For a small business, having a mobile app remains relatively unique. Adoption and use of mobile apps by SMBs are still in the “first inning of the ball game,” according to Andrew Gazdecki, CEO of Bizness Apps(link is external).
To understand the extent and impact of mobile app use by small businesses, Clutch surveyed 355 US small business owners and managers. We found that while less than half of small businesses have built a mobile app, SMBs are moving rapidly toward making mobile apps commonplace as business tools and assets.
- 42% of small businesses have built a mobile app. That number is expected to increase to 67% by the end of 2017.
- Improved customer service was the primary reason for SMBs to build an app in 2016.
- Approximately half (49%) of small businesses dedicate in-house resources to support mobile app development and investment.
- Who Has Mobile Apps?
- Reasons for Building a Mobile App: Customer Service & ROI
- Demographic Factors at Play: Age of Management & Company Size
- Resources Used to Build Apps: Experts Weigh in on Best Practices
- Conclusion: Takeaways and Recommendations
Who Has Mobile Apps?
The amount of small businesses with mobile apps is set to experience a huge jump over the next year. Currently, 42% of small businesses have built a mobile app. However, two-thirds (67%) of SMBs plan to have an app built by the end of 2017, a whopping 50% expected margin of increase over the course of the year.
This evidence of small businesses’ increased interest in building a mobile app represents a fairly significant departure from just a year ago. Our 2016 Mobile App Survey indicated that 54% of SMBs were either unlikely to build, or were unsure about building, a mobile app in the future.
Compare that to this year’s data: only 35% of SMBs in this year’s survey don’t plan on having a mobile app built by the end of 2017*.
*Note: This year’s Small Business Digital Marketing Survey included respondents from a different panel than the 2016 survey. Businesses included in last year’s survey were more likely to have less than 10 employees, which may skew digital marketing priorities.
Why Are SMBs Building Apps? Customer Service & ROI
Small businesses are racing to adopt mobile apps for a simple reason: to help improve their business.
Based on our data and input from industry experts, the two primary means by which mobile apps facilitate business improvement are through improving customer service and providing return on investment (ROI), both of which are reflected in the reasons SMBs give for building mobile apps, as well as the features they value in the apps themselves.