The mobile application market has been an unfolding business over the past decade. Statistics have been proving this to us.
According to Statista, there were nearly 10 million mobile applications in all major apps stores combined in the Q1 2018, where Google Play Store led the pack with 3.8 million apps. The stores are expanding their app base but does that mean that all businesses can have mobile apps?
In 2016, android users made approximately 95 billion app downloads, 65 billion more than the app downloads made on iOS.
This indicates the magnitude of the app economy, which makes it lucrative to most people. Mobile apps have been essential to business, and these numbers show the lucrativeness of the segment.
However, a question that troubles most entrepreneurs is whether their businesses can benefit or derive value from a mobile app. The answer to this question is two fold.
First, it is important to understand the importance of having a mobile application. Mobile apps unleash several benefits to business, which explain why more and more apps are being published each day.
Visibility to your customers.
Mobile apps can be interesting ways of getting your customers glued to your products or services, especially in a time when people are using their mobile phones the more.
An average person spends 2 and a half hours on his/her mobile device per day and 73 hours in a month. A significant part of this time is on your app.
Apps are not like the ads you put on social media or any other channel. They are not limited to the amount of content you as a marketing piece, say in an advert.
On a single app, you can inform your audience about your products’ general information, their prices, allow them to create user accounts among others. A mobile app is an absolute direct marketing channel.
Recognition and branding.
Every ambitious business has to invest in branding, and a mobile application can be handy for brand awareness.
The core advantage of branding is the fact that a mobile app provides a business with the ability to style and design an app in line the branding goals of a company.
Moreover, as your customers or audience get involved with the app, they become more inclined to purchase your products and services. The best case is why your business becomes their go-to choice when they need the products that you offer.
More customer engagement
A mobile application provides your customers with a more accessible channel to communicate with your business.
You get to learn more about the problems they are facing with your services and products. You are already aware of the role and benefits of customer engagement in today’s business world.
A mobile application is one of those tools that help in improving customer engagement.
Growing customer loyalty
Mobile applications can also be handy for growing customer loyalty. In some way, the customer loyalty that comes from mobile applications is subject to the customer engagement that comes from giving your users and customers an app to interact with.
The statistics on mobile app usage and the benefits they provide businesses can be tempting. It can lead you to think of developing your mobile application.
On the other hand, mobile applications are only important to businesses if there is a wider market to be targeted. While your business can derive the above benefits from a mobile application, it is important to understand the size of the market (and the demographic characteristics of the market ) are key factors to consider
That being said, it is important to consider that businesses are not all the same. While you and your competitor are in the same sector, selling similar products, there are differentiating factors such as your strategy and your vision for the business. Your business may not an app at the moment but it might need one in the future.
Mobile development is can be a costly adventure. It is important that you decide the value your business will generate from a mobile app before embarking on developing one or even hiring an agency to develop one for you.