Mobile Applications: Should Small Businesses Jump In?

| September 16, 2010 | 1 Reply

[tweetmeme]Big businesses have been moving aggressively with mobile marketing, and many have created their mobile applications to ensure that they are on their customers’ hands and minds all the time.

New York Times has an app that allows mobile users to read their content on the go. Ecommerce sites from to Target to North Face have apps users that allow users to shop from their phones. Harvard Business Review has a Management Tip of the Day app that dishes out leadership and business management tips every day. Vogue has a Vogue Stylist app that allows users to take photos of their closet and the app can help them mix and match their clothes to create a new look.

But for a small business owner, developing a mobile application can be costly, even prohibitive. The big question is: Will the mobile app bring the needed return on investment?

For small business owners thinking of creating their own mobile app, it may be worthwhile to look at how consumers are using mobile apps on their phones. It appears that usage of apps is growing, but many are still not on board.

nokia mobile phone

Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project conducted a nationwide telephone survey and The Nielsen Company did a survey of recent app downloaders, and here are their findings:

  • While 35 percent of U.S. adults have software applications (i.e., apps) on their mobile phones, only 24 percent use them. Furthermore, 11 percent of cell phone owners aren’t sure if their phone is equipped with apps.
  • 29 percent of adult cell phone users have downloaded an app to their phone, including 13 percent who have paid to download an app;
  • 38 percent of adult cell phone users have purchased a phone with preloaded apps;
  • 29 percent of cell phone owners said they’ve used only some of their apps;
  • More than 70 percent of respondents said they take pictures with their phones (76 percent) and use their phones to send/receive text messages (72 percent); and
  • App users tended to be male (57 percent versus 43 percent female), more likely than other adults and other cell phone users to be college graduates (39 percent) and have incomes of $75,000 or more (36 percent).

You can download the full report here


Category: Online Marketing

About the Author ()

Isabel Isidro is a small business owner who writes about her experiences in starting and running a business. She is the co-founder of and also runs

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