Independent businesses on tight budgets are being given the chance to compete with big, high street retailers by creating their own ‘off-the-shelf’ app for just £250. The new service, from Hale-based specialist app developer Apps4, is designed to help small companies engage with their customers on-the-go, while driving sales. As the only developer in the UK to offer a low cost, branded app service, Apps4 allows businesses on a budget the chance to establish themselves in the mobile market.
For a core price of £250, Apps4’s fully-branded apps include multimedia capabilities, download functions and the ability to send vouchers and updates to customers. Expanded features can also include digital ticketing technology, e-commerce and geo-location tools.
Speaking about the launch of the new service, Henry Hochland, founder of Apps4, commented: “We truly believe that apps are the way forward for start-ups and SMEs and, as our new service shows, they don’t have to cost the earth!
“Apps allow companies to learn about their customers’ preferences and shopping habits while enabling them to use that information to refine their business strategies. They also provide companies with the opportunity to build brand loyalty by offering exclusive, app-only promotions and offers.”
Apps4 was launched in 2009 by father and son duo Henry and Sam Hochland, together with technical director Paul Sanders. The team established the company with the aim of enabling independent businesses to engage with their customers on an innovative and more profitable level.
The team has already developed apps for a number of companies, including cafés, bars, fashion boutiques and restaurants.
Sanders said: “We’ve accrued significant experience of developing bespoke apps for larger organisations, but in the current economic climate, many smaller companies just don’t have the budget. By creating inexpensive apps, which can be carefully branded, we’re allowing businesses to proactively drive footfall, whether for a shop, bar or restaurant. We’re providing companies with the tools to attract increased business and become more profitable.”
All three Apps4 founders have solid credentials in the communications, marketing and technology sectors. Prior to founding Apps4, Paul, who is a prolific software developer, worked on systems for Expedia and Mercedes Benz. He also developed the TNT Post Collections, Booking and Driver PDA system, which is currently in use across the UK. Henry enjoyed an extensive and successful career in publishing, before establishing the app company with his 23-year-old son Sam, a Business Management and Marketing student at Nottingham Trent University.
Speaking of his long-term plans for Apps4, Henry said: “We find ourselves in a fantastic position in the apps market. We’re a young company on mature shoulders, which means we understand exactly what brands are looking to achieve. We’re already in talks to expand our expertise into the US market and we have more innovative app ideas in the pipeline.”