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How to Decide If Your Business Needs a Mobile App

By Snap Agency January 4, 2019

It goes without saying that keeping up with the advancement of technology is important, whether that’s through creating accounts on new social networking sites, app development, or hopping on new technology that has yet to be invented. But it’s also essential to avoid progress for the sake of progress. Here at Snap, we’re often tasked with working out the best possible media strategy for a business, and sometimes we run into questions about whether or not a company needs an app business plan. In some cases, developing a mobile app would be getting too far ahead of the curve or venturing into territory that isn’t relevant to that business’ needs. In other cases, that company could absolutely benefit from mobile features.

So, how can you know whether that app will help or hurt your brand’s image? It all comes down to how your brand actually works, and you know how things run best. Here are a few questions to ask of yourself, your employees, and your business that can help you determine whether you should develop a mobile app.

Who are Your Consumers?

When it comes to creating something exclusively used on a device like a phone, think about the people who regularly use mobile devices and how those people might fit into your demographic. Do your customer spend a lot of time on their devices, or are they older, more dedicated to setting their phones down, or more focused on other aspects of their lives? If your key demographics consist of people who aren’t very attached to their phones, you’re unlikely to see positive returns on your mobile app.

But perhaps you’re beginning to attract more tech-savvy customers or a different demographic filled with consumers who use their phones for everything. In that case, a mobile app could be exactly what you need to appeal to that new group and attract more people to your company.

How is Your Website Used?

Consider utilizing surveys or studying the data from your website to discover exactly how people are using your business’ site. Your site might be acting as a resource for consumers, a way to purchase needed items and services, or a combination of the two. This same functionality can be built out into a mobile app, to allow your customers to better access resources while they’re on the go. But first, you should make certain that your website is fully accessible, in order to inform your app development. If you employ a website marketing company, ensure that your site is optimized for mobile use. This will allow your site to run smoothly and responsively on a mobile device, so that your visitor receives the same ease of use he or she experiences when visiting your homepage on a desktop computer.  

How Would Your Mobile App be Used?

When your website is optimized for mobile devices, you can tackle the tricky task of mapping out an app that appeals to your consumers, but is different from your website. Ask yourself what would make your customers want to download an app when they could simply pull up your smoothly-running website on their phones. Your app needs to offer some kind of incentive or advantage for mobile users to give up a chunk of their precious storage data, whether that’s an easy-to-use marketplace or a handy guide or resource that isn’t available elsewhere.

Take some time to analyze your company’s social media ROI. You might find that you’re getting all the consumer interaction and conversion you want through Instagram’s shopping feature or Facebook’s groups and pages. In that case, your social presence and website probably provide everything your customers need, and your business won’t necessarily benefit from developing a mobile app.

What are the Common Practices Within Your Industry?

With 2.1 million apps available to Android users and 2 million options to choose from in Apple’s App Store, there better be something about your app that sets it apart from your competitors’. Be sure to find out whether your competitors even have apps, and whether that’s typical within your industry. If no businesses seem to have apps, that doesn’t necessarily bar you from creating one; your brand could be on the cutting edge of things! But if mobile apps are absolutely unheard of within your company’s sphere, it may be a sign that your business won’t benefit from creating a mobile app.

Build Up Your Brand with Snap

These self-diagnosis questions are a great starting point for figuring out whether your business should have a mobile app, but what happens when it comes time to actually revamp your brand or optimize your website in preparation? An expert opinion can provide the guidance and technical skills your business needs to thrive. At Snap, we’re passionate about providing brands with the keys to success. Feel free to reach out today to learn more about our SEO, web design, and social media marketing services!