**Make sure to enlarge the video and press the HD button for the best viewing experience.**
By now, you’ve probably heard of geofencing – you may have even experienced it for yourself – but you may still have some questions about how it works, and more importantly, how it can work for your business.
Geofencing is the establishing of a virtual fence around a predefined geographic area. When one of your app users enters or exits the area, you can set your app to push a message to the user. Thus, the geofence allows you to send location-specific messages to your fans when they’re in the area.
Why bother with mobile app push notifications?
1. Push increases app user retention rates by an average of 100%
2. Use of push leads to an average of 26% more monthly opens
Is mobile part of your marketing strategy?
We offer a complete “mobile business in a box” for clients that are looking to build multiple mobile apps & mobile websites per month.
If you have any questions about Bizness Apps feel free to learn more here.
Former Morgan Stanley analyst Mary Meeker, who is now at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, often gives “state of the Web” presentations that are very popular and well known. She delivered a presentation yesterday, at the D10 conference, which is currently available on the web.
The presentation contains 112 slides and covers a variety of topics, including mobile stats, advertising, macroeconomic trends, “re-imagination”, and more.
Below we’ve detailed information about the 12 most captivating and helpful slides.
1. Statistics on 3G Growth and usage shown for 30 countries detailed how the fastest growth were in the following countries: Brazil, India and China. It suggests that emerging economies will move to 3G more quickly than developed economies.
2. The iPad is showing much faster growth than both the iPhone and iPod. The iPhone established apps, and the iPad is taking full advantage of this. As a result, Apple’s brand is much stronger than five years prior.
3. Android is proving more successful than the iPhone. This is partially due to the fact that it is a free service, and also because iPhone has helped establish the consumer smart phone market, paving the way for Android.
4. The smart phone market is really in its infancy. The growth of smart phone users from regular mobile users has only just begun to grow – it has leaps and bounds still to make.
5. Tablets, Readers and other hand-held devices are still growing, too. Currently, 29% of Americans own a tablet or reader, which is up by 2% from two years ago.
6. Mobile traffic now makes up 10% of all web traffic. This includes things like mobile email., apps, and more. The data was supplied by StatCounter. Mobile internet is projected to grow, which comes as no surprise.
7. Mobile web traffic has surpassed desktop web traffic in India, as of May 2012.
8. A small 8% of mobile commerce is made up of e-commerce in the United States.
9. Most of the money for mobile developers comes from app sales and not advertising. However. Both are growing rapidly. Currently Mobile Monetization is at 71% apps, and 29% ads.
10. Mobile advertising spending has a way to go before it is able to catch up with mobile time spent. Internet has a ways to go as well. Print spend is currently outweighing the amount of time spent reading.
11. Currently, ad rates are considerably lower on mobile web. For desktop internet they are at #3.50, while on mobile internet they are at $0.75.
12. The United States is at the technological center of the smart phone revolution, with a 64% share – up from 5% five years ago.
So what does it all mean? It all means that mobile is the way to go. The world is quickly evolving with the way they access and use the internet.
There are several easy steps you can undertake to ensure that you’ll retain repeat business. Here are three of the most important.
1. Give the customer excellent service.
It seems like a no-brainer, but there are always things you can do to ensure that the customer is getting the best possible service. 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels – how they are being treated, and the level of customer service and support they are offered. You are the key to excellent customer service – it starts with you.
Make sure that your team of employees treats the customer with the utmost respect and professionalism at all times, taking care of their specific needs, no matter what they are. Go above and beyond for your clients, and they will reward you with repeat business. Make sure they know that you are always there for them, and put them first and foremost.
2. Keep the lines of communication open.
Once you’ve got the excellent customer service taken care of, it’s time to focus on communication. Keep in touch with your clients, making sure to collect relevant information from them when necessary, and also providing them with the information they need to continue doing business with you.
Keep them abreast of things like special promotions, incentives, deals and more. You can keep the lines of communication open through email lists, blogging, surveys, contests, webinars, social media and more. As always, a fantastic, easy way to stay in touch and engaged with clients is by designing an app for your business. An engaged customer is a happy customer. In this day and age, keeping in touch with your client is easier than ever, and what’s more, the customer will WANT to engage with you as much as possible.
3. Thank your customers.
Make sure you always let your customers know how much you appreciate them and their business. Don’t assume they know. A simple thank you is not always enough. Take the time to really get to know your clients, if you can. Create loyalty and rewards programs and incentives that they can truly benefit from, based on their own needs and wants.
Provide them with perks like free samples, coupons, events and seminars, gifts with purchase, and so on. Let them know you care and that you’ll reward their loyal business. If customers feel good when they do business with you, they’ll be inclined to come back again and again.
Interesting in designing your own app, to help your small business communicate with customers? Visit Bizness Apps today to get started.
Loyalty programs have been around for a long time now, but mobile loyalty programs are growing very quickly, as more and more small businesses put them in place. Why are the programs becoming so popular? The six reasons below set things straight. If you’re on the fence about adopting a mobile loyalty program in your small business, this post will help you see how valuable they can be.
1. Drive activity and boost revenue
This is obviously the biggest benefit for most small businesses. Mobile loyalty programs give customers an extra reason to stop by and make a purchase. Each sale, while rewarding on its own, now becomes a little bit more exciting for the customer as they build towards whatever benefit you have offered. When a customer is close to a reward, it’s very hard to stay away. Mobile loyalty programs take advantage of this and create a bit of extra energy around your business.
2. Ease of administration
Traditional loyalty programs with punch cards that need to be printed up, fake purchase detection to worry about, and other issues, can add tasks and costs that you simply don’t need.
A mobile loyalty program, on the other hand, is easy to administer.
You can change it as needed from your dashboard (if you built your app using Bizness Apps, that is), there are no cards to carry around and remember, and everything is handled on users’ mobile devices.
Clean, elegant, and cost-effective – mobile loyalty programs make things very simple.
3. Reduce churn and improve loyalty
Mobile loyalty programs give customers a reason to choose you over the competition. This helps you bring down churn and improve customer loyalty. In short, when a customer thinks about his or her options, you’ll have given them a reason to choose you.
No surprise there. After all, they are called mobile “loyalty” programs!
4. Address loyalty program fatigue
A big stack of cards in your wallet or purse is no fun. People might carry a few cards for their favorite companies, but most people have a limit to how many they’ll bother with. Mobile loyalty programs cut right through the fatigue, and make it easy for people to participate without having to carry anything around. Once everything is on a mobile device, there’s nothing more to worry about.
5. Improve customer satisfaction
If your business is struggling to keep customers happy, a nice way to improve their experience is to offer a mobile loyalty program. It shows that you appreciate your regulars, and that you’re willing to give back a little, as well. Generosity can go a long way toward pleasing your customer base.
6. Track customer activity
Mobile loyalty programs help you see what rewards are motivating, how fast people redeem rewards, and more. Additional info can almost always give you insight into your customers’ minds, and can often help you improve operations. By offering a mobile loyalty program, you may learn valuable facts about your customers and your business.
Mobile loyalty programs are a great way to boost your business and keep customers happy. Everybody wins! Click here to learn more about the mobile loyalty apps offered by Bizness Apps.
Many small business owners wonder if a mobile app is really necessary, or if app companies like us are just part of some big global conspiracy to bring pointless mobile apps to the world. As usual, we’re here to offer information and share the reasons that some small businesses (and business leaders) consider a mobile app to be a necessity.
To switch things up a bit, here are a few of our opinions in their shortest, sweetest forms:
Will your business collapse if you don’t have a mobile app out by the end of the day?
Could your business benefit from having an app?
Would the benefits be worth the cost?
It’s highly likely.
Will your business be giving ground to the competition if you never release a mobile app at any point?
Okay. So you know where we stand. No surprises there. Lets get into things in more detail.
The current marketing channels
For many small businesses, their marketing plan looks like this:
• Send out mailers locally; purchase ads in local circulars
• Participate in social media, and do a few email campaign
• Rely on Google searches, word-of-mouth, and foot traffic to do the rest
Between these things, many small businesses make a living. But many also wish they could increase sales! And for some, it’s a matter of life and death. After all, as a small business, there isn’t a lot of room to take losses and keep on chugging. (Only those in charge of big companies get to throw away millions and still score huge bonuses each year.) For smaller businesses, its sink or swim, and every little bit counts.
That’s where apps come in.
Are Small Business Apps Necessary?
As we said, failure to create an app won’t destroy your business. Apps aren’t at that point yet. But websites provide a good analogy.
For a lot of businesses, a website was once an exotic item to have. The phone book was all anyone needed, and no one really wanted the hassle of a website. But as they became easier to create with ready-made site building programs, everyone got one. Now, no sane business owner would start a business without a website. They’re too valuable a tool for connecting with customers.
With easy app builders like ours now out, apps are headed in the same direction.
Mobile activity is poised to overtake desktop/laptop activity in the very near future, so mobile is at something of a tipping point. If all consumers will be on mobile most of the time, small business owners generally want to be there with them. And the more time that passes, the more likely it becomes that your competition will hop on the app bandwagon. But even with all this pressure, we don’t think this is the main reason that small businesses need to turn their attention to apps. Our reason is simple:
Apps have an amazing cost/benefit ratio!
The Mobile App Advantage
With Bizness Apps, in about 15 minutes, you can create an app for your business – and for a low monthly subscription fee, you’re all set. From there, the sky’s the limit. You can book sales with it, setup customer loyalty programs, promote special offers, gain social referrals, and much more. You don’t have to do any programming or know anything technical – it’s all built-in. For many businesses, the monthly fee is easily covered by the extra revenue generated by the app.
That is, apps pay for themselves.
When you boil it all down, that’s really all that matters to us – apps provide a new way to connect with customers and boost revenue. For us, that’s reason enough.
So, is an app a necessity? No. Not yet. But something doesn’t have to be a necessity in order to help your business. It just has to make sense.
The very latest data from eMarketer has confirmed 2013’s massive increases in mobile ad spending. According to information taken from the Millennial Media network, mobile ad spending growth across all industries was “well over 100%” higher in 2013 than it was in the previous year.
The increases are driven in large part by a few big-spending industries:
• Pharmaceutical companies spent 744% more in 2013.
• News companies spent 530% more in 2013.
• Sports companies spent 411% more in 2013.
• Consumer goods companies spent 357% more in 2013.
• Entertainment companies spent 264% more in 2013.
• Restaurants spent 234% more in 2013.
• Health, fitness, and wellness companies spent 177% more in 2013.
• Technology companies spent 132% more in 2013.
Are mobile ads worth it?
Unless these companies are simply burning money (wouldn’t be a first for corporate America), this data indicates that mobile ads are indeed generating worthwhile returns. But it can be difficult to pin down a number that covers all mobile ads, or provides an average rate of return, without being misleading. For example, Facebook mobile ads for retailers return 162% on iOS devices, but lose money on Android devices. And that’s just one platform and one industry showing a massive discrepancy across devices, of all things.
The numbers above offer some guidance as to which industries are seeing the biggest benefits from mobile ads. Each business should experiment and test for itself, however, to see whether mobile ads are worth the cost. There are a wide variety of mobile ad platforms and popular apps in which a mobile ad can appear, and finding the most effective one for your business can take some trial and error.
The goal, as with all advertising, will be to define your target audience correctly in terms of demographics, and then to study where that audience spends most of its time on mobile devices.
What can a mobile ad do?
The most popular goal for mobile advertisers is to drive traffic to a website. Of the advertisers polled by Millennial, 34% reported that linking was the point of their mobile ads. About 25% also wanted a “sustained mobile presence,” and 22% were trying to “drive brand awareness.” But these softer goals take a backseat, it seems, to the easy-to-measure clickthrough rate. Obviously, any business can understand and directly benefit from increasing visits to their website, as this traffic increase can boost the ultimate amount of sales and conversions enjoyed online.
In total, roughly $18 billion was spent on mobile ads in 2013. This number is expected to climb by 62% to about $29 billion next year. Will your business be a part of that? Let us know!
We’re curious about small business apps reactions to the growth of mobile ads.
People are always looking for ways to get better at selling. After all, developing your sales skills is as good as money in the bank! But for every good piece of sales advice out there, there are two crazy or downright wrong ones.
Here are six classic sales tips that won’t let you down.
1. Get criticism
Either record yourself and review the video, or have someone watch your pitch and critique it. This way, you’ll get a clear look at how your pitch is received, and some mannerisms you might not be aware of. The best sales pitches are natural and delivered without artifice, and criticism will help you root out the behaviors and words that you might think are solid gold, but that are actually hurting your sales pitches.
Be honest with yourself, and be open to change, and your pitch will continually improve. And so will your conversion rate!
2. Study your product
Many salespeople know what they want to say about their product, and leave it at that. But the best salespeople keep up with studying their product and industry. This can mean reading reviews, catching up on innovations, testing competing offerings, and more.
In short, be a master of your topic.
This will help you in several ways: 1) you’ll rarely be surprised in a sales meeting, 2) you’ll rarely be without a response to a prospect’s comment, and 3) you’ll understand the true value of your offering. All of these things will help you sell more effectively.
3. Focus on the prospect
Sales is a performance, but the star of the show isn’t you – it’s the prospect! Be keenly attuned to how they react to your pitch, and tailor your pitch to what interests them. Don’t bowl them over with points that you think are stellar. Instead, have a two-way conversation driven by their needs. And don’t use canned re-directions that take the conversation back to your favorite points. Put yourself in their shoes and actually work to solve their problems. If you can, you’ll probably make a sale.
4. Ask for honest feedback
If they show you the door and don’t seem interested, ask for a candid reason why. Tell them your feelings won’t be hurt, and you want to make your offering better in the future. Often, a prospect will use a cover reason to end things neatly. Ask for the ugly truth, and no presentation will ever be a total loss. You’ll walk out with valuable, useful information, more often than not.
5. Don’t get discouraged
When trying to sell, you’ll suffer a ton of rejection, unfortunately. But you’ll have to thicken your skin and be ready to keep pushing on. Sales is a numbers game – if you contact enough prospects, you’ll eventually find people who are interested in your offering. And if you contact a huge amount of prospects over time, in the end, you’ll have a successful business!
6. No tricks
Instead of finding clever ways to coerce people into saying, “Yes,” make them actually want to say “Yes.” This means figuring out how to actually demonstrate the value of your offering to various prospects. Get rid of the gimmicks, and focus on solving problems.
That’s a winning approach.
Mobile commerce may seem like a cool extra channel for generating sales, until you learn more about it. Then you see that it’s quickly becoming the main channel for generating sales online and connecting with customers. In fact, if trends continue, there may come a day when m-commerce is referred to more simply as just “commerce.”
Okay, that’s overselling it. But m-commerce is a big deal, and we’ve got four facts to back that claim up. Read on, but be warned – once you hear more, you’re going to want in. The opportunities are just too darn tasty.
Wow. Is that for real?
Yes. Yes it is.
Mobile commerce is a massive, booming market, and it’s increasing all the time. If your business doesn’t have a piece of it, you may be losing total market share as others arrive to the party ahead of you.
And it’s a pretty big party.
2. Everyone has a mobile device
And not just that, a huge amount of people have smartphones (roughly half of adults in the U.S.). This means that you’re not addressing a small slice of the market when you invest in m-commerce, you’re addressing the majority of the market.
Again, these trends show that m-commerce is not an extra, supplemental channel for producing sales, but one that is fast-becoming the central channel in the digital marketplace. Of course, not all products and industries are impacted by this fact equally, but if you haven’t checked out the data for your business recently, it’s high time you did.
3. If you offer “store mode,” customer engagement increases fivefold.
Yep, engagement is five times higher if your app has store mode. Even when people visit your location in person, they’re still visiting you on mobile. You just can’t get away from it. It’s everywhere. Literally. But there’s good news:
It’s a huge opportunity!
If your customers love mobile, then it pays for you to love mobile as well. And facts like this show just how much it pays. Your mobile dollar can go very far indeed.
4. Some shoppers only use mobile devices
This is the most compelling fact, in our opinion. Some shoppers can’t be reached on desktop devices anymore – they only connect via mobile. If you haven’t gone mobile, these customers are simply on another planet from you.
Almost every small business owner would like to increase sales, but it can be hard to decide where to focus marketing efforts. Armed with these facts, it becomes a lot easier to see where you should spend your money as a small business owner.
Let’s take each marketing channel in turn:
Mobile web usage continues to increase daily, and is projected to surpass desktop web usage by 2014. Half of all local searches are now done on a mobile device, and these aren’t just idle searches. In fact, a whopping 90% of mobile searches lead to an action, and over half of these are purchases! This means that having a mobile website is an absolute must for businesses that want to maximize their opportunities.
But it isn’t just about taking advantage of a way to boost sales. Not having a mobile-optimized website can actually do serious damage to your business. This is because 40% of searchers head to a competitor’s website after a bad mobile website experience with a particular company. Your lack of a mobile website is actually an advantage for your competition, especially if they’re up to date with their mobile optimization.
Takeaway: A mobile-optimized website is a must for small businesses that want to remain competitive.
Search engine optimization remains crucial. What you may not know is that a surprising amount of foot traffic to your location can come from Google. 88% of searchers for a type of business actually go to one within 24 hours. This response is even more immediate on mobile, where 70% of searches are followed up with an action within an hour. In addition, SEO leads have a close rate of 15%, which is higher than referrals, paid search, social media, and outbound leads.
Takeaway: SEO is a solid source of web AND in-person traffic.
Social media includes platforms like Facebook and Twitter, but also online review sites like Yelp, and small businesses would be well served to address both. A few stats cover the core reasons why:
Seven out of ten consumers are more likely to use a local business if it has information available on a social media site. This stat isn’t just fluff, either. 20% of Facebook users have actually purchased something because of ads or comments they saw there. That is, social media can directly generate sales.
As for online review sites, 72% of consumers trust them as much as personal recommendations from people they know. While word-of-mouth will always be valuable, Internet recommendations have become equally as valuable.
Takeaways: Social media creates sales and online reviews are now fully trusted.
We could go on at length about why email marketing is so much more than just “spam,” but one stat says it all: businesses return $40 for every $1 spent on email marketing! For many businesses, this is the most cost-effective multiple available in any marketing channel.
Takeaway: If you don’t do email marketing, you’re definitely leaving a significant amount of money on the table.
49% of sites are not compliant with basic usability principles. On mobile, 93.3% percent of small business websites are not mobile-compatible. This means that they will not render successfully on mobile devices or smartphones. Put another way, they’ll look bad and users will quickly hit the “Back” button.
The result? 50% of online sales are lost because visitors can’t find the content they want. This can be something as basic as a phone number, which 60% of local businesses omit from their website.
Takeaway: do a quick review to make sure your site is functional on all devices, and that basic info is easy to find.
Web ads are low-cost but also fairly low effectiveness. Click-through rates are currently averaging .1%, half of those may be mistakes, and a significant portion may not even be actual human users.
Takeaway: web ads might be part of a successful strategy, but don’t rely on them to generate your sales.
Companies with active blogs receive 97% more leads, and content marketing has recently been ranked the single most effective SEO technique, according to Marketing Sherpa. A blog costs less than traditional marketing, and each post can serve as a perpetual “ad” that will bring a stream of traffic as long as it is up. Thus, blogs are well worth the effort.
Takeaway: invest in regular blogging to enjoy a highly cost effective boost in leads.
Recently, we came across an interesting poll conducted by The Enterprise Council on Small Business. They asked small business owners, “What is the single most important problem facing your business today?”
The responses were very enlightening, and are useful for understanding your customers if you sell to small businesses. Here’s the breakdown of the responses:
Poor sales 20%
Government regulations 16%
Cash flow 14%
Quality of labor 7%
Cost of labor 4%
Cost and avail. of insurance 4%
Finance and interest rates 4%
The top response shouldn’t be too surprising. In fact, it’s what defines small businesses. Small businesses typically don’t have a large volume of sales or revenue, and while some have steady business, many worry constantly about a lack of business and sales growth.
This list also shows that uncertainty about or disagreement with government regulation, perhaps led by the new federal health care laws, is top of mind for small business owners. Many small business owners are forced to choose “practical solutions” to regulatory demands, especially when the cost of compliance is high or it isn’t clear how to comply. Accordingly, the risk of being investigated or audited, without the protective shield of a large legal department, may also come into play for small business owners.
The remaining concerns are almost exclusively financial. Money concerns, therefore, are clearly a critical theme to consider when trying to understand the mindset of small business owners.
So, how should you adjust your sales approach in light of this information? Check out our companion post on What to Focus on When Selling to Small Business Owners.