Should Your Business Invest in a Mobile App?

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Do you know mobile devices accounting for over 50% of Internet use? That’s a pretty telling figure: you either go mobile now or risk becoming and irrelevant in the near future.

For many businesses, developing a smartphone app is the most obvious step in their marketing strategy. Apps are relatively easy to develop and the costs can be scaled depending on the functionality you want.

The reality is that app marketplaces are getting more crowded every day. With so many options and such limited space on users’ phones, an app really has to stand out to create a viable install base. If you app isn’t picked up by enough people, the investment goes to waste and the marketing strategy fails.

So this begs the question: Does your business really need a mobile app? The following list of guide questions will help you answer this key question.

1. Do you have a target audience that embraces mobile?

Before you start developing a mobile app, you have to check two things:

  • Has your audience adapted to mobile Internet use?
  • Can your desired functionality be supported on mobile devices?

If the answer to both questions is yes, go right ahead and develop the app. If the answer is no, it’s not a deal breaker. 

2. What are your competitors doing?

It’s important to find out which competitors already have apps and do an analysis of what they are doing, how much success they are having with it and how you can get an edge over them.

If you don’t see competitors offering apps, that is not a reason to delay or stop developing a mobile app. You consider it as an opportunity to beat everyone and be the first to have first-hand data on how your audience behaves within the mobile space. 

3. Do you sell online?

Smartphone users are increasingly starting to see the value of being able to make online purchases on the go. If you are have an e-commerce website, that’s a good thing.

Having an app grants you more flexibility in the kind of user experience that you want to deliver. Whether you are developing apps natively or hybrid app, you will have total control of the buying experience.

Having an ecommerce app also acts as a form of advertising within a user’s phone. This is because it is constantly there, its icon remains visible and keep your brand on your top of your users’ mind.

4. Can you support the app in the long run?

A lot of businesses commit to building an app but not all of them commit to maintaining it. Mobile apps need to be updated regularly to fix bugs, improve the interface and add new functionalities in response to the evolving mobile marketing space. If you are in the planning stages of creating a business app, make sure that you have adequate resources to maintain your app over time.