Feature Article

June 20, 2017

Mobile Apps for Business: Do You Need One?

By Special Guest
Sam Cyrus, CEO and co-founder of GWM

If you are a small business owner and own a website, you should seriously consider creating a mobile app. Today, most online activity is done on mobile platforms, and smartphone apps have become a huge marketing tool for many business owners.  There are many areas where a mobile app can prove more useful than your website; for instance, when it comes to accessing a device’s hardware, receiving push notifications, boosting visits, permitting a variety of online transactions and ensuring a more stable performance.

So, is a mobile app the missing piece that's keeping your business from prospering? Let‘s check out some of the key points on how to decide if it’s the right marketing tool for your business.

What can the app do for your customers?

The first thing you need to do is decide how the app can be used to enable you and your customers. The easiest way to determine this is to compare it to your website: Is the app superior to the website by providing some features you can’t have otherwise? Can it offer a unique experience, or is it just going to replicate the functionalities of your website? How will your users find you, and is it going to bring more revenue?

You have to think about your target audience—how many of your customers use smartphones, and will they even bother to download your app? It may be troublesome to move a crowd to another platform, or to force customers to install apps they don’t really need. Most importantly, is the app going to save your customers time? With all of this taken into consideration, you have to keep in mind that the app you’re going to create is mainly for the benefit of the customers, not the company.

Budget

Next, you will have to decide on the budget. You have to think about the complexity of creating and managing an app. Is paying someone to do it worth the unique benefits a native application can provide? Sure, you can try and see if the DIY version would work, but you’ll still need to pay for the software tools, and it would take a lot more time if you’re not experienced in that field.

Many mobile app development experts say that creating an app from scratch would take about four to six months. You should keep in mind that for an app to be successful, it should be available on most platforms, mainly Android and iOS, but don’t forget Windows and Blackberry, too.

Content

Mobile apps require constant updates so they can pull in even more customers while also keeping the old ones close. Bug fixes and new features, along with general maintenance, are crucial in keeping the app going. Mobile users are often unpredictable, so you will need something interesting to keep their attention for as long as possible. If you neglect the app, and fail to update it regularly, your users will probably move away from it and onto another product.

Platforms

As mentioned earlier, if you’ve created your basic app, you should take into consideration cross-platform formatting. It will cost you to get your app optimized so it can be compatible with other platforms, but it will ensure you reach a wider audience and gain more profit.

All that leaves you with is the question of deriving profit from your app. You have to determine if your net profit can outmatch your costs by a reasonable amount. To make sure you do make a profit, it would be wise to speak to more than one app developer so that you can compare the costs to the services offered.

In conclusion

Creating a business app is a big challenge. Before starting the project you should have a clear idea of what benefits it will create for you. The best way to do that is to simply assess the potential to succeed in the market and pull in a maximum number of customers to your business. Weigh the pros and cons and go for it. However, if you decide it’s not really going to be manageable and not worth the investment, you can just focus on creating an interesting and elegant mobile experience on the Web.

About the Author

Sam Cyrus is CEO and co-founder of GWM, a Digital Marketing agency from Australia. Sam is also a creative writer and likes to share his insights on entrepreneurship, business, online marketing, SEO and social media.




 


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