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article imageStudy: iOS and Android now essential to small business management

By Michael Essany     May 9, 2013 in Business
According to a new report issued this week, the age old question of whether or not small business owners are really using mobile technology has finally been answered.
Constant Contact, an email marketing company, has just released the findings of its recent and expansive customer survey, indicating that 66 percent of small business owners now use a mobile device, including smartphones and tablets.
Specifically, mobile apps are playing a huge role in how small businesses manage operations.
- 82 percent use a calendar/time management app.
- 74 percent use a customer communications app.
- 52 percent use a GPS and mapping app.
- 44 percent use an accounting/invoicing app.
- 44 percent use an app for industry news/information consumption.
- 29 percent use a travel planning app.
The report also shows that Apple's iOS and Google's Android have basically become the new point-of-sale (POS) solution of choice for small business.
Seventy-one percent of small businesses using mobile technology now accept mobile payments and 52 percent utilize a mobile-/tablet-based point-of-sale system, the report finds.
"In busy shops and department stores, speed and efficiency of service are integral to customer satisfaction," says the team at PayAnywhere, a provider of mobile payment solutions. According to the company, mobile payments allow merchants to speed up lines and process sales with far greater speed, which can maximize business during the busiest hours of the day.
"The ability to accept payments in digital form not only courts a broader range of customers; it also induces people into spending more than they otherwise would if limited only to cash," PayAnywhere says on its official blog.
When Constant Contact asked small business owners not using mobile technology why they haven't embraced these resources yet, the responses looked something like this:
- 56 percent said their customers haven’t expressed demand for mobile communications.
- 47 percent said their customers haven’t expressed demand for mobile payment solutions.
- 36 percent said they are interested in mobile solutions but don’t know enough about how to best use them.
- 33 percent said they’re interested in mobile solutions but haven’t had time to implement any yet.
- 31 percent said they don’t have a work-/business-related smartphone.
- 28 percent said mobile is not relevant to their industry/business.
“Generally speaking, small business owners have very little spare time on their hands, so learning how to use mobile technology for their business is not necessarily tops on their ‘to do’ list,” says Joel Hughes, senior vice president of strategy and corporate development at Constant Contact. “We received some anecdotal survey responses that said ‘It costs too much’ and ‘I have no idea how this stuff works,’ representing the subset of small businesses that will forgo mobile opportunities until their customers start demanding mobile communications or payment solutions.”
More about Ios, Android, Constant Contact, Small business, Mobile technology