Mobile apps have revolutionised how we live, organise and track our lives. The average smartphone user now has 35 different apps on their device, showing not just the variety of different apps out there, but also the average consumer's reliance on mobile technology.
So, if apps are a key part of the digital economy, does your business need to invest in one? And, if you do, what are the core benefits of this branded app likely to be?
Weighing up the benefits of a branded app
Apps offer us convenience - that's their main purpose. They help us plan our day, search for information, keep ourselves entertained or make purchases straight from our phone.
57% of shoppers prefer mobile apps to other channels, according to recent research. From a business perspective, this makes a branded app an extremely immediate way to engage with, sell to and interact with your core customer base. You can quickly convert an audience, track their habits and send out notifications straight to the customer's phone.
But the real question here is a simple one: 'Do you really NEED an app?'
Here are some questions to consider:
- Do you have a clear idea of what your app would do? Your app needs to have a very clear purpose and reason for being. It's important to know exactly what your core audience will get from downloading and using the app. Can customers buy your products or services directly via the app? Are there additional services or perks that are exclusive to app users? Are there helpful tools or calculators on offer?
- Do you have the funds to develop the app? Developing your own bespoke app is not a cheap thing to do. You're looking at development costs of £'000s depending on the complexity of the app and whether you want the whole process to live on mobile. For most small businesses, finding this kind of cash won't be easy, so developing an app needs to be a key part of your growth strategy and something that can be funded from your existing growth budget.
- Do you know how you'd market the app? There are millions of apps available through the existing Apple and Google app stores, so making your brand-new app stand out in these incredibly busy marketplaces is going to require some serious marketing. You can obviously promote the app to your existing customer base, but how will you engage new prospects and warm targets? And what are the best marketing channels to use when it comes to raising awareness and converting this into engaged app users?
- Could the app open up new markets? If your app offers enhanced services and features, or helps you pivot into a new sector, it does have the potential to generate new markets, new revenues and greater financial stability for the business. By investing wisely in a well-thought-out app, you can increase your audience, futureproof your business model and create improved income for the company. But to do this, you have to do enough research, homework and development to guarantee a successful launch.
Talk to us about your app plans
Having a shiny new app with your company's name and branding all over it does sound like an enticing prospect. But, ultimately, this app needs to stand on its own merits and provide some meaningful value - both to your customers and to the business as a whole.
If you're unsure about the strategic, operational or financial implications of investing in the development of an app, please do talk to us. We can help you review your financial position, look over your strategic plan before you engage a developer.