Hop onto the App Store or Marketplace or wherever you go for downloads, and you will see countless applications available, a majority of which you have never heard of or probably will never consider using. Some of these apps are more generic than others, and the rest are far too niche for you to ever consider downloading and using on a day to day basis. A huge portion of these mobile apps that are now flooding into download centers are being designed by smaller businesses because they all were pitched the half-baked idea that the only way to compete for better business here in the digital age is to have your very own mobile app.
The most common defense to “Why doesn’t your small business have its own app yet?” is “Because we have a mobile friendly website”. This answer is not by any means incorrect, considering that a large portion of the apps available on the app store are just flashier versions of mobile-friendly websites. The debate going around the small business world today is whether or not your business really needs an app. What needs to be considered here is the why behind the app development, rather than the what.
Why do you want an app that represents your small business? Is it just because you want to have bragging rights that you have one of your own, or do you really think your business can be grown and made that much more efficient and useful to customers through an engaging mobile application? If you want to have an app that just checks a box and serves as nothing more than a shortcut to your company’s website, then save your time and money and skip the app building project. Your money is best spent elsewhere.
Your small business can grow exponentially with a sleek and solid app because in a time where we turn to our mobile phones for anything and everything, having your business stand front and center and at the ready is something users and downloaders are always on the lookout for –all of which starts with a genuinely helpful app. Make your app genuinely worthwhile for users to not only download, but reopen again and again. The more helpful the app is, the more downloads you receive, which means that much more attention and business for your company.
Convincing users to download the app is one thing, but keeping them from deleting it after a first use is another. Make the app engaging, as well as able to offer more than what could normally be accessible on your full website alone. Create incentives for the users to continue using the app by using it as a platform for exclusive content, or give it interactive capabilities that use their personally applicable information. Whatever you put into the app, the purpose of the application should be to help your customers be further engaged in what your small business has to offer them. If that is not the goal of your app, then consider placing your time, energy, and funds elsewhere.
The marketplace is already filled with half-baked apps and placeholders. While a sleek looking app may sound appealing, it can be very expensive to put together, but if it is genuinely well done, then the return that can be expected is well worth the investment. Paying to have an app put together that is nothing more than a mobile version of your website is a money drain, and something to avoid.
So don’t waste your time and money on an app that is nothing more than a shinier version of your website: make it engaging, make it unique, and provide more for your users –or just save your money and keep updating your already existing website.