Does every enterprise need a mobile app?

Apps are quite powerful in this day and age, but the reality is, they're a blessing only to a few businesses
16 October 2018 | 2 Shares

Does your business need a mobile app? Source: Shutterstock

It that time of the year again when people talk about budgets — and as a C-suite executive at your company, you’re probably being asked whether there are resources to build an app for your customers.

However, there’s an important question that you must ask before beginning to scope out what the app will look like and who it will serve. The question you need to ask is simple: Does your enterprise really need a mobile app?

Quite a few business executives feel that they need a mobile app because it’s cool and provides another interface or touchpoint for users/customers. Unfortunately, that’s not always true.

There are hundreds of thousands of businesses who launch mobile apps every day, but most fail to get customers to download the app.

Those who manage to get onto the customer’s phone find it hard to retain the user’s interest for long, passing into oblivion within days — lost among the tens of apps that a user’s phone typically holds.

However, that doesn’t mean apps are bad or don’t benefit businesses. For some enterprises, apps create great opportunities and help better engage with customers.

According to App Annie, for example, by 2022, annual mobile app downloads will reach 258 billion, annual consumer spend in app stores will touch US$157 billion, and average annual customer spend will reach US$26 per device.

Those are pretty interesting statistics, and can cause anyone to stop and give mobile apps a second thought. Here are some tips to help executives evaluating the benefit of getting an app:

# 1 | Is your website mobile friendly?

The first step to connecting with your customers on a mobile device is your website. Before setting out to build a mobile app, make sure you’ve got a mobile-friendly website.

Get your team of developers to create something that is responsive and lends itself to any device that your customer uses — be it a cellphone, a tablet device, or a computer.

If a majority of your customers access your website from a mobile device, and if they experience they get isn’t seamless, one of two things needs to happen: You either need a mobile app or you need to fix your website.

# 2 | Do your competitors have apps?

Sometimes, a mobile app can be a differentiator, while at other times, it can be something that helps level up with the competition.

If your peers in the industry have a mobile app, maybe it’s a good idea to consider building one — not because you want to blindly compete with them, but because your customers might come to expect it from you and might be puzzled as to why you don’t offer one while everyone else does.

# 3 | Will your app solve a customer problem?

This is the best reason to get a mobile app. If you think your mobile app can solve a customer problem, that’s a great incentive to investing resources to build it.

Not only can it help impress and positively impact the customer by adding value to their engagement and interaction with your brand, but also ensure that they don’t forget your app and continue to actively use it every once in a while.

Further, if the app helps solve a customer problem, maybe there’s an opportunity to monetize it as well — creating new sources of income for your business.