To App or Not to App: That is the (Important) Question

Applications – we use them daily, whether we want to check out the weather before heading to work, check emails, get updates from social media, check stocks, or even activate the alarm on our home. Apps make our lives easier and they have become a huge part of our technological world. Some people can’t live without them! Many companies have successful apps that are integrated into the products and services they offer. There’s cohesion between what they do and how they work with clients or customers. A perfect example is a bank. While you can have an account with your bank, deposit money, pay bills, create savings accounts and much more without an app, your bank may have an app to make all of these services easier for you when you are on the go. But, is an app the right solution for your business? There are many considerations before you decide to invest in an app. The competitive landscape is alone a major consideration. As of October 2018, Android’s app marketplace is massive. Users can choose between 3.8 million available apps. Apple’s App store is a close second with 2 million available apps. Understanding what it takes to stand out from the existing competitors require both time and a hefty budget. Another major consideration is the app’s purpose. If you have an active website where you are fulfilling your customers’ needs, ask yourself what the app would do that you aren’t already doing. Why are you creating the app? What problem is it solving that you can’t solve with a website? A weather app is a great example of why an app is better than a website. Instead of opening a search engine, searching for local weather, clicking on a website and learning about the local forecast, an app with geofencing technology can give you an answer, whether you are at home or on the road. In other words, an app provides immediate information and product delivery, while a website serves a more practical role. Expectations and development now go hand-in-hand, as users have extremely high expectations when it comes to app development and functionality. If you don’t have the right resources or development team, your app may not be worth your time or money. It’s important to understand that apps need to stand out, they need to perform, and they need to work all the time. Unlike websites where you can use SEO, content creation, and social media profiles to drive traffic, your app needs its own strategy for traffic. In addition, where an email list may help retain your website visitors, your app needs its own retention strategy as well. Remember that any traffic you are sending to your app, is potentially pulling that traffic from your website. In certain instances this could do more harm than help you overall SEM strategy. It’s one thing to get users to download the app. It’s quite another to keep them coming back, clicking on the icon and using your app repeatedly. Lastly, ask yourself whether an app is truly the right solution for the problem, product or services at hand. An app can be a great solution if everything is done right, but answering the question “to app” or “not to app” is truly something you need to answer before throwing yourself into the development process. If you feel that an app may be a good solution for you and your business, let us help you with the strategic planning! Reach out today and let’s talk apps!  

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