Almost every business has an app these days. Apps, both native and progressive web apps, are now used to deliver a better user experience. Apps are no longer limited to selling products and services either. Loyalty programs, customer service, and other business functions can now be made more pleasant for the users with the help of an app.
Despite the lower entry barrier to developing an app for your business, the decision to create an app still needs to be taken seriously. You are not only deciding to build an app, but also making a long-term commitment to maintaining and updating the app. Before you make that decision, here are the five things you need to know about developing an app for your small business.
1. Not Always Native
We often think of native apps – apps developed directly for a particular operating system – when talking about apps in general, but native apps aren’t the only solution to delivering a better user experience to your customers. Over the years, web technology, progressive web apps, and hybrid apps have become equally capable of good UX.
In fact, progressive web apps are often seen as more efficient in terms of development time and cost. When the features you want to deliver are supported by progressive web app frameworks, going this route could be the better way to go. Besides, you only need to develop once and can deploy the app to multiple platforms and operating systems.
2. Not Always In-House
The next thing to understand about app development is the fact that you don’t always have to develop it yourself. Thanks to third-party development companies, the whole process of designing and developing a mobile app for your small business can be outsourced, leaving you with more important tasks such as marketing the app.
Appetiser is one of the leading names in this field. You can turn to Appetiser app development services if you need help developing an app for your small business. The company assists businesses in crafting an app concept that works, developing the actual app, and maintaining the app to keep users happy and satisfied.
3. Value Is (Still) Important
Just because you are interested in developing an app for your small business, doesn’t mean you should have an app for the sake of having one. The app needs to deliver real value to its users; spend some time figuring out the best values to deliver before moving forward with your app development project. Value is what keeps users engaged once the app is launched.
Here’s a good example: an app for promotional offers. Yes, you can develop an app exclusively for delivering promotional offers, but the same offers can be delivered through newsletters or your social media accounts. To make the app valuable, you need to add more value. Adding a loyalty program and extra rewards for members could be the solution you need.
4. Market the App
If you think the app will market itself because you already have a large customer base, think again. While the app is a great marketing tool for your business, it is still necessary to direct exposure – traffic – to the app. This way, you are also attracting a wider audience and gaining the opportunity to convert them into customers.
App marketing isn’t as complex as you think, but it is a necessary element of the process. You can gain traction early by investing in ads or blasting the launch of the app through your digital channels. You can also utilise conventional marketing instruments like offline-to-online marketing to further expand your reach and make the app itself more engaging.
5. It’s USER Experience
One last thing to understand about developing an app is the importance of user experience. Yes, USER experience. Not the owner experience, but user experience. It is tempting to develop an app that suits you and to look at the design and functionality of the app only from your perspective. You are, after all, the owner of the business, right?
Unfortunately, unless you happen to be in the same category as your target market, this approach will only cause the app to fail. Do proper UX research, make the effort to understand your target users, and develop the app to please that audience segment. Don’t be afraid to go into detail when crafting the UX of your app too.
Naturally, working with an experienced team of developers like Appetiser helps streamline this process. The development team will handle everything from doing UX research, gathering information about the target audience, and designing an app that really puts users first while you worry about getting the app to your customers in an effective way.
With these five things in mind, deciding whether to develop an app for your small business – and following through with that decision – will be easier. As long as you consider all the factors, you will end up with an app that benefits both the users and your business.