Your Business: Do You Need an App for That?

In the world of online marketing, whenever the next big thing comes out, often times you hear that you have to jump on that bandwagon if you want your business to succeed. We’ve heard that every business needs to be on Facebook and Twitter. But the fact is, that there are some businesses that will not get much out of social media.

With the rise of smartphones and tablets, we are told that mobile is the next big thing. This is true. People are using their desktops less to browse the web, and their gadgets more. Reports indicate that mobile devices account for around 20% of all web traffic in the US and Canada. This will only increase in the coming years.

But what about apps? I had a client recently call me and ask if I built mobile apps because someone told her that every business needed to have an app. I had to disagree with this statement.

Think about it. Would you download an app onto your phone for every business that you deal with? The phone would get pretty crowded pretty fast.

The questions you should ask yourself and answer honestly before considering having an app developed for your business are:

  • What benefit would it have for my customer? In order for it to benefit your customers, an app would have to save them time, save them money, or entertain them.  Can you think of a way to do this, that will also help your business?
  • Can I afford it? Custom app development is not cheap, and it’s an ongoing project. Once your app is developed and launched, you will have to keep updating it regularly to continue engaging users.
  • Would a mobile website accomplish my needs/goals? Often times just building a mobile version of your site which people can add a link to on their mobile device home screen will accomplish what you need. For instance, if you just want people to be able to contact you and get directions, a mobile site can accomplish this at a fraction of the cost.

If you can answer those questions honestly, then I think you will be able to make an informed decision about making the investment in app development.

Having an app for the sake of having one is a waste of money. So don’t fall for the next big thing without first getting the facts and considering your goals. The primary focus should be on your customer’s needs and desires in every part of your business, especially marketing.

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