Does your business really need a mobile app? Start by asking yourself these 5 questions

Consumers are increasingly connecting with businesses on their smartphones and other smart devices. As a result, many businesses develop mobile apps to connect with these consumers.  While a mobile app can certainly be an invaluable tool to connect with consumers, it does not necessarily mean your business needs one. Below we elaborate on 5 questions you should ask yourself to determine if a mobile app is right for your business:

1. Do your competitors have apps?

2. Will your app solve a customer problem? 

3. Is FOMO driving your decision to develop an app?

4. Does your target audience embrace mobile?

5. What is the end user’s context? 

Currently, the Google Play store is home to 2.89 million apps and it certainly seems like every business has a mobile app. However, if you do choose the app route it’s important to ensure it’s worth your time and money. This is especially true if you consider that according to comScore most smartphone users don’t typically download new apps.

1. Do your competitors have apps? 

While considering whether your business needs to develop an app, you should have a look at what your competitors are doing. Are they offering an app and if so, what do their statistics in the app store look like? The number of downloads and user reviews can provide you with valuable insight into how consumers are receiving your competitor’s app and by extension might receive yours. 

2. Will your app solve a real customer problem?  

Is your app a solution in search of a problem or will it address a real customer need? It is important to consider your customers’ specific pain points and how your app can solve these. A further benefit is if your app offers additional functionality or convenience to your mobile-optimised website otherwise it will likely struggle to gain traction with consumers. 

3. Is FOMO driving your decision to develop an app?    

With the advent of apps such as Instagram and WhatsApp, people have realised that you can make a considerable amount of money by creating an app. But this also led to the app industry becoming oversaturated. This is similar to the 2000 dot-com bubble where the fear of missing out (FOMO) led to everyone wanting to “create” something. The reality is that a lot of businesses do not need an app and should instead focus on mobile-friendly website design.

4. Does your target audience embrace mobile? 

Before you start developing a mobile app, there are two things you should consider: Does your target audience adapt to mobile Internet use, and could a mobile device support your desired functionality? If the answer is yes to both questions, you are ready to develop an app. If you answered no, you can still develop an app but should view it as a future investment and set your expectations accordingly. Perhaps you need a web app? You can read more in our blog, Mobile apps vs web apps: What’s the difference? 

5. What is the end user’s context?  

When choosing your app platform, you should always keep in mind your end-users and the context within which they will interact with your app. For example, a business with a large mobile workforce will most probably find a well developed mobile app to be essential. 

Building an app for your company does not depend on the industry so much as it depends on who will be using your product or services. 

At Polymorph we pride ourselves in developing apps with real business value – From creating the business case for your app to the design, development, testing and support thereof.

 

Richard Barry
Richard Barry
Chief Innovation Officer at Polymorph

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