As a tech-savvy entrepreneur or manager, you might pride yourself on being plugged into all of the latest market trends for your industry. As such, you might have noticed that many of your competitors, as well as just about every other consumer-facing company, now offers some portion of their services via a smartphone app.
While an app can be a great way to engage wider audiences in a deeper way, as well as enhance your product offerings, it is not always necessary. Developing an app is an expensive and time-consuming undertaking. That’s why it’s important to know whether or not your busy can truly benefit from having one. Before hiring an app developer, ask yourself these questions first.
Would an app solve a problem for customers?
This is the first question you should be asking yourself. Would an app solve a customer’s problem and improve their experience with your company in any measurable way? For some types of companies, the answer can seem obvious. For example, imagine if Domino’s had never released its acclaimed app, which lets you track to progress of your pizza deliveries on the go? This is the level of improvement that your app should aspire to.
Would an app enhance accessibility?
Another factor you need to consider is whether an app would help you reach and engage new audiences, thus driving sales. This requires an understanding of your target market and whether they are more likely to engage with your product if it is available in an app format. One stellar example here can be found in the online casino industry. The William Hill betting app allows customers to play online slots and place live sports bets around the world, thus substantially increasing the company’s market share.
Do your competitors use apps?
When in doubt, check on what your competitors are up to. If your rivals are offering app-based services, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you should be doing the same. First, do a little bit of reconnaissance. Check the App Store and see how many downloads the app has, as well as whether or not there are a lot of high-quality reviews. Download the apps yourself and see if they are actually enhancing the customer experience or doing something useful that you are not currently offering.
Is branding a huge part of your strategy?
Apps do not always need to have a core functionality. Sometimes, branding is the name of the game. If you can encourage customers to download your app, they will have your company logo on the same screen that they look at hundreds of times a day. This is the kind of advertising that some companies would pay top dollar for. If your success is heavily based on branding, then app development might be a worthwhile investment. However, that doesn’t mean you should compromise on functionality – an app should always be more than a billboard.
If you can answer these crucial questions, you can make the right decision about investing in an app for your business.