In the constantly changing world of marketing, it can be hard to stay ahead of the curve and anticipate new trends. As a business owner, there are so many variables to choose from when it comes to marketing and presenting your products and services to your customers, that it can be hard to know what the best options and methods are. One new trend in the business world, is apps. Mobile apps are nothing new, but many businesses are choosing to offer apps to make shopping and ordering services easier for their clients. This is a great method for a lot of businesses, but for others, it falls flat. So the question is…does your business need an app?
Apps vs browsers
Let’s think about the pros to having an app for your business, for a moment. Whether someone shops your services and products through an app or a browser, it’s good for your business. Having everything easily accessible through an app provides a few certain benefits that aren’t available just through a browser. One of the most important of these, is push notifications. When someone downloads your app, they can choose whether or not to allow push notifications from your app. If they opt into push notifications, you’ll be able to notify them any time there is a deal or discount, as well as remind them if they left items in their shopping cart. It’s a great way to drive sales and remind your customers that you exist. This isn’t something that’s possible when someone shops through a browser.
Your app may not get used
There is, of course, a high chance that new users will opt out of notifications when downloading your app. That doesn’t negate the ease and convenience of using an app, though. However, downloading an app takes up space on the hard drive of your phone, and that is valuable storage space. Most people only use about 10 apps on their phone. And most of those apps, are major social media apps, such as facebook, twitter, or instagram. If someone is in need of a little extra space on their phone, the non-necessary apps go first. Make sure that you understand your demographic, as well. Are the people buying your products young and tech savvy, with the potential to think an app experience may be easier to use? Or are you hoping to reach an older generation, who would think a smartphone app is frivolous and turn them away from your business?
Apps are expensive to create
The cost of making and maintaining a website is manageable. Once a website is made, it’s easy to keep it going and it’s easy to learn what is necessary to fix anything that breaks or goes wrong. This isn’t the case with an app. Apps need to be updated as new models of phones and new software come out, and app development isn’t something that just anyone can do. So while an app may be beneficial to your business, it can be costly to create. So before you start making plans for an app, make sure that you account for the costs to create it and keep it going, before you continue with your plans. Look into investment options and ways to raise the capital you’ll need to pay a developer.
Regulations and rules
And lastly, one of the things to think about before launching a new app into the market, is the rules and regulations that may apply to you and your situation. Do you have investors with a hand in your business and the creation of the app? What does the contract with your software developer look like? Make sure you understand exactly what you’re getting into before you move forward with the app for your business.
All of this is not to discourage you. At the end of the day, you know your business and your audience better than anyone else. If you’re on the fence, consider creating a poll or survey on your business social media accounts, to ask your followers what they think! Ask them if an app for your business is something that they would use or not. If the answer is overwhelmingly positive, ask a few more specific questions to get an idea of the role your app would play in their shopping experience with you.