Apps have been in the mainstream public eye for over a decade now. The idea that you download a program that only interfaces with one company, theme or complete one type of task has been a hit. We have the people at Apple to thank for that. The success of the iphone quickly carried over into other markets and now even windows calls their programs “apps” now.
An app can be tremendously useful for repetitive tasks. If you need to pay your bill, add movies to your streaming que, edit images or whatever you need to do, an app is the perfect solution. Apps work so well in everyday life that business owners often think to themselves “Hey, I should get an app!”. But, an app may not be the way to go and here’s why:
Benefit to Cost Ratio
Creating an app from scratch for your company usually costs thousands of dollars. To offset the cost of your app development (and maintenance) your app will need to be able to stimulate sales. If your sales are the same after your app has launched then the app won’t pay for itself. It will end up on the app scrap heap where almost every app ends up.
App Not Needed
If a person can accomplish everything they want to do on your website, then an app may be redundant. Will your app offer features that a person can only get with the app? How many apps do you use daily/weekly? Can you see yourself using an app for your company that often if you were a customer? The smart play is having a mobile friendly website where a person can navigate and accomplish tasks easily.
Limited Phone Space
People typically clean up apps they don’t use often. If your app isn’t one that they will use on a regular basis you can pretty much bet that they will delete it. Having a bunch of apps on a phone makes updates take longer and uses up valuable operating space.
Apps take money to run. They often require programmers to tweak them, fix bugs or update content. This means uploading a new version of the app to the app store every time. And that means paying your web developer every time.
If your app will generate new sales for your business then it is a no-brainer. But having an app just for the sake of having an app may be a costly and fruitless endeavor.
Lead Developer at Olympus Web. I started in 2002. I specialize in Search Engine Optimization, content creation and building websites for small businesses.