During 2021, it’s expected that 3.8 billion people will own a smartphone – a rapid rise of 52% in just five years – meaning over one in three mobile users have the capability to run apps on their devices.
Couple this with the continued astonishing rise of app use – downloads increased from just over 20 billion in 2016 to well over 30 billion in the first quarter of 2020 – and it’s clear they’re a popular way for users to interact with their mobile devices.
The Huge Popularity Of Apps
Extensive mobile app development means there are apps to cover just about anything: shopping, travel, keeping fit, gaming, entertainment and much more.
As of June 2020, Android users had a mammoth choice of over 2.9 million apps with on average 100,000 new ones being added each month while those using the Apple iOS platform had a massive 4.3 million apps to choose from although fewer (30,000) are being added each month currently compared to Android.
There are also many business-based apps covering areas such as productivity, planning and communication. Many of these are ‘generic’ apps by major names in their fields – for example those created by search giant Google – but certain mobile apps for business are created in a bespoke fashion specifically for individual companies and organisations by a mobile app development company.
Bespoke Mobile App Development for Business
Bespoke mobile app development is where an app is designed from the ground up usually by app development specialists based on the requirements of the business concerned. It may be an app for use by the business’s customers so helping with building and maintaining relationships, providing information and selling.
Other types of apps are business-centric and are used by the organisation’s staff and maybe contractors covering areas such as remote on-site reporting, project management, data provision, access to a staff portal and more.
Business app development has opened up a whole new world of functionality and productivity.
Should a Businesses Have Their Own App?
While the use of apps is ever-growing, there are aspects to consider before taking the plunge and finding suitable expertise by searching for ‘mobile app development London’ or similar:
Advantages with Apps
Staying ‘front of mind’ with customers – your app on someone’s home screen can help reinforce you as the answer to their needs when they require what you offer: especially if your app is helpful in other ways.
Ease of access – for the user, clicking your app is far quicker and easier than accessing yours or a competitor’s website even if they’ve bookmarked it.
Data capture – valuable data can be gathered from apps concerning use, activity and buying habits.
Communication – it’s easier to interact with your customers and prospects with an app including the immediacy of being able to attract their attention and maybe prompt action through, for example, push notifications.
Staff interaction – information can be passed quickly and easily to staff whether for those accessing an internal company portal or people working in remote locations.
Productivity – app-based interactions can streamline communications with staff and outside contractors. And then you can ditch labour intensive paper-based reporting.
Disadvantages with Apps
Lack of focus – Simply ‘having an app’ for the sake of it could prove counter-productive and a waste of financial resources: it’s vital to know exactly what you want your app to achieve and have a business case to support it.
Cost – naturally developing an app carries a price tag, but your app could boost your bottom line by improving productivity (if a business app) or (if a customer based app) enhancing customer engagement and increasing sales.
Also, working with an experienced mobile app development company means they can appraise you of what’s possible within your budget and develop your app accordingly.
Complicated – developing an app isn’t as easy as it may appear, but trusting in an experienced mobile apps for business expert will ensure much of the heavy lifting is done for you.
Updating – your app will require regular updates in line with revisions from platform providers such as Apple (iOS) and Google (Android). Again, companies providing mobile app development services know this and would put a package together incorporating ongoing updates.
As you can see above, all the potential disadvantages to having an app can be addressed by using the services of experts in developing mobile apps for business.
Costs of Building A Mobile App
It depends: an app can have as many or as few elements as the business requires so this will reflect in development costs.
Apps range from those functioning as basic information sources to fully featured types providing ecommerce facilities, so clearly costs will vary depending on the functionality of your app. You may consider ‘doing it yourself’ with an interface such as Microsoft Power Apps although help from a developer with these would pay off in the long run.
Will it be a multi-platform app so useable on Android, iOS, Windows and more or just a single platform? This will influence the price whether, for example, you search for ‘iOS development London’ or ‘Android app development London’ if you’re based in or within reach of the capital and are looking for mobile app development services.
What About Updating Your App?
Your mobile app development company can advise, but apps do require regular updates in line with mobile platform revisions. It’s also worth giving your app a periodic refresh.
Can A Mobile App Boost Business Growth?
As touched on above, your business focused app could improve productivity amongst your workforce so increasing your ultimate profits: for sales and revenue from customer-focused apps the same is true through increasing sales.
By keeping your business ‘front of mind’; making it easy to interact with you; reinforcing your brand and being able to gather useful usage and buying habits data your app can help drive sales and therefore growth.
Make the most of the benefits apps can potentially give your business by talking to an experienced mobile app development specialist.
What’s the key to effective business app use?
- Having a coherent mobile strategy is vital: just ‘having an app’ and hoping for quick gains isn’t the best approach – understand it’s a longer-term process.
- Your app should be carefully developed and tested by your audience and refined as necessary using reliable data and feedback.
- Choose one mobile platform you’d ideally like to focus on first.
How do you choose the best app developer?
Talk to the company and clearly outline your goals in developing a mobile strategy.
Ask if they have experience in your area of business and how they’d go about creating an app for you. Are you kept involved throughout the process? How is communication handled through the development stage? How is testing undertaken?
What functions should an app feature?
Be guided by your app developer: it’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting ‘all the bells and whistles’ but it may be counterproductive to have too much on your app. Your app expert understands how people interact with apps, what behaviours customers in your particular marketplace usually exhibit, and how best you can stimulate user engagement without putting people off.