Nearly 50% of small businesses indicate they plan to have a mobile app within the next few years, but 30% of the companies still have no intention to do so, according to a new survey of 352 small business owners in the U.S. by Clutch, an app development research firm.

"Many small businesses don't even consider building a mobile app, but this is changing fast, with more and more traffic coming from mobile devices," said Viktor Marohnic, CEO of the mobile app creator Shoutem. "Three years ago, a small business might see 10% of its total traffic coming from mobile, but right now it's closer to 70%. Within the next couple of years, a shift to a mobile app or a mobile-friendly site will become obvious."

One in five small businesses currently have a mobile app and the majority of these companies say they built an app to increase sales, improve customer experience and become competitive in a specific market, according to the survey.

Consumer-facing businesses such as restaurants, stores and professional services are the most likely adopters of mobile apps because of the potential benefits for customer interaction, Clutch says.

In addition, internal business apps are gaining momentum as businesses look to streamline processes and increase productivity. Previously, building a single app could cost $40,000 or more, the firm says, but with new app builder platforms small businesses can begin to build a simple app from about $5 per month.

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