Mobile app downloads worldwide continue to grow, exceeding 230 billion in 2021. It represents an increase of over 63 percent compared to 140.7 billion app downloads in 2016, in just 5 years. As a software development company, we notice this trend, and every year we provide mobile application development services to an increasing extent.
We recognize that application development costs can be a significant investment for small businesses. However, we believe that a successful application can be delivered within a reasonable budget and an acceptable timeline. So if you are wondering whether your business should have a mobile application, please read our article.
Why are Mobile Apps Important for Small Businesses?
With every day that passes, it becomes more crucial for companies to change their policies to stay ahead of the curve- all thanks to evolving customer behavior. It is primarily why many businesses (regardless of size) are turning towards mobile app development. Moreover, research shows that users spend as much as 90% of their time on applications when using their mobile phones. For this reason, every company is considering creating a mobile app. Let's analyze why mobile apps are essential also for small businesses.
Loyal customer base
Mobile apps are an excellent tool for communication between companies/brands and their users. You contact users in real-time, answer their questions and stay in close contact with them. A company that creates an application that attracts customers has a loyal customer base.
In addition, mobile apps allow you to run loyalty programs and offer special promotions to smartphone users. It encourages people to download and use the application. Applications that are not used have no values.
There is no doubt that the internet is the most powerful tool for increasing a company's recognition and brand awareness today. The vast majority of customers use search engines when looking for a service provider, so good visibility on the web means that our client base will steadily increase.
Mobile apps have a massive impact on building brand awareness. In addition, they build a bond with the user, which translates into user involvement and loyalty.
People think of your brand's image when they hear about your company. The mobile app only cements that impression.
A solid brand gives consumers confidence. Users' trust aids product introduction, credibility, and market leadership.
Customers using the application leave a lot of data that you can analyze. Age, purchasing preferences, budget, and many other data allow you to create targeted and highly personalized offers and marketing strategies for various customer groups. It helps to improve the marketing experience of the brand and audience and has an impact on building brand awareness. In addition, such actions distinguish your brand from competitors, help it stand out in the market, and gain new users.
This data pool will help you create targeted and personalized marketing strategies for different customer groups. Targeted business strategies will help you improve your marketing experience and audience while building brand awareness and loyalty.
Interaction with the Client
Having your own mobile app is very easy to interact with customers. Today, everyone understands the value of interacting with the customer, and there is no need to convince anyone of that.
Small business app development has made it another channel for them to communicate and establish customer relationships. Communication with the user must be acceptable, non-intrusive, and comfortable. Because convenience is the primary factor in customer service, businesses buy convenience with mobile apps.
Additional functions, such as live chat, are also a convenient way of contacting the company with the customer and building brand credibility.
Along with the increase in customer engagement, sales revenues also start to increase. The purchasing process must be comfortable, intuitive, and simple for smartphone users.
Besides, you can also earn money on mobile applications. Our article "How to monetize mobile apps?" shows you the top 13 monetization strategies that small business owners can use. The most popular mobile app monetization methods are:
App Banner Ads
App Banner Ads
Features of the Mobile App for Small Business
You are probably wondering what should characterize a mobile app for small businesses. However, from the user's point of view, it does not matter whether the application was developed by a large corporation or by a small company. Users downloading applications from App Stores ignore who the developer is. Usability, simplicity, and uniqueness are what count. Only such applications have a chance of success. Therefore, when working on mobile app development for small business, be sure to pay attention to a few of the following issues.
The User Comes First
Sometimes small business owners forget that the mobile app is for users and not for them. Therefore, start mobile app development with good research. You need to know your application's target audience, the user's expectations, and the problems the application is supposed to solve.
The feature of any successful application is that it meets customers' needs and solves their problems. The development team must never forget to whom the application is addressed. It is a product for the user, who will decide whether to trust it.
In the case of a mobile app, less is more. Above all, the application must be easy and intuitive to use. Hundreds of features and an overloaded interface make users abandon the application. In today's world, no one has the time or the inclination to read an application manual. For this reason, the application must be as easy to use as possible.
Of course, the app needs to be visually appealing, so don't neglect this area. But also, in this aspect, keep moderation and simplicity. Too rich design, numerous instructional videos, or heavy graphics will slow the application, so don't make this mistake. Apple app store customers indicated its slow loading speed as the main reason for uninstalling the application.
Testing is a crucial step in any software development. Application testing ensures that your application works correctly on multiple platforms and is scalable in terms of functionality, usability, and consistency.
The crucial thing in testing mobile apps is to test their behavior on different devices. If it turns out during the testing phase that there are any errors, then they can be easily corrected. Removing errors when the mobile app is already on the market causes, first of all, the loss of users and is also associated with high costs.
Tests are crucial because they help to check whether subsequent changes to the project do not cause errors in previously performed functionalities. Remember also that testing should be performed throughout the production period - each new functionality should be checked immediately after its creation. This approach allows you to avoid problems that would arise in the future.
Promotion of the Mobile App
Make every effort to ensure that as many people as possible find out about your mobile app. With so much competition in the mobile app market, promoting your app is a must. Fortunately, this can be done in many different ways, including when you are on a tight budget.
Use social media, start a blog, come up with catchy slogans or even place information about the application on your website. These are just a few simple ideas, but they are worth implementing.
How to choose a Mobile App Development Company?
Mobile app development requires knowledge and experience. You probably also realize that creating a mobile app requires financial resources and appropriate time. It is impossible to prepare an excellent mobile app in 1 day and for the price of $ 1 ;-) Therefore, you must try to choose a trusted software development partner.
The data shows that outsourcing is the most popular way small businesses decide to develop applications. As many as 79% of small businesses outsource application development to an offshore outsourcing company, and only 45% of small businesses have their software development team.
In our article "Choosing the right software partner - guide (2022)," we have described all the aspects worth paying attention to in this process. Below, we have selected a few tips that will help you greatly.
Define your Goals and Needs
You should have a clear vision for the project and an understanding of the issues it will solve. You can't hire developers and expect them to create excellent code based on vague objectives and expectations. If you don't have any prior project-management expertise or cannot precisely describe the initiative's requirements and goals, consider working with a software company that provides Discovery Workshop services. This Workshop aims to determine if your project is feasible from a technical and business standpoint. By investing only a small amount of time and money upfront, you can save yourself headaches (and heartaches) down the road. Moreover, a clear understanding of your project will help you identify what resources you'll need along the way.
Knowledge and experience
When looking for a software development company, focus on companies with a wide portfolio as mDevelopers and the appropriate knowledge. It is crucial that these companies do not specialize in only one type of software because then this company will not be able to advise you on solutions or technologies that would be perfect for your application. A company with a comprehensive tech stack will be more objective in its advice.
Check opinions about companies on portals such as Clutch.co, and do not hesitate to ask the company for references.
Be open and consider companies from different countries and continents. With the current development of technology, the boundaries have no bearing on the project's successful development.
Get to Know Your Partner
Before you make the final decision, make an appointment with several software development companies. Of course, analyzing their portfolio and references is essential, but nothing can replace direct contact. These do not have to be meetings, e.g., in the office; online meetings will also work.
The point is that you should have the opportunity to talk to possible future colleagues, learn about their approach to running the project and check if you have a good conversation. Contrary to appearances, communication is a critical factor in any project, and people who cannot communicate will not be able to create a successful application.
Sign the Contract
Before you start working with a selected partner, be sure to sign a contract. A software development agreement is a legally binding document that sets out the terms of a collaboration between you and your development partner. Such a document protects both your rights and the rights of your software development partner. In our article "Contract for software development - All You Need to Know," we have collected vital points that should be included in a well-prepared contract.
Does App Development Cost a Worthwhile Investment?
The development of a mobile app involves costs that depend on many factors. You are probably wondering if this is a profitable investment. Well, you have to remember that the mobile app market is growing dynamically, and there is no indication that this trend will change. Consumers spend more time using mobile devices for both work and pleasure. In addition, most consumers judge a company's credibility based on its application and online presence. It is not surprising that more and more companies have a mobile app, which also helps them gain a competitive advantage. So if you are wondering whether it is worth investing in a mobile application, of course, the answer is YES. Of course, the investment level depends on the application type, industry, target audience, and many other factors, but the application is worth creating.
For most companies, having a mobile app is a necessary condition. Due to the enormous competition and specific expectations of consumers, companies must constantly adapt their offers to the changing market conditions. As a cross-platform mobile app development company, we know that a great mobile app influences brand awareness and increase revenues.
We have been creating applications for a dozen years, and we approach each client individually to create a great product together. If you want to talk about your project, make an appointment with our specialists for a free consultation.
About the author
Milo Miszewski - Chief Executive Officer
Milo founded mDevelopers in 2010, bringing his over 10 years of sales management, B2B solutions, and business relations. Milo acts as the general director, as well as a mentor and advisor. In everyday work besides managing the company, he supports the sales department in networking and building relationships.