Google and the respected Nielsen group recently released findings on a massive mobile search study: If someone is searching for your service or product, he or she is most likely to purchase, call, visit your store, etc., within ONE HOUR.
About 17% of mobile searches ended in the user visiting the store or making a purchase. Also, 25% of users visited the store’s site to get more info. Take a look at these actions, according to study:
Pretty amazing, right? But guess what? If they search for what you have to offer and visit you, let’s just hope they land on a mobile-friendly version of your site, or they’re probably just going to click out of there and go to a competitor’s site that IS mobile-friendly.
I know it’s like beating you over the head with this, but again: You have to have a good, clear, mobile-friendly site that gives people what they were looking for.
Most small businesses, even if they have a mobile-friendly site and obviously understand how important it is, don’t think developing an app would be profitable. Maybe that’s the case. Maybe not.
In most cases, there are plenty of ways your own app could be profitable. We aren’t talking the next Angry Birds game that will cost thousands to develop and become a top-selling commercial app. We’re just talking about simple but useful apps that your customers would find helpful.
Let’s look at a couple of examples
If you own a restaurant
Seating: You could develop an app that lets customers instantly check waiting times in real time.
Carry-out orders: You probably have some regular customers who visit often and have their favorites. You know, those people that you simply ask “The usual?” when you take their order. Develop an app that saves their info and makes it a snap for them to put in their order on the go.
If you run an auto repair shop
Maintenance: Develop an app that will alert customers and give them reminders about maintenance that should be done.
“What’s That?”: You could design an app that has hints, tips, and answers to some of the most common questions you’ve heard over the years. A rattle here, a grinding there … help your customers narrow down the possibilities and get a free quote.
If you run a hair salon
Open seats: Let customers use your app to see which time slots are available for particular services, and which hairdressers are available.
Deadtime specials: Develop an app that covers those periods when no one is walking through the door and the reservation sheet is looking bare. Your app could send out an alert to customers that tells them they can get a 15% discount until 3PM (or something like that).
Now sure, these aren’t likely to be million-dollar apps. But they nurture your relationship with customers and help drive business by making things easier for them. Don’t you think that’s worth a little investment?