Do Retail Stores Need An App?

Do Retail Stores Need An App?

As a small business owner, you may not have considered the value of an app for your store. Retailers, in particular, may think that apps are for the “big name” stores. But, an app for even a small, single-owner retail store may add significantly to your profit margins. This is especially true if you are starting to expand, opening multiple locations. An app can help to coordinate your efforts and keep track of inventory and improving customer service.

Mobile Devices

We all see people who “have their noses buried” in their smartphones. It’s a cultural norm. But whether or not you agree with the phenomenon, you can certainly capitalize on it for your store. Eighty percent of people who have a mobile device shop on them. Sixty percent of those people make a purchase that day. If these people already have an app for your store on their device, they will be more likely to shop with you.

Shopping Through Apps

With an app, customers have access to your store information such as location, hours of operation, and even relevant sales information. You may even have an online catalog for them to peruse, and a shopping cart so that they can place orders online.

The longer an app has been in use the higher ranking it gets on the internet. This moves your store closer to the first page of browser searches, building brand recognition and increasing your customer base.

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Whether you give away your app or charge a minimal fee, it places it on your customers’ home page on their computers, smartphones, androids, or tablets. This puts your store right in front of their eyes, every day.

In addition, customers encourage their friends to get your app. That is more free advertisement that benefits you.

Choosing an App Store

It is possible to simply develop an app and share it with others. However, to get it into the hands of the general public more quickly, you may want to publish it. When you want to publish an app, you will need to choose an app store.

If your retail store is really small, sharing your app may be enough. Google Play is a store where you can place your app and is good for android users. If you have expanded into multiple locations, but still have a smaller inventory, you may do well with one of these types of apps.

If you are really wanting to boost your sales, then your app should go into the Apple Store. While more people use androids, you get better compensation with an iOS system. If possible, go for both.

App stores include:

  • Google Play
  • Apple App Store
  • Windows Phone Store
  • BlackBerry World
  • Amazon Appstore

The Process

The process of developing and publishing an app can be time-consuming, and the cost is in the development. You will need to:

  • Learn about publishing apps
  • Create an account (usually for a fee)
  • Publish the app, along with updates
  • Monitor reviews
  • Monitor visibility
  • Expand marketing, if your current marketing won’t reach the audience that uses the app store

Customers who use Blackberry World usually also use a second store. That second store is either Windows Phone Store or Google Play.

Developers

Usually, the business owner will want to hire a developer to build the app. This developer will then publish your app for you. Generally, if your developer publishes your app in multiple stores, your revenues will go up. If you want to make a profit, then the iOS App Store will be the best bet for boosting revenue.