Although the vast majority of small businesses (98 percent) claim to protect their app users’ data, new research from B2B ratings and reviews firm Clutch reveals that most companies are not implementing the basic measures required for online security.
According to the firm’s new study, less than half of small businesses (41 percent) require a strong user password for their mobile app, while only 40 percent encrypt their user data or implement two-factor authentication—actions that leave users’ data vulnerable.
The report analyzes the app features and security measures developers prioritize in 2019—features such as encryption that are vital to mobile app security.
“It’s very important to protect your app code with encryption; you want the code to be hard to read and secret,” said Clare Bittourna, a marketing designer at mobile app development company Codal, in a news release.
Small businesses prioritize social media and messaging integration in mobile apps
Small businesses prioritize mobile app features that encourage community engagement. Nearly all small businesses (84 percent) use social media integration or messaging features.
Broken down, almost half of small businesses (44 percent) incorporate social media into their mobile apps while 40 percent use messaging features.
“Businesses prefer to integrate…social sharing because it motivates new users to download the app and use it,” said Joana Kelly, chief operating officer of mobile app design and development company Small Planet, in the release.
Small businesses can easily integrate social media into their app using a software development kit (SDK), which streamlines users’ login process. By incorporating an SDK, small businesses allow people to use their mobile app by simply connecting to their social media account.
Small businesses recognize value of AI for mobile apps
Small businesses are investing in AI and augmented reality (AR) to create more personalized and automated services for their mobile apps.
One-third of small businesses (33 percent) integrate AI into their mobile apps. Small businesses can use AI to analyze data and personalize users’ experiences.
AI powers machine learning, which allows applications to learn and grow as users interact with them. “[Machine learning] always leads to better and stickier experiences for our customers, which is the name of the game at the end of the day,” said Dary Merckens, chief operating officer of Gunner Tech, in the release.
Approximately the same number of small businesses (30 percent) incorporate AR in their mobile apps. AR features can increase an app’s marketing capabilities. For example, the IKEA Place app allows user to see how a product would look in their own home before purchasing it.
Clutch’s 2019 Small Business Mobile App Survey included 529 small businesses across the U.S.