Google Play Store has more than 3.5 million apps and Apple has over 2.2 million. In other words, the market for mobile apps is huge, given that a majority of people consume information and buy various products via smartphones.
A mobile application can provide numerous benefits to your existing business such as increased engagement and customer loyalty. Thus, catering to your audience via a mobile app might be a smart move.
There can be various reasons to build a mobile app for use within your existing organization. Mobile application helps in brand awareness, online sales, and easy access to services.
What can mobile apps change for you and your business internally, and why might you need a custom software solution?
Some of the reasons could be:
These could be key considerations that inform the development of a mobile app for your internal team.
There are multiple benefits of having a mobile application to promote your business and facilitate customer engagement. The following are some of the key advantages provided by a mobile app:
Now, before you commit to building an app for your business, you should answer some of the following questions to gauge the need for an app.
While deciding whether to develop an app for your business, it is wise to examine your competitors. Are they currently offering an app to their customers? If yes, check out the statistics such as downloads and ratings from the relevant app stores. Acquiring this information will give you a clear understanding of the app's popularity within your business sector, and an insight into whether your customers are looking for a mobile app.
You need to ask yourself, what new functionality will the app bring to your business that the mobile version of your site cannot? Moreover, what ideas do you have to make it a delightful user experience? Does your product or service require features like access to a smartphone GPS system, camera, or touch screen, which a web application cannot support?
An app could be a good idea for your business and might bring new features that even a well-designed responsive mobile site cannot provide. But before you get started, you need to consider the budget that will be invested in building the app and how much return you can expect from it.
Especially if you’re working on a startup budget, ask yourself if an app with a high price tag (and a big drain on your time and energy) will translate into immediate earnings, or whether it's more of a nice-to-have.
If you are investing a hefty amount of time, energy, and money in building a mobile application for your business, you need to make sure that it delights your customer in a way that they couldn't otherwise get from using your website or other engagement models.
If the answers to these questions indicate that a mobile app is the right choice for you, then you're ready to think about mobile app development on a more detailed level.
There are many advantages of mobile apps over websites, such as:
The very first step in the mobile app development process is to define your business goals. Next, you need to list down the challenges and the possible business opportunities that your mobile app can provide. Some of the high priorities that you can think of including in your app could be:
The cost to develop an app can be anywhere between $5000 to $50,000 (or higher) depending on the functionality required for your business.
Below are some of the most common issues that will impact the cost of your mobile application:
The following table provides average hourly rates for developers:
Here are some sample feature development costs (approximate) for your mobile application.
Developing native apps on two platforms–usually Android and iOS–equates to 2x the cost to develop an app. Making the same app cross-platform from the start costs 1.5x, which leads to a 25% cost reduction. Thus, you must make your decision wisely.
The general process to build a simple app includes the following stages:
It's recommended to make certain preparations before commencing an app build. Here are a few best practices for planning mobile app development.
Before getting started, you need to define your goals clearly and note them down. You should also identify specifically how this app will help you meet your goals.
You must also conduct intensive research into your business goals to see if they match your customers' expectations. This will help you establish the right market gap fit for your app.
You need to finalize your app development budget carefully. The timeline goes hand-in-hand with the budget. For the best estimate, you need to talk to the app's developer(s) to understand the cost of your app and how long it will take to complete it.
If your budget is limited, stick to the core functionalities for the app and focus on any supplementary features later. If you require a quick turnaround, your developer may need to charge more to make everything happen in a limited amount of time.
You need to decide whether your business requires an app on iOS, Android, or both. Initially, most businesses make the mistake of developing an app on a single operating system because that sounds more affordable. But if you decide to expand to another operating system, you would need to develop a completely new app that will cost you much more in the long run. Thus, making the decision sooner could be advantageous to you, as you can opt for RAD Stack development to create a hybrid application.
Security should be a consideration from the start due to the fact that cybercriminals are finding new ways to exploit app vulnerabilities and steal data. Your users should be able to trust the safety of your app, as a security breach could have a major impact on your business’s reputation and legacy.
We have already discussed the benefits of having a mobile app over a website or web app. Now, let’s review a few benchmarks that you can track to understand whether you're getting enough value out of your app.
1. With social integration, users tend to share more posts and event-related information on social media handles, which provides marketing for the brand itself and helps users interact with your app.
2. Having an app that has visibility on various operating systems such as iOS and Android helps engage more users. You'll want to see downloads on both platforms to justify the expense of development.
3. An app also increases your brand credibility among your customers, as majority of the customers prefer using an app for their work rather than searching on the web. You should see revenues that are directly attributable to user behavior in the app.
Though you might not be able to predict the exact profitability of building an app, the above points can help you gauge whether an app makes sense for your business.
A mobile app isn't necessary for every business, but it can help you improve your internal operations or reach your customers in a new way.
If you're interested in building a mobile app for iOS or Android, Crowdbotics is here to help. Our expert team of developers and product managers can help you plan and build your application on time and within your budget. To discuss how you can get started on your mobile application build, get in touch with us today.
November 10, 2020