Businesses Need Both Apps and Mobile Websites

Apr 4, 2016 -- Posted by : admin

Until recently, you needed to employ a custom developer at considerable expense if you wanted to create an app for your SMB. The good news is that, for your average small business operating on a tight budget, there are now cheaper options if you want provide your customers with a dedicated app.

You may still ask if it’s worth it. After all, you have a website and that works just fine.

When you realize that over 80% of moms always have their mobile phone with them and make 33% of their online purchases on them, you begin to see level of disruption smartphones have caused. In the next 10 to 15 years, it’s possible we’ll buy from our mobile or tablet only. If you look at the large millennial demographic, 69% buy products on their smartphones, many from dedicated apps.

  • Nearly half of us nowadays make trips to the mall with a mobile phone in our pocket or bag.
  • One in three of us who shop in multiple ways use a mobile phone to browse.
  • Typically, Hispanics spend 6 more hours than non-Hispanics on their mobile phone each month.

If you want to attract more customers, you need more than a simple mobile-enabled website. You need a dedicated app—something that is there as soon as a consumer looks at their screen and is accessed with the touch.

Small Businesses Are Creating More Apps Than Ever

The growth of white label app builders and off-the-shelf Software Development Kits (SDKs) has been helpful. Many businesses now see app development as a primary part of their marketing strategy. With ready-to-use frameworks available that are both feature-rich and scalable, things are looking good. App developers are responding to this by creating better provisions, like ongoing management and user metrics that inform design and further boost performance.

According to TechCrunch, it’s not only small businesses that benefit from the new landscape.

“Even large enterprises that have a thing for custom development have started appreciating the need for tools that play nice with their incumbent IT landscape — and many SDK providers have matured to address that need.”

While cost was once a prohibitive factor in the app development, app builder address that problem. Now features, scalability and ease-of-use are the primary concerns for businesses building apps.

What types of small businesses are actually making apps?

It’s not just one industry driving demand. Of the 40k+ Android, iOS, and HTML5 apps published between June 2014 and March 2015, 6.4% were for health and fitness businesses and 7.7% were for the food and drink industry. 5% were also published by hairdressers, 3% by spas, and 3.9% for the automotive industry. Religious organization, charities, event organizers, and legal eagles are producing their share of apps as well.

Reports state that developing a “small app” can cost $3000 – $8000. More complex apps can cost anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000!

The flexibility of today’s apps benefits more businesses and organizations than not. You can preview hairstyles to see which one suits you, order food before you get to the restaurant, send a prayer or make a donation, and much more. The low cost of development means businesses can offer apps for free without burning a hole in their operating budgets. They can also provide value-added extras that websites often can’t, like immediate push notifications.

How are small businesses benefiting from mobile apps?

Mobile apps make it easier and quicker for existing and potential customers to use an online store. Businesses can send notifications of the latest offers and monitor buying behavior both online and in-store, then adjust their marketing strategy to suit individual customers relatively easily. 20% of businesses currently use their app for branding purposes while 30% use it primarily for revenue creation. Half of businesses use their app to provide some sort of support or customer engagement. In the future, app development is going to cover all three fundamental purposes.
  • You increase customer retention by providing more personal service.
  • Apps elicit more frequent purchases than mobile websites, leading to greater profit.
  • Mobile apps are designed to complement mobile websites, not compete with them.
  • They are the value-added extra that sets your business apart from the competition.

What does the future hold?

Mobile apps are not just another place to sell your products. The amount of revenue generated from mobile apps is set to increase from just over $41 billion in 2015 to a staggering $101 billion by 2020, with Android platform Google Play being one of the primary drivers. Non-game apps are expected to grow by 23% by the end of the decade.

The mobile website vs mobile app debate is over. The cost of mobile apps has come down considerably, putting them ahead of the game. Customers are beginning to spend more time on apps as their trust in the technology grows. Yes, there will be customers who prefer to use a standard website, but there are more and more who want the personalized experience that an app, if properly developed, can provide.

Additionally, Google is beginning to index mobile apps, inserting them into search results. That includes app-only content, which means marketing agencies across the globe face a new search engine optimization challenge.

Of course, everyone needs to be looking ahead to the future. This year is supposed to be the tipping point for virtual reality, and its impact on businesses and their customers will soon be revealed. All we know is that new things are on the horizon and agencies that provide a more holistic, forward-thinking approach will be the ones to survive into the next decade.


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