With the explosion of the smart phone and tablet PCs industry, the world also saw the rise of another corresponding industry – creation of apps for these mobile devices. Local businesses should take advantage of this latest technological revolution and create apps to interact with their customers.
The most popular examples of mobile apps for local businesses are apps like Foursquare. There are many other similar apps on the internet, but Foursquare is currently the leading one for local businesses to put their name on the map, so to speak. Foursquare allows users to check into places in order to let people know where they are. It also allows its users to include tips and recommendations of things to do in various places. Users gain points for each check in and get to unlock badges which will determine their levels. Different levels will allow users to access certain benefits. Users that check into a particular place most often gets to become the “Mayor” of that place and get certain benefits from that business. Foursquare locks into a user’s location through the GPS of his smart phone.
The success and popularity of Foursquare is an indication for the savvy marketer to start creating mobile apps for local businesses. What can these mobile apps do? Here are some examples.
Seminar businesses – update clients and prospects on upcoming seminars and workshops.
Restaurants – update customers on latest promotions, updates to menus, food recommendations, send special vouchers through that app that customers can use.
Fashion Boutiques – show the latest stock available in their stores and recommend accessories to go with an outfit that they also happen to carry.
Bars and clubs – update customers about a hot new deejay playing there perhaps, latest promotions or parties, give special VIP treatment to customers who check into their premises the most times.
These are just a few examples. In truth, the potential for local businesses to develop their own apps for their customers is massive. And here’s the clincher – the cost of developing these apps is really very minimal. You can get a freelance programmer to create an app for you for less than $100.00. The thing is, they don’t have to create a full blown app with all the bells and whistles. They can start off with a very simple app to keep their customers updated and also to keep in touch with them. They can always update the app later on with more features like games, increased interactivity or even contests.
Possibly, the biggest advantage about mobile apps for local businesses is that mobile phones are with people all the time. Face it, these days, most of us would be handicapped without our mobile phones. It is where practically 90% of our lives are, our daily schedules, reminders, contact lists and with smartphones, our connection to the outside world. Our phones are with us all the time, it is an extension of ourselves. As such, it makes sense that businesses keep in touch with their customers and prospects on the device that is always by their side 24/7.
And get this – the smart phone boom is not going to slow down in times to come. It is only going to get bigger and bigger, therefore now couldn’t be a better time for local businesses to take advantage of this and start creating apps for their businesses.