Business Strategy

Does your business need a mobile app?

Mobile technology is a great way to grow your business. That being said, not every business will actually benefit from having a customer-facing mobile app. Apps are expensive, and it requires a good bit of work to support your users. Unless your business will see significant improvement, a custom mobile app for your customers isn’t the best decision. Here are a few questions to determine whether or not an app is the right fit for you.

Do you sell a product or a service?

If you sell a product, skip ahead to the next question. If you sell a service, instead of looking to a mobile app to sell your service, consider if your service can be delivered through a mobile app. Digital advertising and selling of a service to new clients will be best just through a responsive website that will ensure a good user experience. The prime opportunity with mobile is to deliver your service through a mobile app. Consumer service companies like Uber, Shyp, and Instacart all involve in-person service providers but have disrupted the existing industries by using mobile apps. Business services may require a different strategy, though. Complex services may simply not fit on a mobile screen or may not be applicable on mobile. Consider the specifics of your services before making a decision about a mobile app.

Do your customers buy your product on impulse or do they thoughtfully consider it?

Capitalizing on impulse buys is a great way to make money – just ask an umbrella salesman on a rainy day. But impulse buys – like a snack at the airport before takeoff – aren’t considered long before the transaction happens. Rather than considering which company to choose, customers are likely choosing color or flavor from a selection directly in front of them. If your business survives mainly on impulse buys, your customers are unlikely to ever search for your business in the App Store or have much use for your app if they did download it.

Purchases that are thoughtfully considered, though, could benefit greatly from a mobile app. Cars, computers, furniture, clothing and a number of other items are products that people are likely to browse either casually or seriously before intending to purchase. A mobile app gives your company full control over how your products are displayed to your potential clients and also gives you control over the customer experience. The wise alternative here is to have a responsive website so mobile users can have the best shopping experience no matter what device they are using to access your site.

Will your app add significant value to your customers’ experience with your brand?

Even if your business is a good fit for a mobile app, if the app can’t deliver anything of value, it’s a waste of money. An app that only delivers promotional information about your company doesn’t do anything for the user and gets quickly deleted. Be creative in your ideas, and don’t pursue development until you’re convinced you are offering your clients something unique and valuable. You know your customers best. What do they want and what do they need? Use your app to deliver that.

Is your revenue high enough to afford a mobile app?

While some can sneak by at a lower price point, most apps for existing businesses are complex systems involving multiple platforms that will cost at least $50,000 for design and development, with many projects hitting six digits. Only companies that can budget for expenses like this stand to make big gains from custom mobile apps. If your company can’t afford the development cost, then a custom mobile app isn’t a good business decision.

For companies that can afford it and are a good fit for a customer-facing mobile app, developing a custom app can be the single best decision the business has ever made. On the flip side, developing for the wrong reasons can be the most costly decision. Figure out how a mobile app will dramatically impact your business before jumping on the bandwagon of mobile development.

Is a customer-facing mobile app a good fit for your company? If so, let’s chat.

Check out the podcast to learn more about whether or not a mobile app is right for your business.


By Emily Hart