Small Businesses Are Going Mobile Faster Than Ever

PEarl Jadeh

The use of mobile is on the rise for small business, and the numbers definitely prove it. More and more small business owners have seen the light and are implementing mobile marketing to help run, advertise, and grow their businesses.

Recently, a company interviewed over five hundred SMBs about the role of mobile in their every day business dealings, and some of the interesting findings are outlined below.

– 77% of small businesses use mobile technology, a number that is up from 66% in 2013.

– The two biggest gains were adoption of mobile-optimized websites (60% in 2014, up from 34% last year), and mobile advertising (21% in 2014, which was up from 10% last year).

– Non-marketing mobile technologies used by SMBs included mobile storage apps at 61%, scheduling/calendar apps at 58%, and financial management apps at 51%.

As it turns out, more than three-quarters of SMBs used mobile technology this year. And 92% of SMBs either have already started a mobile-optimized website or are considering it.

More findings:

– 61% of those asked said that they use mobile storage apps
– 58% use scheduling and calendar apps
– 51% use financial management apps
– 21% said they used mobile advertising, which is up from 10% last year.
– 23% said they were interested in using mobile advertising within the next six months

The numbers certainly tell a story. SMBs are all jumping on board, utilizing mobile marketing as a means to grow their business and retain/recruit customers. Mobile optimized website and mobile apps for smart phones and other devices are only going to grow as time goes on and customers demand it more and more.

Are you interested to get your own branded app or optimized website for your business?

Now is the perfect time to contact BayAppStudios to get on the path to Mobile, and meet your clients on the platform that they are on.

 

 

Clarifying 5 Myths About Mobile Apps For Small Businesses

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Many small businesses have joined larger ones in developing a mobile app for their customers, but there are still many holding out, with several small businesses not getting connecting with their customers on a mobile level. A recent study showed that more than half of small businesses don’t even have a website, much less a mobile app.

The mobile app industry isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so all small businesses should consider engaging their customers with a mobile app, otherwise they will lose out on some serious business.

But what’s holding small businesses back from going mobile? Why are some small businesses finding it so hard to develop a mobile app or even a mobile optimized website?

Experts say it can be a combination of factors that can be easily avoided. We’ve detailed five of the biggest myths that might be holding SMBs back when it comes to mobile apps.

1. Developing a mobile app is too expensive.

Developing and creating a mobile app hasn’t always been as affordable and simple as today, getting your app designed, built and published for download is now a matter of days. The problem is, many SMBs don’t realize that technology has changed, and that developing an app with BayAppStudios is actually really straight forward.

2. Mobile apps aren’t really necessary.

Many SMBs make the mistake of thinking that they are well-known enough among their customers, and that a mobile app is just a waste of time and money. They mistakenly believe that an app, while helpful to some, won’t really drum up any new business for them. To the contrary, if you don’t have a mobile app to increase repeat business, or at the very least, a mobile optimized website, you are losing out on a huge chunk of revenue.

3. Social media presence is good enough.

Small business owners often make the mistake of thinking that if they are on Twitter or Facebook, that they are getting through to all their customers. This isn’t completely the case – Facebook filters out posts from “fan” pages and business pages, so your customers only see a tiny percentage of the things you post. And with Twitter’s massive feeds, the sheer number of posts people see every day mean that your updates might get lost in the shuffle or buried under other tweets.

Push notifications on the other hand arrive directly on a customer’s phone, which can be hard to miss…and you can only  send Push Notifications to your customers, with your own branded business app

4. Mobile Apps don’t provide enough functionality.

Business owners mistakenly believe that apps can’t really do much other than offer some information that’s already out there anyway, but that’s not the case. Mobile apps are built to engage your customers and encourage loyal customers to come back through in depth functionality. For example, you can message specific customers based on location or interest, interact with customers, providing them answers to emails and queries no matter where you are, rewards programs, loyalty programs, incentives, promotions, coupons, contests and other sales-generating marketing strategies, and so much more.

5. Mobile apps are way too time consuming.

Mobile apps are designed specifically to not take up too much of your time. In fact, they can often save you time, by doing things for you like updating your content, keeping data organized, providing customers with helpful information, automatic updates, etc. In addition, features like mobile food ordering or mobile reservations can reduce time spent talking with customers on the phone for their orders, automating the whole process, which is good business for everyone.

So there you have it. If you run a small business, you owe it to yourself to have an app developed to interact with your customers and tap into the mobile marketing opportunity. Getting a mobile app created with BayAppStudios is simple, convenient, and shows a high return on investment. Call us today on (650) 240-8480 and let’s get you started to join the big league!

 

 

What can a mobile app do that a website can’t?

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What can a mobile app do that a website can’t?

Lots, in fact. With a mobile app you can:

– Send push notifications straight to customers’ phones.
– Engage with customers when it counts, encourage loyalty & drive sales!
– Run a digital loyalty scheme to increase profitability up to 88% in a new, innovative way.
– Increase brand awareness with an icon on your customers’ phones, which they look at up to 150 times a day.
– Use location-based messaging to target customers in certain locations with specific messages or offers – Geolocalization just launched!
– Increase customer loyalty with a mobile scheme!

Get an app for your business Go mobile today with BayAppStudios, and take advantage of these powerful features only an app can offer.

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How Mobile Technology Saves Businesses Billions

A staggering 94% of small businesses are using smart phones and other devices to conduct their business.

These businesses haven’t just jumped on a trend. Switching to smart phones are saving businesses to the tune of the billions every year.

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According to a survey done by AT&T and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, over the past year small businesses have saved $67.5 billion by using mobile apps, tablets, smart phones and other devices to conduct their every day business. Smart phones alone saved business owners $32.3 billion last year.

The survey also showed that smart phones save business owners time. A lot of it, in fact. Business owners saved 1.24 billion hours last year by conducting their business via smart phone.

Tablets are also huge time and money savers, saving 754.2 hours and $19.6 billion for business owners. Respectively. Mobile apps saved business owners 599.5 million hours and around $15.6 billion last year. Not too shabby.

SBE Council President and CEO Karen Kerrigan said, “Clearly, we are at a point where entrepreneurs now look first to communications technologies and innovations for solutions to improve productivity, cut costs and better manage and engage with customers.” She went on to say, “That is time and money that can go back into driving sales and innovating the marketplace.”

More than half of the small businesses surveyed said that they use mobile apps, with 91% of those saying that it saves them time. The same businesses estimated that they are saving at least $500 a month (up to $6,000 a year) by using mobile apps.

The use of mobile apps by small businesses has increased over the past couple of years but 65%, with 92% of those using smart phones to access their mobile apps.

77% of small businesses are using three or four apps. A small percentage used over 20 apps for their business, with the most commonly used apps relating to GPS, navigating, and mapping.

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According to the survey, while many businesses are open five days a week, many small business owners and their employees access their smart phones and devices to conduct business seven days a week. Almost half of those surveyed said that they use their smart phones to work every day of the week, despite the company hours.

Now is the time to have an affordable app created to push your business forward. Almost every small business in the U.S. has utilized smart phones or other devices to engage with their clients and customers. BayAppStudios has the perfect solution for you to get started, call us today.

iTunes App Store Reaches 1.3 Million and App Usage Up 21%

During the iPhone 6 event held in Cupertino earlier this year, company Apple had a HUGE announcement…

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They announced that the iTunes app store has reached 1.3 million apps – this is updated from the 1.2 million mobile apps that they’d announced in June.

In June of last year, Apple had announced that there were 900,000 apps available on their platform, which had been downloaded 50 billion times. Yes, that’s 50,000,000,000 times!

The mobile app world is growing fast.

By January of the next year, however, the number had surpassed 1 million.

This newest gain puts Apple eye to eye with Google in terms of downloadable apps and apps available in the app store. Google Play has around 1.36 M apps currently, which puts the two companies neck and neck.

Apple went on to say that all of the iOS applications will “just work” on the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices that were recently announced.

In addition to the announcements from Apple, mobile marketing platform Localytics has released new data regarding the way people interact with apps over the course of a month, and the findings are interesting. Among them:

– Time people spend using apps is on the increase
– People are spending 21% more time using apps
– The largest increases are for music apps, as well as health and fitness and social apps

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The study was done with data from Localytics customer base, which includes 28,000 apps installed on 1.5 billion devices. The findings cover the year-long period from August 2013 to August 2014.

More interesting figures, some of which were provided by Nielsen and comScore:

– Consumers are now spending an average of 30+ hours per month on mobile devices
– These customers have an average of 26.8 apps installed on said devices as of last year
– The majority of digital media consumption is now taking place in apps
– Apps account for 52% of the time U.S. Consumers spend with digital media

According to Localytics, users are opening an app on their device on average about 11.5 times per month, which is up from 9.4 a year ago. App sessions last on average around 5.7 minutes.

– Music apps are up by 79%
– Health and fitness apps are up by 51%
– Social networking apps have the highest number of launches

The general takeaway is consumers are using apps more than ever and are showing an increased ‘appetite’ (no pun intended) for more useful apps to help them interact with businesses of all sizes. Mobile apps are becoming more and more important relevant in people’s everyday lives every day. This is why creating a mobile all & retaining app customers by keeping them loyal is so important to any business owner.

The Power Of Push Notifications For Small Businesses

Mobile marketing is one of the fastest growing forms of marketing for small businesses, and the trend shows no signs of stopping due to powerful features such as push notifications.

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So to start, what are push notifications?

If you download and use mobile apps, you’ve definitely seen these messages. Push notifications are instant alerts that show up in real time on a user’s mobile device to communicate a small message. You know those pop-ups that show a red number next to your mobile apps? Yup, those are push notifications! These notifications are being used by a large variety of businesses to improve customer communication with great success.

According to global-marketing company Responsys, surveyed 1,200 adults and discovered that six out of 10 adults have downloaded apps from their preferred brands. Of those, seven in 10 have enabled push notifications for those apps. When a younger set of people were surveyed, those percentages grew.

According to the survey, users enabled push notifications for the following reasons:

– 50% for getting access to special or exclusive offers,
– 44% to keep track of orders
– 38% to review and manage accounts
– 36% to access brands on the go
– 34% to receive notifications in real time about sales and availability
– 31% to look up inventory
– 29% to stay up to date with products and services
– 28% to receive location based notifications
– 25% to better their website experience

In-app notifications are being used a great deal, with 68% having enabled notifications for their apps, and 76% of the younger age range (18-34) having done so. The survey showed that 70% of consumers surveyed said that in-app push notifications were valuable to them, 43% of consumers said they were more likely to use a mobile app when push notifications were available.

The statistics don’t lie. Push notifications are a huge part of apps and mobile marketing now, and businesses should take note. This means huge return on investment for small businesses!

Small Businesses Are Adopting Mobile Ordering Faster Than Ever.

IMG_5956The use of mobile is on the rise for small business, and the numbers definitely prove it. More and more small business owners have seen the light and are implementing mobile marketing to help run, advertise, and grow their businesses.

Recently, a company interviewed over five hundred SMBs about the role of mobile in their every day business dealings, and some of the interesting findings are outlined below.

– 77% of small businesses use mobile technology, a number that is up from 66% in 2013.

– The two biggest gains were adoption of mobile-optimized websites (60% in 2014, up from 34% last year), and mobile advertising (21% in 2014, which was up from 10% last year).

– Non-marketing mobile technologies used by SMBs included mobile storage apps at 61%, scheduling/calendar apps at 58%, and financial management apps at 51%.

As it turns out, more than three-quarters of SMBs used mobile technology this year. And 92% of SMBs either have already started a mobile-optimized website or are considering it.

More findings:

– 61% of those asked said that they use mobile storage apps
– 58% use scheduling and calendar apps
– 51% use financial management apps
– 21% said they used mobile advertising, which is up from 10% last year.
– 23% said they were interested in using mobile advertising within the next six months

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The numbers certainly tell a story. SMBs are all jumping on board, utilizing mobile marketing as a means to grow their business and retain/recruit customers. Mobile optimized website and mobile apps for smart phones and other devices are only going to grow as time goes on and customers demand it more and more.

Are you interested in having a mobile app developed or mobile optimized website? Now is a great time to contact BayAppStudios.

* The Round Table Pizza App is up for release on the Apple App Store : Sep.15 2014, and Google Play Android Store Sep.11 2014.

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Local Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

rrshutterstock_143912638-e1375208825948Whether or not your business has already has a mobile app or mobile website, you’re already somewhat aware that you can use location-based marketing to encourage business to increase – but do you know all the mobile marketing strategies you can implement based on location?

We’ve outlined a few of our most popular ones to make location-based mobile marketing work for you and help grow your business.

1. Send location based offers with push notifications
Geo-targeted push notifications allow you to easily target users by location – down to a few hundred foot radius. You can target your users based on where they are, and what goods and services you provide that are relevant to their location. This can help most businesses, from bars to retail outlets, restaurants to medical facilities, libraries to mechanics.

For example, if you own a restaurant, you could circle off a competing location so when patrons pass by your competitor your offer shows up to entice them over to your business!

2. Encourage users to check-in to redeem coupons
So many people these days use check in features, whether it’s through Foursquare, Facebook, or another new mobile application. The more people “check in” at your business, the more business you’ll do, because of the exposure you’ll gain over your customer’s social networks. Providing a “check in” ability for customers to use will help spread your business by word of mouth and ensure that you’re being seen by a larger audience.

For example, you can offer special incentives or rewards to loyal customers for “checking in” – it could be anything from a free item, a discount on a purpose, an entry in a giveaway, or something else. It’s totally up to you but make sure it’s relevant to your customers!

3. Place a QR code inside of your establishment
Have you seen those strange pixilated squares all over signs these days? Those are QR codes, and they work well mobile apps. Basically, a user sees the code, uses their phone to scan it, and it takes them immediately to a mobile app which they can then download. You can tie in QR codes with special promotions, events or features, so that users are more likely to download the app. You can also tie them into specific content that they can only get from the QR code.

For example, one easy way to utilize QR codes in your small business is to place a QR code for users to download your mobile app from. This seems so simple & obvious, and it is. It also really works to help increase mobile app downloads!

4. Go over your mobile app analytics
Understanding how your customers are interacting with your mobile app is really important. Taking the time to analyze the specific habits of your users can really help you market your business and provide them with what they need and want.

For example, if you see many customers utilizing one of your coupon features a lot you may want to encourage that feature even more with a better offer or perhaps with a push notification!

Whether you’re just getting started with mobile marketing or already have a full strategy in place, the tips above will help you no matter what. Best of all, they are easy to implement and can be done in a day. Just make sure to test to see what works and what does not work with your customers as every small business is unique.

Remember, the customer is always right, even when it comes to mobile marketing!

4 Ways to Increase Customer Engagement Through Mobile Apps

shutterstock_149379359A new study, conducted by Pew Research Internet Project, showed that 91% of Americans own a mobile phone, and over half of them use those phones to access the internet. That probably doesn’t surprise anyone, but what you may not know is what that means for your business.

If you own a business, it is essential that you maintain an engaging mobile presence.

Customers want immediate access to information these days, and they get that from their mobile phones. So of course it stands to reason that your customers want to be able to interact with you and to obtain goods and services from your company via their mobile device.

A mobile app enables your business to be available at all times, nights, weekends and holidays, and allows you to offer customers on-the-go access, rewards programs, recruitment opportunities and more.

Engaging your customers has never been easier than with a mobile app. The app practically promotes your business for you.

We’ve outlined four ways that you can grow your business through a mobile app below.

1. Facebook, and other social media sites. When you sync your app with social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, your customers can share content and promote your business. Customers can “share” special promotions and contests you might have and their friends/fans will see the content and be moved to download your app. You can also tweet out special gofers and events.

2. You can also do marketing through push notifications, and geofencing. Localized content can really grow your business. When customers are offered specific content based on their location and interest, they feel catered to and like their needs are being met. This will generate a lot of business.

3. Giveaways, free trials and contests. Don’t hesitate to utilize these! People will download your app especially to participate in contests and giveaways. This will give you an opportunity to get your products, goods and services out there, which will then drum up more business and retain loyal customers.

4. Advertising Space. Taking out an ad through sites like Facebook or other social media sites is a great way to generate business and draw people into your app. These sites target consumers based on their interests, so your ad is guaranteed to be seen by people who are especially likely to give you business. Targeted ads are a great way to insure revenue.

No matter what type of business you run, an app can propel you forward. Restaurants, bars, concert venues, retail outlets, catering services, medical facilities, educational facilities, salons, repair companies and countless other businesses have benefited from utilizing a mobile app.

The 3 major trents that shape mobile commerce

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A new study finds 32% of all online purchases are made over mobile devices.

Businesses in a variety of industries are looking for solutions to help them segue into the mobile-dominated world.

Mobile technology developments have steadily been increasing over the past few years, and several small businesses are making mobile commerce their number one priority. Small businesses are implementing various tactics to transition into the mobile world.

1. Small Business Mobile Adoption Increasing

According to Drew Lewis, who runs marketing and management for Leaf, “With the ever-growing adoption of PayPal, Square and other big players, we are beginning to see mobile commerce alternatives find their way into the hands of small businesses.”

Other marketing experts and leaders in the industry spoke up about the current mobile commerce trends and how it will shape the landscape and the things companies are doing to stay in the game. One main trend was the rapid rate in which small businesses were increasing the adoption of mobile technology. This presents a huge opportunity for SMBs to connect with their customers where they are 24/7.

2. Optimized POS Experiences

James Van Arsdale III, director of user experience for commerce solutions provider WebLinc, said that a company’s ability to optimize the customer experience across all channels will drive its m-commerce (mobile commerce) to success, no matter whether they are dealing with emails, social media, websites, or something else entirely.

Major retail companies have begun to adapt to the new age of mobile commerce, by introducing point-of-sale devices (POS) in their stores, which often correspond with apps and make transactions simpler for customers. Many are even using tablets and smart phones in their stores to take orders, ring up purchase, accept payments, scan member cards and more.

3. Branded Mobile Apps

Another way small businesses are adapting to mobile commerce is through branded mobile apps. These apps drive customer engagement and sales, but do have a downside if developed incorrectly – often the cost outweighs the benefits when it comes to conversion rates. As mobile apps continue to rapidly improve and decline in cost to develop from using services like BayAppStudios — more and more small businesses will look to have created their branded mobile app offerings for customers to quickly make purchases from their devices.

In addition, mobile analytics firm Flurry measured overall time spent on U.S. iOS and Android devices to find that app usage now takes up 86% of mobile time spent. That’s up from an 80% share in 2013. Growing app usage comes at the expense of the mobile Web, which now makes up just 14% of mobile time spent. In total, the average U.S. mobile user spent 2 hours and 42 minutes per day on their device.

Mobile commerce is quickly changing the way customers interact with every business of every size. In today’s world not going mobile is simply not an option. Small businesses should always adapt and change to their customers needs, which now require mobile optimized experiences more than ever.