Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma Retailers Catching App Trend

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Oklahoma Retailers Catching App Trend

Article excerpt

As more shoppers use their smartphones to interact with businesses, retailers are aligning themselves with that trend.

Smartphone applications are becoming what websites were to businesses a decade ago: a must-have, or at least a serious consideration. Retailers are realizing their customers aren't only checking them out via a home computer, but through a smartphone away from home. However, for a small-business owner, the price of having an app built can be cost-prohibitive.

An Oklahoma City app firm has sprung up to help local businesses position themselves to engage customers according to their habits. 3 Monkeys App Design LLC was begun to provide a more affordable app - in the $5,000 to $7,000 range - for locally owned small- and medium- sized businesses. Chad Keffer, president and co-founder, said smartphone users will only continue to use their devices as a first method of making purchases and relating to business. He wants to give retailers an affordable way to be a part of that movement.

In doing so, Keffer hopes he's found his own niche of revenue.

"The average app in the local market is around $10,000 to $20,000, more to the $20,000 end for a custom app for iPhone or Android," he said. "We wanted to create something that was more affordable."

Keffer said he's able to keep his price down because he's taking on the costs of creating the content management system before launching the app. The CMS is still customized for each client, he said, but he's not creating a brand-new system each time. Customers also use the CMS to make changes, such as adding monthly specials, so they don't have to return to 3 Monkeys and take on additional charges, he said.

Chris Downham, owner of Flipd, a snow and skate boutique in Edmond, said he knew he wanted to have an app when he started his business. Flipd is a "word-of-mouth" small business, he said, so an app is a perfect marketing tool.

"We're not going to get a lot of business from having an ad in the phone book or being seen in newspapers," Downham said. …

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