Does Your Business Need an App? <tweet this>
Smart Phones are everywhere and the App marketing is Exploding so I need an App right? <tweet this>
It is no secret that the App market is blowing up as designers are building apps for every conceivable function… The phrase “There’s an App for that” has never been more true than it is today… so as a small business owner, does your business need an App to keep up?
If you are talking to someone that is selling Apps, then YES… your business will fail if you don’t have a custom app RIGHT NOW! But is it true??
As a self proclaimed Techie… I rely on my Smartphone for many many tasks… Also, I have several Apps on my phone, however looking through them, I do not have 1 that is for a small business… not because I have not been offered free Apps from local businesses… For me, even my favorite restaurant (who does have an App by the way) does not warrant a special place on my phone… sorry… but it doesn’t!
The reality is that most people that I have talked to are the same… they don’t understand why they need an App for every business they visit.. even their favorite businesses. Even some people that I talked to that initially downloaded an app for a local business, removed it when they started getting ads pushed to them…
So, why the big push for every business to have an app? Well, so people can make money by selling them to you!
If you would like to see if having a custom app built for you, then my suggestion would be to go build a FREE app first… in today’s world there are dozens maybe even 100’s of sites where you can build a free app for your business in just a few minutes with no skill required… I have played with a few of them, but they are all pretty much the same… Google “Build Free App” and look around… there are many choices.
Once you have your FREE app built… don’t submit it to the App Store or Google Play… make it downloadable from your website and then tell your best customers about it… see how many actually download and use the app. From the research that I have done, this will be very very few if any.
If it were my money, I would spend it building a kick ass mobile website for my business rather than an App… A well built mobile website will gain rankings quickly in the search engines and bring in new customers… especially if you actually market your mobile website…. Click Here for more info on Mobile Web Sites.
Apps for smart phones and tablets are very handy and yes people love Apps… however even large companies are finding it really difficult to have people download their App if there is not a REALLY good reason. Having an App for your bank account is very very useful, epically if you can deposit a check by simply taking a picture through their App… wonderful… no more going to the bank! Result… people download and use the App… Recently I have been seeing some insurance companies advertising their new App… Hmmm… Tell me why I need to have an App for my auto insurance? Maybe if I am in an accident, then I would download their App to diagram the accident and follow the repair progress of my car… but I assure you that as soon as my car was fixed… that App would be off my phone!
Apps are for Retention… Not getting New customers!
Even if you go to all of the trouble and expense to have your App on the App Store (iPhone) and Google Play (Android), the reality is that it is not going to get you new customers. Only the people that know your business and really like your business would ever download an App… and they would only download that App if you give them a really good reason (discounts, freebies, special events etc.). So an App is not designed to get new customers, it is designed to bring customers back through your doors as often as you can… so again, if you have a business that people can return to on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis… an App could work for you…
Let’s face it… use some common sense here… if you think that you would honestly download and use an App for your business on at least a weekly basis… then it may be a good idea to consider an App… otherwise, put your hard earned money into something else like a mobile website that will actually bring in new customers.