How do you determine whether a mobile app is right for your business?
Many business owners, irrespective of their size, have come across this tricky predicament at least once in their life.
In a booming digital ecosystem, it is quite natural to think that a mobile app is a must-have for your business. But the reality is different; Apple, Microsoft, and Google marketplaces are getting crowded day by day, and the consumers are spoilt for choice. And, if you are unable to put forward an exciting value proposition with your mobile app, the chances are that your app will simply drown in the ever-growing avalanche of mobile apps.
Before building a mobile app, you must conduct extensive research on your customers and the external marketplace. And during this research, you will start to see certain signs that will point you in the right direction. In this post, we have put together a list of such signs that will guide you and help you determine whether it’s the right time to develop an app for your business or not.
Your Competitors Have Developed An App
Every seller will have to face severe competition in the eCommerce domain, and that’s the natural order of it. The low entry barrier makes it an exciting opportunity for many small and medium-sized businesses to seize a significant market share and achieve success. And due to its dynamic nature and intense competition, selling through eCommerce channels is a huge challenge. So, when your competitors start developing a mobile app, that is the first sign for you to act unless you want to fall behind.
In this highly competitive eCommerce domain, developing a superior product does not guarantee success. You need to take this product to your target audience and engage with them consistently, and a mobile app does exactly that. So, when your competitors start developing an app, you must follow suit so that you can protect and retain your customer base. Otherwise, even though your product is superior in all aspects, your competitors will come and poach your customers away with a substitute product.
Your Functionality Is Expanding
It is true that a mobile site is the closest alternative to a smartphone app. Even though you might witness an incredible success rate initially, when you are trying to take your business to the next level, it will lack the functionality of a mobile app. And, it will start affecting important aspects of your business like user experience, customer engagement, payment gateways, and much more.
Modern-day customers are extremely critical of all these aspects. However, a traditional website cannot deliver all these features. But then, a winning business app can take advantage of features that are exclusive to smartphones. It will create a unique value that will set a mobile app apart from a website.
Here are some of the app features and functionalities that a mobile app can provide:
- Simplified product image sharing
- GPS-based functionalities
- Instant customer recognition
- Push notifications
- Loyalty points
- Customed eCommerce experience
- Instant feedback
It Would Solve A Customer Problem
Before building a mobile app, you must ask yourself an extremely important question – Will the app solve a customer problem? If the answer is a yes, it is a clear sign that you should definitely go for an app. By providing a solution to the customers’ problems, you can bring a “wow” factor that will help you reinforce your relationship with them.
Some of the most common issues that a customer might face include:
- Internal communication breakdown
- Reviews and ratings
- Customer service
- Addressing pain points
If your app can solve these customer problems, you must seriously consider building an app. It will help you forge long-lasting relationships with your customers while growing your brand value.
Your Target Audience Are Smartphone-Savvy
Before developing an app, you must make sure that your target audience embraces mobile technology. And for that, you need to check two things:
- Is your target audience used to mobile internet usage?
- Can mobile devices support your desired functionality?
If the answer to both these questions is yes, then it is an apt time for you to start developing an app. But, if the answer is no, it is better for you to wait patiently until your target audience matures. And, if you lack on the technological front, you will not be able to live up to your customer’s expectations, leaving you with unhappy customers.
Your Customers Are Demanding An App
The best and easiest way to determine whether to build an app is to ask your customers. The contemporary customers are extremely vocal, and they like to express their opinions. You should try to take advantage of it and engage with them through surveys.
Post about them on your social media channels and website, and ask your users if they want an app. If you can get a common consensus in this matter, you can take it a notch higher. Create a second survey and ask your customers what features they would like to see in this app. This will help you build an app that will connect with your customers effectively.
Developing a mobile app for your business is always a great option, especially if you are in the eCommerce domain. But before taking the leap of faith, you must always ensure that the timing and circumstances are correct. Many small and medium-sized businesses make the mistake of taking this crucial step prematurely in their business cycle. They dedicate a lot of time and resources solely to the development of an app while losing track of the other business aspects. So before developing an app, it is crucial that your business plan is aligned with your app development process.
In business, patience is a virtue. And, if you are patient enough, you will start observing these signs that we have mentioned above. These signs will indicate that it’s the right time to take that next big step towards success.
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