In 2013, for the first time ever, people using mobile devices to access the internet outnumbered those surfing the web on a desktop computer. Since then, this trend has continued with mobile users accounting for over two thirds of all the time spent online. While this no doubt has smartphone makers and telecommunications providers licking their collective chops at the boundless opportunities; your business should also get excited about the way things are going. Why? the numbers suggest it is time for your business to build a mobile app.

According to a report done by Washington D.C. based company Clutch, 42% of small businesses have built some form of mobile app. A figure that is expected to drastically increase to 67% by the end of 2017. Perhaps the most intriguing finding of their report is not the mobile trend itself, but rather the way in which it is impacting businesses, especially smaller ones.

At Kingston Webworks we have already started developing some really cool apps for our clients. Don’t worry you will be finding out about those soon. Let’s take a closer look at how you could make a big splash this year by going mobile.

Keep Important Features in Mind

If you’re going to invest company resources and finances into developing an app, you’re most likely hoping to see some return on investment. While profits are the ideal ROI for most businesses, there are also other ways to reap the rewards from your app.

It all comes down to the features your app offers its users.

The two features that deliver the largest ROI are social integration and mobile payment features. Both are excellent ways to track the value of your app because you can see the data those features are generating.

Social integration is arguably the most important feature to have included with your app. By including social integration, you can connect users with your social media platforms. Social integration allows you track how many new fans and followers your social media channels are generating from your app. You might be wondering, why is this so important?

The answer is simple, by increasing the number of followers and fans you have, you can extend the reach and number of impressions your social media posts generate. More fans equal more people to share posts which equal a larger audience reached.

Want some hard numbers? 1 out of every 4 apps produced in 2016 offered a social integration feature.

Mobile payment options improves the customers experience!

Mobile App Payment

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Mobile payment is another extremely valuable feature to have on your mobile app. In today’s digital world, more and more people are using their mobile devices to pay for things. When was the last time you took a cab over an Uber? I don’t know about you, but I prefer having an app bill my credit card opposed to paying with cash or a debit card at the end of my ride. The same goes for Starbucks, I can’t remember the last time I didn’t use my cell phone to pay for my pumpkin spiced latte. The most prevalent example for me is when I order pizza. Whenever I order a pizza I do it directly through an app and pay for it right then. Why? Simple, it’s easier and faster.

All of these apps have one thing in common. I use them to pay for my bills right away. Each of these companies can see the value of having an app because they are making it easier for me to purchase their products and services. Mobile payment is a must have feature to include with your app because more and more companies are beginning to introduce it in their app. According to Clutch, 1 in 5 apps now offer their users a mobile payment feature.

These are just two of the most valuable mobile app features. Take a look below to see what other features your app should include.

Most Valuable App Features

Customer Satisfaction Is Priority #1

Building off of mobile payment features, developing an app does something extremely valuable for your business. It improves your customer service resulting in increased customer satisfaction. What’s the old saying “A happy wife means a happy life”. The same goes for your customers.

A happy customer is a loyal customer!

The main reason to develop an app in 2016 is to improve customer service. According to Clutch; 36% of business owners say improving customer service is the most important reason to build an app.

While you might think offering mobile payment will result in increased sales, unfortunately the data says otherwise. Just because you build an app doesn’t mean you’re going to make more money. What you will do though is increase customer satisfaction. To demonstrate this, I have to use my Starbucks reference again.

Starbucks sells just as much coffee as it did before they built an app. The reason I’m a happy customer though; I can order ahead of time while walking there rather than wait in line for 15 minutes like everybody else. Yea you probably hate it when I walk in the door and grab my coffee right away. I don’t really care though, Starbucks’ mobile app makes it easier for me to grab my coffee so I’m loyal and make it a part of my morning routine.

Think Like The New Kids On The Block

Younger business owners are leading the charge for business apps. The market is still relatively untapped, but as younger business owners continue to pop up, the more apps we’re seeing being created. Why? Three reasons.

  1. They know how much young people use their phone.
  2. Their favorite companies have apps that they use regularly.
  3. They have the resources to manage the app.

Studies have shown that young business owners are more likely to develop a mobile app for their business. In fact…

“…small businesses with owners under the age of 45 (52%) are two times more likely to have a mobile app than those with owners over 45 (26%)”. (Clutch)

Young business owners are savvy, they know what they like and they’re using this to their advantage. All of the app examples I listed earlier, they all use those apps too. They’re realizing the success major companies have because of these apps and are applying the same logic to their own businesses.

Young business owners are also putting their resources into managing the app. It’s no secret, a young business owner is likely surrounded by an equally young staff. In the digital world, more and more youth are learning about apps and technology than ever before. My younger brother is in high school right now and learning how to code. As today’s technology educated generation begins to enter the work force, businesses are going to capitalize on it.

Around half of small businesses with a mobile app are now dedicating in-house resources into managing their apps. Luckily for you, Kingston Webworks is here to help you with yours. Our team is capable of helping you develop an app and take your business to the next level.

Contact Us today to discuss how we can set you up for success!