Data shows that people spend over three hours on their phones on average, per day. App stores house millions of mobile apps which many businesses have joined the trend on. As a business owner, it always seems like a good idea to join the bandwagon and get an app developed. Apps can be a great avenue for gaining exposure and be a great channel as active app users can be of great value to the business.
But before you get started into building your new mobile app, there are things to keep in mind and consider first, because the reality is, building an app requires a lot of resources. In this article, we will lay out the points to consider on whether or not your business needs a mobile app.
Your website’s mobile friendliness
Before diving into a whole other channel, it’s best to look back at your current website and see how it holds up with mobile users. Because a majority of people use their phones when browsing the internet, the readiness of your website to meet those demands is of great value. If your website has a responsive web design, then it is optimized for viewing in smaller screens such as phones and tablets. If your business website is still lacking in the mobile-friendliness department, then now is a good time to reconsider this first before considering investment in a mobile app.
How the app can solve a customer problem
The purpose of an app is to provide additional functionality that mere websites or social media pages cannot offer. If you find that the website will not be providing additional convenience or added use to your customers, then it is best not to build an app in the first place. This will just be a waste of resources as your app will find a hard time resonating with potential customers. Having an app that will not resonate with your potential customers, essentially means investing in an app that your users will not bother to download on their mobile phones or worse – will opt not to use simply because it doesn’t add any value to them.
Retaining customer data
If your business is one that is reliant on repeat customers, having an app can help in the entry of information. This is applicable in e-commerce stores or food delivery service types of businesses as these require customers to fill out their information. An app can help in this issue so that your customers would not have to enter the information each time, helping boost your sales. But again, if your business does not yet have a loyal customer base, it might be good for you to consider investing in your website or on digital marketing efforts instead. Businesses that have successfully run on mobile apps have built a huge loyal customer base mainly due to their consistent promotions, digital marketing and customer loyalty campaigns. If you don’t have any of these types of campaigns in mind yet, best to go back to your drawing board before investing more capital in your mobile app.
The channels that your competitors use
Checking out what your direct competitors have as channels would be handy in knowing possible areas for improvement. If they use an app, you can check out how the app holds up in the app store ratings and customer reviews. This can help you gauge the usefulness of the app and its effectiveness to your target consumer base. If they have an app, then that means that you are possibly missing out on a crucial channel, and see where you can improve as compared to their mobile app. If none of your direct competitors have a mobile app, then maybe it is an indication that having an app is not the best channel to reach your customers.
If these points resonate with your business, then it may be a solid sign that building a mobile app may either be the next best course of action for you OR that it’s something that is not suitable for your business. Otherwise, sticking with the channels that work for you is still a good course of action. At the very least, a mobile responsive website works for a great majority of small businesses. With any of your digital marketing strategies, it is always important to keep in mind that with each touchpoint whether it be a mobile app, website, or social media page, that you are delivering your customers some real value.
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