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How to Determine When Your Website Needs a Mobile App, Too

Building a website is no longer about being at the cutting edge of technology. It is a necessary tool for any business that wants to get off its feet and thrive in this new age. What’s more, some ventures exist entirely through their websites and are reaping the benefits of having reduced overhead costs. The proliferation of smart devices like tablets and smartphones introduced a new dimension to accessibility for businesses. Mobile applications are a great way to extend the functionality of your website, but they tend to have different quirks. Should you add an application to your website? Let’s find out.  

Pros and Cons of Building a Mobile App

Apps can seem like a logical step for any business that wants to have a survival chance. However, like every business step you make, they have both upsides and downsides. What matters is whether the app meets your goals and aspirations. Some benefits of app development include
  • Increased brand visibility
  • Enhancing user interaction and experience
  • Boosting customer engagement
  • Giving your business a competitive edge
  • Generating additional revenue
Even though the benefits sound like something you definitely should be doing, there are downsides to app development, such as
  • The need to have separate development teams for the Android and iOS apps, which means escalating development and maintenance costs.
  • An app is not a substitute for a website, but a complement.
  • You’ll have an increase in updating and maintenance efforts across three platforms.
  • Apps don’t help much with SEO.

How To Determine The Right Time For An App

Developing a mobile application is an arduous process. Also, it’s not a guarantee that it will perform as impressively as others you’ve come across. Before delving into mobile application development, you need to ask yourself a few questions.

Is Your Website Responsive?

By responsive, we mean is your website optimized for use on mobile screens? 87% of mobile phone users in the United States accessed the internet via their mobile phones. For many services accessible via a mobile-optimized website, it may not be precisely prudent to spend a large amount of money to duplicate the functions of your website via a mobile app. Optimizing your website can be cheaper. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly for a strong reason, then developing a mobile app will allow you to reach customers on mobile devices.

Does Your App Solve Your Customers’ Problem? 

Websites are versatile, and their accessibility on mobile devices denotes your customers may choose to save space on their mobile devices and use your website rather than an app. Even then, there are use cases where an app solves a particular problem that your website cannot. Your app would best handle cases such as protecting your users’ login information or their financial details. The additional functionality and security imply that your customers can trust your application more than risk their details leaking.

Do You Have a Plan to Monetize the App?

Developing and maintaining a mobile application is a cost-intensive project. You don’t want to keep throwing money at a scheme that isn’t making financial sense. Before embarking on an app development project, you’ll have to brainstorm ways to have the app generate income for itself. One way to bring in money is by mobile ad revenue. The more people who view and click the ads on your app, the more money it brings in. But whether this plan works is dependent on the next point.

Are You Receiving Huge Traffic on Your Website?

The thing about a website is the costs associated with running it are dependent on the resources the website is using up. As more people flood your website, it has to use up surging levels of resources so as not to affect usability. All this costs more. If your website is receiving a lot of traffic from users on mobile devices, it’s time to consider app development. The high numbers of mobile users signify many of them are looking to engage with you with their mobile devices. Therefore, an app makes sense for two reasons.
  1. Your customers can interact with your business at any moment and not risk having a poor user experience.
  2. You can maintain the costs of running your website at an acceptable level.

What Demographics Are You Targeting?

App developers tend to segment age demographics into three categories.
  • Digital aliens: Those who saw the internet and mobile revolution unfolding. This group is currently 38 years and above.
  • Digital immigrants: Those born as the internet was unfolding and were young enough when mobile apps became a thing. This group is between the ages of 25 and 37.
  • Digital natives: They were born in the smartphone era. This demographic is 25 and below.
The digital aliens may see and understand the utility of mobile apps, but can just as easily access your services physically or via your website. For the digital immigrants and natives, they’ve grown up experiencing the joys of using mobile apps. So, if your products or services are currently aimed at the latter two demographics, then having a mobile app makes sense.

What Are Your Competitors Up To?

It wouldn’t be prudent to go swimming with sharks when you aren’t one or don’t have the means to beat them at their own game. While it may not be entirely necessary to build an app, it could be the utility you need to get one over your competitors.  

Don’t Know Where to Begin?

Deciding whether you should develop an app or stick to your website can be a bit more nuanced than what this article suggests. To truly make a decision that will have the most significant impact on your business, you stand to benefit remarkably from the advice of competent software consultants. That’s exactly what we at Entrance Consulting do. We can help your business buy, build, and integrate software apps with your business, and see you realize your dreams. To start, get in touch with us today.

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