15 May Does My Business Need an App?
There’s no doubt that mobile is the future of the web. When people browse the internet, they spend over half their time doing so on mobile platforms. With the rapid rise of mobile, you may be starting to wonder if it’s time for your business to get an app.
Creating an app for your business is a can be a large investment that shouldn’t be considered lightly. For some businesses, an app can greatly increase their visibility and make it easier for users to engage with their products and services. For other businesses, an app is just an extra hassle for their customers to experience.
Apps Should Do What Your Website Can’t
When it comes to apps, they can be a hassle for users to download and start using. Not only can they be storage hogs, but most things that a customer would do on your business’ app can be done just as easily on the web. If you’re going to create an app for your business, it needs to do what the web can’t.
For many businesses, most of what they want their app to do can be done on their website. With the constantly improving front-end and back-end technology and responsive designs, the web is able to give customers a user-friendly and effective experience on all devices.
If you want an app to do things like tell your customers your hours and location, provide a way for them to contact you, or just tell them general information about your company, think again. Why would someone want to download and use an app for those purposes when they could find that information on your website just as easily?
It’s asking a lot from your customers to switch from their preferred platform to a foreign and unfamiliar one. Especially if the demographic of your customer base is older and less familiar with technology, you could potentially be putting your company in the danger of losing customers who would prefer to use your website.
Less Is More
If your business has specific needs that the web cannot provide, then creating an app might be a good idea. If you’re interested in integrating device features such as the camera or geographical locating abilities, an app can do that for you. An app should rarely be a replacement for your website, but rather a friend in arms that complements your services and products.
A good example of a company that has integrated an app into their web presence is Chipotle. This fast-casual food company created an app that enhances their customer experience, yet is surprisingly simple. The only thing you can do on the app is order food. Other business related tasks like applying for a job, getting in contact with the headquarters, filing a complaint, browsing company news, searching for locations and hours, and looking up nutritional information are all still done on their traditional website. Putting all of these features into a single app would crowd it and make it complicated to use. Instead, Chipotle made a very simple design that allows their customers to order their food no matter where they are, without having to sift through their large website to do so.
It is likely because of the fact that Chipotle’s app has a single use in mind that it is one of the top 5 food apps downloaded in the App Store and has over 3 million downloads. It has also set the standard for apps in the food industry.
Always Remember the User
The bottom line when it comes to whether or not your business needs an app is if it will benefit the user. Don’t consider an app for your business because you think it will look cool, make you relevant, or streamline the workflow for yourself. An app should be created with only one thing in mind—the customer.
Remember that the majority of people don’t want to go through the hassle of downloading yet another app that does the same thing a website does. If you want an app to help your business gain customers and revenue, work with a digital marketing company to ensure ease-of-use is a large focus and a specific purpose is clearly defined. This is the recipe that can make your app a successful investment.