You may still ask if it’s worth it. After all, you have a website and that works just fine.
- Nearly half of us nowadays make trips to the mall with a mobile phone in our pocket or bag.
- One in three of us who shop in multiple ways use a mobile phone to browse.
- Typically, Hispanics spend 6 more hours than non-Hispanics on their mobile phone each month.
If you want to attract more customers, you need more than a simple mobile-enabled website. You need a dedicated app—something that is there as soon as a consumer looks at their screen and is accessed with the touch.
Small Businesses Are Creating More Apps Than Ever
According to TechCrunch, it’s not only small businesses that benefit from the new landscape.
“Even large enterprises that have a thing for custom development have started appreciating the need for tools that play nice with their incumbent IT landscape — and many SDK providers have matured to address that need.”
While cost was once a prohibitive factor in the app development, app builder address that problem. Now features, scalability and ease-of-use are the primary concerns for businesses building apps.
What types of small businesses are actually making apps?
It’s not just one industry driving demand. Of the 40k+ Android, iOS, and HTML5 apps published between June 2014 and March 2015, 6.4% were for health and fitness businesses and 7.7% were for the food and drink industry. 5% were also published by hairdressers, 3% by spas, and 3.9% for the automotive industry. Religious organization, charities, event organizers, and legal eagles are producing their share of apps as well.
Reports state that developing a “small app” can cost $3000 – $8000. More complex apps can cost anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000!
How are small businesses benefiting from mobile apps?
Half of businesses use their app to provide some sort of support or customer engagement. In the future, app development is going to cover all three fundamental purposes.
- You increase customer retention by providing more personal service.
- Apps elicit more frequent purchases than mobile websites, leading to greater profit.
- Mobile apps are designed to complement mobile websites, not compete with them.
- They are the value-added extra that sets your business apart from the competition.
What does the future hold?
Mobile apps are not just another place to sell your products. The amount of revenue generated from mobile apps is set to increase from just over $41 billion in 2015 to a staggering $101 billion by 2020, with Android platform Google Play being one of the primary drivers. Non-game apps are expected to grow by 23% by the end of the decade.
The mobile website vs mobile app debate is over. The cost of mobile apps has come down considerably, putting them ahead of the game. Customers are beginning to spend more time on apps as their trust in the technology grows. Yes, there will be customers who prefer to use a standard website, but there are more and more who want the personalized experience that an app, if properly developed, can provide.
Additionally, Google is beginning to index mobile apps, inserting them into search results. That includes app-only content, which means marketing agencies across the globe face a new search engine optimization challenge.
Escaping the Doom of Agencies Working with Small Businesses
For agencies looking to provide the best digital solutions to their clients and attract new ones, offering app development should certainly be part of their provision. That doesn’t mean websites have had their day—at least not quite yet. But adding mobile is a must if you want to provide businesses with the cover and potential opportunity they need.
Of course, everyone needs to be looking ahead to the future. This year is supposed to be the tipping point for virtual reality, and its impact on businesses and their customers will soon be revealed. All we know is that new things are on the horizon and agencies that provide a more holistic, forward-thinking approach will be the ones to survive into the next decade.