A few years back, responsive web design was all the rage for business websites, social media and gaming. It was relevant, and still is, since mobile users have been steadily increasing and businesses needed to keep up with the trend to remain competitive. It wasn’t long before mobile apps invaded the industry and now, young people find it hard to imagine a life without them. Morgan Stanley Research shows that for 2015, mobile has surpassed desktop in usage and using the smartphone for making calls is only its sixth most used function, after social media, gaming and checking the news. Data analytics show that 80% of mobile use is spent on apps and only a small portion in browser.
Savvy companies know that a web designed for mobile is not enough anymore. People are using apps as a source of information, for connecting with others, for leisure and for making life easier in general. Instead of browsing through the web to go to Gmail, Google Maps or Twitter, it’s faster and more convenient to use the apps installed on their smartphones. There’s no need to open Chrome or Safari, type in the url, log in and wait for the page to load. So as competition soars, companies turn to app development firms to create technology that push their products and brands into the forefront.
How Companies Can Benefit From Mobile Apps
Apps have a simple functionality and are focused. An uncluttered interface and smooth operation makes shopping or booking hotel reservations or making an appointment with the dentist a breeze.
An app and an internet connection direct the potential customer to your business faster than a browser ever can.
Retail stores especially will be in stiff competition to lure shoppers to their sites now that the holiday season is upon us. A stable mobile app will allow users to check your products and lead them to your physical location.
The use of mobile payment apps will give consumers peace of mind and the convenience of not carrying cash or credit cards around. Businesses and merchants who have enabled mobile payment in their system will not be turning customers who use Google Wallet or Apple’s Passbook to pay for their purchases.
Before embarking rashly on the apps bandwagon, businesses that plan to have their own mobile applications should make sure they are optimized and ready to withstand heavy usage. App makers worth their salt will subject their creations to rigorous testing to test for glitches; otherwise, a broken app will only lose customers for the company. But the question of “to stay with a responsive web design only or to have an app” is not worth debating. Having an app enhances the image of a company and gives it dominance over the app-less ones, aside from the other advantages it brings.
Business apps are not only targeted towards the probable customers. Behind-the-scenes operations are just as essential in the successful and profitable running of any business. A store inventory app on a mobile device keeps track of inventory stock, keeping data always updated and synced with the back-end data source. A sales app will let salespeople manage customer information on their device, show the product catalogue to buyers, create quotes and accept orders.
Linking the inventory system using a mobile app will allow shoppers to see if an item is still in stock and let them buy your product online. Mobile carts and push notifications are other examples of apps helping to grow the business.
Mobile apps are not a passing trend. Their diverse functions and the convenience and efficiency they contribute to people’s lives have assured their existence and further developments. Businesses cannot afford to ignore them if they intend to remain in the scene for a long time.