Mobile applications for business: the principles and nuances of development
What’s better: to try to create a mobile app for business on your own or turn to a professional web studio? Each option is good in its own way, depending on the purpose and further use of the product.
Today about 85% of users prefer mobile apps over websites. You can try to create it for free as a test version to evaluate the productivity or turn to a qualified web development company to get an effective tool for interacting with your audience through tablets and smartphones. A mobile app is a direct channel of communication with a loyal consumer. To maintain this connection and retain customers, all you have to do is maintain the right functionality and provide people with relevant content.
Benefits of a mobile app for business
Of course, mobile apps aren’t necessary for everyone. But in certain niches, they will be useful and will help businesses get more customers, increase loyalty and sales. How a mobile app for business is useful:
- Increases sales by attracting and retaining target customers. Various loyalty programs, push notifications about promotions and discounts motivate customers to buy goods and services. It is the most affordable advertising.
- Helps to set yourself apart from your competitors. Competition in the business app environment is negligible. Most use websites, communities, newsletters, various advertisements. Few can boast of having a product on Google Play and App Store.
- Increases loyalty. Special gift and bonus programs stimulate repeat sales and sales growth. According to Criteo research, apps make 63% of all mobile sales.
- Builds a positive brand image and customer trust. When customers get used to receiving useful and relevant content, they start to expect it and sympathize with the company more and more.
- Links the site to the app. This contributes to the success of the business. When a user finds the site through search and goes to the app, the company begins a closer and more personalized relationship with them. For the business owner, this is a double benefit.
The mobile app user accesses products faster and interacts more closely with the store anywhere, anytime. At the same time, an application increases the frequency of purchases and ensures full awareness of great deals and closed sales.
Mobile app development steps
Target market analysis
Here the owner determines for himself why he needs the app for business, what purposes it will serve, and how it will be used in interaction with consumers. The entrepreneur studies his competitors. Marketers have to visit a lot of Internet resources to collect data about potential customers. To stay invisible or avoid being blocked, they use reliable proxy servers.
Preparation of the terms of reference
The customer and the developer agree on all the details of the future product. This stage involves prototyping and preparing user profiles to evaluate the finished program. The development of tasks for the designer and an assessment of profitability take place.
Preliminary cost estimation
Many factors affect the cost of the final product:
- the complexity of the future application;
- time consumption;
- scope and reputation of the agency;
- type and number of working platforms;
- further support, and much more.
The program model can be interactive or static. At this stage, the analyst thinks through the logic of the application. He defines the role of the user, taking into account the characteristics of the target audience and the tasks set for the product. After making edits, if necessary, and approving the prototype, the designer takes over the project.
A pilot project of a mobile application is released. If the program is complicated, it is reasonable to launch MVP first – the minimum viable product – to check how users react. If necessary, an API service is created for data exchange between the program and the server.
It is performed on simulators or on real devices. At this stage, you need to make sure that the product corresponds to the desired model. It is important to check that it works correctly with the appropriate hardware and software platform.
To publish the program for sale, the owner needs to create accounts in the App Store and Google Play Market.
Things to consider when developing a mobile app for business
- The cost of developing mobile apps is much higher compared to creating a website or web app. It’s important to calculate the return on your product so you don’t end up at a huge disadvantage.
- A business app is an investment aimed at the future. The market for mobile devices is rapidly evolving, and it is important to keep up with them to hold your position.
- On average, there are about 25 apps installed on each mobile device. About a third are messengers, social networks, and email services. The rest are various programs, including yours, games, and competitors’ apps. People don’t fill their phone’s memory with useless stuff. The product must be of high quality and useful to win the consumer’s trust and its place in the device’s memory.
Recently, e-commerce is rapidly moving to the mobile plane, but there are still few competitors in this environment. This is a great chance for companies to stand out among each other.