Does your business need a mobile app?

These days, it seems like there is an app for anything — with new ones arriving every day. Eventually, the proliferation of applications leads to one inescapable question: Do we really need all of these apps? And more importantly, does my business need an app?

The answer to that question depends on who you ask. On the one hand, you have those who think there are plenty of apps, and that there is no reason for a business to develop its own proprietary app, especially if they already have a mobile-friendly website. However, those voices are quickly being drowned out by others saying that businesses that want to remain competitive need their own mobile apps. The ability for customers to interact with your business through an app is unmatched, they claim, and the ability to collect data via an app is invaluable to your business.

Still, because developing an app can be a challenge, even when you work with top mobile app development companies in NYC, it’s important to spend some time thinking about why you want an app and what it will do before you begin the development process. In some cases, though, it may be obvious that you need an app and need to get started right away.


The Top Signs That You Need an App

So what are the signs you need an app sooner rather than later?

  1. You need to interact with your customers more efficiently. How easy is it for customers to contact you? If you’re offering a coupon or a special, how can they find it? Mobile apps take up at least half the time that smartphone users are on their devices, so make it easy for them to interact with you without having to type in your website, constantly zoom in, etc.
  2. You want to change your marketing approach. Apps are vital to marketing. From sending push notifications to customers to announce new promotions to tools that help them easily share information about your business, apps have become a vital tool in the marketing arsenal.
  3. You have an outside sales force.Not all apps have to be customer-focused.If a significant portion of your staff works outside of the office, an employee-directed app can go a long way toward improving their productivity. An app allows them to send and receive information from the office, track inventory in real time, and submit orders from the field, without having to get back to a computer. Imagine how much more efficient your sales force will be with all of that information at their fingertips.
  4. You need to collect more data. Business today runs on data — the more you know about your customers and how they interact with your brand, the more efficient and competitive you can be. An app allows you to collect more data about your customers, showing you more about what they are looking for and what they like about your business, all information you can use to remain relevant.
  5. You want to build engagement. Apps can do more than provide information, allow customers to shop and pay, or link them to your business. Apps can help establish your brand and build engagement. For example, what if you offered digital photo frames and stickers that your customers can add to their snapshots, which they then share with their friends? Or access to blogs, videos, and other content? When you have fun and think beyond strict functionality, your app can be a powerful branding and engagement tool.


What Makes an App Useful?

Deciding that you need an app for your business is only the step. To really be successful, you need to create an app that is useful to your audience, and one that they want to use. We’ve all downloaded duds that aren’t nearly as cool as they sound, so it’s important to consider what will make your app useful to your audience before you begin the development process. You want them to download the app and then continue using it.

To begin this process, consider your goals for the app. What are you trying to accomplish? Are you trying to increase sales, or boost engagement? The answer to that question will help drive the design. However, you need to also consider what your audience wants. What’s going to make them not only download, but use your app? You need to do your homework, find out what people want, and let that guide your development.

The fact is, not every business truly needs an app. But for the majority of businesses, an app can be a useful tool. If you pay attention to the signs, and what you need from an app, you will be able to create one that meets everyone’s needs.

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