Building an App? How to Improve Your Online Business


Samantha Higgins

Does your business require a mobile app? In most cases, the answer is yes. People consume information, make decisions, and purchase products using their mobile device. A well-designed mobile app will encourage brand loyalty, engage customers, and let your customers make purchases on the go.

A Mobile App Is a Portal for Your Business

The features your app offers will vary based on how you want your customers to interact with your brand. Your app can let your customers make purchases and can serve as a way for your customers to communicate with you.

By monitoring how your customers use your app, you will get a better understanding of their needs. This helps you to identify aspects of your business you need to grow to improve your customer’s experience.

In-app payments improve your customer’s interactions with you by allowing them to pay wherever they are located and using their payment option of choice. Mobile notifications and push notifications let you engage with your customers. The customers who feel engaged are usually repeat customers.

Geolocation lets your customers know if your store is nearby. You can set up your app to offer discounts or coupons to customers who are using the app near your business.

If your business does not have a mobile application, you are missing out on a sizeable chunk of customers. Most of your customers have a phone in their pocket. It allows them to access essential services. An app is viewed as convenient. Creating one for your business should be a high priority.

Building an App Does Not Need to Be Complicated

Many small businesses shy away from building an app because they believe that learning how to make an app is complicated. While that might have been true some years ago, now there are several platforms that have taken the difficulty out of app creation.

Building an app, like other projects, can be broken down into smaller segments. With app development, there are three primary categories. They are predevelopment, development, and post-launch.

You start by defining the goals you want for your app. To do this, you need to think about your customers and how they are going to journey with your business. Think about your communication with them. What will your app need to improve these interactions or simplify them?

You need to think about your goals from the standpoint of how the app will impact your business. Are you looking to increase sales? If so, you will need to include tools that will make it easier for your customers to make a purchase. Are you looking to increase brand loyalty? If so, your app should have powerful communication tools and a link to your social media sites.

You need to set metrics related to your goals so you can measure the impact that your app is having on business and then make adjustments to reach your desired goals.

In most cases, it is advisable to create a scaled-down and inexpensive version of your app to monitor customer interest and to determine what features of your app people are using.

Building an App Is an Ongoing Process

Building your first app is exciting. But it would be a mistake to believe that you will only need to create one app. Apps are effective when they target specific aspects of your business and only offer one or two key features. Many companies build multiple apps throughout the year.

You may need to put something in place to arrange for the management of multiple apps that cover several business purposes and topics. This might not be necessary at the beginning, especially if you are just building your first app. However, the sooner you specialize your apps, the better results you will see.

Don’t Let Your Competition Get Ahead of You

Competition breeds innovation. Having a mobile app leads to a competitive advantage. If other businesses in your field are launching apps, this is a good reason for you to do the same.

Building an app can be a win-win situation for your business. They are easy to design and do not require the same time or money that they needed in the past. If your competitors are already building apps, it’s likely that you can build one quickly.

About the Author: Samantha Higgins is a professional writer with a passion for research, observation, and innovation. She is nurturing a growing family of twin boys in Portland, Oregon with her husband. She loves kayaking and reading creative non-fiction.