You probably know that people spend more time on their mobile devices than on laptop and desktop computers. Just look around you. On the subway, in the coffee shop, and most unfortunately, even in theaters, people are constantly staring at their iPhones, iPads and Androids.
It is estimated that 50 billion mobile devices will be connected to the Internet in the year 2020, as stated by Cisco’s executive vice president Wim Elfrink during his Interop keynote speech. He also added the fact that “we are quickly moving from a web-based to an apps-based world.”
What does this mean for you as a small business owner? Well, basically, you need to make certain that your customers can interact and do business with you in the manner most convenient for them. Today, that means embracing mobile apps.
Here are three mobile apps that deserve a big bear hug. Get to know them, and they just might transform your business in ways you never could have imagined.
1. Fly above the competition with Perch.
The Perch app allows you to get a “bird’s eye view” (see what they did there?) of what your competitors are up to on social media as well as what people are saying about you. This real time competitive analysis can help you plan your company’s offers and social media outreach accordingly.
Here’s how you can grow your business with Perch:
- Scope out the competition by creating a watch list to see their activity across Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Google+, Instagram, Foursquare, Groupon, Living Social and hundreds of deal sites.
- See both your reviews and those of your competitors. Someone have a bad experience at a rival store? Reach out and offer them a special at yours!
- Get instant notifications when people are talking about your business. If they’ve had a great experience, you can thank them and share their review with social networks. If for some reason it was a bad experience, you can respond promptly, rectify the situation, and retain the customer.
Perch was named the 2013 Best Business App by MediaPost at the SXSW Appy Awards and has been featured prominently in Business Week, Techcrunch, ZD Net and more.
2. Stay booked with Booker.
Not to toot our own horn, (okay, we’re totally tooting our horn), but the Booker Customer App puts your business in the palms (literally) of your customers and potential customers’ hands, allowing them to book appointments online, from their mobile device or even through social media.
Booker helps you promote, book, sell and manage your business from any internet-enabled device.
Here’s how you can grow your business with Booker:
- Create special offers to draw in new customers and share your offers across all social networks.
- Allow customers to book appointments from their mobile devices straight off your app.
- Build customer profiles and manage your rewards & loyalty programs.
- Send customized emails that allow customers to book an appointment from their mobile or desktop device.
- Improve operating efficiencies and keep your staff in sync. When a customer books an appointment, it automatically shows up on your employee’s calendar.
- Get real time reporting and analytics so you know which promotions are working and which ones are not.
Booker also allows you to accept and track any type of payment from any device. And you can rest assured that your transactions are safe and secure with the highest level of security in place.
3. Get some help from Yelp.
Yelp’s stated mission is to connect people with great local businesses. You’re a great local business, right? Well, if you want to reach Yelp’s 142 million monthly visitors, you probably need to make sure that your business is listed.
Here’s how you can grow your business with Yelp:
- Set up a free account and create a business bio complete with photos, menus and special offers to attract new customers.
- Utilize Yelp’s library of free tools to help small businesses, including advice on responding to negative reviews.
- Subscribe to the Yelp Blog for Businesses for helpful tips and webinars.
- Consider investing some of your advertising budget with Yelp’s online and in-app marketing programs for even more visibility.
Of course, the real power of Yelp lies in the reviews. (There are over 77 million to date.) Your potential customers search the Yelp app before deciding whether or not they want to do business with you. Setting up a Yelp business profile only takes a second, and if you’ve got a good one with lots of great reviews, chances are, tons of new customers will be lining up at your door!
But... I want more! Where can I find awesome apps?
There are thousands of apps out there which all claim the same thing: they can help with running your business. However, not all apps are created equal, and as a top-notch, efficient business owner you don’t have time for trial and error.
GetApp.com acts as the epicenter for all things apps. They have a directory of nearly 3,700 app profiles equipped with full app details, customer reviews, and video demo guides. GetApp.com is a one-stop hub for helping you find apps best suited for helping you and your small business grow.
So, what are some of your business’ favorite apps to use? Leave us a comment below!
About the Author
Sydney Stone is a freelance writer and editor of the popular fashion blog Stylaphile. She has written several pieces for various startup and B2B technology companies and has published two collections of ten-minute plays by up-and-coming playwrights entitled Stage This! Sydney is also a content marketing specialist with extensive experience managing Marketo and Pardot automated marketing programs.Follow on Twitter More Content by Sydney Stone