Mobile apps have undergone a truly incredible pace of growth and acceptance over the last decade. It’s tough to believe, but apps have only recently found their place in mainstream life. Ten years ago, apps were a niche product that only Apple were predominantly toying with– now apps are considered absolutely essential tools for every business owner.
There are always trends when it comes to business tools; new ideas and innovations that everyone is encouraged to try, but then fizzle out to nothing. Apps, however, have found a staying power that is truly impressive, integrating with modern life and justifying their position as the essential tool for businesses.
If you don’t have an app, but you do have a successful business, you may have wondered what all the fuss is about. You will likely have read numerous articles that insist that an app is essential for a modern business, but have dismissed them: if your business is doing well without an app, then why do you need to go to the time and expense of creating one? Why is everyone so obsessed with the importance of apps when it’s clear that businesses can function just fine without one? Here’s why.
#1 – The change in user behavior
For many years, a company’s sole presence online was a website. If the website worked when viewed on a desktop computer, then they didn’t need to concern themselves with much else. Getting ranked on Google was easy, because there were fewer sites to choose from, and advertising just meant the purchase of a few banner ads.
In 2018, the landscape has changed, and this change is almost entirely user-driven. The first change is how people use the internet; mobile viewing is becoming more and more popular, to the point where it threatens to eclipse standard web browsing entirely.
Secondly, advertising online is becoming more and more difficult. Users are more savvy than they used to be; most won’t click on ads, and some will go to steps to erase ads from their online experience altogether by using an adblocker.
Apps have become more popular due to a combination of these factors.
- Apps function as a direct form of advertising; they are ever-present on the customers’ home screen, so there is no need for banner or pay-per-click advertising.
- Apps naturally link with the way that customers prefer to source their information now; on their mobiles.
Essentially, one of the fundamental reasons apps have become so important to businesses is because users have dictated that. Studies have shown that 85% of internet users prefer apps to using websites— with statistics like that, not having a business app can quickly become a liability.
#2 – Apps have a captive audience
What is the sole reason that businesses advertise and have an online presence?
The answer is simple: to generate revenue. While you may hear terms like “increasing engagement” and “improving the user experience”, these all boil down to that one, simple fact. Advertising, marketing, a social media presence– they all exist for the simple purpose of increasing the bottom line.
However, there’s a downside to advertising, marketing, and business social media usage: the competition. Some of this competition is literal; competing with other businesses in Google Adwords so that your ad will be shown rather than someone else’s, for example. Social media and marketing also have a competitive nature; you are constantly clamoring to be seen over other businesses.
Apps don’t have this limitation. If a customer downloads your app, then their focus is entirely on your business. You don’t have to worry about them getting distracted and spotting another advert– they are a captive audience, focused solely on your business for the entirety of their time spent in your app. This is a captive audience that no business can afford to turn down.
It’s worth noting that there are billions of different businesses online– but most smartphone users only have an average of 35 apps installed. If your business app can be one of that 35, your visibility to the customer is truly unmatchable by any other means.
#3 – You’re expected to have an app
This point is a little meta, but it’s true: the reason every expert insists that you should have a business app is because… Everyone expects you to have a business app. Apps have become the norm, a part of the business landscape, and one that customers have been trained to see as beneficial– many customers, for example, are accustomed to being rewarded with special discount codes when they use the app to place an order. So apps have become expected, and if your business doesn’t have an app, then your business becomes outright odd. In a landscape where everyone has an app, and customers want and prefer to use apps, an app-free business is an outlier– and not in a good way.
Not having an app can make your business seem small, behind-the-times, or out-of-date. Apps have reached a point of such ubiquity that the absence of an app from your business landscape can go against you. This alone is reason to take the step towards contacting an app software development company and looking into creating your own app once and for all, because even if you don’t feel like you need an app, your customers disagree.
#4 – Apps genuinely can help your business
Finally, the simple fact is that business owners are encouraged to offer their own app for the simplest of reasons: apps really are beneficial for businesses. Business owners have found that apps can:
- Allow for mobile geo-targeting better than any other product
- Increase engagement and sales from customers
- Build brand recognition
- Improve visibility to customers.
Essentially, if enough people are telling you something is a good idea… it’s probably a good idea.
If you have a successful business, the expense and stress of creating a mobile app may seem like a waste of time. Hopefully, having read through the above, you will be beginning to see why apps are considered so important, and how they can help to push your business to new heights.