As of 2018, the average internet user spends up to 5 hours everyday on their mobile devices (surprisingly even more if you are a tech addicted millennial). Combine that with the fact that more than 60% of people worldwide own a mobile phone and you have a compelling case for building a mobile app for your own business.

However, there’s a flip side to the app story. There are more than 3 million apps available on the Google Play Store alone. That’s a lot of competition. Furthermore, almost a quarter of mobile owners use an app just once and almost 80% abandon an app three months after installing it, which is a very high abandonment rate.

Considering that developing and maintaining an app is still more expensive than maintaining a mobile-friendly website, it pays to have a very strong reason for building a mobile app for your business. But, you must first ask yourself the fundamental question: Will your business benefit from an app?

When should you be investing in a Mobile App

Are a smartphone’s native features critical to your mobile app? For instance, does your mobile app’s functionality utilise a mobile device’s GPS? Or for that matter, is your mobile app offering a functionality that cannot be replicated on a optimised website?

Let’s take the case of fast-food delivery businesses to help drive home the point. User interface on a mobile website can get a little clumsy, thanks to the overloading of ideas and multiple redesigns. Thus, looking for the right cuisine or finding restaurants that you want to order from can get a little tiresome on a mobile website. There’s only so much optimisation you can do when on the platform. Most importantly, every time you need to order food, you need to login to your account and enter in billing details, which means inputting personal and sensitive information on a website platform can often be irritating, especially with passwords. You are able to save your passwords, but that poses a security and mobile fraud risk to your personal data.

In the case of fast-food delivery businesses, a mobile app makes perfect sense and can help benefit that industry. Mobile apps helps avoid the problem of information intake as they can seamlessly use a mobile device’s GPS to pick up the geographic location, which offers a better user experience overall. In general, content-based businesses, especially the ones that rely on user-generated content are also prime contenders for a mobile app. A business that specialises on product-based content can use this to their advantage as they can promote, offer descriptions and show users previews of their products directly to the user’s smartphone in a fun and engaging way.

When you shouldn’t be investing in a Mobile App

Whilst a content-based business with products would benefit with a mobile app, this isn’t always the case for other businesses. If you are in a business industry where a mobile app cannot offer a drastically improved user experience or functionality that cannot be replicated in a web browser, then it isn’t extremely necessary to need an app. If you are in the construction or house painting business, for instance, you don’t need an app. The same goes for wedding planners, and even hotels, unless the latter is offering much more enticing content than just booking functionalities through an app. 

Considering that developing and maintaining an app is still more expensive than maintaining a mobile-friendly website, it pays to have a very strong reason for building a mobile app for your business.Click To Tweet

Questions to ask before investing in an App

If you are confused about whether your business needs to build a mobile app or not, here are some key questions we believe you should be asking yourself to help give you more clarity:

1. Does your competition have a mobile app?

In case it does, find out their usage statistics. If they are considerably low, you should probably stay away.

2. What is the problem that you are solving?

Your mobile app should be solving a problem that cannot be addressed in a web browser. For instance, if you are a paint company, you can allow people to build their dream room in a web browser. You don’t necessarily need a dedicated mobile app for that purpose.

3. Do you rely on repeat customers online?

If a large part of your sales happen online and a majority of your users are repeat customers, building a mobile app makes sense. You can easily retain customer data without security risks, thus bypassing the need to input information, such as billing and card details. This also improves the user’s confidence in trusting your business with secure practices put into place.

Final thoughts

If you are a small-business owner who answered the majority of these questions as a yes, then it may be of interest to build a dedicated mobile app for your business. But, it’s important to recognise that just building an app is not enough. You should ensure that you also focus on providing user’s with tangible benefits and, you should provide unique ways to help engage your audience. If you would like to kickstart your app idea, Talk To Us and we can advise provide you the essential steps to kickstart your mobile app!

Tyrell Bibbiani

Tyrell Bibbiani

Social Media Marketeer

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