There is no question that smartphone popularity has increased drastically in the past few years.
In fact, in a recently conducted study, it was found that the average amount of time spent per day on mobile devices has increased from two and a half hours, in 2012, to about 4 hours and 15 minutes today. Of those 4 hours and 15 minutes, 80% of it is spent in apps. More people spending their time on mobile apps, means more opportunity to turn them into potential customers.
Because of statistics like these, you may be thinking that creating a mobile app for your business is a no brainer. I mean, people spend about 86 hours a month on their smartphones! That’s a lot of time for opportunity. However, you should consider the pros along with the cons before you decide to take this step.
The Pros for Creating an App for Your Business:
Connect more with your customers
With such a high percentage of smartphone users, creating an app opens the opportunity to form more of a connection with a large number of your customers. Having a platform that is accessible and visible at all times, provides a more convenient user experience. It allows your business to be reachable at anytime, since most aspects of a mobile app are available offline. Customer connection and loyalty can be increased when you’re available in their back pocket.
Create a direct marketing channel
A mobile app has many functions. From providing general info to search features to news feeds, apps allow you to share any information that you please. Having an app for your business allows for all the information you want to get across to your customers available instantly at their fingertips. This means that you can promote your business the way you want it, directly to the customer.
Stand out from the competition
Competition is tough in the world of small businesses. Today most of these small businesses aren’t boasting mobile apps, they’re leaving that to the larger businesses. However, this is where you can take advantage of the situation and take a step in front of your competition. Offer a mobile app and surprise your customers, it’s a big innovative step!
You can generate revenue through your app
There are many ways to make money off of your app. The first way, is asking your customers to pay a small fee through the app store to download the app onto their phone. Next, mobile ads can be added to the app when they pay for their chance to be advertised. This is, of course, with non-competitor businesses. Finally, the app itself can be linked to an online payment platform that enables customers to purchase goods or services, which allows for faster transactions.
The Cons for Creating an App for Your Business:
High cost of developing an app
Creating a mobile app is expensive, more expensive than a website is. In fact, according to a 2016 blog by Applico, the creation of an app could cost anywhere from $5,000 to $500,000. The more features the app has, the more complex it is, making the price go up. You also may have to consider hiring a separate team to have the app developed since web development is different than app development. In order to have a high functioning, quality app, you need to spend quite a bit of money.
Complex app development process
The development of an app is a long and difficult process. For starters, you need to have at least two versions developed: IOS and Android. Next, you have to worry about things such as different screen sizes across devices for both platforms and the different features you want for your app. The entire development process takes around 12-20 weeks to complete. Once the app is finished, it must be sent to app stores for approval before anyone can download it. If it gets rejected, the process starts over.
Profit-sharing with the app store
If you are planning on creating revenue from your app, whether it’s through paid downloads of the app itself or through the purchase of goods and/or services on the app, be mindful that the app store shares a chunk of it. An article on Apple’s App Store, revealed that the store receives 30% of revenue if the app uses Apple iTunes as payment. And don’t forget about sales tax.
Ongoing app maintenance
With knowledge that the technological world is advancing quickly, there’s no doubt that it will continue to do this. In order to keep up with a fast paced tech world, the app you create will have to continue to advance as well. Constant updates will be required to ensure that the app continues to run through the user’s new phone updates (either iOS or Android). Mobile apps require long-term investment.
Once you understand the pros and cons to creating a mobile app, you are ready to make your decision. Building an app is a huge investment but the benefits can be worth it.