When talking with clients about mobile technologies, we often hear of their challenges creating appropriate business cases. The value of mobile apps aren’t always measured in dollars and cents, so we’ve put together nine reasons to take the plunge into the world of mobile app development.
1. Revenue Generation
Probably the most obvious reason on the list is revenue generation. Pay for purchase apps, apps with advertising, and apps that result in the winning of more business will result in new revenue. Not every mobile engagement results in an immediate return on investment, but we have eight other great reasons to take the leap into the world of mobile apps.
I replaced the roof of my home five years ago. When I was looking for a trustworthy contractor, I started my search on the internet. Having a professional website would help to identify a reliable individual, since this demonstrates a certain level of investment and professionalism. In 2013, the new litmus test for legitimacy and professionalism will be having a mobile app available for download.
The second app that I ever built was for a small, Winnipeg based clothing store. The app was quite simple -- just an aggregate of their blog’s RSS feed, as well as push notifications whenever new products were published on their website. Within a few months, the store was receiving phone and email orders from around the world. Based on keyword searches in the app store, consumers were finding and downloading the app, and then becoming customers! A relatively small investment in app development was giving the tiny independent retailer a global presence via the mobile world.
I was recently called to a client site to chat about the benefits of mobile web development versus those of native app development. After some discussion, a member of their marketing team piped up and said, "An app in the store is a press release for us, and a mobile website isn’t." This message has stuck with me ever since. A mobile app is more than just screens and buttons; it’s also one of the most powerful pieces of marketing collateral that a modern business can have.
So, you’ve invested a half million dollars on powerful back-end infrastructure to support your day-to-day activities. Maybe you’ve built a web application, or other software to take advantage of your new system, but why not integrate a mobile app into your technology stack? A relatively small mobile investment can really help you leverage the power of your much larger sunk infrastructure cost.
Very few businesses operate entirely from the comfort of their computer desk, yet many businesses only offer services that support that type of activity. By identifying activities that are mobile in nature, mobile technologies can be used to bolster productivity. Remember, a mobile app shouldn’t replicate all of your existing services; rather, it should focus on those that are critical in a mobile context.
7. To Keep up with the Competition
Merely "keeping up with the Jones’s" isn’t a strategy that we typically suggest, but the reality is that service benchmarks exist within each industry. If you aren’t meeting them, then it’s in your best interest to do so sooner rather than later. When discussing mobile technologies with clients, one of our first tasks is to investigate how their competitors operate in the mobile space, and then try to identify ways to add more value.
8. To Meet Expectations
One step further than what was written in the section on legitimacy, within the next two to three years, employees and customers will come to expect a business to offer a mobile app (the same way that we all expect a business to offer a website now). It’s time to investigate mobile opportunities now, rather than having to play catch up later.
9. To Innovate
In the traditional web space, everything feels like it has been done before. On the other hand, mobile application development is still a relatively new arena. This means that there are still plenty of opportunities to innovate. As a proactive, forward thinking company, the chance to create something new and groundbreaking is truly exciting.
The reasons for starting development on your first mobile app will depend greatly on your industry, but we hope that the nine points listed above will inspire some thought on the matter. If you would like to discuss mobile options for your business, don’t hesitate to reach out to myself, or anyone else at Online Business Systems. We would love to help you accomplish as many of the NINE listed items as possible with your first mobile app.