Whether it means altering your routine or carrying pennies in your pocket, people naturally resist change. Not so long ago when the Internet was young, business owners resisted building websites to digitally house their products or services. There was uncertainty that the time and resources required for such an undertaking would be worth the investment.
We now understand the importance that a website has for the success of our businesses. However, we are now in a mobile age—Internet usage on desktop devices is declining while surfing the web on a smartphone or tablet is on the rise. For this reason, you may want to take your technological presence beyond a website and consider developing an app for your business.
With the prominence of mobile usage today, a business app can help increase your sales, improve your brand awareness, and provide a better experience overall for your customer. But the process of building an app can be difficult and expensive, and you will want to think about the overall impact that the endeavor will have on your business. Here are some questions to consider before taking the leap.
What will the app be used for?
You shouldn’t make an app just to make an app—the first thing you should ask when considering developing an app for your business is simple: what service will it provide to its users? Most people download apps if they think they will want or need to use a service repeatedly. Do you want to provide potential users with such a service, or do you just want a means to disseminate information about your company? If you’re looking to do the latter, an app may not be necessary—a website or a social media platform may be the better option.
Be honest and ask yourself, “Does my business need an app at all?” Do you think your customers will find it useful? Will it offer a service that no one else does or in a way no one else can? The various app marketplaces available today are saturated with millions of apps, but you can still break through that noise if you have an app that people find useful on a regular basis.
Will it enhance the user experience?
Say you are running a successful bakery. Every day you get countless phone calls from people placing orders. Obviously this is good for business, but having to frequently stop to answer the phone is slowing you down, making orders late and customers unhappy. You want to provide your customers with a means to put in an order from their smartphone without having to call, so you hire someone to build an app that allows your customers to put in their orders online, which streamlines your processes and helps get orders out in a timely fashion. Customers are happier and business improves.
The purpose of having an app is to improve the overall user experience with your company. An app is an extension of your brand—if it is attractive, easy to understand, and useful, it will more than likely leave a positive impression on your business. Just the same, having a bad app can potentially leave a bad taste in a customer’s mouth. All these points are important, but none of these matter for improving your user’s experience if the content isn’t there.
Is development within your budget?
Creating an app isn’t cheap. Between market research, conceptualization, hiring a team, development, testing, and rollout, the decision to implement at an inopportune time can be devastating for a small business. You will want to be sure that this effort is met with financial preparation and a complete understanding of all the moving parts.
It’s also important to understand all of your options when considering app development. The best scenario is that you or your team already have experience researching and developing mobile apps. If not, you’ll need to hire someone that has knowledge in this field. You can opt to create an in-house team, but this can become costly. A less expensive option is to contract a development firm. Outsourced help often offers the best bang for your buck and gives you the freedom to keep them on or let them go as you see fit for the project.
Just like with most ventures in business, developing an app is a calculated risk. No one can precisely predict the return on investment that an app will bring. However, you can mitigate that risk by acknowledging the app’s exact intentions, optimizing the user experience, and having the financial wherewithal to see the project through to the end. If you have any questions pertaining to getting an app built for your business needs, please feel free to contact MOZR today.