hair salon mobile appsWe live in the age of the smart phone – there’s no doubt about it.

Nine out of 10 Americans have a cell phone, and over 50% of those cell phones are smart phones. The technology isn’t going anywhere, either. With smart phones getting “smarter” by the day, offering more and more helpful apps and features, people’s dependence on them is only going to grow. For a small business, the time to adapt to this market is now.

Making your business mobile-friendly is the best way to make yourself indispensable to your customers.

Below are a few tips to help you use mobile marketing to grow your small business:

Start with developing a Mobile App – This is the first and foremost one that you need to do. Develop an app for your small business, and get it up and running as fast as you can. You’ll want a reliable, easy-to-use app that customers can navigate quickly, that will enable them to access all the features they need to do business with you. You want it to be functional, easy to maneuver, and also fun to use.

If you offer goods and services, make it possible for customers to order right from the app, and to enter their data (like payment info and addresses), to be saved for future reference. Those are the kind of features that customers love because it saves them time. You can also have two versions of your app – a free version, which is simplistic and easy, but also a “premium” version, for a small cost, that will offer some perks and content that the first one does not.

Rewards and Perks – Everyone loves a rewards system, and you might be surprised at just how much more business you can get if you have a loyalty system in place with your customers and clients. If there is some incentive involved, customers are more likely to engage your app more often.

You can reward them with freebies every time they spend a certain amount, offer them weekly exclusive coupons for signing in every day, or even have contests and promotions every so often. Having these kinds of perks on your app will ensure brand awareness, bring more people to download the app, and then keep it.

Push Notifications and User Specific Messages – More and more companies are implementing direct messaging into their apps. Allowing your customers to sign up for this will ensure that you can reach them at any time to offer them special deals, promotions and incentives – if you use geofencing in conjunction with your push notifications, you can even send messages to them when they are in your area! Keeping the messages short and sweet is imperative – flashy fonts and other flourishes only distract the customer and annoy them. Send small messages every now and again, based on the customer’s interest and needs. They will come to look forward to them, and keep using the app in the hopes of receiving more.

You’ll also want to make sure that the customer IS able to opt out if they so choose – not everyone wants to receive messages or notifications from the businesses they frequent. They need to be able to sign out of that service if they so wish, otherwise you could lose a customer.

These are just a few simple tips on how to get your small business mobile-ready.

Setting clear, obtainable goals for your business is really important when it comes to creating apps and making your business mobile friendly. The idea is to be more accessible to smart phone users, so always keep your website and its content optimized for mobile use, make sure your information is easily obtained and that the customer can access order pages and product information quickly.

Make sure you advertise regularly to bring new customers into the fold. Promotions, incentives and push notifications, used sparingly, will go a long way once you’ve got your app established. Also remember, excellent customer service is key! Having ease of access is nothing if there isn’t excellent support behind the scenes.