Tags: small business | apps | customer | base

Small Business: 4 Apps to Bolster Your Customer Base

Small Business: 4 Apps to Bolster Your Customer Base
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By    |   Monday, 13 June 2016 06:36 AM

Millennials are tethered to their smartphones, and their shopping habits have changed from trips to the mall to swiping through apps. To keep up with the trends, small businesses must take steps to adapt to the mobile lifestyle that customers want.

Mobile apps are a great way for small business owners to not only tap into the mobile-only shoppers, but also to expand their reach beyond their traditional methods. Through my own experience as a small business owner who chose to move from a brick-and-mortar antique shop to a mobile-only shop, I’ve trusted a handful of apps that can easily help small business owners grow their customer base by tapping into the mobile audience.
  • OfferUp. I began using OfferUp several years ago for my antique shop and saw a 60 percent increase in sales once I made the shift to mobile. The local mobile marketplace app makes it easy for nearby buyers and sellers to connect, and it can seriously help small retail businesses tap into a market of local shoppers trying to find the best deal in their area. Rather than waiting for the right buyer to walk by my brick-and-mortar shop and see something they like in the window, I can quickly and easily post items to OfferUp. Now the entire town is peering into my “windows” and buying up items faster than ever before. 
  • ThumbtackEntrepreneurs often try to be the jack-of-all-trades when getting their business up and running. But sometimes leaving certain jobs to the professionals can help boost your customer base in ways you likely wouldn’t have been able to do on your own. Thumbtack is a destination for finding experienced professionals — meaning business owners can get several quotes from various PR or marketing pros in the area for a quick project at a comfortable price. It takes pressure off of business owners to do everything on their own, and it won’t break the bank.
  • Deliv. Companies that provide exceptional customer service not only gain new customers through word of mouth referrals, but they also establish customer loyalty with the ones they already have. For retailers that move to mobile and want to be able to provide a delivery service without having to hand-deliver items themselves, Deliv offers same-day delivery services, providing everything from delivery scheduling and tracking to insured, contracted drivers in your area.
  • Perka. Customer rewards programs are great for increasing customer loyalty, which often leads to word-of-mouth marketing for your business. Perka is a virtual “punchcard” app that links customers visiting your business with their Perka app. It also allows you to push notifications on sales and promotions to certain users based on previous purchases.
The move to mobile doesn’t necessarily mean your business has to create an app from scratch. There are more than enough tools out there to make your life easier and reach those mobile customers you need.

Vance Lile is the owner of Aftermath Antiques, an antique business based in Vancouver, Washington. Vance, a home inspector by day and antique refurbisher by night, is passionate about finding pieces from the past that can be used in the present. His shop can be found on OfferUp.

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Millennials are tethered to their smartphones, and their shopping habits have changed from trips to the mall to swiping through apps. To keep up with the trends, small businesses must take steps to adapt to the mobile lifestyle that customers want.
small business, apps, customer, base
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2016-36-13
Monday, 13 June 2016 06:36 AM
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