No, Your Business Does Not Need an App
It’s no secret that smartphone apps have changed the world. Businesses have thrived through the introduction of a mobile app, and some businesses like Snapchat exist entirely through their mobile app platform. But when is creating an app a bad idea?
When considering creating an app for your business, there are two big questions that need to be asked: “What are you trying to achieve with this app?” and “How will this app add value to your business?”
If your answer to the first question is to share information about your business, then you probably shouldn’t develop your own app. Many times, a better alternative to developing a mobile app is to optimize your business’s website for mobile users. The first place people will look for your business is not the App Store, but through a Google search. Placing content on your website will help users find your business through search and make it easier for people to share your business on social media.
If your app idea is for internal use for your employees, try searching to see if such an app already exists. Some of these services may cost money, but it’s important to remember that in-house app development can be expensive and time consuming. And when an app is released, that still isn’t the end of development. No matter how skilled your app development team is, you will encounter bugs and glitches. And sometimes a design choice just didn’t work. Or maybe it could be beneficial to add a new feature? And with iOS and Android releasing yearly software updates, your app would need to be updated as well. So don’t be afraid to take advantage of a service that has already been developed and maintained by a dedicated team.
If your goal is for clients or customers to interact with your business through an app, consider if the same goal can be achieved through your own website or social media pages. The need to download an app will always be a barrier to reaching clients and customers. Rather than convincing your entire customer base to download and use your app, adding some of your app’s functionalities within your business’s website and social media can allow your customers to access functions through a platform that has a low barrier-for-entry.
If you’ve made it this far and are still convinced your business needs an app, well…you may be right. There are definitely times when your business can benefit from an app. If you have a unique concept that allows your employees to work faster and more efficiently or believe an app can make it easier for your customers to buy your products or use your services, take the time to fully flesh out your app idea. Remember to limit your expectations of what an app can achieve. An app is not the solution to any digital problem, and an app doesn’t need to do everything. Have a concrete idea of what your app’s main use will be and what problem it will achieve.
The ideas for an app can be endless, but the risk and cost to develop can easily snowball to be more than is worth the effort. So before you jump on the mobile app bandwagon, consult your IT team on your idea first before making a final decision. They could lead you in a more efficient and cost-effective direction to implementing your idea or solving your problem.
Brady Sklenar is a Digital Integration Specialist at 898 Marketing. Brady implements web, search engine optimization, coding, and content strategies throughout various internet and social media channels for 898 Marketing and its clients. Brady is a Canfield, Ohio native, and a graduate of Youngstown State University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems.