If you spend any amount of time on the app store that comes with your smartphone, you will notice that there has been an explosion in the number of businesses putting out their own smartphone apps. There are a number of different reasons that a business might decide that it’s time to make their own app, but not all of them will be successful with it.
At their worst, business apps do nothing but take up space on the user’s phone. However, when they are done right, there are enormous benefits to producing your own business app. So, does your business need its own app? Not every business will benefit from a smartphone app, but the majority can, as long as the app is designed and built properly.
Let’s take a look at some of the key considerations that businesses need to think about when deciding on the direction they are going in with their app.
Have You Optimized Your Website for Mobile?
Many businesses commission the development of an app to solve a problem that could be better solved with other techniques. This is most commonly evident in businesses whose mobile website leaves a lot to be desired. Rather than take the time to refine their mobile website, many businesses jump straight to designing an app.
It’s easy to understand the logic at play here – businesses assume that their customers who are on mobile would rather use an app than a web browser or that the customer will have a better experience when using the app. However, overlooking the importance of your mobile website is more likely to turn people off your business entirely than it is to convince them to go and download your app.
Who Will Develop it?
There aren’t many businesses that happen to have a team of experienced app developers on staff. If you are in this enviable position then you can think about building your app in-house, potentially significantly reducing your costs. However, most businesses will need to look to an outside developer to build their app.
Using a professional and experienced app developer like Appetiser will ensure the smoothest and most cost-efficient development process possible. They ensure great communication throughout the process which is exactly what you are looking for. If you can find a developer who has experience building apps for businesses, you should look to work with them. They will likely already know how to handle the most likely and common pitfalls, the kind of things that could sink an unprepared business.
Are Your Competitors Using Apps?
Staying competitive is vital if any business is going to survive in the long term. There are lots of ways that you can make your business more competitive, but one of the most important is ensuring that you aren’t letting your competitors run rings round you with their offerings. If your biggest competitor has their own mobile app and appears to be using it successfully, don’t hand them an easy victory. Instead, start thinking about how you can produce your own app and how you can ensure it is able to compete with your competitors offering.
You can usually find statistics about any app by searching online. Many developers are open about the popularity of their apps, although some businesses do keep everything under wraps. Use whatever methods you can to deduce how successful your competitors’ efforts have been. If your competitor has launched an app and it’s all going wrong for them, see if you can identify where it is that they’ve gone wrong and how you can avoid the same traps.
Does Your App Solve a Problem?
We touched on this point earlier, but it is worth exploring in a bit more detail. Building an app just for the sake of it is a venture that is doomed to fail. If you want your app to be popular, it needs to be useful. Ask yourself whether the app you are planning on building will address an existing issue or whether it will augment the customer experience.
If you can’t easily point to a clear purpose for your app, this is usually a sign that you are building a solution in search of a problem. In some cases, you might be best served by holding off on your app development until you have a clearer idea of what you actually want to do with your app.
Not every business needs to have a mobile app, the rush to develop apps without any clear purpose or intention has sunk a number of businesses. If you are thinking about building a mobile app, make sure that you take your time with it. Take time to work out what your app will be and what it will do, give yourself plenty of time to test it and iron out any bugs and, most importantly, don’t press ahead with the development of an app just for the sake of it.