LAB NOTES

How startups and small businesses can benefit from mobile

Worry Free LabsHow startups and small businesses can benefit from mobile
Worry Free LabsHow startups and small businesses can benefit from mobile
The opportunities for startups and businesses to use mobile apps are endless. In fact, the possibilities and attractive industry dynamics are what prompted our CEO Paul Choi to join Worry Free Labs. Paul says every small business owner ought to look at how mobile apps could open up new doors for them too.
If you’re entrepreneurial minded like Paul and the rest of us, we believe apps can help you manage your business, win new customers, keep existing customers, and increase your revenue.
When Paul joined us, Worry Free Labs already listed corporate giants like American Express, Disney, Expedia, and Wells Fargo among our clients. With Paul's help, we added more established companies, including Lane Bryant to our client list. And we began working with some promising startups, including Local Yokel, IP Commerce, and KeyMe.
For these budding companies, we think part of our job is to help connect the dots to the many ways mobile can boost their profiles. Many small businesses are unaware of how quickly they will find themselves outdated if they don’t evolve online and use mobile technology to extend their reach or even to do old things in innovative ways.
building a mobile app
That’s why we developed the Worry Free Labs Startup Kit. As Paul says, “There are many innovative things that apps can do. Some are things that a website could do, but a mobile app can do them better. People always have their mobile phones on them.”
When developing individual mobile apps for your business, it’s crucial to consider your overall online presence—your website, existing apps, and cross-platform appearance. You want customers to experience your brand as unified no matter which device they’re logging in from. For example, by now your website should be optimized for use on any kind of device—desktop computer, tablet, and smartphone. Worry Free Labs ensures this kind of optimization through the use of a responsive design that identifies the device and optimizes the website for that device.
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Apps are popular and useful for straightforward e-commerce. But we think the best way for small businesses to make use of mobile websites and mobile apps is through broader customer engagement. One of the most efficient applications of mobile devices is the “loyalty program” app. Instead of carrying plastic loyalty cards in their wallets or keychains, your customers download your app to their smartphones. It’s a brilliant way to track and analyze behaviors and buying trends, and the perks you can offer through the app—such as birthday discounts—lure patrons back to your brand again and again.
When your business has its own app, the branding and the stored data belong to you. That opens up e-commerce development opportunities. Building an app-based product catalog is another quick and efficient use of mobile technology for small businesses.
Two more pointers for developing a mobile app for your startup:
  • Create an overall mobile strategy first. The strategy will guide you in shaping your product, executing the design, and maximizing the app’s efficiency and relevance.
  • Be able to explain your app's advantages to your customers. Discounts and subscription programs might be the hook that gets them to put your app on their phones. After all, an app doesn’t work if your customers don’t download it.
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