Entrepreneurs and business owners know that managing ecommerce or any other type of business requires spending time and effort to solve marketing, financial and logistic challenges. They need to constantly search for means and tools to increase productivity, agility, and decision-making speed.
Introduction: Mobile App Installs Are Increasing
App downloads are increasing globally. Data revealed by SensorTower – a provider of insights for the global app economy – substantiate the increase in demand for apps.
Games are evidently on top of the mobile users’ preferences. However, business apps have recently seen a surge in demand. Statista reported “business” to be the second most popular category in the iOS App Store, as of August 2020.
If you are an entrepreneur or a business owner, and you want your business to keep up with the modern digital world, this article is for you.
How Can a Mobile App Help Your Business?
The number of smartphone users has already exceeded 3.5 billion in 2020, as reported by Statista, and the number is expected to rise. Smartphones are no longer used solely for personal purposes and are increasingly used in business as well. Using mobile apps can set your business apart from the rest.
Among the main perks that mobile apps development gives to your business are:
- Increasing brand awareness
The most valuable things a mobile app can do for your business activity are strengthening the brand and bringing it closer to the customers.
Regular and smooth interaction helps to build a strong relationship with the customers and enhance brand trust among them.
- Boosted customer loyalty
Mobile app users are particularly sophisticated, and the only way to retain them is by providing an excellent customer experience.
- A new source of data for analysis
Having a mobile app allows you to collect and analyze a lot of data, including:
- customers’ preferences;
- the overall time spent on your app;
- the most popular features of the app.
A thorough analysis of this information will provide you with an understanding of who your customers are and how you can make their interaction with your brand more seamless.
- Fast reaching to the audience
Using a mobile app is faster than browsing a websites’ desktop or mobile version. The convenience of website navigation depends on the quality and speed of the internet connection; however, the content of an app is stored within it, and it takes hardly a second to get everything displayed in a mobile app.
- Receiving the customers’ feedback
Customer feedback is an opportunity to improve your business. Comments, reviews, or votes within an app let you see what customers think about your brand and how you could improve your products and services.
To keep customers satisfied, you can incorporate the following features into your app:
- Push notifications
Mobile notifications will inform users of your special offers or deals, keeping them updated and coming back for more.
- In-app payments
Including convenient payment options will increase customers’ motivation to close the deal and buy your products instantly.
This feature will help the customers to find your nearest store or the store where the necessary product is in stock.
Challenges When Building a Business Mobile App
Although building a mobile app could be imperative for your business development, it has its challenges too.
Below we’ve highlighted the most obvious fears a business owner may have regarding mobile app development and how to overcome them.
“Building a mobile app is a complicated issue.”
Well, yes, it is! Especially if you don’t have an experienced professional with technical expertise in-house. In this case, everything, from selecting a platform to designing an app, and things in-between, could be an insurmountable obstacle.
“Mobile app development costs a fortune.”
Business owners are skeptical of any additional investments, especially when it comes to software development.
Core Stages of Mobile App Development
You have an idea of an app that can help your business. But don’t know how to realize it. This is a common scenario for a business owner.
Step 1. Project discovery and planning
At this stage, all your ideas are collected into a technical specification. It is an important step of the app development cycle:
- it saves time on decision making in the development process;
- it serves to define the technical challenges for the developers;
- the technical specification shows a probable alternative way to meet the requirements.
Within the first stage, the architecture of the future solution is presented together with a product development roadmap that clarifies the milestones and helps to keep track of the progress.
Step 2. MVP design
Building an MVP – minimum viable product – helps to answer one of the core app development questions: what features an app needs to function?
During the app development process, it is prudent not to distract attention from the essential features of the future app to the less significant aspects. The MVP serves to provide a clear understanding of the core app functionality. It’s the skeleton of your app, and it will help to track the feasibility of your ideas.
Step 3. Software development
At this stage, tech is practically incorporated into the design. It involves:
- back-and-front-end development
- data encryption
- code review
- project analysis
Step 4. Quality assurance
A working app needs to undergo rigorous testing before deployment. Your app should work equally well online and offline, on Android and iOS devices, on smartphones and tablets.
The quality assurance specialists will:
- do manual and automated testing of the app functionality and usability;
- ensure crash tracking;
- check compliance with the quality standards.
Step 5. Launch and support
Launching an app is the final step in the development process.
To make your app available to the public, it is necessary to submit it to various app stores. Google Play and App Store have a list of requirements an app should meet to be presented on the platforms.
An experienced development team will not only take care of your app market placement but will also provide post-launch support and core feature updates.
Best Apps for Business Owners: Summing Up
Using web and mobile apps is vital as they help your business to stay attuned to the latest tech, be innovative, competitive, and respond to challenges of the digital era. Finally, if you need a solution tailored to your exact expectations, custom mobile app development services are what you need to opt for. You may also need a source code analysis tool to analyze source code maintainability and security. Some of the metrics are technical debt and code smells, coding standard and security.