Does Your Business Really Need a Mobile App?

Have you ever pulled up a company webpage on a smartphone and immediately been asked if you’d rather load the content on the company’s app? It seems like businesses of all sizes have gone app crazy over the last several years. Google Play currently hosts 2.6 million apps and the App Store is not far behind with 2.1 million.

Many small businesses may fear falling behind on this ubiquitous form of customer interaction, but does your company really need to have an app? In an article for Entrepreneur, Thomas Smale discusses several factors to consider when deciding whether or not to spend the time and money to develop a mobile app.

Is Your Website Optimized for Mobile?

The majority of internet traffic now comes from mobile. An initial question you should ask yourself before going down the app route is how well your website performs on mobile devices. Optimizing your site for mobile could gain you many of the same benefits as having an app.

Can You Offer Value-Add, App-Based Features?

Some apps utilize features of a smartphone to enhance the customer experience. Smale gives MapMy and MyFitnessPal, sponsored by Under Armor, as examples. These apps use smartphone features like the camera and accelerometer to provide features not possible on a PC.

Would an App Boost Your Marketing?

Would having an app on your customers’ smartphone backgrounds help boost your brand? Do you use user-generated content in your marketing? Do you have a customer loyalty program? Smale points to all of these as factors that might make an app a good choice for your business.

What Are Your Competitors Doing?

It’s easy to take a look at the app market and see what your competitors are doing. Check the two app stores mentioned above and look for your competition. You can also see the number of downloads and user reviews.

Many companies find their mobile apps to be an essential part of their business; however, there isn’t necessarily anything magical about a mobile app, and not all apps are created equally. For an app to truly benefit your business and justify the time and money to create and maintain it, you should have a definite purpose and goals in mind and be willing to dedicate resources to it on an ongoing basis.

 

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Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We work with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content. Whether on- or offline, or both, we’ll help you achieve desired results.

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

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