There is a mobile device in everyone’s pockets today and sometimes more than one! The smartphones are not just a device to make and receive calls. There are a host of apps running on all our phones and they go a long way in accomplishing nearly everything that we may want them to.
In this post we will talk about the advantages and disadvantages of building mobile apps for small businesses and why your business needs a mobile app.
Gone are the days when advertising and entertainment were limited to television, radio, and the print media alone. Billboards too have lost the charm that they had at one point of time. Today the businesses all over the world are offering an unbelievable amount of variety in their offerings and the traditional media of advertisements cannot efficiently represent or contain this wide range, hence the businesses are rapidly moving to the realm of mobile app development.
Everyone today understands the importance of reaching out to the customers where they already are, in place of trying to bring in the customers to where you have your business. It is with this underlying principle that the mobile app revolution gained wind and even though it has been around for a few years, it does not seem to show any signs of slowing down any time soon.
Did you know that there are more mobile devices in the world today that the total number of computers and televisions put together?
This fact clearly indicates that to reach out to the maximum number of customers and in many other ways it is absolutely essential for you to build a mobile app for your business. If you are under the misconception that your business doesn’t really need an app, you probably have been still living in the past when it was true. Things have changed drastically today, whether it is technology, social scenario, buying habits, browsing habits, every aspect of business and customers has undergone major transformation. Today as a business owner, if you want to prepare yourself and the business for the future and begin your journey to reaping in big profits, a mobile app is imperative for you.
Though in the past, mobile apps were viewed as fancy tools meant only for the large corporations or businesses of a certain scale, but today even the small businesses are building apps for their businesses and improving their customer service while bringing home considerably larger returns on their investment.
For the small business owners, the cost of building an app had been marked by the fear of the high costs involved in building an app, but DIY app builder like Penguin’s App Builder have managed to allay these fears entirely.
Like most other things, building mobile apps for business has its own share of advantages and disadvantages as well. Penguin Apps Builder puts forth an honest comparison of advantages and disadvantages of building a mobile app for business and once you have gone through them in details, you would be better equipped to finally make the decision.
Advantages of Building A Mobile App for Business
Having a mobile app for your business brings about a huge number of benefits for you and your business. Let’s take a look at the different ways in which you can benefit from a mobile app.
1. Little to No Waiting Time for The Customers
Using a mobile app is a lot faster than having to use a mobile website and browsing on it. Web browsing whether on the mobile or on the computer entails you opening the web browser, then remembering and entering the URL, and then wait for the site to load before you finally have the content displayed in front of you. The speed of the entire process depends on the kind of network available in the area. However, when the customer launches the app, it merely takes a second as most of the content is stored within the app itself, which is why it is possible to make use of the app even when you are offline.
2. Apps Consistently Remind the Customers of Your Business
‘What you see is what you covet?’ this phrase might have been coined for an entirely different subject, but a truer sentence has never been uttered. It is only natural to be reminded only of things that are in front of you and hence the inclination of using, buying, interacting with these things is higher. An app on a smartphone definitely has more visibility or value for the customer as it is right there, in comparison to a web bookmark that can only be explored after opening the browser, hence has lower visibility and value. A mobile app is in front of the customer’s eyes all the time on their phones.
3. Apps Keep the Customers or The Users Hooked
It would only be apt to say that today the smartphones have the users hooked to them. Customers too are asking for more apps that would connect them to the businesses that they want to reach out to with ease and promptness. Apps have a better record and opportunity of engaging the customers in a stronger way. Whether they are on the move, at home, their workplace, in the gym, or out shopping, a mobile app for your business would always be in their pockets and they can engage with it at will, which makes them stay on your app for longer.
4. Apps Tend to Bring Down the Cost of Marketing
Consider the scenario when you do not have an app, you would probably send out marketing information through SMSs or other traditional media, which are a lot more expensive than reaching out to your customers through inobtrusive yet effective push notifications. Mobile apps simplify your communications while making it possible for you to reach and message your customers in a safe, instant, and cost-effective manner. Also, apps have been known to reduce the workload of information requests and phone calls by supplying all relevant information from within the app.
5. Apps Offer More Value to The Customers
The premise of your business is barter, right? This is where you offer a product and the customers dig in to their pockets to compensate you for it. As a business owner there would have been plenty of situations where you might have reached sat down with the rest of your team and tried to figure out ways to make these customers dig deeper and more often into their pockets. One thing that you may or may not have come up with is to provide value for your customers that they wouldn’t find anywhere else. This value can come from offering the customers a special loyalty bonus or points, a subscribers-only deal, and some such, which would help you keep bringing the customers back to you for more!
6. Apps Help Strengthen the Brand
This is probably one of the most important things that a mobile app can do for your business. It not only increases brand awareness among consumers but also helps them communicate or interact with your brand. Once you establish a relationship through this regular interaction you are also fostering a trust among them. As the trust they have in you increases, the chances of them listening to you in your future sales pitch are higher and who knows they might even commit to your brand! A mobile app lets you show to your customers the reason why they should trust you, instead of you just telling them they should.
7. Apps Help You Connect Better with The Customers
Customer service or interactions are of great value for any business. In the past, this was best accomplished by face to face communications and resolving the customer’s concerns through a team of professionals who were trained just for that. However, mobile devices which make your app available to the users with just one tap, have turned out to be the biggest game-changer yet, when it comes to customer service. A solid mobile presence for your business means that you are presenting a consistent face to the customers everywhere. The time differences wouldn’t matter with a mobile app. If a customer or a potential customer wants information or any other kind of interaction with your app at 2 in the morning, they can do it without having to wait till business hours. This, in the long run would help you raise customer satisfaction all across the board.
8. Apps Help You Push Your Profits Up
It is no hidden fact that a mobile app can help you raise customer satisfaction. But it has also been proven that when customer satisfaction is raised, it is often followed by an increase in sales too. As more and more customers find the interactions with your app fruitful and pleasant, the demand for your services and products will increase too! You might have an awesome website which has the ability to adapt to the multitude of devices available in the market which might eliminate the need for a secondary mobile website, but nothing beats the experience that an app can provide. It is this experience that brings you the much-needed boost as well in your profits and who doesn’t want that? One of the glowing examples here is that of Domino’s Pizza who witnessed a rise of 28% in half pre-tax profits in UK alone. It is humbling and encouraging to know that 52% of their online orders are completed through a mobile app.
9. Apps Help You Set Yourself Apart from The Crowd
With thousands of businesses vying for attention what are you doing that sets you apart from the rest of the crowd? Mobile app for your business can accomplish this with ease. It is still rare to use a mobile app for communication and marketing, and the sooner you get into it, the more you stand to gain from it.
10. Apps Increase Customer Loyalty
How many times do your customers come back to you after they have made their first purchase? This is an important aspect for the growth of your business and you must pay it due attention. It is easier to cultivate customer loyalty when you constantly remind your customers of your existence and your offerings. Advertising is a crowded space which is constantly bombarding the users with visual imagery consisting of hundreds of thousands of brands and products. A mobile app forges a truthful and honest relationship between your business and your customers. The mere fact that your app is at their fingertips makes the customers feel more connected and loyal to you.
11. Your App Can Be Turned into A Social Platform
Integrating as many social channels as you can, into your app can bring you an unexpected popularity. It has been established through studies that most of the people log on to the social media to see what their friends are saying. If people are talking about you or your products and sharing it on the social media, then their friends would know about you, be reminded of you, and interact with you. Additionally, incorporating features like in-app messaging, comments, likes, sharing, and logins through popular social media channels like Facebook or Instagram can effectively increase customer engagement and retention while ensuring repeat sales from your app.
12. Apps Add Value to The Websites
You might be questioning yourself at this time “With the shoestring budget that I have, should I build an app when I already have a functioning website?” Well, yes you do! The fact is that a mobile app would add further value to your website, by creating loyalty among the customers who were probably attracted to your brand by the website. Websites are, in general great for providing information, an app however, is extremely effective in offering two-way communication.
Disadvantages of Building A Mobile App for Business
Every coin has a flip side, and this stands true even in this regard. There might be certain situations which can pose a problem for you if you are planning to build a mobile app for your business. Let’s get to them and discuss how these disadvantages or challenges can be overcome.
1. Building A Mobile App Has A Hefty Price Tag Attached to It.
Building a mobile app takes more time and money that developing a website. You might have to go with developing different versions of your app for different app stores, iOS & Android being the absolutely necessary ones.
However, this challenge can be overcome by opting to build your app with a quality app builder platform like Penguin Apps Builder which does the job you want your app to do at a fraction of the cost.
2. The Process of Developing A Mobile App Can Be Quite Complicated.
The process of building your own mobile app can be quite a complex one with quite a few crucial decisions that you would have to take. There is a chance you do not have the technical expertise and hiring one can be tough. There are operating systems like iOS & Android to consider and then the hundreds of different kinds of devices available in the market, which make the entire process quite complex.
This too can be avoided when you opt for a DIY or template app from Penguin Apps Builder who would take care of all the technicalities and release you from the complexities of the entire process.
It’s true that there are always pros and cons to anything, but as we see here, the pros out-weight the cons by a huge margin. It is a fact that you need to move ahead with the changing times if you are looking to survive in the competition that lies ahead of you. If you fail to move ahead with the times you are going to get obsolete and be wiped out sooner than you think. Go ahead build yourself an app and see your business grow!