It seems like just about everyone is getting an app made for their site these days, and you’ve probably been wondering if you need one too. Now it goes without saying that not every site does need one. There are two essential questions you need to ask before you go ahead and develop one:
- Do you have the time and skills, or the requisite budget to develop an app?
- What function is your app actually going to provide?
Far too many sites neglect to answer that second question, and so what we’ve ended up with is a huge library of apps sitting around in the App Store gathering dust, simply because they don’t really serve any purpose at all.
Every app should do something. Otherwise it’s not really an app. It may be a handy approximation of your website, or it may be a nice looking static ad, but it isn’t an app because it doesn’t have any application.
The most important decision in any app building project is to decide what the app is going to do. Whatever it does should also be reasonably unique, or at least it should do what it does in a unique way. If something similar exists, yours needs to be better.
Also keep in mind that unless you’re developing the app yourself, they do tend to be quite expensive to create, and certainly a lot more than the website they’ve been built to accompany. If you go with a cheap app, there is a good chance that the app doesn’t really do anything. So make sure that you find a good Web Development Company to build your app.
The benefit of having an app is that it can increase your SEO and your brand recognition. Being recognized for creating a useless app isn’t going to help, though. If you’re struggling to imagine what an app could do that is relevant to your business, then you probably don’t really need one.
As an example, though, if you run a business that sells different kinds of cakes, you may think your app should showcase the various cakes and give information about them. But actually, no, because that’s something your website should already be doing. Replicating this behavior on an app would just annoy anyone who downloaded it.
But perhaps the app could tell the history of your shop and display a map of where it’s located. No, sorry, but this is also something that should be on your website, and your location should be marked on Google Maps.
But what if the app could let a customer order a cake, pay for it, and then notify the customer when their cake was ready to be picked up? Ah, now you have something. This app actually does something useful. Of course most of it could be done with a website and email, but the integration of ordering, payment, and notification into a single application is something that would be potentially useful to a customer.
That’s just an example, but it shows the way you’ll need to be thinking if you decide to go ahead and develop an app. You may need one or you may not, but when you have one, it could make the difference between somebody ordering their cake from your shop or your from your competitor’s app. When you save customers time or money, you’re providing something of value to them, and that can’t hurt your image.