When I started working in advertising in the 1980’s, most small businesses had two advertising options: the Yellow Pages and billboards. Today, there are literally dozens of options, from print advertising to websites, social media, and apps.
As a web app developer, I often encounter business owners who ask: Do I really need a website and an app? While the final answer probably depends on what kind of business you have, my general recommendation is that any small business that is healthy and growing should have both. Apps and websites may have similar layouts, but they have complementary functions that can help you grow your customer base and boost sales.
Use your website for primarily static content, and give customers a good overview of your business. Create a stellar landing page, and a few pages of solid content that explain who you are, how they can find you, when you’re open (if you’re a brick and mortar business) and what products or services you offer. You can also include a blog if you desire, but it may not be necessary depending on your industry. In short, your website is a funnel for new customers to learn about you and choose your business over others like it.
Your app is designed to connect with new and current customers. Use an app to promote sales, send out coupons and surveys, connect customers to your social media, and more. You can even include a link to your blog, or an option to click on a link and call your store or chat with customer service online. The app is designed to be more interactive and to be used on a regular basis by your customer base.
In short, think of your website as your online brochure, and your app as your weekly advertisement. Both of these tools can help you gain new customers and keep current ones coming back. Best of all, they’re working 24/7 – so you don’t have to!