Is an app for your business really needed?

Mobile applications are wildly popular, providing bite sized experiences which range from entertaining to practical. If you run a business, though, should you consider creating an app or is this something that remains unnecessary for most firms?

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Mobile matters

In the UK, there is little question of the power that smartphone and tablet users wield, especially in the world of retail. In 2019, the use of mobile devices dominated e-commerce browsing and sales, helping fuel an unprecedented 16 per cent year on year growth in the sector as a whole.

This means that any business which wants to engage with modern customers must cater to mobile devices. So an optimised site, which can be used equally easily across desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets, is seen as essential.
We recommend that businesses build responsive sites which mould to suit any screen size and input type. Where do apps fit into all of this, though?

App options

A mobile app, like a website, is essentially a digital representation of your business, which serves to both provide users with information and ultimately gather data on their activities in return. Transactional apps which allow purchases to be made are also available and can be effectively deployed, so long as they are well designed.

Answering the question of whether or not you need an app for your firm will come down to what type of data you want to display and collect. This willingness to recognise that apps are right for some organisations but not for others is the first important step to take. A company called Lazy Juice who set up their Gloucester Vape Shop online decided they didn’t need an app but made sure their website is mobile friendly and clear enough for people to read and work with.Apps have pros and cons which need to be balanced against a mobile site. For example, conversion rates may be higher in an app, since it is a closed-off ecosystem that can be controlled minutely by the designers. On the other hand, it is tough to not only convince customers to download an app, but then to get them to use it once it is installed on their device.

Tuning the user experience to meet the expectations of your target audience is vital when building an app. If you lack the in-house expertise to achieve this, then looking to an outside agency is sensible, as with building a responsive mobile site.

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