Why Should Your Business Have a Mobile Presence?

It is important that it makes sense for your business to get a mobile presence.  Although we are keen to work with all types of small businesses, and we really do want to give every one a mobile presence, it is vital that you as the business owner believe it will help you grow your business, and benefit your customers.  We give some thoughts below for you to consider:
Whether you find it palatable or not, the truth is that almost everyone is walking around holding a smart mobile device, and using it...
Trends show that people (including your customers!) spend much more time now using Apps than they do navigating websites on their mobile phones
Your business may already have a great web presence, with a lot invested in your website, but this will not have the same impact on a mobile device, and may turn customers away if it does not even display correctly on the smaller screen
A Social network presence is good, but most people when they log on to Facebook etc want to be social with their friends, and not interact with businesses, so this is of limited value for holding on to customers
An App can be very simple (really, much more simple than a website), but it will exist on your customers' device as a proud icon, reminding them of your business every time they look at their phone.  You never had this from a website.
Your first go at the App could simply tell the customer who you are, what you do, where you are, whether you are open, and give them an incentive for coming to you now (a discount say).  This does not have to cost much, but you will end up with a mobile presence, which you can paste in your store as a "download our app" QR code
You can decide on how much of a mobile presence you want, and how feature-rich your App is, bit by bit, as you see the data, and as you understand the impact it has on your Customers, and your Business
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Can I Get Away WIth Just a Mobile Website?

My website is designed to work on mobile devices, surely that is enough to satisfy the need for a mobile presence?
It's a fair question. A mobile website is a website that detects it is being viewed on a smart device, and tailors the rendering of its pages (images, buttons, text size, etc) accordingly, so that the result is acceptable for viewing on the device.  If your business has a limited budget, this will at least get you visible on a smart device.  The truth of the matter though, is that you need both a mobile-capable website AND a mobile app, in order to get the benefits of a true mobile presence.
A mobile website does the following for your business:
  • It attracts new customers (through search)
  • It uses the device browser app to access the URL of your website (no installation is required)
  • It is more responsive to search queries (in most cases)
  • It also has this typical user interaction: the customer visits, completes an activity, then exits
A mobile app, dedicated to your business, does the following:
  • It creates loyal customers
  • It is accessed by tapping an icon (your logo) on a smart device screen
  • It results in customer engagement, loyalty, and ease of use.  The App "lives" on the user's device
  • The typical user interaction is open, two-way and ongoing, push notifications enable on-demand communication
Businesses that limit their mobile presence to a mobile-ready website risk the scenario known as "buy and bye".  This is when a customer finds your business using mobile search, perhaps browses or even buys something from you, but then disappears, possibly forever.
However, you also need to align your mobile app with the information you provide on your (mobile) website.  New customers need to "discover" you too, and this happens through internet search engines accessing your website.
Businesses that are most successful at marketing themselves use their mobile website to attract new customers and convince them to download their app.  This creates an opportunity for a profitable, ongoing relationship via engagement, "stickiness" (loyalty) and tailoring a more personal shopping experience.
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Take A Look At the Evidence

Here are some facts about the Mobile App world for you to think about
15,000 web and mobile apps launch daily.

This number increases by 1% each week.

Each year this amounts to 5.4 Million apps. 

In 2014, Flurry (a mobile analytics firm) reported that mobile apps accounted for 86% of the time the average  consumer (US) spent on their mobile devices, compared with 14 percent for mobile web browsers.

Recent data from Adobe/eConsultancy shows that nearly two thirds of companies surveyed stated that they planned on increasing their mobile investments in 2015
Since 2008, the average smartphone user has gone from spending just a few minutes a day on their device to spending nearly three hours each day consuming mobile digital media.
In 2014, mobile began to overtake desktop, and that trend is now growing every year
Data and graph courtesy of  SmartInsights
But here's something that is even more relevant:
About 90% of those three hours each day is spent interacting with Apps on the mobile device—only about 10% is spent on mobile websites
Data and graph courtesy of  SmartInsights
In November 2013, Google released research mapping the path to purchase for mobile customers across nine verticals (including restaurants, travel, fashion, health, automotive, and home and garden).
  • Only 48% of users began their journey using mobile search
  • Nearly 30% began their path to purchase on a branded mobile app
  • Consumers showed a preference to research products where branded apps existed
Consumers are more dependent than ever on their mobile devices as they move along the path to purchase.

Consumers expect information on demand—and proximity is the key to conversion; geolocation services enable businesses to anticipate and meet their customers’ needs.

Mobile marketing is the key to capitalizing on impulse shopping by delivering a highly personalized shopping experience.
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Well, What About The Competition?

My Competition Isn't Doing It, So Do I Need To?
About 15% of small businesses had created a mobile app by late 2015.

Of those, one third were developed in 2014

18% of  small/medium businesses plan to create an app in 2016
These companies, some of which could be your competitors, gave the following reasons for developing their own mobile app:
  • Improve customer service (76%)
  • Increase sales (37%)
  • Compete with other businesses (35%)

And in the same survey, they found the following to be key benefits of having one:
  • Being able to use push notifications to engage nearby customers
  • Rewarding loyal clients and customers with perks and points
  • The ability to enter orders and purchase using the app, streamlining business and freeing up staff

​Check out the survey this came from
It is cheaper to keep your existing customers than to find new ones, and a mobile app allows you to look after that aspect of your business
Depending on your business and the demographic of customers that you have, your business could benefit immensely through offering a mobile app
Don't be left behind while competitors offer more conducive engagement with your existing and potential customers!
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