Recently the topic of Apps for small local businesses has been
everywhere. As a Digital Marketing Specialist I’m almost as fascinated in Apps as I am QR codes. The new mobile craze is cool.
Small Biz Apps: Several small-business owners have asked me if they should get an app for their business. From restaurants and coffee shops to clothing and boutique stores I’ve heard the same thing over and over….’I’m thinking of getting an app for my business…what do you think?’
Just today I spoke with a local business owner who did not have a website for their small clothing boutique but was interested in having an app. After a few questions I was able to find out that their Facebook presence and email marketing list were both minimal. When they asked for my opinion on if they should get an app, my reply was this:
‘People don’t search for ‘small clothing boutique stores’ in the App Store, they use the Internet just like us. But if you were to build an app for your small clothing boutique you should make it fun. Maybe something cool that integrates user photos, your clothing and a cool dance to hip music. Even that only gets popular once you have a large social following, solid email marketing list and strong word of mouth from regular customers…..but first you need a website.’
(I recommended WordPress and mentioned that the themes were mobile friendly.)
The business owner was extremely nice, the shop was very clean and they sold really cool stuff. Unfortunately I can’t think of anyway that an app for their small clothing boutique would bring them new customers.
I did suggest that participating with a hyper-targeted, currently developed and used app dedicated to their niche would be a good idea, but only if they had the bandwidth and could easily interweave it into their current engagement dynamics.
If you’re a small business owner: Don’t forget about user intent when it comes to your digital tools and platforms.
If you build apps for small local businesses: How can an App generate new customers?