Mobile business apps are no longer just for big corporations. They are also an affordable and feasible option for many small business owners. If you are looking for innovative and effective ways to communicate with clients and diversify your marketing strategy, you may want to consider the benefits of your own app.
Mobile apps have the power to increase repeat business by boosting engagement with customers. Your clients can use an app to find out basic information about your company, but they can also use it to streamline communication. For example, clients can email or call your company directly through the app without having to search for information online.
Depending on how you set up the app, your clients can make reservations at your restaurant, schedule appointments at your clinic, pay their invoices, order new products and services, or perform other functions. By making these processes easy for your clients and by giving them the flexibility to access these services any time of the day or night, you help to increase the likelihood that they continue to choose your business over your competitors.
To further foster engagement, you can use your app to create loyalty programs or send customized coupons or special offers to your customers. If you like, you can set up push notifications to remind clients of their appointments, and with geo-fencing, you can instruct push notifications to appear when your client is in the vicinity of your shop.
The functionality and style of your app can be an effective way to showcase your brand. For example, if your brand is about simplicity, elegance, or great customer service, the app should reflect those characteristics. In addition, every time your customers see the app icon on their phone, they are reminded of your brand.
Building an App
If you decide you want an app, there are two main routes to creating one: hiring an app developer or using a template. Generally, developers change between $50 and $300 per hour. They consult with you about your vision for the app and then build it for you. Once you complete the design and consultation process, it takes about 10 to 12 weeks to build an app, but the time can vary based on the features you want.
Alternatively, companies such as Bizness Apps provide clients with templates to build an app. With this program, you use drag and drop functionality to create the app, and you can add features such as mobile ordering, reservations, push notifications, loyalty programs, and more. You don’t pay anything until you take the app live, and at that point, you pay a monthly subscription fee of $42 USD.
Before taking your app live, you may want to test it for bugs. Many consumers are likely to abandon an app the first time they encounter a bug. You can test an app extensively on your own with the help of employees or friends. Alternatively, you can work with services such as MyCrowd or TestArmy, which are crowdsourced app and website testing companies.