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Mobile Apps for Business: Revenue and the Bottom Line

A couple of months ago, I wrote the first post in a series about various reasons your business needs a mobile app. Aside from customer engagement, employee engagement, and free marketing opportunities, there is one more key point that you should know about: revenue.  Revenue is a function of two of the aforementioned benefits of having your own business app, employee engagement and free marketing opportunities. But since the bottom line is often a driving factor in many business decisions, revenue deserves its own moment in the spotlight of what a mobile app can do for your business.

With employee engagement, you get an ROI from reduced costs, and with free marketing opportunities, you get an ROI from directly generating new revenue. In my article about employee engagement, I explained how an enterprise app saves small business employees an average of 11.3 hours per week, saving business owners an average of $14,317 per year. That sounds like a worthy investment, doesn’t it?

In my post about how business apps create marketing opportunities, you’ll see that 4 out of 5 consumers who have smartphones use the device to shop (comScore).  That’s 86 million people in the US alone. And that’s excluding everyone who shops with their tablets, which recent studies reveal even more exciting stats on: online shoppers are 300% more likely to make a purchase from a tablet than from a smartphone.  Having a mobile app for your business opens your doors to a big market that wants to buy your products and boost your revenue.

Tablet with Revenue GraphImage Credit: freedigitalphotos.net

Another statistic you’ll find interesting was found in a study by AdMedia Partners – when consumers are using their phones to shop, retailers’ apps take the most of their time at 27%. And the numbers are rising, too. App analytics by Flurry showed that consumers spent 6x more time in retailers’ apps in December 2012 compared to the year before.

Since we’re focusing on revenue, you probably want to know how much money that amounts to. Here it is: in 2012, US mobile payments amounted to $12.8B, and Forrester Research predicts that number to hit $90B by 2017. That’s a lot of mobile money. But that’s talking about the whole market, and as an entrepreneur or small business owner, you might be wondering how the numbers apply to you.

84% of small businesses see an increase in new business activity once they establish a mobile presence. This is probably because, according to an ABI Research survey of US consumers, of the respondents who said they had downloaded a retailer-branded app:

1. 45.8% visited the store more often
2. 40.4% bought more of the store’s products and services
3. 35.8% told a friend about their shopping experience
4. 30.8% encouraged friends to visit the store

Yes, building a mobile app can be expensive, but the revenue you can earn from your app makes the return on investment well worth it. At AppIt Ventures we pride ourselves on helping entrepreneurs and small business owners build affordable apps that are easy to use and beautifully designed. What features would you like to include in your app to drive more revenue for your business?