Running a small business in Britain? Building an app in 2017 is more important than ever. Find out why.

It might seem a little biased for us to say, but in 2017, it is more important than ever that you’re investing in small business apps.

A major part of the digital revolution, apps provide a myriad of benefits that are simply unavailable through other platforms.

Don’t just take our word for it, though. Here are six reasons why small business apps are an absolutely vital part of a modern company.

1. Small Business Apps Increase Accessibility

People are busy these days. They’ve got a million things to do, but a finite amount of time to do it in. As a result, mobile users enjoy apps in part to their quickly accessible nature.

The most popular apps aren’t those that transform the way people go about their daily lives. They’re apps like Facebook, Amazon and Instagram; apps that actually add very little extra to a person’s experience of their product. These brands all have very user-friendly mobile websites, offering similar functionality to their app. However, the simple fact that it is more accessible and makes the user-experience of the brand that little bit easier is enough to see these business apps downloaded by the million.

What this means is that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel when it comes to apps, just make life simpler for your customers.

They may be small benefits, but they are benefits people care about.

The more accessible you make your business, the more people are likely to use it. If they have your app on their phone, you are but one tap away.

2. Unlock Better Marketing Strategies

Apps have a marketing trick. That trick is that they are always hidden, right in your customer’s pocket.

The advent of the application has resulted in the birth of new functionality known as the push notification.

We are all aware of what a push notification is: it’s that buzz in your pocket when you receive an app update. Push notifications immediately grab our attention just like SMS messages but they’re free for your business to send, which makes them an unparalleled marketing tool.

Imagine being able to tell your customers the second a new product became available, the moment a deal was launched or a change to your business was made? With push notifications, you don’t have to imagine.

Apps provide SMEs with a powerful way of standing out from the crowd. All a person has to do is download your app and you can make sure that if something important happens, they know about it.

Top tip: Push notifications can be switched off by a user. Use this marketing tool carefully. Don’t bombard your customers with messages and make sure they are worth getting buzzed for!

3. Ensure Your Business Remains Competitive

The use of apps within small businesses is rising constantly. By the end of 2017, half of all SMEs will have an app.

What does this mean for business competition? It means if you are left without an app, you’ll also be left on the back foot. With apps offering increased functionality and usability, businesses with an application are far more appealing and accessible to consumers than those without.

Developing an app allows you to either keep a competitive edge, or move ahead of the 50% of businesses that still won’t have an app by the time 2017 draws to a close.

4. Improve Your Day-to-Day Visibility

The average person looks at their smartphone 85 times during their waking hours, with upper usage times clocking in at around five hours per day. This is a lot of time spent looking at our pocket-sized screen.

The fact of the matter is: if you have an app and can get it downloaded onto users’ phones, you’ve just landed yourself a prime spot of digital retail.

With your brand symbol on their phone, regularly seen as they glide their fingers over the touchscreen, your visibility in their day-to-day lives goes from almost non-existence to a regular feature in their conscious and subconscious mind.

5. Gain Previously Unattainable Consumer Insight

Apps offer businesses a new method of data acquisition beyond their current abilities.

By setting up information tracking software within the app, you can gain consumer data such as location, time spent browsing the app, most popular pages, customer behaviours, etc.

This unique dataset can help you make better business decisions in the future, targeting customers in more powerful ways and providing them with services or products they actually want and need.

6. Add Extra Value to Your Business

Small business apps can result in adding extra value; value that can only be obtained through the platform of mobile apps.

Specifically, we are talking about app loyalty features: functionality within the app that allows a customer to gain rewards through usage. These types are commonplace in larger businesses, such as big brands like Costa Coffee and Starbucks, made popular amongst such successful brands by their ability to not only reward customers and add value, but also encourage repeat business.

This system is not only beneficial to big brands, though, and small businesses can also enjoy the benefits of adding extra value by introducing loyalty programs through app development.

If it works for Costa, why shouldn’t it work for you?

<call to action> Think it’s time you reaped the benefits that come hand in hand with small business apps? Apps 4U is a specialist in designing beautiful, seamless, functional, yet affordable apps for SMEs. Get in touch with us today to find out what we can do for you.