mobile apps for small businesssesMobile apps can add serious dollars to the bottom line for your business and are doing so for forward thinking business owners and marketers all over the world. And you don’t have to be a big brand to have an app; even the smallest of small businesses can have their own mobile app quickly, easily, and affordably. The number of people using mobile devices, smartphones and tablets to research and shop on the move continues to increase. As compared to the previous year, business utility and productivity apps posted a 143% increase in 2013. Businesses that have incorporated apps in their sales and marketing processes are reporting increased sales and improved process efficiency as well.

Here are 8 mobile app strategies that can increase your sales:

  1. Create convenience. Both online and offline businesses, in sectors ranging from hospitality to consumer products, are already generating sales by enabling buyers to browse products and place orders via mobile phones and tablets.  Mobile phones are also being used to book reservations at restaurants, buy tickets for sporting events and shows, sell music and more. Convenience is the name of the game and having your brand in the palm of your customer’s hand is the essence of convenience.
  2. Capture mindshare. There are studies that show that a person’s ability to retain information is decreasing, primarily due to the fact that we all know we have instant access to information and therefore have been conditioned to not have to remember. In a noisy and competitive marketplace this is bad news for businesses that have a poor digital footprint and don’t give their customers simple and easy access to their business. I may love a restaurant, but without enough frequent impressions of their brand I will forget them. Luckily a mobile app is there to save the day by reminding me who they are, what I love about them, and providing me with frequent reasons to come back. Remember, mindshare = walletshare.
  3. Lead generation. Mobile apps make it easy to generate leads by offering short compelling messaging via push notification, gated coupons, exclusive content, or mobile only contests. Keep you mobile forms short and sweet by only asking for name and email address. Using the right mobile apps platform you can even embed awesome mobile landing pages using services like LeadPages.
  4. Celebrate new arrivals. Businesses use mobile apps to inform on new arrivals, discounts and sales on products or services. Push notifications are fast becoming a part of every online marketer’s arsenal and are completely free for app owners. Not to mention that mobile coupons/promotions are redeemed at a 10X higher rate than traditional coupons.
  5. Experiment with QR codes. QR codes that appear in print marketing and also at the point of purchase are unlocked with mobile apps to activate discounts, loyalty points, even freebies. Using the right QR code software can allow you to change the link associated with a QR code even after it’s printed to keep your marketing campaigns alive, fresh, and relevant. You could use them to drive downloads of your app, offer discounts, a customer loyalty program, announce a new product, or provide exclusive content.
  6. Connect with social media. Social referrals from satisfied users, in the form of reviews that appear on Google Plus and other sites, to images on Facebook, and positive experience on Twitter spread the word about good service and affordable prices. Businesses with mobile apps that carry social sharing buttons can leverage this interactivity to build brand equity and allow your customers to become advocates for your business.
  7. Build Community. Mobile apps serve to create a mobile community for a business. Offering your mobile community the privilege of first access to deals, limited-time discounts, exclusive content, and new releases builds loyalty with your customers and provides an incentive to become a member of the community.
  8. Customer care. Display a click-to-call button on your app for easy access to your business. This can serve to give prospects that little nudge which finally convinces them to make a purchase and moves your relationship with them to a new level. Social media integration into your app allows for customer service to be offered via social networks like Twitter as well. This easy access to information and the opportunity to quickly get questions answered or concerns addressed has become the name of the game in this digital era.

One of the most striking features of mobile apps is that their creation is limited only by your creativity. They can be of general use, for your business or specific to an element of your business; for example, an app created by Shopkick Inc. of Redwood City, Calif., is used by Macy’s to offer discounts on those products that a person evokes an interest in by standing at the display and checking them out. The concept, already in use for online shopping, now has a parallel in real-world shopping too. Be it an increase in forecast accuracy and first time sales or a decrease in redundant activities and administrative time, mobile apps contribute in diverse ways to increasing profitability.

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