Of the millions of mobile apps available, consumers spend the majority of their time with only a few apps like Facebook, YouTube or Facebook Messenger. Despite this, a new Clutch study finds that 20% of SMBs have a mobile app, and more interesting still, 27% plan to build one in the near future.
Some marketers contend that mobile apps aren’t worth the investment or time to maintain for SMBs while others think there are some use cases where they make sense (customer loyalty, CRM). From the SMB perspective, the study found that the main reasons they are building apps is to increase sales (55%), improve customer experience (50%), and be more competitive (50%).
For SMBs currently with mobile apps, the reasons they like having them is for customer loyalty (21%), social networking (18%), and push notifications (17%) among other reasons. In contrast, a separate LSA survey found that 64% of consumers actually prefer mobile-friendly websites over apps.
While some SMBs may be finding value from apps, broadly speaking, given the challenge of getting people to download apps, the financial and resource investment, and the low probability of consumers using these apps regularly, the investment might not be ideal for SMBs. Instead, a focus on mobile-friendly websites and listings management might be more cost effective and fruitful for SMBs.