Smart Phone Apps – Does Your Business Need One?

With all the smartphones (iPhone, Androids, BlackBerry) used by consumers today, it seems that you can download applications for almost potential purposes. Many online activities, such as stocks, banking, weather and even ordering flowers, usually assigned to computers, are now made directly from individual phone. There is no doubt that smart phone usage is increasing at incredible speed. In 2009, worldwide smartphone sales totaled 174 million units!

As a vendor, is it the time to make an investment and launch an app for your business?

Firstly, keep in mind that if you have a website it will be visible from a smartphone already, so some of your customers may already browse your webpage from your phone and even place orders. Unfortunately, most websites are not optimized for a 4 "screen so it may be user friendly on 21" computer screen is not quite easy to navigate on the phone. Yes, you can optimize your site to view on smartphone, but even that is not an ideal solution. The actual strength and advantage of custom written smartphone applications are designed from scratch to facilitate the use of a particular device.

But before you run into the pool and rush to launch your own app, there are plenty of pros and cons to be considered, here are some based on our own experience.

Advantages -.

Customer Loyalty – In a theoretical case, if you can convince consumers to choose your program over the others that are offered, download it effectively and most importantly, keep it on the phone that the odds Be very good that you must be their vendor of your choice for future purchases. Let's face it when they have it on their phone, it can be very convenient to order or access product information when they do not have access to a computer.

Leader of the Package – Smartphone applications tend to be a major investment in typical stores (or at least until someone designs structures in affordable prices) so it's probably a safe bet to have one more set yourself apart from your competition in the eyes of some of your customers. In simple terms, it's cool, especially for the younger "Smart Phone Generation". .

Instant Communication – Smartphone application allows you to send instant "push" messages directly to the users of the application. The message is simple, like text messages, and appears generally on the screen, a good way to notify them of promotions, alerts, etc. Also, the app will allow more subtle communication in the form of "drag" messages, those that only arise when the user actually opens the application. . " Cons – X

Initial and Continuing Cost – This is big as it can be quite large, usually in thousands of dollars without responsibility for creating an "additional" trading or delivering investment at a reasonable time. X

Marketing -B ready to spend time and money!

Although your website is found by someone who uses a search engine, the same can not be said about a phone application. It will completely fall on you to get out and create an interest. You can not rely on anyone who stumbles across your app by saying the iTunes app store. Here's an eye-catcher … last count of existing apps for iPhone of almost 300,000! Talk about a needle in a hay stack. X

Distribution – Getting your application on the consumer phone is a challenge, trust me in this. First, let them know about it; secondly, they must see some value in it and eventually they need to invest the time to find and download it. The method requires a little effort at the beginning of the user. X

Incompatibility OS – Applications written for OS (OS) on iPhone will not work on your Android or Blackberry smartphone and vice versa. Each smartphone application needs its own application. X

Continuing commitment – Keeping applications & # 39; offers and products current takes time. Launching a smartphone application is probably not a good idea if you have a website and find you simply can not invest the time needed to maintain and market it properly. X

Score so far, Pro 3, Con 5, . So what is the judgment?

Let's look into the point, one near home. In October 2010 we launched our own iPhone app with great hopes and fingers over. It is now five months later and where are we at?

In a nutshell, our call center operations have not increased as much as originally rented, and the lion is part of our growth that can be seen from our website. If I should rate our performance in an iPhone app exactly from the revenue generated, I would truly say that it is a very bad short term investment. However, I suspect that in the long run, it may be very similar to making an online business with the intention that many retailers ran at the beginning of the year and invested a lot with low returns. But in the world today with a website is equally important for many companies to have a phone number. It simply took the consumer a little time to get satisfied with the purchase online. That's how my fingers are still over.

If you have decided to take the opportunity after reading the above, there are two suggestions that help you develop or buy a smartphone program that the consumer will appreciate and choose to complete applications.

1) Give it away!

If you visit the iTunes app Store, there are dozens of apps to purchase products. But many cost $ 0.99 – 2.99 $ to download. Trying to recover the development cost of the retail app by selling it's a mistake; The goal must be to get your program widely distributed. As a vendor, you are trading in selling your product, not selling smartphone apps. As the number of users of the application will grow, it will be your income.

2) Content, content, content!

Remember that regardless of the retail level you are competing for customers is almost certainly brutal, so you need edge, reason for smart phone users to choose your program over your competitors.

The answer is simple, CONTENT!

Building your content program and providing information about the product you sell will give users of the product one reason to download the application. Another issue at the time, our own iPhone app features over 300 pages of flower information and trivia with content updates on a regular basis. Again, the original goal is to get your application on a user's phone. In the long run, they must have a reason to use the program on a regular basis, or they will spend it or simply forget that they get it. So in this case, just like a website Material is King !

Source by Doug Munro

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