Does my Small Business need a Mobile App?
If you have already decided that going digital is critical to grow your Business, congratulations the future is online and digital. Now you are asking yourself what is the best way to go digital, create a website or create a mobile App or some other way? Probably you are thinking to yourself that most customers have a smartphone, and they love to engage with an App – if you see a loose nail get a hammer right! Maybe a Mobile App is right for your business or maybe not …
What problem will a Mobile App solve?
Before you embark on creating a Mobile App for your business, It’s important to ask yourself what problem are you looking to solve with a Mobile App and is it the right solution for your business?
The main reasons why Businesses create Mobile Apps is to increase sales by adding a new channel, encourage repeat business to customers that have installed the App, allow customer to see and order your products &/or services online, increase customer stickiness by using the App to engage with your customers and encourage feedback.
A Business website can do many of the same things as an App, but customers often complain that a website is not as responsive as an App, websites take longer to load, it’s difficult to use a website on a smartphone screen, and the customer journey is not optimized for mobile. Another issue with a website is customers must go to Google search and find your Business, which is maybe on page 50 of their search – bookmarks are not that popular on mobile browsers after all.
So, if a Mobile App is well designed, there is no doubt customers will have a better experience on a smartphone versus a website. However, there must still be a clear and distinct reason for developing the Mobile App as discussed, and other alternatives do exist.
How much does it cost to develop and maintain a Mobile App?
Small Businesses don’t have software developers or IT teams capable of developing a Mobile App in house, so the answer will nearly always be to look outside for developing an App. There are two main options here for a Small Business to consider:
- White Label Mobile App services: There are companies that have white label Apps that offer a standard set of features such as eCommerce store to store your product or services catalogue, ability to take digital payments. These are cost effective from lower development costs, but instead look to charge a percentage of revenue (typically around 5-10%).
- Professional Mobile App Developers: In this case the Business would contract with an IT software development company and in this example the Business can request more customization that is possible in the white label Mobile App service. It typically costs around €50-60K per App, and additional costs if you want to support iOS and Android. As these platforms have new releases, you will also need to pay maintenance for the App of around 15-20% per year.
Developing an App through either method is not going to be cheap, you’ll either pay at the beginning or give up a percentage of your revenue. But probably the biggest challenge you will face is convincing users to download your Mobile App and keep it on their phone. No one wants their shiny expensive App to be sitting unused in an Appstore!
Is there another option? Yes
An alternative to building your own App is to use the Messenger Apps such as WhatsApp, which is on everyone’s phone, widely accepted and is Ready for Business, often called conversational commerce and is growing fast.
“Global spending on conversational commerce channels will total about 41 U.S. billion dollars in 2021. That figure was forecast to grow almost sevenfold by 2025, amounting to some 290 billion U.S. dollars.” Statista Nov 2021
The great thing about Messaging Apps is that they can perform all the same functions as a Mobile App with no need for the consumer to download another App. Customers simply need to enter a phone number and can engage with the Business.
At Message My Customer we enable Messenger Apps for Business, with Customer Relationship Management, eCommerce Store, Loyalty, and Digital Payments. For service industry we also enable appointment bookings. Every Business is provided a local Mobile Number (separate from their business number) that they can advertise on their Facebook business account or online such as Google business. We also provide Businesses with QR code(s) that make it simple for your customers to engage through a Messenger App with your Business.
Sounds Interesting – Get in touch now.
We would love to chat with you about how your business could benefit from OMNI channel messaging and WhatsApp business platform. Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will schedule a call.
So go ahead and join the conversation by taking advantage of the 23 hours that consumers spend per week on their Messaging Apps and use that to grow your Business.