Did you know that 90% Of companies will increase their mobile app investment in 2016? Nowadays, creating a mobile app is quite popular and it is actually a very smart strategy to promote a brand. But before building a mobile app, you should consider carefully all the factors because, as all business related decisions, it is very important to be sure that you will get a ROI.
What is a mobile app and what’s a web app?
Mobile apps and web apps help users to access data via their cell phone, tablets, etc. A mobile website is similar to any other website, except it’s adapted for a mobile screen. You can only access it through your internet browser. But the key difference is that mobile apps are designed for smaller handheld display and touch-screen interface.
A mobile app is an application that users purchase and download from a digital distribution platform as Google Play or the Apple store and install on their devices like smartphones, tablets, rather than desktop or laptop computers.
Advantages of a web app
In order to use a mobile app, users need to download the app from an online store to be able to access its content. Whereas with a web app, users can directly access the content via their browser without having to go through the process of downloading and installing it.
Unless you are going for a hybrid mobile app, a native app is developed for different operating systems, for example iOS and Android. A web app allows access to users from any mobile device regardless its operating system. That makes web app more compatible than native mobile apps.
If you need to update content and different information on a web app, you just need do the changes on the web and it will obviously immediately be visible, but if you’re going with creating a mobile app, every time you want to change things on your mobile app, you need to update it and and inform your users to update it to the new version.
Harder & more expensive
Developing a mobile app is more expensive and complex than building a web app.
It may seem as if I am saying that web apps are better because I just listed the advantages of having a web app. But that’s not the case, I think it really depends. Mobile apps are not only for huge companies like Amazon and Alibaba, etc. Many times it brings you ahead of the game in the competitive world and serves as an advantage. So, what can a mobile app do that a web app can’t do?
When to consider creating a mobile app?
Grant access to content & functions
In fact, on a mobile app, you grant access to content & functions that don’t require the internet. Let’s take the example of an offline app where you can save videos, articles, and other type of content that you can choose to access later: Pocket.
Let them play
Creating a mobile app is always your best choice to serve your users if you are trying to provide them with a gaming experience.
If your app is meant to be used on a regular base, that you would like to increase engagement of users, send notifications about latest news, etc. then obviously a mobile app would be the right choice. This applies to many e-commerce businesses, making the shopping experience easier.
Is there something to report? If you need to use some data and manipulate it with complex calculations, charts or reports, an app is the solution.
Make it interactive
For example, in the education field, if teachers need to interact with students to exchange ideas or help their students to resolve problems during their studying process, creating a mobile app can be a good idea.
Share pictures, videos & content
For example, an application like Whatsapp allows users to send pictures or videos directly from their cell phone or even call & chat with friends. Or an app like instagram enables users to upload pictures & videos, edit them and share with friends. So if you need to access a user’s camera or contact list, an app will be a much better option.
What to ask yourself
If you want to build a mobile app, you should first start off by answering some important questions.
Is it really necessary for your business?
Building an app does not come easy & cheap. You should really consider this before taking any decision. Is a mobile app the only solution to resolve your problems or is there another option, as for example, going for a web app.
Have you thought about the second step?
Keep in mind that it doesn’t all stop once you built the mobile app and that its sold on an online stores. If you want to “burn your money”, your app needs to provide true value to users, and that, on a regular base, which implies a digital marketing strategy that helps plan and promote your app. Also, remember that there are many reasons why users uninstall a mobile app on their phone or device. You have to be aware of all those issues.
What are the goals and how much are you willing to invest?
The cost to develop apps is different and it depends on the type and functions of the application. Sometimes, a customer asks to have the maximum of an app without really understanding how much the price can get high. That why it’s very important to know the requirement of the app and the goals of building the app, what problems is your business trying to resolve? For example, if the interaction of your business with customers and prospects is weak, so your key target is to build a mobile app to increases the interaction.
After discussing with the customer, we are usually able to do our estimations and calculate the cost of his app. In our case, the working methodology we use helps reduce long term costs and increase effectiveness and productivity in projects.
How often will you update your mobile app?
If you have apps on your phone, that you must have received at least once notifications to update the new version of the app. Technology is changing every day. How and when to update a mobile app is a very important part of the mobile app development process. So you also need to follow trends and competitors and your user’s behaviour in order to be sure you offer the most adequate app to fulfill your business’s needs as well as your user’s needs.