Tips on building mobile apps to connect your business with customers. By David Kendall
Mobile apps are incredibly useful for both large and small businesses. A mobile app allows a business to connect with its customers while they are on the go. Successful mobile apps can even attract new customers.
So how do you go about creating a successful mobile app for your business? If you don’t have advanced app development skills, you will need to delegate the task of writing and developing your company’s mobile app to either an in-house team or a freelancer.
If you already have an in-house team of IT experts who have the necessary skills to create an effective app, it makes sense to task the job of app development to them. In-house staff will have a better understanding of the needs of your business than an outsider. However, if you do not have the necessary skills within your company, then hiring a freelance app developer can be a very cost-effective way of creating your app. Outsourcing work to freelancers avoids some of the costs of employing a member of staff on a full-time basis, such as paying worker benefits and administration costs, although ongoing development and maintenance can be difficult unless you build a strong relationship with your freelancer.
Whoever you task with creating your app, you will need to communicate your needs clearly. Before you sit down with your team or start searching for a freelance developer, take some time to decide on what features you want your app to have.
It’s best to start simple. You can always update your app to add more features after you have launched it into the marketplace. Many successful apps for web-based businesses start as stripped-down versions of the main website. If your website is challenging for mobile visitors to use, consider creating an app that allows smartphone users to access your site and use all of its major features via a simple, mobile-friendly interface.
Depending on what type of business you run, you might want to consider including features that allow your readers to do the following:
Should you target your app at Android, iPhone or Windows smartphone users? Ideally, you would like your app to be available on all three platforms. At first, however, it is best to focus your efforts on just one operating system, so that you can create an app that works as well as possible. Consider doing some market research to find out whether your customer base favors the Android, iOS or Windows operating system. If you are using an existing in-house team to develop your app, your decision will also be influenced by their level of expertise in developing apps for each of the different platforms.
Whereas a great app can raise awareness of your brand, releasing an app that is full of bugs and errors is likely to damage your company’s reputation. Before you release your app, make sure that all of its features have been thoroughly tested to make sure they work exactly as they are meant to. Be prepared to deal with any problems that your customers report once they start using the app. By offering your app users a great customer experience, you will increase their loyalty to your business.