Is A Mobile App A Norm Or Necessity?

With the explosion of smartphones like the iphone and Android and the popularity of apps for news, games, social media, and everything else you could possibly think of, more and more businesses are looking into the possibility of having an app. However, many businesses are wondering is this just the trendy norm or is this a necessity? Essentially is there VALUE in having an app and if so, how large is that value?

There are over 760,000 apps in the Apple app store. Six years ago it launched with roughly 50,000 apps. That means the app store has grown 15x the original size is roughly six years! Additionally, the obvious worth of every app in the store is equivalent to $1.13 million! That is not including the profitable value of the app or what revenue it brings into a company. This is the break down of the app store currently:


App Store Breakdown of App Store


This can be helpful when deciding if your business needs an app or not. The most expensive apps are in the Medical and Business categories. However, this does not mean they bring in the most revenue or that your business would not profit from an app as much as an app in the Medical or Business category.

Many small businesses wonder if other small businesses have apps or if it is a platform best suited for BBC, Instagram, Angry Birds, Yelp, and other large companies…

Currently, over 85% of small business owners in the U.S. have  smartphones and the overall penetration here in the U.S. is over 100% -meaning there are more smartphones and tablets in use than there are people in the U.S.!

Many small business owners remember the explosion of the internet. Just how big is mobile in comparison to the advent of the internet? It is wise to ask if it is worth investing in something when it could be smaller than the internet…. but it’s not.


Mobile Compared to Internet Mobile Compared to Internet


It’s bigger!

Another commonly asked question is why do I need an app if I have a mobile website?

The principle difference is that apps are downloaded onto a device, while mobile sites are accessed through an Internet connection. Mobile websites are viewed in browsers, just like regular Internet sites and when you click to the next page they are gone. Mobile apps live on the home screen of a smartphone user and can be accessed whenever they want by clicking on the app. Thery do not have to search for a business in the search bar or type in the URL. This is a definite pro to having a mobile app-easy accessibility to your business.

Lastly, what is the marketing and monetary value in investing in a mobile app? Is this part of a strategy or just another cool technology trend?

It’s both!

Key Findings from the Small Business Mobile Survey Include:

69% of U.S. small businesses consider mobile marketing key to their growth in the next five years.

U.S. small businesses maintain a web presence but lack a mobile presence. While 60% of small businesses surveyed have a website, only 26% have a mobile-friendly website.

84% of small businesses currently with mobile presence  see an increase in their business activity. Of the 500 small business owners surveyed, 14% have a mobile website, of which 84%   indicated that they have seen an increase in new business activity due to incorporating mobile into their marketing strategy. This is validation for small business owners that mobile does increase business activity.

Small businesses want to provide better service to existing customers. When asked to rank their top reasons to invest in mobile marketing, small business owners indicated the following as their top three motivations for investing:

                            1. Provide better service to existing customers (38%)

                            2. Attract more local customers (36%)

                            3. Gain competitive advantage (34%)

64% of small business owners are also acting as their one-person marketing team. This means that business owners have limited time and a lot of pressure to manage their mobile marketing. It also means because of a lack of time and resources they could be missing out on the opportunity for growth through mobile marketing.

64% of small businesses increased their spending on mobile marketing in 2012. Only 33% of small business owners spend the same amount in mobile marketing in 2012 as in previous years.

Mobile apps are not a stand alone marketing strategy for SMBs. However, they should be integrated into a marketing strategy to receive the full benefits. Mobile apps are key to increasing the presence, value, and revenue of a SMB.

Yes, it is a technology trend! Yes, it is a cool, innovative marketing strategy!

But most importantly… Yes, it has tangible VALUE.


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