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Smartphones, Mobile Apps and Revenue

CNBC, mobile apps and revenue, mobile marketing, CNBC: Do Mobile Apps Really Move the Needle on Sales?

With a few taps on their smartphones, customers ordering breakfast at Squeeze In, a restaurant with locations in Northern California and Nevada, can upgrade their entrees with an extra helping of fries, fruit, meat, veggies, or melted cheese and onions — for free…

Small businesses also need to be aware of the additional costs of developing a mobile app, such as paying to keep it updated, or adding new or more complex features. “The hidden costs are many,” said Saju Thomas, product manager at, a location-based entertainment guide.

The better bet is to develop a mobile website, said Carrie Chitsey, CEO of mobile marketing company 3Seventy. A mobile website is designed for the smartphone, containing just the information that someone on the go will need. With 61 percent of smartphone owners using their phones to search for local businesses, small businesses need to have a mobile website ready to go, she said. 3Seventy charges as little as $100 to build a mobile website, but developing an app can costs $1,500 for a basic one to more than $30,000 for a custom one.

Ultimately, small businesses have to weigh what they hope to get out of developing a mobile app. What is happening with mobile apps and revenue?

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