Nowadays, it seems like there’s an app for everything. Apps are always in the news. As of this morning, a quick Google News search returned more than 27,000,000 results, including this story I wrote for Bank of America’s OPEN called Boost Your Sales Using Apps.
Here’s the highlights from that piece, plus a few additional insights there just wasn’t room for in the story:
Mobile device usage rates are through the roof. More than 2/3rds of all Americans have smartphones, and that adoption rate could very well be higher among your customers. The most popular apps are those that give users real, life-changing value – whether that means identifying where the best sales are or discovering what an outfit would look like on without the hassle of visiting a fitting room.
Talk to your customers to discover what apps they’re already using. It’s often better for the small business owner to participate in an existing popular app than to pay the thousands of dollars to have an app custom built for them. If you can deliver a truly unique or compelling experience to your customers through an app, of course, go for it, but absent that, I’d really be wary about re-inventing the wheel.
Once you’ve committed to using an app to market your business, promote that association. Leverage other communication channels such as social media and print advertising to let the public know where they can find you. Explore what in-app selling tools exist – some platforms even allow users to make purchases, book reservations, or contact you directly from their phone. You’ll want to be sure you’re making the most of every opportunity.
Review your app choices at least quarterly. The app world is dynamic and ever changing; apps can vary in popularity wildly. The best apps will have some proven sticking power; if an app’s just launched, you’re not going to miss out by waiting a little bit to see if it’s still around in a couple of months.