Nowadays it is considered trendy to have a website, a mobile or a web app for your business, and, generally speaking, have an online presence. But it is not just trendy, in many cases, it is what the business needs.
However, not all companies need an app. In fact, we can safely say that some could do even without a website. But let’s look further into it.
Without a digital presence, you are nobody - This can be taken as a mantra in this era we live in, pretty much regardless of what sort of business you’re running. Companies need to work to improve their digital presence, and if they haven’t done enough so far, they often wonder what they could do in the future. What can they expect from companies that provide products and services that can help boost their digital image?
Here is one of the things we can say with a fair degree of certainty.
Your business needs to have a digital presence. It would be even better and, one could say preferable, to have a strong digital presence on mobile devices as well.
Here’s another thing though - not all businesses need an app, especially not a mobile app.
As a software development company, we could tell every business owner that they need an app, or that an app is necessary for you if you want to scale up your business. But we don’t want to do that, and we’ll tell you honestly that just because it is trendy to have an app, doesn’t mean that you’ll need one.
There are a few questions that can lead you to the answer of the question of whether you need an app or not.
- Do you have a website? If the answer is yes, is that website optimized for mobile? - Before you consider developing an app, it’s good to check your website first. As we already mentioned, this website needs to be mobile responsive, as many users nowadays access websites via their mobile devices. Not all businesses are aware of this and some still have websites that aren’t mobile-friendly. If that is the case with your business, you should definitely consider optimizing your website before spending a lot of money to build an app.
- Do your competitors have apps? - When deciding whether you should develop an app or not, you should find out which of your competitors have applications. It is good to compare against the most successful of your competitors. However, the fact that your competitors have an application doesn’t automatically mean that you should have one. Determine what you want to achieve by developing and offering that app - is it to generate income, increase productivity, improve brand awareness, or reduce costs. If these are your main business objectives, having an app could be your best option.
- Will your app solve a customer problem? - While it is true that many, or even most, businesses don’t need an app, there are a lot of projects where an app would be the best solution. Your app is supposed to have a wow effect on your customers; it should offer additional functionality and be more convenient than your mobile-optimized website. Before developing an app, think if your customers are facing some problems and how the app can help you solve them.
- Do you have a monetization strategy? - Before developing an app, just as with any other business project, you will need to have a monetization strategy. This strategy could play a huge role in the success of your business.
- Do you have the right development partner? - This can be a real challenge, especially if you aren’t tech-savvy. We did an article on choosing the right software development company, you may find it helpful.
If the answer to all or some of these questions is ‘No’, or even if you’re not really sure about the answer, perhaps you don’t need an app. But, if you answer yes to all these problems, particularly the first four, then perhaps it is the right time to build an app. But, before you start doing that you need to remember that you should have a strategic study and do a bit of marketing planning. And remember - always focus on the tangible benefits for your customers.