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13 Best Mobile Apps for Indie Stores

All retailers have the same 24 hours in a day. How we spend those hours can mean the difference between a profitable and productive day versus one where we go home and wonder where the time went.

Mobile apps are trying to tackle this issue and research confirms that they’ve changed the way we work, communicate and run our businesses. The more we find satisfaction with their use and they become a habit, the more we find them indispensable in our daily lives. Being organized and focused can be helpful and while this isn't an exhaustive list, these 13 apps have helped retailers get organized and stay focused while also helping to save them money and time.

 

1 Square. Makes accepting payments and selling products anywhere a breeze, whether it’s in your shop or at a pop-up location.

2 Magicplan. Need to re-arrange your store layout and want some help? Using magicplan’s augmented reality, you can create professional floor plans simply by taking pictures. While most people use the app for home projects, it’s handy for retailers, too.

3 iHandyLevel. Ever needed a level to make sure what you’re hanging isn’t off-kilter? This free app helps you hang a picture or install shelves by using your phone’s built-in sensor.

4 MailChimp. Most retailers use some sort of email marketing program but in case you don’t already, consider MailChimp. It’s easy to use, cost-effective and allows you to segment your subscriber lists.

5 Humanity or When I Work. Spend less time juggling employee schedules and more time on your business by using Humanity’s employee scheduling software (and app!) that integrates with business systems such as Square. When I Work is another option that gets high marks among retailers as being easy-to-use and intuitive.

6 Smile.io. Thinking about adding a loyalty program to keep existing customers coming back? Smile.io offers merchants a comprehensive loyalty and referral program which allows you to reward customers with points, discounts and more based on their engagement with your business, whether it’s purchases, referring a friend or social media shares.

7 RescueTime. To get a better handle of how much time you’re spending on social media, install this app. You may find you’re spending more time scrolling mindlessly and wasting time rather than using the platforms more productively.

8 Headspace. Retailing is tough. This meditation app offers guided meditation that helps you take a minute, or three, or 10, to just stop whatever you’re doing and take a much-needed breather.

9 Freedcamp. Great for keeping an ongoing to-do list.

10 Dropbox. Want to keep your files handy, whether you need to access them at the shop, at home, or while traveling? Dropbox is an easy-to-use app that helps you keep it all organized and easy to access in the cloud.

11 Evernote. Another great way to save files, documents, emails, and other things you want to make sure you don’t lose.

12 Canva. Canva helps non-designers develop great-looking presentations for everything from flyers, invitations, social media memes and more.

13 Podcasts. Most of us don’t have time to return to school or take classes, but still want to keep up with the latest marketing or business practices. Find some good podcasts and tune in while you have some down time at the shop or during your daily commute.

 

What are some of your favorite apps? Share them on Retailing Insight Magazine’s Facebook page.

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ABOUT
Megy Karydes

Megy Karydes is a marketing and communications consultant. She’s also an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University and working on a book about how businesses can better market themselves. Sign up to get her marketing tips every monthly at MegyKarydes.com.