Does Your Business Need a Mobile App?
The effect of technology on nearly everyone’s life is undeniable. Tech’s ever-evolving nature made this possible and will continue to direct us into the future. Because no sector is left unimpacted, businesses must take every measure to ensure competitiveness in a massive mobile marketplace.
There is no question that mobile use continues to grow. The Digital 2022 Australia report verified the continued rise of mobile device use. On average, Australians use their mobile phones for upwards of three hours and 53 minutes daily.
Mobile apps get the bulk of attention from the 6.3 billion smartphone users now. In the past year, over 788 million app downloads took place. The Apple App Store’s 1.96 million apps that are available for download lag behind the 2.87 million apps available on the Google Play Store.
At a glance, these statistics point to the necessity of having a mobile app. However, weighing a few advantages and disadvantages of having a mobile app before committing is wise.
Five Big Advantages of Having a Mobile App
- Can be Used Offline – One huge advantage of mobile apps is that as long as you can access your cellular data, you can use mobile apps. If your customer is waiting to see their dentist or wants to order takeout from the car park at work, your mobile app will be at their service.
- Reach Customers Through Several Channels – When you add a mobile app, you have an additional way to serve your customers. Not everyone will download your app, but the same applies to shoppers visiting a physical location or your website.
- Help Customers Enjoy a More Personal Experience – According to Shopify, 71% of consumers expect their online shopping experiences to be personalised. Businesses will struggle to meet this expectation as third-party cookies become a thing of the past. However, mobile apps can still collect vital data to help individualise online experiences. This adds one more positive for mobile apps.
- Apps Can Provide Helpful Features – While a client can purchase the same merchandise from your website and your app, the app has the potential to provide a better user experience based on helpful features. For example, offering a GPS feature to help customers locate your brick-and-mortar location, provide augmented reality experiences, or options that make your app more inclusive.
- Convenience for Customers – Providing your customer with the chance to pop open an app and send flowers to mum or arrange dinner delivery the moment the idea hits is a significant advantage your business can gain from a mobile app.
Three Disadvantages of Having a Mobile App
- Not Every App Can Work Across Platforms – While some top-level app developers will create excellent cross-platform apps, you are in for a challenge trying to accomplish this on your own. It is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. IOS, Google, and Windows platforms all require different specifications from the apps they offer.
- The Cost to Make Your App Available – No matter where you want your app, there will be fees you must pay to Google, IOS, or any other platform host to have your app. Some companies charge users fees to offset this cost, an extremely unpopular option. Other companies choose to have ads run on their app. Once again, not popular with users, but it is less objectionable than charging to download.
- You Must Maintain Your App and Website – A mobile app for your business is not a one-and-done plan. You must update as the platforms evolve to ensure your app functions correctly. Additionally, your website must maintain its performance, as some customers will still prefer it over an app occasionally. Unless you have a team of professionals overseeing your digital marketing, you will be busy making sure all is well on the digital end of your company.
After considering the pros and cons of investing in a mobile app, you may want to ask yourself three key questions to help determine if you need a mobile app.
- Does your company make online sales?
The prospect of opening an app and completing a purchase with a few taps is quite attractive to people across all demographics. Additionally, your app’s presence on a customer’s smartphone is a constant advertisement to keep your company in mind and close at hand.
- Can you commit the time and resources necessary to maintain the app?
It is one thing to create an app, but many companies do not understand that an app needs regular updates, bug fixes, interface improvements, and other upkeep. Without these, your app will begin to fail your customers. In a customer’s mind, the app failing equals your failing.
- What are your competitors doing?
In business, keeping an eye on the competition is essential. When choosing to create an app, take time to see if your app will be competing against similar apps. See what is being offered and what is not. Look at it with a critical eye and note what you can do to make your app better.
Check out information from experts who share their experiences in case studies. This is an excellent way to get a ‘behind the scenes’ look at the difference the right developer can make when planning and executing a mobile app—for example, this case study by Origin Digital’s Business Intelligence Director, Adam Fitzgerald.
In my experience, I’ve seen many businesses use mobile apps to unlock access to a whole new pool of customers. A prime example of this is Bob’s Mowing. I worked with them to develop a mobile app for customers to book their preferred mowing times. Their customers’ response to this convenience was excellent. The result was a 36% increase in bookings over six months. It is easy to underestimate the impact something that appears so simple can have on your business. That’s where partnering with an authority with expertise can make all the difference.
We are well past the time to say the future of e-commerce is mobile because the present is already mobile. Users will continue to turn to mobile, and apps will likely surpass the predicted $935 billion in revenue. No matter your niche, to stay in business, you must continue to evolve to meet your customers’ needs. (In many instances, that evolving requires a mobile app.) At the same time, you need to stay a few steps ahead of the competition. This can feel overwhelming while keeping up with your regular business tasks.
Remember, you do not need to go it alone. At Origin Digital, we put our 15-plus years of experience to work for you. Our talented team is ready to create the mobile app you need to skyrocket your business. Additionally, we can manage your digital marketing, ensure your cyber security, offer IT support, and oversee a host of other facets of your business. We will free your time so you can focus on leading your company.