Does your business have its own app, or are you dreaming of creating one? Whether you have the ability to develop it yourself or need to hire someone, it’s a very complex and often costly endeavor. In theory, the idea of having your own app is great. You get consumers engaged in your own proprietary interface where you have complete control over their experience. The opportunities of what you can do within your own app are endless, plus it’s just cool in general. Cool enough that many small businesses are investing in developing apps these days.
There are also instances where you may want an app for internal use only, to help your employees manage things like workflow, projects, reservations, budgets, scheduling, and so on. For the sake of clarity, I’m focusing on mobile apps that are created for your customers, rather than your employees.
A recent survey by The Manifest of 350 small businesses showed that 47% of businesses with more than 50 employees already had an app, and that 37% of those businesses invested between $25k and $100k to have their app developed.
So why are small businesses investing in developing apps?
Why Businesses Might Want Their Own App
You’re visible to your customers constantly. How many times each day does someone unlock their phone and view their screen? Every time they do, they’re seeing you. Making your way onto someone’s smartphone is a huge accomplishment and massive branding and recognition opportunity. You can use it as your own direct marketing channel. You have the power to include anything you want in your app, so it’s a great place for sales, specials, etc. You don’t want to become spammy, but there’s an opportunity for permission-based marketing within your own app.
You can give your clients endless value through your own app. From customer loyalty programs to app-specific benefits, you can really make it worth their while. Customer retention is a struggle for all businesses, and your own app can be used as a tool to provide continuous value.
You can use it to provide excellent customer service and keep the line of communication open. Having your own chat or messenger — which allows customers to connect with someone immediately — is just one of the ways you can use your app to engage with customers. Long-term, this will increase customer loyalty and engagement.
When you have your small business investing in developing apps, you will appear significantly cooler and more established than your competitors. Let’s face it — companies who have their own apps appear legitimate, successful, and current.
Questions To Ask Yourself Before Getting Started
If you’re seriously considering developing an app, there are some fundamental things you should consider first.
Why do you want one? What is the end goal? Do you want it to be for Android, iOS, or both? How much of an investment can you afford to make? Do you want to build it in-house, or hire a freelancer or contractor? What do you want the functionalities to be? What type of risk is involved? Will it be free, or paid?
If you can validate the cost of developing your own app, and have a clear purpose and goal in mind, it might be time to start seriously thinking about it. Pretty soon, you might in the minority of businesses who don’t have one.
Studies show that the average mobile user spends 85% of their usage time in apps, so it’s clear that’s today’s consumers prefer to use apps to carry out their daily activities. Having your business’s app on the smartphones of your customers would be a major win, wouldn’t it? You, too, can become one of the many small businesses are investing in developing apps. Contact us to find out more.
Post originally appeared on gojilabs.com.