Some small businesses are still not fully tapping into the greatest marketing opportunity of our time: the Internet. Many businesses now have a website and can interact with potential consumers via desktop, but these businesses are still behind the ball because increasingly, online traffic is being conducted through mobile phones. Small businesses are missing out because they either:
a.) Do not have a mobile optimized website or
b.) Do not have a mobile application.
Last year, Google updated its search algorithm to favor mobile friendly websites for mobile Google searches. To mobile-friendly businesses, this was a good thing, but according to eMarketer, 48 percent of small businesses are not mobile optimized and their search listings on mobile have dropped as a result.
Mobile traffic is on the rise. Back in 2014, comScore reported that smartphones and tablets already accounted for at least 60 percent of all online traffic. While much of this traffic was going to social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram even at that time, an estimated 35 percent of organic website traffic came from mobile devices too. So in 2016, a small business ignoring the rising popularity of mobile would be missing out on a tremendous and growing market.
What’s more, the study concluded that 50 percent of online mobile traffic originated from mobile apps, another trend small business owners should be watching. Still, many small businesses are often afraid of the high price of a developer to build their mobile app Fortunately, there is a much more affordable option out there that many users aren’t aware of: do-it-yourself (DIY) application software or app creators.
More and more businesses are turning to DIY apps because they are cost effective and easy to create. DIY apps are made with drag and drop templates and do not require any specially technical skills to construct. The software can be bought with a monthly subscription that gives business owners access to all of the software’s features.
Comparing some of the top DIY app builders, the average monthly subscription is about $62 ($744 a year), which is much cheaper than the average cost of a custom app. A custom mobile app typically requires hiring a developer who charges somewhere around $100 an hour, for a project that, at a minimum, will likely take 250 hours to complete. That’s $25,000 on the low end.
Small businesses will likely find that a DIY app is a more efficient and cost effective approach than developing a mobile friendly website. DIY apps can do everything that a web app can, including integrate with social media and eCommerce, and send push notifications. A DIY app maker can be used to create more personal interactions with customers by providing loyalty systems and rewards for customers who download the app. DIY apps are a great choice for a business with a small, but loyal client base.
Conclusion: Why You Should Consider Building a Mobile Application
It is important for small businesses to understand the value of the mobile app audience. Most trends suggest that consumers will continue to shift to mobile as their modality for surfing the internet and purchasing goods. To stay competitive, small businesses need to address this growing market and work to put mobile first.