Does your business need a mobile app?
By now, it's obvious that mobile is the way of the future, and businesses that ignore mobile users do so at their peril. You need to have a presence where your customers hang out, and eMarketer estimates that U.S. adults spend an average of 3 hours and 8 minutes per day on mobile devices, excluding phone conversations.
Being mobile-friendly is as much a necessity as having a web presence. But there are two options for being mobile-friendly: mobile web and mobile app. Is an app the right choice for your business? Weigh these considerations to find your answer.
4 Ways a mobile app can help your business
- Developing an app gives you access to the mobile device's hardware, such as a camera, microphone, accelerometer (which the device uses to identify its orientation) and swipe gestures. For example, you can use a phone's GPS for geolocation in finding the location of your business nearest to your customer. You can use those features to get your customers to engage with you.
- An app makes push notifications easy. You can put your brand name in front of smartphone users whenever it makes sense — even when they aren't actively using your app. You have the opportunity to continually bring your customers back for more, with no danger of your message being caught in a spam filter or lost in an overcrowded inbox.
- A one-time investment in systems such as in-app payments or bookings can reduce your business's expenses over the long term as they reduce the amount of time staff needs to spend taking payments or completing bookings.
- An app can offer users a faster and more responsive experience. Mobile web is slower and tends to be less intuitive.
4 objections to a mobile app
- There has to be a compelling reason for users to install your app. If customers can interact with you in all the ways they want to through your website, why would they clutter up their devices with yet another app? Pew Research Center reports that 38 percent of app users have downloaded more than 20 apps on their device and 7 percent report having 50 or more.
- You will need to devote resources to making customers aware of your app before you can get them to download it. You may want to provide information about, and perhaps reviews of, your app on your website. Promoting your app on social media is a good idea, too.
- You'll be adding complexity. Apps likely won't replace a mobile web presence; you'll probably have to develop them in parallel with a mobile-friendly website. Also, you'll want to develop apps for multiple platforms (iOS, Android, etc.). All of which means creating and managing multiple code bases, all of which may need to be integrated with back-end systems.
- Developing an app can be expensive, especially if you want to build a custom app from scratch.
We're here to help
A mobile app can be well worth the effort and expense for some businesses, but may not be necessary for others. If you decide that developing an app is right for your business, contact a business officer at California Bank & Trust to discuss financing options for developing the necessary technology.
Don't forget to check out California Bank & Trust's personal and business online banking offerings as well.