A mobile application has become an integral part of business operations in the evolving digital world. According to data, after hitting the US$161.12billion mark in revenue in 2022, the global mobile apps revenue is envisaged to reach a new milestone of US$793.31billion in 2030. This is being driven by exponential growth in the number of smartphone users who prefer to access the web and brands on mobile devices for convenience. Hence, organizations have found it necessary to build a customized mobile app for their businesses. That said, a mobile application itself is a software application developed specifically for use on a mobile device such as a smartphone, tablets or watch. A mobile app can either be web-based, native or a hybrid depending on the platform in use. The platforms are mainly android, iOS, and Windows.
Native apps are created specifically for a given platform. For instance, an application designed for an Apple device does not run in Android devices. In the case of a web-based app, Internet connectivity is required for proper functionality or being able to use all features compared to offline usage. Most, if not all, user data is stored in the cloud. A hybrid app, on the other hand, combines elements of both native and web apps and use across multiple platforms. As a result, most businesses will develop a mobile app with multiple platforms to accommodate a wide of range of user segments. According to data, there are 1.96 million apps on the Apple App Store and 2.87 million on Google Play Store available for download. Prudence requires that in planning to build or design a mobile App, a business must consider some salient factors which include but are not limited to:
Building a mobile app to support business operations definitely involves financial commitments. A budget is required for the initial development as well as subsequent maintenance. Basically, the budget must depend on the niche market, which invariably influences the type of app (web-based, native or a hybrid) your business intends to build and the type of contents on the app. A business will also need additional resources for bug fixes, feature upgrades, and performance optimization, hence, updates and maintenance can be considered recurring expenses in a budget.
Conducting a market research
It is essential to conduct a thorough research on your competitors and target audience when planning to develop a mobile app for your business. A research of this nature will help to develop a unique mobile app which will stand out from the crowd. Indeed, the target market will influence the choice of the right platform (android, iOS or Windows), features of the mobile app and its use.
Focusing on intuitive user experience
It is equally important to know that a mobile application’s contents, apart from the features, must be appropriate for existing customers and potential ones who will use it. We should not lose sight of the fact that a user’s perception of your business and services is shaped by the mobile app they use. There is, therefore, the need to ensure that the mobile app is user-friendly, highly interactive, simple and easy to use, without compromising on data efficiency and battery usages of the device.
Scalability of the mobile app
A scalable mobile app must be able to accommodate regular increase in users without experiencing downtime, crashes or other performance issues. It is also worthy to note that the contents of a mobile app depend on a wide range of functions or services it will be used for. As such, contents of a mobile app will determine if it is going to be a gaming app, lifestyle and entertainment app or a productivity app. Thus, in planning to build a customized mobile app, it is worthy to have a foresight of a built infrastructure, which will enhance continuous scalability.
Security & privacy measures
One of the crucial aspects of mobile app development is user security. A customized mobile app must have an efficient and robust security system to keep all vital and user information safe from unauthorized access. In this regard, a mobile app must have features such as data encryption, secure log-in and multi-factor authentication. It is important to disclose privacy policies in concise language in a section on the mobile app for the users to read and understand those terms and conditions.
Benefits of mobile apps
There are many benefits a business derives from an investment in a mobile app. Research has established that nearly 90 percent of smartphone users spend time on apps and 49 percent of people open an app more than eleven (11) times a day. Based on this statistics, it is understood that a mobile app generally helps a business to connect with customers to improve engagement, loyalty and give them value. Aside from that, a mobile app empowers a business to personalize a marketing channel, harness the influence of social media channels to build a stronger brand and reputation.
Apart from the general benefits of a mobile app, other variables like a productivity app – designed for specific functions – help to improve business efficiency. A mobile accounting app which is in a category of a productivity app enables a business to streamline their financial management processes. An accounting app also helps to access financial data on any occasion. Thus, a mobile accounting app helps a business executive to check financial performance, review transactions, and monitor cashflow with comfort of a smartphone or tablet. This accessibility facilitates informed decisions even when away from the office.
Furthermore, tracking expenses can be cumbersome and time-consuming, but a mobile accounting App can simplify and make it easier to analyze and monitor spending patterns with real-time updates. A mobile accounting app, indeed, saves businesses both time and money through automation of tasks and frees up valuable time for more strategic business activities. Other essential productivity or business apps, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems and e-commerce platforms, can be integrated to improve workflows and provide a more comprehensive understanding of a business’ financial position and overall performance.
As the world becomes increasingly mobile, adopting a mobile App is no longer just an option but a necessity for a business seeking to thrive in the ever-evolving competitive environment. Nonetheless, inadequate planning and strategies backed by a research can cause a new mobile app to fail within the first few months of its official launch. Hence, it is incumbent upon organizations to consider all the necessary factors before designing a customized mobile app for their businesses. It is on the basis of these that they can exploits the full benefits of their investments and business growth.
Original Source: B&FT