Mobile Apps key to SMB Success

by Matt Klassen on January 8, 2013

It wasn’t that long ago that the legitimacy of a small or medium sized business was judged almost solely on the presence of a website. That is, the resources, forethought, and need of a website were the marks of a SMB, one interested and able to use technology to meet potential clients where they were at…on the Internet.

Times have changed, however, and with the world increasingly spending its time using mobile technology the traditional website has been largely replaced with the mobile app, the new medium for small businesses looking to connect with clients.

Simply put, smartphones and tablets are quickly becoming the platform of choice for people interested in accessing the Internet. Therefore, as industry analysts say, if a small business is interested in connecting with clients online, it is essential that this business develops and implements a mobile application that represents its products. So if you’re a small business looking to expand its points of contact for perspective customers, look no further than the mobile app.

“Having a well-thought-out mobile app means being able to be in touch with all your consumers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” Bharath Lingam, CEO of mobile app development company PurpleTalk, told the E-Commerce Times. “This is extremely powerful in terms of your ability to collect analytics and feedback based on consumer behavior, be able to enable better brand engagement with your paying customers, create a differentiated consumer experience based on their purchasing patterns, and implement offers, discounts and high-quality loyalty programs. It makes all the difference between being the leader in your business or having a journeyman-like business.”

The difficulty for many SMBs looking to utilize a mobile application, though, is that it requires a change in sales focus, one that pushes more for customer interaction and less for direct revenues generated from the application itself. As Andy Dalton, president of My Mobile Fans, which markets an app-development platform as well as custom-made apps, explains, “Small business apps are getting the most return when they focus on increasing their customer loyalty and interaction…If all they think about is creating direct revenue from the app, then they are completely missing the point.”

“Having customers interact with your brand anywhere they go from the palm of their hand via photos, coupons, message boards, videos, social, etc. is so much more beneficial in the long run than worrying about if the business was able to bring in x amount of direct revenue from the app,” added Dalton.

The mobile app is a versatile tool, but one that can easily be misunderstood and misused. While certainly a sales tool, the value of a mobile app comes through customer brand interaction, that is, through giving potential customers an application they can interact with. If you give customers something relevant to your industry that they can use, they’re more likely to seek out your products or services.

In the end, as the website was once evidence of true legitimacy as a small business, it won’t be long before no one will take you seriously if you don’t employ a mobile app, and given that the sky is the limit for what your business can do with a well implemented mobile application, why wait?

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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