Whether you’ve just set up your business or you’re strategising a growth plan, building an app for your company could be on your radar. With increasing numbers of people using mobile phones for their daily internet use, getting in on that action seems to be a no-brainer. Read on to find out if an app is suitable for your business, or if your time and money is better spent elsewhere.
Firstly, you need to ask yourself what the inherent value of the app will be. There needs to be a reason for users to download it, and if it’s offering the same options as your business website, it arguably has no value whatsoever. For example, customised offers and discounts may be enough to merit a download or, if you have a bricks and mortar shop, a GPS store-finder. Even an easier log-in functionality can be a feature that may sway.
Who is your target audience and are they likely to download an app? Without knowing this, you may as well throw the money it costs to build the app down the drain. If your business is retail and your customer largely older people who haven’t adapted to mobile use, or whose devices will be unable to support the app, it’s a definite no. A younger audience, or one which routinely uses mobile apps and who will benefit from the features you are offering will be more valuable.
It’s always worth checking out the competition. Do they offer an app? If so, which features do they offer and does it seem popular? If not, why not? If they don’t, you’re either ahead of the curve or embarking on a wasted journey, so it’s worth ascertaining why.
Online purchases on the run can be much simpler with an app, and if you’ve determined that this is the behaviour of your target audience, then an app could be a good investment. Make sure the app is simple and easy to use – secure one-click checkout is a desirable feature, for example. Intelligent search features will limit frustration, and ensuring an easy means of contact will be the icing on the cake.
Apps need regular maintenance to ensure they remain functional. This can take the form of additional features, bug fixes, and updates. If you are unable to commit to this, there’s really no point in building it.