Today, more people spend time on their mobile phones than watching TV or browsing the internet on their desktop computers. What’s more, that time on mobile is largely spent using apps. From messaging friends and family, to watching videos, to online shopping, apps can seemingly do it all. Chances are your customer base uses their phones just as frequently, and the appeal of having an app for your business can definitely be tempting.
But the question is, does your business really need an app? App development can cost a lot of time and money, which in the end may or may not be worth it. This month’s podcast explains which businesses are most likely to benefit developing an app, what these apps might be used for, some things to consider before developing an app, and if you should develop an app as opposed to improving your website’s mobile experience.
About 30% of shopping now takes place on mobile devices — and by having a retail app your customers receive a superior experience with the ability to use exclusive coupons and deals.
Restaurants commonly offer apps with a variety of functionalities, including the following:
If your business offers your users a unique knowledge base, developing an app could be a way to bring your customers easier access to your information. Examples of websites that successfully use apps include WebMD, All Recipes and IMDB.
When your customer downloads your app, that means your business is a constant presence on your customer’s screen and in their pockets. This differentiates you from the competition, especially if your business is smaller. Customers can access your online catalog no matter where they are, allowing for quick spontaneous purchases on the go. By putting an app on an app store, you can potentially capture customers who may otherwise be unaware of your services. Your app will be categorized with other, similar apps, allowing for users to find you through means besides your current marketing efforts.
If your business could benefit from an app, here are factors to consider.
Do-it-yourself tools are available for app development — however, those still come at a cost. Hiring a professional developer and designer will allow you to consult with experts on your app, leaving you with a better overall product. Apps are also now more affordable than ever to develop.
How can you tell if an app is worthwhile for your business? There’s quite a bit to consider, including:
Some businesses might benefit more from an enhanced mobile website than an app. It should be noted that it’s a terrible idea to make an app in place of a mobile-friendly site — if your website is inadequate, you should focus on improvements that make your website responsive to multiple devices (desktop, mobile, tablet).
Here are some additional reasons you might not need an app:
There are some advantages to focusing on your mobile website rather than investing in an app. For starters, a responsive (mobile-friendly) website is:
But some mobile websites suffer in compromised functionality, leading to slow load times and a less than ideal user experience. An app can fix this by using on-device functionality in a way that websites can’t — in short, apps are programmed with other limitations of the device in mind. Apps are extremely easy to access, typically taking only one tap to load you into your brand’s pre-built experience, as opposed to having to navigate to the website through the phone’s mobile browser.By Shelley Johansson. Read about Shelley on our Meet Our Staff page or visit on Google+.