If you’re a business owner, you’re probably aware that having a website is no longer enough to be competitive. Today, businesses also need apps. These are one of those business tools in the 21st century that are rapidly becoming indispensable.
Consider this: more than 6.6 billion smartphone users worldwide; in 2021, these users downloaded 230 billion apps, according to a Statista report. A study by data.ai also estimated that smartphone owners spent more than USD$170 billion on mobile apps in 2021.
And no, apps aren’t just for large enterprises. Small and medium businesses (SMBs) are rapidly coming to terms that apps are here to stay. In fact, almost half (48%) of SMBs have apps.
Moreover, apps can give your business invaluable marketing opportunities. Implementing any marketing strategy is more effective with apps. Reaching your target market is also easier. Besides, your competitors most likely already have their apps. An app of your own is, therefore, necessary to stay competitive.
Things to remember when developing an application for your business
Don’t just go jumping into app development, however. Companies planning to develop apps for connected devices and mobile devices should consider these few things first:
1. Determine your app’s main purpose
First, find out your app’s primary purpose. Think about the uses and the defining features of the app. Remember, an app can introduce your brand to clients. For existing customers, an app can be used to improve services, promote new products, collect data, and provide a general sounding board for your promos, discounts, and other special offers.
A vision and an established plan can help determine the next steps in app development. You can also check your competitors’ apps in app stores to get insights on improving your app’s performance. Checking other apps can also help you discover your competitors’ mistakes to avoid them and provide something unique for your customers. Doing market research can also help you understand current trends and methodologies. There are tools to use for identifying trending topics.
Regardless of your app’s main purpose, remember that this level of connectivity gives you a chance to integrate your marketing strategy for a cohesive and consistent customer experience.
2. Understand your target audience
Will your target audience adapt to the app? Knowing your target audience will help you in which direction to go in your app development. This includes knowing your market’s demographics. Examples of demographic information are the following:
- Marital Status
Depending on your business, many businesses prefer to appeal to a larger base. For some, a focused, targeted marketing approach may be more effective. If you know your base, then let that information be your guide for developing your app. However, remember that those in the younger bracket tend to use apps more frequently than older users. Different age brackets also consume different types of apps:
- Under 25 (Generation Z). This group has the largest number of users of apps that provide video content—85% of them use a popular video streaming platform.
- Between 25-40 (Millennials). A diverse group in terms of lifestyles and interests; however, this age group is a major music streaming and navigation app user. They also use apps for information, current events, entertainment, and e-commerce. Millennials are also responsive to push notifications.
- Between 41-56 (Generation X). This age group is the largest social media app users, as they value social interaction more than visual stimulation in general. Gen Xers use apps purposefully, so developers targeting this age group should focus on the app’s ease of use.
- Between 57-75 (Baby Boomers). This age group is a significant user of apps on healthy living, traveling, and shopping. However, while 6 out of 10 Boomers shop online, only 32% of them have a mobile wallet. Also, the older your target audience, the more they value an app with familiar and easy-to-navigate features.
3. Choose the right platform or platforms for your app
Another critical consideration for developing an app is choosing whether to develop an app for more than one platform. If you make your app available on both iOS and Android, more consumers can access and use your app. You should know, though, that deciding to make your app compatible with different platforms will affect your app’s design, user interface, and overall feel and look.
If budgetary constraints exist, then make sure to choose the right platform for your app. You’ll have to go with the latest trends and, as mentioned previously, have a more thorough understanding of your target audience.
Google Play, for example, has an app market share that’s double Apple Store’s market share. However, Google Play users only constituted about 34% of the global spending on apps. Apple Store users, meanwhile, accounted for 66%. So, if you want more exposure, an app native to Android would suit you. But if your goal is to monetize, then Apple Store’s right up your alley. However, if you have the budget, an app available on Android and iOS is best.
4. Ensure app security
Security features should be baked in early during development. Your client’s passwords, bank details, personal information, and other data are your company’s assets as well as your responsibility. A security breach would be a severe dent in your reputation.
An app can help your business stay competitive. However, before developing an app, you should consider its primary purpose. After that, understand and find out everything you can about your target market. It would be best if you chose which platform is more suitable for your company. Lastly, ensure your customers’ data is secure and protected.