Competitive edge. Its something every business wants. Oh, you’re probably one of those nice business owners who wishes your competition tremendous success but let’s face it, deep down you want just a little bit more success than your competition. Am I right? Its human nature to be competitive and its what keeps people and businesses growing, learning and trying new things.

Here is one of the best stories I ever heard on the subject of competitive advantage:
Two men are walking through the African desert and come upon a lion. One man says to the other, “we could attack it and kill it.” The other man replies, “well if we do that, he might win and eat us.” Then he responds, “we should run,” to which his friend responded, “he might catch us and eat us.” “Ahhh,” replies the man, but he will only eat one of us, the slower one.”

The moral of the story is that you don’t have to be the fastest man in Africa, you just need to be one step ahead of your competition.

With a mobile app you now have the power to be on everyone’s phones, which is prime real estate. Would you rather be peoples’ phones or see your customers having your competition’s app on their phones?

Here is why your business needs an app and how it will give you a competitive edge:

Increased Credibility

83% of responders said they viewed a business with a mobile app as having more credibility. When it comes down to you verses your competition and you have a mobile app, there is a much greater chance that customers will choose you. Having a tool that directly influences a consumer’s choice to choose your business over someone else’s is extremely cutting edge, wouldn’t you agree?

Starts the Relationship

A mobile app is a portal to your business. People can download your app and immediately engage with you on social media (without having to go from platform to platform to find you). They can read the About Us section on your app and immediately start to get to know, like and trust you. A potential new client can read your blog, view your website and read customer testimonies on your app. If you have videos on your app perhaps they will learn something new from you. These are all great ways to put your best foot forward and start off a relationship on the right foot.

Over 90% of app users reported they want to receive coupons and specials on their mobile devices from their favorite stores and brands.

If you have a mobile app and you are offering promotions, specials, flash sales and other rewards for shopping with you, your customers have a much higher likelihood of continuing to be loyal to you verses shopping with your competition who doesn’t have a mobile app and thus doesn’t offer these benefits. Additionally, many business owners have a mobile app and don’t use it properly so even if your competition has a mobile app, there’s a really good chance they’re not doing a great job of engaging their customers with it and you are!

Customers will drive an extra 5 miles and an extra 10 minutes to shop a business that rewards them for doing so.

If you have the Starbucks app on your phone then you know the power of a good mobile rewards program. With your mobile app you can offer a loyalty card as well as rewards points based on dollars spent. Customers can redeem these points however you decide to set up your rewards program. They will drive right past your competition and straight to your door step if you reward them for shopping with you.

Mobile apps today are where Facebook was 10 years ago and websites were 20 years ago. They are on the cutting edge not only of how businesses market but how consumers research and buy. Despite the fact that as of this blog post there are 1.5 million apps in iTunes, mobile apps are new and very much a game changer for those early adapter businesses who already have one. There’s still plenty of time to get in the mobile app game and gain a competitive edge over your competition.

Colleen is co-founder of Brandgarden Mobile Solutions.

Colleen is Co-Founder of DIY Mobile Apps and Mobile Solutions. She’s an Entrepreneur, Writer, Speaker, Trainer and Napoleon Hill Instructor. She lives in Charlotte, NC and enjoys Bikram yoga, wine and a great cup of coffee. Follow her #Coffeetalk on Instagram @AppGirlontheGo

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