Tech

Does your business really need an App?


There are over a million apps currently available to download for iOS and Android systems. Smartphone users have ranked up a staggering 50 billion downloads since 2008. With such a saturated and competitive market, your app needs to stand out to get a return on your investment. How do you decide if there’s a point in developing mobile apps?

The key to creating a successful app will fall into one of three categories:

1. The app makes life easier

As people work more hours and get busier, they need an app to help simplify some of life’s daily tasks. The best apps are those that make a boring task simpler or more efficient.

2. The app makes life cheaper

It’s all about discounts and deals. Money saving apps are now focused on geo-location, time of day or interests in the hope of providing value and driving purchase.

3. The app makes life fun

As the pressures of everyday life mount up, people need some sweet relief; mobile gaming. People appreciate a break from serious and work based material. An example, Angry Birds was purchased 12 million times on the Apple App Store and has been downloaded 250 million times across all platforms.

 

I’m sure you’ll have an idea of the category your app will fall into based on the type of company you are, but there’s no point spending time and money creating an app if no one downloads it. But first you need to contemplate if your business needs an app. Ask yourselves these questions:

- Am I trying to reach the most people possible?

According to broadcasting regulator Ofcom, 58% of UK citizens own a smartphone. Which is great, but it also means that 42% of UK citizens do NOT own a smartphone. If you’re looking to reach the masses with your app, you’ll also need to consider of these smartphone owners, how many are using iOS or Android systems.

- What phones do your customers use?

You may need to develop a number of apps for different platforms. If you make an app for every different platform you will be wasting money. You need to work out where your app will fit in best.

- Is it a mobile app you need or just a mobile optimised website?

Don’t make an app just for the sake of it. If it’s easier to enhance your website then do that first. That way you can target all smartphone owners, and not just specific operating systems.

- Do you have the time to nurture an app?

An app is not something you can set up and then take down in a few months. The best apps keep their content fresh and relevant and demand users continue to come back time and time again. If you can’t do that, or don’t have the time to invest, then your app won’t succeed.

 

As with most things in life, it all comes down to cost. Don’t hire someone and train them in web development, instead work with different web developers, get some quotes, and see who can do the most for your money. The cost of creating an app varies wildly. Small apps can start at £2000, and complex brand recognised apps can cost over £50,000.

Have you recently launched a successful app? Tell us about it.

 

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