As of 2022, around 6.8 billion people have smartphones. And there are approximately 3 million mobile apps to engage people. Therefore, mobile apps are slowly becoming necessary to grow your business, irrespective of your business size and domain. But, developing apps also comes with its fair share of downfalls. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of developing a mobile application for your business.
Advantages of mobile applications for small businesses
Let’s begin with the advantages of having mobile apps –
Increase Customer Engagement
An individual spends around 5 to 6 hours on their phones browsing apps. And, why shouldn’t they? Apps make products and services more accessible and convenient for the user. Even customers want more businesses to launch their apps to make it easier to connect with their services. An intuitive mobile application with a user-friendly UI is enough to hook customers to their phones. With push notifications, you can always be on top of their minds. You can also introduce intelligent highlights and nudges in your app to encourage them to use new features and increase their engagement within the app.
Reduce Marketing Cost
Advertising using traditional media has become way too expensive. Having a mobile app drastically brings down your marketing expenses by creating a channel to promote your products and services. Moreover, you can collect valuable data about customer behavior based on their in-app interactions. Later, your company can utilize this data to segment your customers and run personalized ad campaigns on their social media platforms. Offering personalized push notifications also becomes easier and is inexpensive compared to other forms of marketing.
Deepen Customer Relationship
Along with your social media and marketing strategy, a well-designed mobile application increases your brand awareness. A good UI and UX will encourage your users and customers to return for more. In addition to that, a mobile application for your small business creates a new communication channel for your customers. They can directly interact with the company to resolve their queries. And it also enables you to offer personalized recommendations for them. The two-way communication establishes trust and makes it easier for you to nurture loyalty. A higher loyalty towards your brand increases their chances of becoming repeat buying customers.
Mobile applications also open up multiple avenues for revamping your customer service. You can set up an automated virtual assistant to help your customers with frequently asked queries. This is optional, but you can also set up a 24×7 customer support line that interacts with the customers irrespective of the time of the call.
Put Yourself Ahead of Your Competitors
Developing a mobile application for your small business puts you ahead of your competitors. Instead of solely relying on bringing customers to your brick-and-mortar store, you aim to take your business directly to their fingertips. Customers will always prefer the option that is more convenient for them. More prominent brands have already started launching their apps. However, mobile apps are still a novelty in the small business sector. Therefore, the faster your can launch your app, the more advantage you will have over your competition.
Promote Your Offerings and Sale Events
You can directly promote your new sale events and product offerings to your customers without relying on third-party channels. To bring in more customers, you can run personalized promotional campaigns that address customers’ issues. Personalized discount offers are also a tried and tested method to entice customers to purchase your product.
Disadvantages of mobile applications for small businesses
However, there are a few downsides of having a mobile application, too, let’s look at them –
It is no surprise that creating a mobile application is expensive, especially for smaller brands with budget constrictions. On top of that, you have to develop two different versions for the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. If you want to reduce investment in apps, you will have to eliminate some valuable features that might make the app not very appealing to the users. During the app development process for Android, you will have to test it for hundreds and thousands of devices, which can add to the cost. To combat this, rely on trusted app development experts who can help you cost-effectively build your app.
The process of developing an app can become complex and convoluted. The mobile app developers need constant input from your higher-ups and might consume a lot of your valuable time. The chances are that you might not have the right technical expertise to make recommendations and understand the changes that are being made to your app. This can make the app development process much more challenging for you. Again, relying on experienced experts in building apps for small businesses can help you overcome this challenge.
You will have to offer regular software updates to maintain the app’s quality. Furthermore, you will have to constantly upgrade the app’s security protocols to safeguard your customer’s data and privacy from hackers and cyber attacks. And, continually upgrading the app’s interface and the internal mechanisms can burn a hole through your pockets. Not upgrading the app also makes you fall behind your competitors. An unkempt and scruffy user interface might encourage the users to uninstall your apps.
Lack of Focus
Creating a mobile app just for its sake is counter-intuitive and might be a financial blunder. An app won’t solve your issues, you need to put dedication behind it to increase customer engagement on your app. You need to dedicate time to draw the outline of the app and list the features you want to offer to your customers. During the same time, you will also need to think about the new features that you want to introduce in your apps to improve your customers’ browsing experience.
Marketing Your App
Before you can market your products through your app, you need to market your app. You have to set aside a significant amount to promote your app to your prospects. Apart from that, you have to rely on social media, email, and other forms of marketing to advertise your apps to increase the number of customers. Most small businesses could better utilize this level of expenditure to promote their products and services directly.
Developing an app for bigger brands with deep pockets and proper financial backing is undoubtedly beneficial. But smaller businesses need to thoroughly weigh the pros and cons before committing their finances to develop a mobile application. The best route is to trust expert app development companies who have a proven track record of developing apps for small businesses. Such experts can guide you through the otherwise complicated process and help you minimize or eliminate the downsides of having a mobile app.
Passionate Writer, Blogger and Amazon Affiliate Expert since 2014.