The average American spends five hours a day on mobile devices. Small businesses are taking advantage of their customers increasing dependency on mobile devices and building apps to reach users on the platform they most frequently engage with, according to a new report on Top Design Firms. business mobile apps

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Most small businesses either already have a mobile app (32%) or are planning to build a mobile app in the future (42%).

Ethan Taub, CEO of financial planning company Goalry, chose to build a mobile app to better communicate with customers.

“We built our mobile app because we feel like it streamlines our service for customers and makes the information more easily presentable.” Taub said.

Mobile apps offer another avenue for small businesses to connect with their target audience and provide efficient support.

Small Businesses Use Mobile Apps to Improve Customer Experience and Support Branding.

Over one-third of small businesses (34%) created a mobile app to improve their customer service efforts or streamline the purchasing process for their users.

Many small business mobile apps include features that facilitate timely and helpful customer service — the Goalry app is a great example.

The app has a customer support section, allowing customers to contact us without having to email us,” Taub said.

Improved support features also leave users with a positive impression of the mobile app’s brand, highlighting another benefit of developing a mobile app.

Thirty-two percent of small businesses (32%) invested in a mobile app to further develop their brand or build customer loyalty.

A strong, high-quality mobile app can separate a small business from its competitors, acting as an extension of the brand’s image and increasing awareness.

Still, One Quarter of Small Businesses (26%) Are Unlikely to Ever Release a Mobile App.

For some small businesses, a mobile app just doesn’t fit with their business strategy.

“I think product based businesses have huge potential for success with mobile apps,” said Laura English, Lead Copywriter at  Sonder Digital Marketing, a digital agency. “However I don’t think they’re as important as we’re led to believe and I think if business owners have a limited budget they should focus on a website with perfect responsiveness.” business mobile apps

Mobile apps are a huge financial investment. Small businesses that are just starting out with limited flexibility in resources should prioritize other growth initiatives before focusing on a mobile app.