|Does your business need a mobile app? Here's how to figure it out and what to do if it does.|
Credit: Mobile app image via Shutterstock
Maybe you've been considering a mobile app for your business, but you just can't quite figure out what your app should do. Coupons? Scheduling? Special deals? It's hard to know exactly what app features are best suited to your business.
Li-at Karpel Gurwicz, vice president of marketing at Como, a do-it-yourself mobile app creation platform, shared some ideas to inspire you when deciding what kind of mobile app to create for your business. Here are 10 examples of unique and interesting apps small businesses are using now.
Real estate advisor
How can you bring some creativity to the numerical side of real estate? The feature-filled Las Vegas Smart Home Search app brings an interactive approach that makes for an exceptionally helpful user experience. The app includes a built-in Mortgage Calculator that lets clients request assessments of their homes' value, a feature that compares the costs of buying and renting, and more. These tools make this product a perfect example of how a great real estate app can engage users.
Your phone may not be able to carry your clubs for you, but it can do just about everything else on the course. The Stellenbosch Golf Club app makes the most of its mobile presence, guiding users through this 18-hole course. With a detailed map of the greens, audio recordings telling you about each hole and an integrated score card, it turns the user's mobile device into an integral part of the golfing experience.
Innovative, informative, adorable catalog
Sometimes, there's more to sales than selling, and that holds true for mobile sales, too. The Dog Wheelchairs app, published byHandicappedpets.com, makes for an informative user experience (and one full of adorable pet photos). In addition to useful videos, the app provides pictures and descriptions for each item offered, showing the company's products in action.
Interactive photo booth
Often, creating a great, interactive user experience is as simple as making the phone's built-in features work for the user. That's exactly what the Bed Head Hotel app did, using mobile devices' built-in cameras to create an interactive mobile photo booth showing how users would look with a variety of distinctive hairstyles.
How can an app capture the essence of a vibrant, colorful city? It takes a wide variety of useful, informative and interactive features. The Vegas Baby app does it, with tools ranging from a taxi fare calculator and a bus finder to calendars for shows and other local events, as well as news updates and information on hotels and restaurants. It makes a useful companion for any trip to Vegas.
How to capture the role of the athletic coach on a mobile device? It takes creativity, a variety of features, and a strong selection of informative and useful tools. The Baseball Dudes app sets out to do just that, with an app that reflects the business' goal of teaching kids to excel on and off the baseball field. From videos and blog posts to words of wisdom, this app's rich content will interest both aspiring athletes and their parents.
These days, it's pretty common to find apps full of music and other audio content. But truly capturing a music scene is more difficult, requiring a variety of rich and interesting content. That's exactly what the Muve Mag app does for the Oklahoma City scene, providing not only audio content, but also videos, informative articles and other features.
Menu, coupon book, and loyalty card
Many of today's leading app features are particularly well suited for restaurants, including menus, special offers, and tools for booking a table and ordering food. For an example of how to use these types of features effectively, check out the One Main Restaurant & Bar app.
How can you reach a niche group of consumers looking for vintage products? Building a mobile app can go a long way toward making that happen. The Two Old Hippies app takes that approach, letting shoppers browse the store's unique catalog of guitars, clothes, books and more.
Babysitter or pet sitter
Your phone may not be able to actually feed and walk your dog yet, but it can help you find someone else to do it. And if you're a babysitter or pet sitter, a good app can help you find customers. Whether you're looking for a sitter or a customer, the Home Alone Petsitters app provides a great example of using mobile to reach customers (not to mention share photos of cute dogs). Users can book services directly from the app.