Smart Phone Apps – Does Your Business Need One?
With all the smartphones (iPhones, Androids, BlackBerrys) being utilized by clients, you can download an app for pretty much any possible motive. Many online features, including shares, banking, weather, or even ordering plants, historically assigned to computers, are performed properly from an individual’s smartphone. There isn’t any doubt that smartphone usage is growing at an awesome pace; in 2009, on my own, worldwide phone income reached 174 million units!
So, as a retailer, is it time to make the funding and launch an app in your business?
First, consider that if you have a website, it will be viewable from a clever smartphone already, so some of your customers may also be surfing your internet site from their cell phone and probably even placing orders. Unfortunately, most websites are not optimized for a four” display screen, so what might be person-friendly on a 21″ laptop monitor is not so clean to navigate on a smartphone. Yes, you could optimize your website for viewing on a smartphone; however, that isn’t the perfect answer. The real energy and gain of a custom-written smartcell phone app are designed from the floor up mainly for ease of use on a specific device. However, before leaping into the pool and dashing out to release your personal app, there are many pros and cons to consider; here are some based totally on our personal level…..
Pros – √
Customer Loyalty – If you convince a consumer to choose your app over others supplied, absolutely download it, and, most importantly, hold it on their phone, the possibilities are fantastic that you will be their store of desire for future purchases. Let’s face it: after they have it on their cell phone, it can be very convenient to reserve or access product data when they do not have access to a computer.√
The Leader of the Pack – A smartphone app tends to be a primary investment for an average retail keep (or as a minimum until a person designs a mass-market, affordable model), so it is probably a secure wager that having one will set you apart from your opposition within the eyes of some of your clients. In simple phrases, it is state-of-the-art, mainly for the younger “Smart Phone Generation.” √
Instant Communication – Smart smartphone apps let you immediately ship “Push” messages to your app users. In easy phrases, a push message is a textual content message. It normally pops up properly on their display screen, probably a terrific way to notify them of promotions, reminders, and many others. An app will permit greater diffused communication in the form of “pull” messages, which simply pop up while the consumer opens the app. √
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Cons – X
Initial and Ongoing Cost- This is the big one. It can be fairly considerable, commonly jogging into lots of bucks without a guarantee of producing “extra” business or seeing a return on funding in an inexpensive time. X
Marketing -Be prepared to spend time and money!
While your internet site can be found with the aid of all people using a search engine, the same can not be said of a cell phone app. Getting the phrase out and generating interest will fall completely upon you. You can not rely on anyone stumbling throughout your app on the iTunes app save. Here’s a watch opener…Closing depends on pegged the to-be-had apps for the iPhone at close to 300,000! Talk approximately a needle in a haystack. X
Distribution- A mission is to get your app directly to a client’s phone. Agree with me on this one. First, you need to let them recognize approximately it. Secondly, they have to see a few costs in it, and lastly, they ought to invest the time to discover and download it. The process calls for a little attempt initially on the person’s part X.
OS Incompatibility – An app written for an iPhone’s running system (OS) will not work on an Android or Blackberry clever smartphone, and vice versa. Each smart smartphone OS requires its own personal app. X
Ongoing Commitment – Keeping an app’s offers and merchandise present-day takes time. Launching a clever smartphone app might not be a fantastic concept if you currently have a website and find you, without a doubt, can’t invest the time required into retaining and marketing it properly. X
The score to this point is Pro’s three, Con’s five. So what is the verdict?
Let’s look at a working example, one near home. In October 2010, we released our iPhone app with excessive hopes and our hands crossed. It is now 5 months later, and where are we? In a nutshell, it has no longer grown our name middle enterprise as much as hoped,g and the lion’s percentage of our growth remains visible on our internet site. If I have been to assess our iPhone app’s overall performance so far strictly from the factor of revenue generated, I could truly have to mention it is totally negative funding in the brief term.
However, in the longer term, I suspect it may be very much like doing online enterprise in the sense that inside the infancy of the net, many shops jumped in early and invested plenty with little go-back initially. Yet in state-of-the-art global, having an internet site is critical to many corporations as having a cell phone wide variety. It took the consumer a piece of time to come to be secure with online purchasing. So, on this one, my hands are nonetheless crossed. If, after analyzing the above, you decide which you want to make the leap, here are two suggestions to help you develop or buy a telephone app that the patron will see pthe rice in and choose over finishing apps.
1) Give it away!
On the iTunes app store, dozens of packages are available to purchase products. Some of them are free. However, many cost $zero.99 – $2.99 to download. Trying to recoup the development price of a retail app by selling its miles is a mistake; the goal needs to be to get your app broadly disbursed. As a store, you’re in the commercial enterprise of selling your product, not promoting telephone apps. As the quantity of customers of your app grows, so will your income revenue.
2) Content, Content, Content!
Remember, no matter the retail area you are in, the opposition for clients is fierce, so tou want a side, a motive for a clever smartphone consumer to select your app over your competitors.
The solution is simple: CONTENT!
Basing your app around the content material and supplying records about the product you sell will provide customers with one extra reason to download your app. Another case in point is our iPhone app capabilities over 300 pages of flower records and trivia with content material updates on a regular foundation. Again, the preliminary purpose is to get your app onto a user’s telephone. In the long run, they must aim to apply your app on an ordinary foundation, or they may delete it or sincerely forget about it. So, in this situation, just like a website, Content is King!
By Doug Munro, CEO
Doug Munro is the CEO of Grower Direct Fresh Cut Flowers, a Canadian flower retailer with forty franchised places. In addition to their ‘brick and mortar” stores, Grower Direct operates a name center and e-commerce web page that presents international delivery of clean flor and their’ brick and mortar ” storesa.