Customer Experience News & Trends

6 questions for your company about mobile apps

Yes, a simple mobile app can spur business and growth. But it’s also possible a mobile app isn’t right for your business.

Two questions to help you figure out if your company can benefit from having a mobile app:

How frequently are you doing business with the same customers? If you make a living selling Christmas trees, customers might only have an opportunity to use your app once a year, which means they probably won’t feel a need to have it. But if you’re doing repeat business every few weeks, an app might be a popular attraction — and a way to streamline the transaction process.

Can you think of a way to add value for customers? If so, an app may be the way to deliver that value. Apps often provide something for the user that will make their life easier. Think: What can we give them that will make them wonder how they ever lived without us? In what way(s) can we make using our product or service more convenient?

Designing your app

If you decide you want to make an app, here are four questions you need to answer before you dive into the pool:

What’s the app’s goal? Will it simplify the payment process? Will it provide useful product information?

Whatever the app’s ultimate goal, tailor its design to achieve that goal.

No goal will likely result in an app without a clear purpose — and no clear value for the customer.

What’s your price range? You can spend anywhere from $1,000 to over $100,000 creating a decent app. You should set a limit on what you’re willing to spend, and the best way to stay under that limit is to give your developer a clear picture of what you want your app do. Deciding to add more features after development begins can delay the launch date and increase the cost.

Will you charge for it? Both decisions, to charge or to not charge, have their inherent advantages and disadvantages:

  • A price-tag can make your app look professional, but might deter potential users.
  • Offering the app for free might draw in more users, but could also make the app look cheap.

A good question to ask is: How much will customers be willing to pay for the services the app provides? Whatever you decide, make sure to include a detailed list of your app’s features and advantages. And remember: If you give something away for free, mention the item’s retail value — e.g., “Download our app, valued at $9.99, for free!”

Will it be a native app or a web app? There are two kinds of apps you can have: native or mobile.

The main difference:

  • Native apps are applications stored within the devices on which they’re being used.
  • Web apps are applications accessed through an Internet browser.

The pros and cons of each format are extensive, but here’s an overview what’s most important:

  • Native Pros: Can make money from ads and downloads, and the app store through which it’s sold can provide assurance to the customer. Also tends to run a bit faster than a web app. Can access device features like a camera and microphone.
  • Native Cons: Tends to cost more to produce, and requires unique coding for each device it will run on. Users will choose whether or not they want to update, which means you’ll need to keep all versions on file for reference.
  • Web Pros: You control updates and a common code spans across devices. Tends to be cheaper to produce.
  • Web Cons: If you charge subscription fees, you’ll need a system to receive payments. You’ll need to develop and update the app for use on multiple browsers.

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