When the Internet was still going through puberty, many businesses were on the fence about whether or not they needed a website. Of course, everyone and their mother has a website now and that question seems like a no-brainer. Well, now that the Internet is older and finally moved out of its parents’ house, we see that it’s made a new home on people’s smartphones, surpassing desktop usage a few years ago. So, the question people should start asking themselves is, “Would my business benefit from a mobile app?”
That question becomes easier to answer when you consider some statistics and trends:
- Worldwide revenues from mobile apps is projected to be $77 billion in 2017.
- Mobile apps now account for 52% of all time spent on digital media.
- People spend an average of 30 hours a month using mobile apps compared to less than 4 on mobile web.
So those are some powerful numbers, but that doesn’t necessarily mean everyone needs to run out and build a mobile app. Here are some things to think about when considering a mobile app for your business.
Pains & Gains
You don’t have to make the next Snapchat or Uber. A mobile app will be worth its weight in gold if it does one of two things: solve a pain point for internal team members or make life better for your customers present and future.
“You don’t have to make the next Snapchat or Uber.”
Solving internal pain points will cut expenses by saving time and potentially lowering turnover. This could be a tool for sales people to track leads, a reservation management system for a restaurant, etc. On the flip-side, improving the customer experience will help the bottom line by increasing engagement, communication, and exposure. A good example would be Domino’s, which made an app to conveniently order a pizza, track its progress, and get a notification when it’s ready. Compare that to the experience of ordering over the phone and you can imagine the effect on pizza sales.
Keeping Up with the Joneses
Don’t look now, but what are your competitors doing? If they don’t have a solid mobile presence, releasing a shiny new mobile app could be a key differentiator in certain industries. Tide just released an app called Spin for on-demand laundry service. With all that brand exposure and communication within the app, you can bet users will lean towards Tide the next time they’re at the store.
If your competitors have a mobile app and you don’t, that’s an opportunity as well. Read the reviews for their app and take note of what they do well and where they struggle. You can reap the benefits of their feedback loop and have a head start when creating your own app.
The Young Bloods
If you’re looking to target a younger audience (aka Millennials), a mobile app is a great way to reach them. People between the ages of 18 and 34 spend significantly more time using apps than people above the age of 45. Younger people simply expect to find apps available for their favorite products and services.
“People between the ages of 18 and 34 spend significantly more time using apps than people above the age of 45.”
As Millennials begin to surpass Baby-Boomers in terms of market influence, businesses will need to exhaust all means of appealing to them. If you believe this demographic is or eventually will be important to your business goals, integrating a mobile app into your ecosystem would make a lot of sense.
Hopefully this gets you thinking of ways to incorporate mobile into your overall business strategy. Obviously, it’s not appropriate for everyone, but a large majority of businesses would benefit greatly from having a mobile app available.
Many business owners have looked into building a mobile app, but found that the cost of developing was too high for their budgets. Good news! The tools and technology have developed to a point where companies like SnapMobile are able to build quickly and affordably, making mobile apps accessible to virtually any business.
Interested in building a mobile app?
Check out one of our case studies where an East Coast based Health and Wellness firm (My Body Tutor) is using a mobile app to help increase engagement and communication with their clients.