In May 1704, a message appeared in colonial newsletter making readers aware of a property for sale in Long Island, New York. While this may appear unremarkable, it was in fact a watershed moment for entrepreneurs in then-named British America — it was the first newspaper advertisement in recorded history, and the beginning of an explosion of advertisement innovation. From that point on, entrepreneurs looking to reach large audiences began to exploit mediums that occupied their potential customers’ attention. Every seismic technology in broadcast media since, from radio to tv to the internet has basically been hijacked by advertisers often to great effect.
Chances are you one of the nearly 40% of our blog’s readers who will read this post on your smartphone. If so, I probably don’t have to convince you of the amount of time the average person spends locked on their platforms. There are many valid debates about how healthy this is, but for small businesses, the opportunities this presents should be obvious.
The food service industry has taken the lead in taking advantage of this opportunity, with most restaurants and chains of a certain size offering mobile apps through which customers can place orders, reserve seats and participate in loyalty programs. The impact of this has been enormous, leading to increases in order volume and frequency, and also increased efficiency and lower costs for most restaurants which employ mobile apps.
We believe that other small businesses can benefit similarly from having mobile apps allowing customers to make orders and other interactions. Also, with push notification technology, mobile apps will help businesses connect with their customers pretty much on demand and at no cost. In the 21st century, it is a no-brainer to at least consider taking advantage of the platform which most consumes your customers’ attention.