Name an industry, and we’ll name an app or two that exists specifically for it. Apps are it insofar as they are as popular with businesses as they are with consumers, but do we have too many and are they always necessary? How about we leave these questions for analysts and reporters.
For your business, be less interested in the proliferation of Apps and more focused on how you can get among them with an App that enriches your users’ experience. In this article, we review what you need to consider before investing in the development and ongoing support of an app for your business.
Identify what role the app would play in your business
Why An App?
There is no point investing in an app for the sake of having one if it does not intrinsically add to the bottom line.
While some of it’s positives are not monetary, there needs to be evidence that the investment in the mobile app development will provide a healthy ROI. Therefore identify how it can:
- Retain customers
- Improve repeat business
- Acquire new customers
- Improve sales
Spend a dollar to earn three, is a safe modus Operandi for support features. As you’re considering investing in technology that is not your core business, i.e. product or service, you need to be able to measure its success in improving the bottom line. Therefore once you’ve worked out an app is going to be the next best thing for your business, you’ll need a budget to see you through all the phases of the project.
What’s Your Budget?
There is the upfront development cost which includes the full software development lifecycle. Before your app even starts to take shape, there is the initial analysis and design phases and then the development, testing before release into production. Plus the ongoing costs to fix software bugs, add new features, update the user interface, improve its intuitiveness, keep it secure and so on.
Typically you’ll have an idea of what you want to spend, then you’d be wise to double it!
One way to work out the ongoing investment is to consider the cost of maintaining the app, is the price more than the value it provides to your business? This is a good exercise for focusing your mindset on getting as much benefit from the app as you can for your business.
What Does The Feedback Say?
You wouldn’t invest in any business system or feature, without doing your due diligence. Therefore seek to understand if your customers see value in your business having an app. Ask them what they want and how would it improve their experience. Would they buy more from you and would they recommend you to other consumers because of the app?
Also, find out how successful other businesses have been with their app. Has it rewarded them more than the cost? Ask a non-competitor to give you their thoughts on it, and if they had their time over, would they build a mobile app again.
If you’re convinced an app is definitely for you then get input from business and software analysts before the development gets underway will set you up for success. Building an app specifically with your ideal customer requirements at its core just makes sense. If they like it, they will use it! Plus using a sample set of customers during the beta testing phase, along with other focus groups and user testing will give you honest feedback, so your app has been honed to perfection.