iPhone and Android Apps For Business
An app is a piece of software that people can download onto their mobile device. This would include either mobile phones or even tablet computers. It allows integration with the device’s features which can include the GPS system or even camera functions. Apps are very popular these days because they can be updated easily to allow for new services and features. This has led many business owners to wonder if their company needs a mobile app.
A good example of a mobile app being helpful to business is eBay. EBay came out with a new app and claims that 15 million people in 190 countries have already downloaded their iPhone app. Across the globe, the eBay app makes a sale every 2 seconds. As a business owner, having your own mobile app can be hugely powerful for your marketing and bottom line.
Consumers love mobile apps because they can be accessed easily without having to find a computer. You can use these mobile apps to help brand your company and gain more insight into the behavioral patterns of your clients and customers. So how do you start to create your own mobile app for your business?
The first thing you need to remember is that you don't want to create an app that has already been done. The goal is to do something unique that will help you to brand your company and get more prospects and sales. If you simply do the same thing that your competitors are doing, you won't stand out which will lead to you wasting your time, energy and money.
You need to think about how having a mobile app could help your current level of communication with your prospects and clients. Go through the process in your mind and on paper so that you understand how having this kind of application will help you when communicating with your customers. Remember that consumers like mobile apps because of the instant interaction they are able to get with a product or service provider. Your goal should be to find what will be the most user-friendly and useful for your customers.
The App Should Supplement Your Brand
Always keep in mind that the app you are creating needs to be something that your customers find useful. For this reason, if it's possible to survey your customers to get their opinions then that may be a good route to take. Don't create an app just for the sake of creating one. Produce one that will change your company's brand and provide assistance to your prospects and customers.
Depending upon the kind of company you have, you'll also want to choose between whether you will be creating a useful app or an entertainment-based app. While entertainment apps are great, they may not help the customer in any particular way. Most businesses are going to want to use what is known as a utility app because this will help the customer interact with your business and get the information that they need on your products and services.
Unless you are very technologically oriented, you're going to want to hire an app developer. This can be done in numerous ways including getting referrals from other companies who have developed apps or outsourcing the task. Believe it or not, you can find some great coders and outsourcers overseas by using particular websites such as Elance.com and Odesk.com. For a minimal cost, you might be able to get your mobile business app developed.
You also need to think about whether or not your app will only work on the iPhone or if it will work on the Android system as well. You need to make sure that the app you are developing will work on the mobile devices for your current customers. Again, this may take some extra research to find out what mobile devices your customers are using on a daily basis. You may find that the majority of your customers use Blackberry or the iPhone.
The App Market is Enormous
So why should you bother with creating an app? First of all, there were approximately 8 billion apps downloaded in 2010. Experts believe that there will be 50 billion downloads in 2012. It's important to note that the most likely group to download your new business app would be 25 to 34-year-olds followed by 34 to 44-year-olds. In other words, the apps business is only going to increase in the next few years as it is becoming a major part of this generation.
Recent studies have shown that 75% of people believe that the quality of an app makes the brand more trustworthy. A whopping 73% say that they have downloaded an app that has ads in it. This makes for a secondary marketing possibility for your business.
There's no question that apps are increasing in popularity because more people are getting mobile devices and tablet computers. Our schedules are frantic and rushed which gives you a great opportunity to brand your business without having to invest in billboards or radio ads, for example.
Above all, don't release an app before it is ready. With social networking being what it is today, you don't want to get a bad reputation among your prospects and customers were having released a useless or buggy app. If it can be downloaded in the Apple App Store, for instance, customers can rate it. You certainly don't want to get a bad rating because that will mean that you have wasted a lot of money and resources in creating an app that people don't like or want to use.
Technology has allowed tech-savvy business owners to develop mobile apps without having to learn programming codes. If you're interested in learning about cost-efficient alternatives to developing an app, checkout the post Do-It-Yourself App Building Tools for Small Businesses.
This mobile generation is not going anywhere. Over 73 million mobile users access their browsers on a regular basis. People are going to continue relying on mobile apps to help them get the information and services that they need. You can position your company as a market leader by creating an app that really helps the consumer. Your business brand may depend on this kind of innovation in the future as more consumers make the transition to a completely mobile lifestyle.
I've developed relationships with some app people around the country – I'm going to start keeping a list of their info on my posts if anyone is interested in getting some work done.