Smart Phone Apps – Does Your Business Need One?

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With all the smartphones (iPhones, Androids, BlackBerrys) being utilized by clients, you can download an app for any possible motive. Many online features, including shares, banking, weather, or even ordering plants, which have been historically assigned to computers, are 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 it proper 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 smart cellphone app 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 app, there are many pros and cons to consider; here are some based totally on our level…..

 Apps

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.” √

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Instant Communication – Smart smartphone apps let you immediately ship “Push” messages right to users of your app. 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. As nicely, an app will permit greater diffused communication in the form of “pull” messages, which pop up when the consumer opens the app. √

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 using a search engine with all people’s aid, the same can not be said of a cellphone 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- Getting your app directly to a client’s phone is a mission; agree with me. 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 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 to retain and market 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 were crossed. It is now five months later, and where are we? In a nutshell, as much as we hoped, it has no longer grown our name or middle enterprise, 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 negative funding in the brief term. However, I suspect that in the longer term, 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 is having a wide variety of cell phones. It took the consumer 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 leap into, here are two suggestions to help you develop or buy a telephone app that the patron will see the price 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 a retail app’s development price by selling its miles is a mistake; the goal must 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 you 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 give customers one extra reason to download your app. Another case in point is our iPhone app, which features over 300 pages of flower records and trivia with regular content material updates. Again, the preliminary purpose is to get your app onto a user’s telephone. In the long run, they must have an at aiming your app on an ordinary foundation, or they may delete it or sincerely forget about what they’ve done 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 that presents clean flora’s international delivery.