Smart Phone Apps – Does Your Business Need One?

With all the smartphones (iPhones, Androids, BlackBerry’s) being utilized by clients these days it seems you can download an app for pretty much any possible motive. Many online features which include shares, banking, weather, or even ordering plants, which have been historically assigned to computers are actually being 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 the time proper to make the funding and launch an app in your business?

First, take into account that if you have a website it will be viewable from a clever smartphone already, so some of your customers may additionally already be surfing your internet site from their cell phone and probably even putting 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 pretty so clean to navigate on a smartphone. Yes, you could optimize your website for viewing on a smartphone, however even doing that isn’t the perfect answer. The real energy and gain of a custom written smart cellphone app it is 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 lots of pros and cons to be taken into consideration, right here are some based totally on our personal revel in….. Apps

Pros – √

Customer Loyalty – In idea, if you may convince a consumer to choose your app over others supplied, absolutely download it, and maximum vital 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 a very convenient manner 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 ship immediately “Push” messages right to users of your app. In easy phrases, a push message is sort of a textual content message and normally pops up proper on their display screen, probably a terrific way to notify them of promotions, reminders, and many others. As nicely, an app will permit greater diffused communication within the form of “pull” messages, ones that simplest pop up while the consumer absolutely opens the app. √

Cons – X

Initial and Ongoing Cost- This is the big one as 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 duration of 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 seek engine the same can not be said of a cellphone app. It will fall completely upon you to get the phrase out and generate interest. You can not rely on anyone stumbling throughout your app on say the iTunes app save. Here’s a watch opener…Closing rely on pegged the to be had apps for the iPhone at close to 300,000! Talk approximately a needle in a haystack. X

Distribution- Getting your app directly to a client’s phone is a mission, agree with me on this one. First you need to let them recognize approximately it, secondly they have to see a few cost in it, and lastly, they ought to make investments the time to discover and download it. The process calls for a little attempt initially on the part of the person. X

OS Incompatibility – An app written for the running system (OS) of an iPhone will not work on an Android or Blackberry clever smartphone, and vice versa. Each smart smartphone OS requires its personal app. X

Ongoing Commitment – Keeping an apps’ offers and merchandise present day takes time. Launching a clever smartphone app might be not 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, Pro’s three, Con’s five. So what is the verdict?

Let’s look at a working example, one near home. In October of 2010, we released our own iPhone app with excessive hopes and our hands crossed. It is now 5 months later and in which are we at?

In a nutshell, it has no longer grown our name middle enterprise as tons as to start with was hoping and the lion’s percentage of our growth remains visible from 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 a totally negative funding in the brief term. However, I suspect that in the longer term it may prove to be very much like doing online enterprise inside 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 as critical to many corporations as having a cell phone wide variety. It truly took the consumer a piece of time to come to be secure with purchasing on-line. 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 price in and choose over finishing apps.

1) Give it away!

If you go to the iTunes app store there are actually dozens of packages 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 thru selling its miles 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 within the opposition for clients is sort of sincerely fierce so that you want a side, a motive for a clever smartphone consumer to select your app over you competitors.

The solution is simple, CONTENT!

Basing your app around the content material and supplying records approximately the product you sell will provide customers of your product one extra reason directly to download your app. Another case in point, our very own 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 have a purpose to apply your app on an ordinary foundation, or they may delete it or sincerely forget about they’ve it. So in this situation, just like a website Content is King! Business

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 which presents international delivery of clean flora.