and other online sources to get pricing and other information, and then go to physical storefronts, where they can see the product for themselves, to make the actual purchase. This doesn’t make an app less useful for such businesses; far from it. Instead, it means that the actual sales figures generated by a direct-sales app are only a fraction of their utility. The app may not always be the last step in the shopping chain, but sometimes, by functioning as the first stop instead, it can spur greater marketplace profile anyway.

Promotion

If your business has a physical storefront, an app provides a convenient low-cost way to engage in couponing. Offering customers good deals is a tried-and-true way to drive foot traffic to your location, and apps are capable of bringing your most loyal customers in on your bargain opportunities, as well as expanding your reach to a large customer base that has never heard of you before.

Engagement

In today’s heavily-branded environment, the business-customer relationship is more important than ever. Building a close association with the lives of those who patronize your business is key to standing out in a crowded field. Apps allow you to stay on top of your loyal repeat customers, communicating with them even in those times when they are not actually shopping with you or in your physical storefront. Blogs, notifications, and other integrated communication tools can help you relay vital information, and the location-sensitive nature of the app lets you fine-tune the targeting of your messaging to the recipients.

Customer Service

Customers like to know that they can provide feedback to the establishments they frequent, and an app consolidates those channels of communication into an easy-to-access form. A well-made mobile app includes options to contact representatives in multiple ways, from email to a direct link to the business’s phone number. These can mean more satisfied customers and, as a bonus, helps you to collect valuable information about what your consumers would like to see from your establishment, allowing you to improve your goods and services.

Scalable Costs

An app is generally cheaper to develop than a full-blown computer program, as it tends to be much smaller. Better still, businesses can venture lightly into the app field with a relatively feature-light initial offering and use the updating process to grow functionality over time if customers respond well. Savvy businesspeople know that low-risk ventures are the way to go; a mobile app, through scalability, allows you to avoid making heavy investments into a new method without first testing the waters.

Mobile computing is all the rage these days, but not every business is taking advantage. That is a shame because opportunities abound for the early adopters who use the march of technology to its fullest extent. If you own a business and are thinking of ways to up your online profile, consider a system-native mobile app to extend your reach.

 

JT Ripton