Is a mobile app necessary for my business?

These days, with the Google Play store home to 3.5 million apps, and the App Store home to over 2.2 million (according to Statista), it can seem like every business has a mobile app.

An app that gains you traction with customers can be a significant way to boost business. And the solid number of active users that the app brings is one of the most important factors for determining how to value an app and how the app adds to the overall value of your business.

It has been estimated that consumers all over the world now spend at least five hours a day on mobile devices. And 92 percent of that time is spent using apps -- with only that remaining 8 percent devoted to a web browser.

While developing a dedicated app for your business is easier and more cost-effective than ever this task still requires a significant investment of resources -- especially in terms of creating awareness, marketing, maintenance and updates.

How do you decide if building a mobile app is necessary for your business?

Here are a couple of questions to ask to ascertain whether or not your business needs a mobile app:

1. Is your website optimized for mobile?
Before you consider developing a mobile app, it’s a good idea to take stock of how your company’s website performs on mobile devices. Responsive web design can greatly improve user experience on mobile devices, and responsive web themes are readily available on popular platforms such as WordPress and Shopify.

Here are a couple of questions to ask to ascertain whether or not your business needs a mobile app:

2. Do your competitors have apps?
When evaluating whether or not your business should develop an app, it makes sense to examine what your competitors are doing. Do they currently offer an app? If so, check out the statistics available from the relevant app stores. The number of downloads and user reviews should give you valuable insight into how your competitor’s app is being received by consumers.

If it seems that their app is getting some traction, you may be left behind if you don’t offer your customers an app with similar or improved functionality.

3. Will your app solve a customer problem?
Some mobile apps seem like a solution in search of a problem. If your app doesn’t offer any additional functionality or convenience to your mobile-optimized website, it will likely struggle to gain traction with consumers. Think of the pain points your customers face and how an app can resolve them.

Those of us who have ever had to stand in line at the bank to deposit a check likely thought it was magic the first time we skipped that process by scanning a check with a mobile app. Aim for that kind of wow factor when developing a feature set for your own app.

4. Does retaining customer data simplify conversions?
One major reason why mobile commerce sales conversion rates still lag significantly behind desktop, according to Smart Insights, is the clumsiness of inputting information such as billing and shipping addresses on a mobile device. If your business relies on repeat customers -- such as an ecommerce store or a food delivery service -- the elimination of this tedious entry of information when using an app may lead to increased sales.

5. Do you rely heavily on branding?
When consumers download your app, they’re giving you a valuable piece of real estate on their mobile device. Simply having your logo on the home screen of a device that your customer looks at many times each day will help keep your brand top of mind.

However, here are some of the benefits of building a mobile app for your business

1. Be Visible to Customers at All Times
Statistics show that the average mobile device user spends more than two hours a day on his or her mobile device. While probably only a handful of applications make up the bulk of this total usage, it doesn’t change the fact that each user has to unlock, scroll, and scan their device for the apps they’re looking for. Being “in the way” can be an advantage to your company, as our mind unconsciously does record every image and text (or well-designed app icon!) it comes across — even if it happens unnoticed.

2. Provide Value to Your Customers
Talking about on-hand information, how about digitizing that loyalty program you have in place? Instead of sticking to the old point-collection card, make it possible for your customers to collect their rewards via your mobile app. The result? More downloads and more return customers.

3. Build Brand and Recognition
A mobile app for your business can greatly contribute to your brand awareness. I’d like to break this topic down into two aspects, the combination of which will make your app a true winner:

a. Brand. A mobile app is like a blank billboard sign. You can do what you want with it; you can make it stylish, hip, functional, shocking, or informative. But what you really want to do is create an app that has features your customers will love, while at the same time is well branded and beautifully designed.

b. Recognition.The more often you can get customers involved with your app, the sooner they will be inclined to buy your product and/or service. In advertising this is called the “effective frequency”: as a rule of thumb, hearing and/or seeing your brand approximately 20 times is what will get you truly noticed

4. Improve Customer Engagement
No matter whether you are selling flowers or spa services, your customers need a way to reach you. Having a messaging (or help desk) feature within your app can really make a difference in the way you communicate with your customers.

5. Stand Out From the Competition
These days mobile apps at the small business level are still rare, and this is where you can take a big leap ahead of your competitors. Be the first in your line of business to offer a mobile app to your customers. They’ll be astonished by your forward-thinking approach!

6. Cultivate Customer Loyalty
Last, but not least, the most important reason why you should consider building your own mobile app is customer loyalty. With all the noise out there — roadside banners, billboards, flashing signs, newspaper ads, flyers, coupons, websites, website banners, Facebook ads, and email marketing — we slowly lose our impact on customers because of the immense amount of advertising surrounding us all. It’s time to go back to making a true and sincere connection with your customers, and making them a loyal lover of your product and/or service.

Not developing a mobile app for your business in the digital age will put your business at the mercy of your competitors that may have utilized the advantages and benefits of building a mobile app for the growth of their businesses.

If you’re a business owner without a mobile app for your business, it may well be time to build a dedicated mobile app for your business and Focus on delivering tangible benefits to your customers.

Get in touch with us, let's brainstorm on how an app can move your idea forward.

Victoria Island

7 Ibiyinka Olorunbe Close
Victoria Island
Tel: (+234) 01 700 6136

Ikeja

14 Allen Avenue
Ikeja
Tel: (+234) 01 700 6136