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We’ve seen some early growth over the past year in the subsector of services and toolsets for SMBs to build a mobile presence. We’ve had lots of coverage of players like Duda Mobile and Mofuse, while Steve Espinosa’s AppStack was unveiled at the recent Launch Conference.

Today at SxSW, App Express joined the space with a DIY app builder geared toward SMBs. This not only gives them a mobile presence but also includes lots of robust app features for the SMB set, including payments, appointment scheduling, messaging, social sharing and deals.

According to the release:

Types of businesses that can benefit from an App Express app:

Service-based businesses (e.g., doctors, dentists, real estate brokers, music instructors, auto service providers, etc.) attract on-the-go customers with appointment-setting, payments, deals and in-app messaging.

Location-based services (e.g., auto towing, locksmiths, taxi services, delivery services and other businesses that come to a customer’s location) benefit from in-app messaging that allows users to send a message pinpointing their location on a map.

High-value vertical industry businesses (e.g., attorneys, accountants, insurance agents and employment recruiters) appreciate App Express’ sophisticated apps for maintaining a professional image and ensuring they are everywhere their customers are looking.

Retailers (e.g., grocery stores, department stores, hardware stores, auto supply stores, furniture and appliance retailers, etc.) list products and services that can be purchased using a customer’s phone and picked up at the store, giving the business a local edge over Internet retailers.

The company is run by Mary Beth Brendza, a longtime friend of BIA/Kelsey from her tenure at User Friendly Phone Book. Unlike many entering the mobile local space, this gives her unique perspective on what makes SMBs tick. This will come in handy in steering the ship.

We’ll provide more detail after we catch up with Mary Beth. We’ll also explore this topic at ILM East in just two weeks during a session on best practices in establishing a mobile presence for SMBs. And we’ll be examining its tactical aspects more going forward. Stay tuned.

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