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Does my business need a mobile app?

By Sam Stevens 27th January 2018

Not necessarily.  You need to look at all of your options and get mobile app-savvy before you make up your mind.

Do you really mean an app?

Some clients say they need an app but what they really want is a mobile website (a separate website built especially to be viewed on a mobile) or a responsively designed website (one website built to look good at all screen sizes, like www.simpleclick.co.uk).  It’s crucial that you have a good understanding of the differences between these before making a decision.

Do you or your customers need you to have an app?

What would an app do better than your current website or systems?  Why would your business need an app?  If you can’t think of a good reason why, or what would be in the app, then no, you probably don’t need one. 

Let’s think through a scenario.  You’re a painter and decorator and you think you need an app for your business because you’ve heard that now every business should have one.  Why would your customers want you to have an app?  Perhaps you’d like to be able to track quotes for your customers.  But then they’d need a username and a password to make sure it’s secure.  And they’d need to have a smartphone.  And they’d need to find and download your app.  Do you really want to make your customers have to download your app to get a quote from you?  Or would email do the job just fine?  Don’t reinvent the wheel - think it all through logically.

Do the benefits outweigh the costs?

Bespoke mobile apps do not come cheap unfortunately.  The skills required to build them (especially for iOS) are specialised and quite difficult to come by.  An app may even cost more to build than your website.  Many businesses simply do not realise how expensive it can be, so it does need to be either revenue generating, or saving you money. 

I’ve answered 'no' to all of the above, what now?

Don’t worry!  It’s not mandatory to have an app.  If we were talking about websites, we’d say that all businesses no matter what they do, need a website, even if it’s just one page.  But an app is different.  There needs to be a point to it, or even when it’s downloaded, people will realise it’s not useful and they’ll delete it.  If you’re worried that you’re not up to speed with mobile, then look at making sure that your website works as well as it can on mobile devices (don’t forget about tablets like iPads) and perhaps invest more money in this.

I’ve answered 'yes' to all of the above, what now?

SimpleClick, based in Ipswich, Suffolk, have developed many apps, for iOS, Android and Windows – so we know our stuff.  Get in touch to have a chat with us – no obligation – we’d be happy to help.