About 15% of small businesses have mobile apps, according to the results of a new survey from research firm Clutch.
The poll, which asked more than 350 small business owners about having smartphone apps to improve business and marketing, found that nearly a third of those same businesses launched their apps in 2014 and that 18% of small business owners planned to have their own app in stores in the future.
While those with apps touted their use to improve customer service (76%), increase sales (37%) and compete in the marketplace (35%), 40% of small business owners said they were unlikely to have an app in the future, and 27% were uncertain about entering the app market, according to the study.
Some other key findings from the report:
- Spending by 59% of small businesses with mobile apps was expected to remain flat in 2015 compared to 2014
- 27% of small businesses expected to increase their spending on mobile apps in 2015 versus 2014, while 6% expected to decrease their spending
- 76% of small businesses said they were unlikely to create a wearable app (for devices such as Google Glass or the Apple Watch) in the future
- 8% said they were likely to create a wearable app and 16% said they were uncertain if they would create one in the future
- Small businesses with 11-500 employees were more likely to have mobile apps than small businesses with one to 10 employees
“It sounds like people are still not sold on the value a mobile app might provide to a small business. As an app developer, that’s obviously not hugely promising but I don’t think it’s negative,” says Bobby Gill, founder and CTO of Blue Label Labs, who was quoted in the report. “I think people are rightly kind of skeptical [regarding] the return on investment from a mobile app, especially considering it’s been seven or eight years now that we’ve had the App Store. So I think a lot of the gloss and shine of, ‘I need to have an app,’ might have worn off and people are being more realistic.”