Should you build an app for your business

It’s no secret that with each passing year, there are more mobile users. This means that creating software for desktop computers is slowly giving way to mobile-first design. As a result, we saw mobile apps emerge out of nowhere and dominate online marketplaces. Apps have recently seen wide use as retail and marketing tools. However, some businesses seem to get by perfectly fine even without a dedicated app. This of course begs the question, should you build an app for your business? In this article, we look at the main benefits an app can provide and into helping you determine whether your company needs to start developing a mobile app.

Research your customers

As with any business decision, determining if you need an app also starts with market research. You should start by looking at your customers and their online behavior. Start by answering there three fundamental questions:

#1: Who are your customers?

User checking business app for new notifications.
Take a look at your customers and their online habits.

Age group. An important part of any market research is dividing customers into age groups. People of different ages have varying levels of technical literacy. This can influence their online behavior and your need for developing an app. Younger audiences and customers who fall into the 18-35 age group prefer using apps rather than websites.

Demographic. Age isn’t the only factor you should take into consideration. There are multiple ways to segment a market, however, in our case you can look at your customers’ past shopping habits. Look at your sales data and how people are interacting with your website. This will give you good ideas on who you should be marketing your app to.

#2: How do your customers spend their time online?

Person using phone app and computer.
Make sure your app has all the features your customers need.

How much time do your customers spend online?

Statistics show that millennials spend more time online than any other age group. What’s interesting to note is that two-thirds of their time online is spent on smartphone apps. When we look at other groups who spend less time online, we can also see a drop in app usage as well. Therefore, the younger your audience, the more likely they are to use apps.

How mobile-oriented are your customers?

Besides looking at their individual online habits, you also need to consider how customers are interacting with your website. Certain websites have complex navigation and forms which are much easier to fill in through a desktop browser.

Android or iOS?

Are you considering covering both major mobile platforms, or will you only cater to one? Keep in mind that Google has a stake in Android and that they offer free development tools. On the other hand, iOS has a larger market share in the US.

#3: What are the needs of your customers?

Girl at home, looking at her laptop.
It’s important to put yourself in the shoes of your customers.

Are your customers asking for an app and have they made such comments or requests in the past? Of course, you can decide to build an app for your business even if there haven’t been direct requests. Apps can fill an important bottleneck and speed up communication.

Determine if your customers have unaddressed needs. Identify the needs of your customers and what the solutions to their problems are. Can these needs be solved by a mobile-friendly website? Lately, there has been an app boom, but that doesn’t mean that apps are the only way to go. Contact a web development company New York and ask what functionality can be covered by a mobile-friendly web design.

What kind of engagement are your customers looking for? Apps can incorporate native functionality of devices, like camera, location, and push notifications.

What do you need the app to do?

Employees discussing important features of the app for your business.
Consider developing an app for your business which your employees will use internally.

Disregard your users for a moment and take a look at the core product or service you are providing.  Try to answer the following questions:

  • What is your product, and how will it benefit from an app?
  • Does your product require interaction between your customers and your employees?
  • How frequently does your staff communicate with your users and what is the scope of the communication?

Obviously, some forms of communication are best handled by CRM-integrated web design while others can be done with simple push notifications through an app. If you aren’t sure how you should contact customers or design your website, you can inquire about web design services NYC for advice on what solution is best for your needs. Remember that you aren’t building desktop software and think about which services your customers will need to have access to when they are on the go. Before you build an app for your business, you first need to narrow down what you want it to do.

Build an app for internal use

You can also develop an app just for your employees, and use it to deliver information and updates. Apps can be a great way to streamline communication between different teams in your company. If your company has employees who are working out of the office, apps can allow them to remotely access and update data. However, before you start building an app you should first determine if it will actually help your business. Perhaps there is third-party software that can solve these issues for you instead.

A website still matters

Even if you decide to go with a mobile app, it’s still important to have a website. Your company website can provide important information to your customers like business contact details. Digital marketing agency NYC experts from Digital Dot recommend that every marketing campaign should always be centered on a website. Your website has an important role to play, and you can craft dedicated landing pages for different types of marketing campaigns. Consider if a mobile-friendly website is better than an app, and will the app just be a clone of the website.

In summary

In this article, we’ve gone over the pros and cons of having a mobile app. Although apps can provide many benefits, some companies fail to use apps to their full potential. Unfortunately, an underdeveloped app can just represent excess bloat that your customers will be forced to deal with. In that case, we recommend that you just stick to a mobile-optimized website. Now that you have all the information, it’s time to do some research and determine should you build an app for your business.

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