Do You Really Need an App for That?

Hand holding iPhone.

As a small business owner, you may be thinking about a mobile app. But mobile web development can do many of the same things. Now the question is, “Do you really need an app for that?”

Mobile Websites Make a Phone-Friendly Web Experience

Mobile usage now accounts for 60% of all time spent on digital media. A mobile-optimized website, can create a phone-friendly web experience that will lead users to the information they need smoothly and easily by:

  • Tucking menus away in the corner, so they don't clutter the screen

  • Increasing button sizes, so they can be clicked on easily with a finger

  • Shrinking photos to fit smaller screens

  • Eliminating animations and auto-play videos that slow down load time

Mobile-friendly websites aren't just a good idea. Since 2015, Google and other search engines have made it a priority by giving preference to mobile-friendly sites, making them essential for business.

Mobile Apps Take Center Stage

Because so many more users are turning to their phones or tablets, business owners, even in the tech community have become obsessed with apps. Apps can help build brand loyalty, provide location-specific information, and remind users of your product through push notifications. But they aren't for everyone.

Mobile Apps Alone Aren't Enough

Apps may make it easier for your customers to read your articles or order your merchandise, but they will never replace your website when it comes to a broad reach to the general market. That means any app you build will be in addition to your website. It's not an either-or proposition. Instead, you have to decide whether to add a mobile app to your existing web presence.

Mobile Apps Are Expensive

If you decide to develop a mobile app, you will need to pay computer programers a lot of money to build and maintain the application, and make it accessible on multiple mobile platforms (iPhone vs Android). That is on top of your existing web-marketing budget. A well made app could easily cost over $10,000.

Mobile Apps Compete for Visibility

Once you have developed your app, people need to find it. The App Store is a tough marketplace. That makes it increasingly difficult for your users to find and install your app.

Mobile Apps Have Short Shelf-Lives

Even once a user installs your app, if it isn't unique or useful, it may quickly go unused, or get deleted. Only 10% of users continue to use free applications after just 10 days.

Deciding whether you need an app for your business shouldn't be about the next big trend. It should depend on whether the function is worth the cost. Now that websites are able to do much of the same work, you may find you don't need an app after all.

Provisio Technology Solutions is a web development company that creates and maintains custom websites for business. If you need a highly functional mobile website, contact Provisio today to schedule a meeting.