Does a Business Need a Mobile App?

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Each business sets its own super-objective for the app. An international retailer wants to increase the average check and sales; a local store wants to attract more users, a large service provider wants to increase customer loyalty. But all customers of mobile apps have one thing in common: they want to grow their audience. 

How do apps make money? Most modern people use the mobile Internet. They spend 3.5-4 hours every day on their smartphones, playing games, reading news, talking, watching shows and YouTube. By being around their favorite services, a mobile app gives businesses the opportunity to reach these people directly.

When a person doesn't have a goal to buy but has an app at hand, the user can go in "out of boredom", and spend money on something to cheer themselves up. If a business is not on a smartphone, the business falls out of favor with potential consumers.


What a mobile app can do for a business and how apps make money: KPI-boosting tools


Mobile apps make money. It helps to increase key KPIs, customer loyalty, and brand awareness. 


Example 1

A company launched an updated store app that included rewards cards for the first time. In the first week after the launch, 30% of all users registered in the loyalty program. In the regions, the average receipt by card increased by 50% as compared to the average receipt without cards. The demand for products ordered online increased twice as much as the demand for products ordered online


Example 2

Nike is developing a mobile system of several applications: the Nike store app, Nike Training Club, and Nike Run Club, an app for the electric lacing of Nike Adapt sneakers. Nike's mobile strategy proved successful; that is, apps make money: app users spend on purchases 3 times more than visitors of the site.

But to influence business indicators, an app by itself cannot. Analysts and developers must provide tools that will work for business factors and increase engagement.

Let's just list the functionality that will be universal and allow apps to make money: 

- Intelligent user path - in the hands of an experienced designer, the application interface becomes a tool to achieve a business goal: if the navigation is made with the user's logic in mind, then the person reaches the target action faster and more often, and apps make money.

- Push notifications - we talk about this tool as an important channel of communication between an app and a user because notifications let people know about events in an app before they interact with it directly. The most important thing here is a sense of proportion. You need to set up push notifications correctly so that they don't make the user feel uncomfortable. 

- Loyalty program - this tool can be not only in ecom-apps, the loyalty program can be implemented for different services if you have loyal customers or if you want to apps make money. 

- Gamification - the task of the application is not only to solve the user's problem, but also to make them interested. You can dilute the standard functionality with game mechanics to give the person more positive emotions from the interaction with the application. Gamification elements can capture a person's attention and keep it - the game creates positive reinforcement, and the person visits the app more often.

All of these tools are a hook that should hook the user. But developing a mobile app for a business requires a big investment. If the company is not prepared for it from the beginning, the app will bring nothing but frustration and losses. 


How to understand that a mobile app is your development path

The current situation has shaken the economy around the world, but many mobile apps have benefited from this. Businesses have seen that apps make money. It is a channel for survival, so even the most conservative companies have moved to mobile. 

People now use digital services and apps 30% more often than before the pandemic. The main battle for the user unfolds in apps. If you don't have a mobile version of your business, you simply cannot compete with other companies for consumer attention. The sooner you realize that apps make money, the better your chances are of building a loyal audience of loyal users around it.

But before you start developing, you have to check yourself. Not every business can handle the financial burden and not everyone can invest the time into development. What metrics to start with when deciding to create an app:


50% of the audience uses your service from a cell phone

It is justified to start a new project if more than half of your users are accessing your site through a smartphone. You can move them to a mobile app and increase engagement and business factors there.


You must have the resources to develop the app

Analytics, development, support, and promotion all require money. But the app shouldn't take the last thing from your business. It should be money that you can freely spend without expecting an immediate profit. 


You're prepared for the investment to take a long time to pay off

A mobile app is a long game. It won't bring you super profits right after release. You'll get your first payoff within a year or two after launch. Are you ready for that? 

If you realize that the app is an expensive solution for your business, it's worth considering not developing it for a while. To understand if your business is ready for a mobile app now, try to consider as many different factors as possible. 


What to replace the mobile app: three cheap solutions

Businesses are never looking to get a mobile app at all costs; they want the benefits an app can provide. In some cases, you can get those benefits from other products. If a mobile app isn't right for you yet, you can look for a solution that will cover the needs of the business and require less investment, for example:

- Adaptive Site Version - this will make browsing the site and getting a service from a smartphone a little more convenient than without it.

- Application builder - will create a boxed application with typical functionality; the main rule here is not to overload.

- Going to marketplaces is a good solution for stores that need to raise their sales online, but do not yet have the money for their own project.

You have to understand that these solutions have disadvantages, and they do not provide the same opportunities for promotion as mobile development, so any of these options is temporary. Take advantage of one of them if you're not ready for an app yet. But if you already have a project concept and understand how apps make money, development is what you need. 

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