Mobile development has become increasingly important for small businesses in recent years, as more and more consumers use their smartphones and tablets to access the internet and make purchases. A mobile app can provide small businesses with a valuable tool for engaging with customers and building brand loyalty.
Most people often go for mobile applications rather than websites as apps give preference to user experience and are designed to meet specific needs and view patterns of the users. As of the situation, users are spending an average of more than 4 hours a day on various mobile applications, so it should come as no surprise that businesses aim at constantly being a part of a user’s interaction with their device apps throughout the day.
But entrepreneurs are often reluctant to invest in mobile app development for small businesses, even though it offers the same advantages: consistent advertising on users’ mobile devices, smooth promotion of products/services, brand recognition, and much more. Developing a mobile app for small businesses can still seem like a difficult task though it offers a lot of benefits. It is true that small business app development has time and budget limitations but with proper planning, the benefits can outweigh the costs to a greater extent. With the transition from mobile phones to smartphones, the range of users has also changed. Interacting with customers has become easier with geolocation technology and push notifications.
Here are some reasons why small businesses need mobile applications. Let’s talk about them one by one.
Building an application for your business essentially reduces the waiting time of your customers. This means that instead of spending a lot of time searching for a product or service and standing in a long queue to make a purchase, customers can simply explore your services or products, go through the new offers, and purchase whatever they need right at their convenience by using your app. The app will also show push notifications which will notify you of any requests or inquiries from customers, thus helping you to address all their concerns in no time.
Mobile applications are like channels that promote direct sales and are becoming a common trend among businesses day by day. This brings your consumers directly in contact with you and eliminates the need for any intermediaries. It is more like a ‘buy one get one package’ because it avoids any other cost of advertising. Your app gives your business more reach without any extra cost.
Branding is an important factor in business and marketing. People go behind the brands that have higher recognition and greater market value. Mobile applications are one of the greatest tools for marketing your business, no matter whether it is small or big. The more you market, the more reach you will get. Gradually this helps in making your business and brand go noticed.
If you are looking for a community to back your business, then social platforms are a great choice to connect with different users. These user communities can take your product/service to greater heights as they help in sharing blogs, articles, videos, products, etc. with the outside world. The products and services offered by businesses get a wider reach through social apps developed by the company.
It is already clear that mobile apps reduce the waiting time that irritates the customer and it also promotes great user engagement throughout the process of purchasing a product/service. It also helps your business to identify the target audience and carry out the plan accordingly.
Creating a brand might be easy but improving its visibility is a complex task for small businesses. But this can be made easy through various campaigns conducted in the mobile app you have developed for your business. Announcing special discounts, offers, coupons, and other exciting rewards for long-term users is one way of increasing brand visibility.
To develop a mobile app, small businesses can either hire an in-house developer, outsource the development to a third-party company, or use a mobile app development platform that allows businesses to create and publish their own apps without the need for coding.
There are also several popular platforms for mobile app development, such as iOS and Android, that small businesses can choose from. It is recommended that the business should have a clear understanding of the target audience and what platform they are using before starting the development process, as it would determine the set of tools and the budget for development.
You do not want to build an app for your business just because others are building one. You need to figure out certain things before you start creating your own app, like the objective or goal behind building an app, the audience it should address, the features it should include, and the ways to promote your app. Have a clear idea about the goals behind developing a particular app for your business because identifying the goals is very important in the app development lifecycle. Describing the goals of a small business application enables you to monitor the progress of your app and complete your project faster.
Once you get an idea for developing an app for your small business, it’s time to turn that idea into an app. The initial thing to do is to organize a team for your app development with people who have a thorough understanding of the whole process, marketing, and also about technical aspects. When your team is ready, start discussing the key elements like whether it should be an Android, iOS, or multi-platform app. Analyze the pros and cons of each platform and choose the one that helps you in the long run. Discuss the budget constraints, the time expected to complete the project and launch the app, and decide the company or individual app developers you want to hire.
According to the studies, almost 46% of small businesses use in-house developers for app building because that is easier, more convenient, and more practical for small businesses. The in-house staff knows your business better than any other person. There are other ways also. You can hire a freelance app developer with limited expertise and with a fee based on the hours required to complete the task. You can hire a mobile development company with 24*7 support, availability, and professional expertise but at a great cost. You can also do it yourself by referring to online tutorials or videos and it is the best choice if you have previous experience.
Every app has to go through a submission process, whether you are releasing it in Android or iOS, they have to follow strict guidelines. Therefore, it is always better for small businesses to be aware of the guidelines before submitting the app. Failure to comply with the guidelines will lead to further delays in the accreditation process and no small business would want to have such an experience. Hence, it’s important to know more about how to submit or launch a new app to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
ASO or App Store Optimization (ASO) is similar to content optimization, which ranks the app high and eventually increases app downloads and installs. What a small business needs are visibility and reach. When the app is optimized efficiently, it enables small businesses to go beyond traditional boundaries. ASO is important for small business app development because they do not have such a huge budget for paid promotions.
If your app does not get enough promotions then consider it a failure because no app survives without a good reach. It is essential for small businesses to promote their app among the target audience they have which may result in increased app downloads and user engagement. For small businesses, promotion is an important part, without which no one can find out about your app or use it.
Creating an app for small businesses can take time and can cost you a lot of money – more than the amount that you have invested. But if each stage of the app development is planned carefully, and involves the latest technology and professionals who provide you with extreme value, then you will be able to build an app that works with results within your budget.