6 Reasons Why You Should Launch a Mobile App for Your Business -- and 3 Reasons Why You Shouldn't
Mobile is the next great digital frontier, but is your business truly ready to reap its benefits?
Research has shown that the enterprise mobile app market is expected to grow to $63 billion by 2020. In 2016, the average number of apps created by businesses was 11, a 126 percent increase on the number created.
The case for creating mobile apps for business is strong, but like anything, there are good and bad ways to go about it. We know now that 23 percent of all apps are used only once but also that 39 percent of apps are used 11 times or more. Timing and circumstance will strongly determine on which side of the statistics your apps will be.
Here are six great reasons why you should launch a mobile app for your business:
1. You have a business problem to solve or an optimization to make.
The most successful apps aren't created because businesses had a channel to fill, but because there was an opportunity to optimize a process.
If this is your company's first app, the key is to not overthink what it needs to do: Apps are best when they serve a single purpose. You don't need an app that does everything or has an eternal lifespan, but instead you must identify a short- or long-term purpose and determine how best to get there.
Check out these three examples of business problems solved by apps:
- The problem: The company is growing fast and we need to keep employees connected. The solution: A staff directory app with messaging.
- The problem: Email newsletters/blogs aren't getting enough readership. The solution: A topic-specific app that alerts users when there's new content relevant to them.
- The problem: Customers complain that you could be more innovative. The solution: A customer support app where they can access their information and get in touch with the company instantly.
2. You know your audience would love an app.
Does your audience look anything like this?
- Tech savvy
- Check their phone often
- Love your content, often ask you for more
- Demand seasonal offers/event invitations/time-limited/loyalty opportunities
- Want above-and-beyond customer service from you
- Bonus: Are already using the competition's app(s)
If it does, then your audience is a perfect fit for an app.
3. You know exactly what will keep your audience coming back to the app.
If you have an app idea and know exactly what will keep people coming back, you've won half the battle. Build that app immediately.
If not, be warned: Even if you have a great use case for your app, it can still fail to retain users if it's not engaging enough. What will make your app so special and why would someone come back to it?
Consider this: A large business implemented an internal communications app with news, announcements and, secondarily, the company cafeteria's menu for the day. It turns out that the menu was the feature that kept the most people coming back. The company did the clever thing and adjusted the app to show snapshots of internal news at the bottom of the menu, which increased engagement.
4. You want to be seen as innovative and cutting-edge.
Very few things say "innovative" louder than companies going "mobile-first". Using apps shows that your business is willing to innovate, rather than stick with the norm.
For example, your clients would probably be impressed if you started using tablets for meetings. They might expect you to use PowerPoint or printed materials, so they would notice if you take a fresher approach.
In fact, many companies use apps more for the wow factor than because they have perfect app use cases. And, there's nothing wrong with that at all. No company can adopt a new technology and use it perfectly from the outset. Getting used to the channel is part of figuring it out and getting great at it.
5. Your competition is getting ahead of you with apps.
Nothing springs innovation faster than the competition adopting new technologies. The more the technology grows, the more you're going to get questions and requests from stakeholders. It might sound obvious, but most people in large companies strongly believe that enterprise mobile apps drive competitive advantage.
So, if your reason for launching apps is that "others are doing it," we can confirm that's a good reason indeed. No one wants to be the laggard, do they?
With apps, it's an easy win: They are no longer the cost and time sucking format that they used to be. If your competitors are doing it, chances are you can quickly replicate it using a low/no code platform.
6. You're borrowing an app idea from the competition and improving on it.
Following up from before, if you want to jump on the app bandwagon because your competition is all over it, and you have a great idea for differentiating your app, then you should go right ahead. You might have a zero-to-hero kind of situation in your hands.
Now, here are three reasons why you shouldn't launch an app:
1. You don't have a way of making updates to your app quickly and easily.
Inevitably, you'll have to update your mobile app after you launch it. If you are thinking of using freelance or contractor developers or a digital agency to build you app(s), ask about the costs and times involved in a few update scenarios before you appoint them.
With an app building platform, you may be able to bypass this issue altogether, as you might be able to edit and update your app instantly via the platform.
2. You think this will be your company's first and last app.
Creating your first app is great, but if you're thinking this is the only one you'll ever need, then you might be expecting too much from it. Apps are most effective when they focus on a specific aspect of a business and use only one or two key features at once; that's why the average company built 10.2 apps last year.
Because of that, businesses need to make arrangements for the management of multiple apps to cover a variety of business purposes and topics. You might not need this at the beginning if you're just building your first app, but the earlier you do so, the better.
3. You don't have resource in place internally to take care of the app.
If you don't have the right resources in place to to launch and scale an app across your organiz ation then the new app may well be on a road to failure before you've even begun. Figuring out how to launch mobile apps across your organization can include tasks such as:
- Finding advocates for the new technology
- Determining whether it will integrate with existing systems
- Scaling app initiatives
- Maintaining app content
Hopefully, the reasons I've outlined above help identify when and why you should consider create an enterprise app. Likewise, they should have highlighted when it may not be ideal to launch an app for your business.Find out more about how an online app builder is the most time and cost efficient method of creating mobile apps for your business here.
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