People love to use their mobile devices and percentage of the population that owns a smartphone is increasing year after year. For example, statistics says 68% of U.S. adults have a smartphone in 2015. The number of apps is multiplying and now there are millions of apps eager for users’ attention. However, a study by comScore reveals that smartphone owners in the U.S. typically only use about three apps frequently. And only 20% of their “mobile app time” are dedicated to the rest of apps they have installed.
You can see that the chances to obtain users’ attention are pretty small so let’s find out if it’s worthy to build a mobile app for your business or it will be a waste of time and money.
Business mobile app: do your customers want it?
Mobile now prevails in digital time spending and apps dominate over mobile browsing. However, you need to understand that it’s much harder to build an audience for mobile apps. On the good side, users of mobile apps are more loyal than those who prefers mobile browsing. The leading 25 apps are in categories of Utilities, Social, Entertainment, and Retail.
When thinking to launch an app for your business you should analyze the value you bring to customer and potential frequency of using the app. Habits are playing a vital role in apps use. If your app is involved in a daily routine of customers – it’s a good sign to develop a mobile app for a business.
If your app will be used only once then rethink the UX of a mobile version of your website and don’t rush with building an app.
Why should customers bother about your app?
It’s a delusion to think about mobile apps “for business” since they all are “for customers”. And first of all, you should come up with some benefits of a mobile app over a mobile site for a user.
Let’s review some possible reasons your customer will love to install and use your app:
- SPECIAL PROMOTIONS. Your business can offer unique sales and promotions within the app only. Also, you can create a loyalty program for mobile app users to stimulate them for the continuous usage.
- BETTER USER EXPERIENCE. You can set up more functions to the app. You can add a guide and ongoing tips how to get the most from your app. Apps create “native” UX and are much more comfortable to use. Especially, this means a lot when we are talking about apps for retail, banking or other utilities. As well apps provide remarkable features like augmented reality, biometrics, sensors, geo-location etc.
- RELEVANT NEWS AND UPDATES. Don’t mess this point with tons of irritating notifications. Only relevant updates your users don’t want to miss out.
To summarize, if you can’t think about applying any advantages to a business app over website adapted to mobile – don’t go into it. Searching the web for reasons for building an app “for business” you may find some ridiculous one like “because people love apps” or “you need an app to reach larger audience” which is only one side of the truth. People really love using their smartphones and spend over 60 hours a month on apps. But it doesn’t mean they will spend time on your app if there is no additional value in it. Furthermore, apps promotion is as hard as a website one. Don’t expect your customers will download the app only because you’ve released it.
However, if you see that your app will enhance users’ experience and deliver real value to them – it’s time to build an app for your customers.