Does Your Business Need a Mobile App?

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It’s no secret that a vast majority of people access the Internet on a regular basis from a mobile device. There are so many different kinds of tablets and smartphones, it’s mind-boggling! Of course, there’s Apple’s cult-like following with the iPhone, iPad, and iPad mini. But Google and its Nexus line and a seemingly endless amount of phones and tablets that are outfitted with the Android OS are big players in the mobile market as well.

While many people use Internet applications like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer to access websites or mobile sites, apps are arguably the easiest way for smartphone and tablet users to get information. Consider all of the big companies that have apps – Ebay, Etsy, Pinterest, Facebook, Amazon…the list is nearly endless. Apps have the ability to gain a cult-like following as well, take for example apps like Candy Crush Saga or Draw Something.

So does your small business or website need a mobile app? Here are some reasons you should definitely consider developing one:

  1. People ALWAYS have their phone (or tablet) – I don’t know about you, but my iPhone is my constant companion. If I realize that I’ve left it somewhere, I feel like I’m on stage naked; I really don’t know what to do without it. There are many benefits to having an app but the most important one is that it makes it so that your customers or followers have access to your business just about any time, anywhere.
  2. An app can help you stay ahead of your competition – while there are hundreds of thousands of apps available for all mobile platforms, far from every company has one. Making your company or website more easily accessible than that of your competitors can put you ahead. Developing an app yourself or having one developed for you can be relatively inexpensive. Getting in with an app now, before your competitors, can make your business or website the go-to place.
  3. You can make more money – having an app can generate revenue from a different source. In addition to current customers or readers downloading your app, you may find that people discover your company by just browsing apps.
  4. You’re less likely to get tossed in a junk “pile” – sending info to your customers or followers via an app can be more productive than sending email or physical advertising collateral. Plus, an app won’t be seen or mistaken for spam like an email.
  5. An app can be superior to a mobile site – one big perk of having an app is that apps can run without an Internet connection. Many people choose to only use their phone or tablet when they have access to Wi-Fi in order to cut down on data usage. An app can be opened any time without necessarily needing a web connection. Apps are also always available on a user’s home screen, while they have to take time and make an effort to go to a website.

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Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.

1 comments
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Hi Megan, Nice topic and if a business has a great app idea, that can certainly be a huge opportunity. With that said, anything short of an awesome app that really enhances the customer's experience and solves problems might do more harm than good. 


Like you said, there are hundreds of thousands of apps but most are absolute junk. With even the best smartphones, we can only install and use so many apps. Businesses don't want to be thought of as the company that pushed an inferior product on their customers, even for free. In other words, reputation and authority can be at risk here. 


I remember when toolbars were all the craze. Every website and blogger seemed to have their own browser toolbar. The idea was the toolbar would make it easier for the reader to consume their content. How many toolbars survived? None that I know of that was designed to serve the site's content to the consumer. Those that pushed low quality toolbars and actually convinced their site visitors to install them lost credibility. 


Sorry for the opposing view but I do agree that an awesome app can turn a business around as long as it's truly an exceptional app. We're not competing with hundreds of thousands of apps; we're competing against only the very best apps because that's all anyone uses.