How to Decide if Your Business Needs a Mobile App

Zain Abouseido

February 12, 2014

How to Decide if Your Business Needs a Mobile App

In a time where Internet users are on their smartphones more than desktop computers, a mobile presence is necessary for businesses. Integrating a mobile strategy into your business’s marketing plan is integral if you want to increase your customer base. While it’s necessary to think mobile, it’s also crucial to put your business’s objectives upfront. Your business will most likely need a mobile-friendly website, but does it need a mobile app as well?

Small businesses tend to follow trends in order to stay relevant with their customers. Before jumping into these trends however, your business needs to identify your key purpose from having a mobile presence. Follow this guide to determine whether your business needs a mobile app or should focus on a mobile optimized site.

1) Who are your customers?{#/pub/images/shutterstock_126812309.jpg}

The purpose of your mobile presence is to attract more customers, as well as keep up with your existing customer’s needs. The first thing you want to ask yourself is who is your target audience? Think about these customers and whether or not they would rely on mobile devices to retain information. Would customers want to access your information on their smartphones?  If you believe your customers are frequently using their smartphones for search queries then a mobile app would be the right step for you.

Think about the way your customers interact with your business. Quick, accessible tabs on a mobile app may create a smooth process for purchasing a product or service your business offers. A business like Amazon for example, a leading electronic ecommerce company, needs a mobile app. Customers are constantly buying or selling items on Amazon, therefore easy access on a mobile app creates better user-experience. 

2) Will a mobile app cause stress or success for your business?

The first step is thinking about your customers. Now, think about your business. Will the addition of a mobile app benefit your business, or will it just add extra unwanted stress? If having a mobile app will deliver your content in a more efficient manner that will save your business time, then you may want to create one. Typically, customers do not want to spend excessive time attaining information on their smartphones. They want the most in the least amount of time. Is your content the type that can be condensed? Will you be able to keep up with your customers needs as conveniently as possible? If you are answering no, then you may want to focus on a responsive site instead. This will save you time and money if a mobile app is not right for your business.

However, if you think you can lead customers to what they need in a few steps and minimal words, then a mobile app may sky-rocket your sales and customer visits. A business like Dunkin Donuts for example benefits from a mobile app because customers can directly make purchases on the app, as well as gain exclusive offers on-the-go.

3) Are you using your mobile presence as a promotional tool? 

{#/pub/images/images.jpg}You now need to think about what you want to deliver through your mobile presence. Do you want to promote your products and services? If yes, then a mobile app would be a great addition for your business. Through a mobile app, you can offer your customers coupons in order to gear their attention to specific products or services. Your customers can be notified directly through the app about any new product or service you are offering as well. This will keep them updated and informed about anything they may want to purchase from your business.

If you are running an apparel store for example, you can send your customers coupons through a mobile app to attract them to your actual store location as well. So the next time your customers pass by your store, they can use coupons directly from their smartphones to make a purchase. In this setting, you are boosting your customer engagement, as well as store visits.

A mobile app can be beneficial for both your business and customers alike. However, you need to recognize your business’s key objectives and purpose out of having a mobile presence before making the addition. If a mobile app would help both your business and your customers receive what they need, then it may be a smart step. If you want to add a mobile app for your business, consider hiring a professional to create one to ensure you are receiving the full benefit. 

Zain Abouseido

This article was published by Zain Abouseido.

Zain Abouseido is a recent graduate from Rutgers University where she majored in Journalism and Media Studies. She is currently a Public Relations Strategist at Hudson Horizons where she looks forward to learning more about social media in a professional setting. Zain enjoys writing, traveling, and sports.