6 Things You Need to Know About Developing an App for Your Business

With the rise of the smartphone more than a decade ago, apps have completely reshaped how we access and use information. From social media and travel to transit, banking, and shopping, billions of people around the world rely on apps in their everyday life, so it shouldn’t be surprising that start-ups and established businesses alike see apps as being an essential tool for bringing their ideas to market.

But if you want to actually build an app that will be used by your customer base, expand your sales and marketing outreach, and make a difference when it comes to your bottom line, you need to do some careful strategizing before you dive into the development stage.

If your business is exploring the idea of developing an app for products or services, here are six questions you should keep in mind.

1. Will the App Serve a Concrete Need?


Because of the centrality of apps in daily life, “why don’t we make an app?” is often a question that comes up when a business is looking for ways to expand its reach. And it’s a natural question to ask — so long as you actually consider what concrete need an app would serve.

Developing an app without reliable data about the return on investment expected or a defined sense of who the app users will be and how the app will empower customer engagement, is unlikely to yield positive results, and can take valuable time and resources away from other, more lucrative forms of customer engagement.

2. Who Will the Ideal Users Be?


Not every successful app needs to do everything. A great app is an app that gives ideal users a seamless experience, and this means that figuring out how your app should work requires you to figure out what your ideal user will want.

For example, many companies develop apps for both internal use (by employees and team members) and external use, by customers or other businesses. If this is the approach you take, you will need to figure out how to optimize the experience of both groups to give your app the best possible edge.

Determining the ideal users will also help you visualize many of the other features of the app, such as interface, style, and functionality. An app that is purely being used internally might not need to be as attractive as one that is intended to attract new customers. Conversely, an app that is focused on the external user will need to be designed to appeal to a particular customer base.

3. Will the App Make Things Easier or Harder for Your Existing Customers?

One of the exciting things about developing an app is that it can help you reach completely new markets. A well-designed app will make it a lot easier for potential customers to explore your goods and services and can drive customer engagement.

But you should also take into account what impact that application will have on your current customer base. Will it replace current sales tools? Will customers be expected to do everything through the app? If so, you should have a strategy ready for how you will help them transition to this new platform.

4. How Large Should the Scope of the App Be?


Once you’ve figured out whether an application makes sense for your business, you need to decide how large the scope should be. Will it serve as a virtual showroom, giving customers an opportunity to browse your goods and services and to make payments easier, will it have features to connect other app-users, or will it simply make your content accessible to users?

Different businesses in different industries will have different requirements, and some (like e-commerce companies) may benefit from an application with lots of different functions, while those in media may want something cleaner and easier to navigate. Either way, the app should be focused on delivering an easy and positive experience for the user.

5. Where Will You Find the Professional Expertise to Develop the App?


You know your business inside and out, and you’ve probably already got an idea of what you want your app to be able to do. But making that dream a reality requires expert help, and if you want to get your idea to market in the most effective way possible, you’ll want to partner with pros like who can help you build the best app possible.

Creating applications that will be truly usable is an art, and working with tech experts who have mastered that art is one of the best ways to guarantee your application will deliver a seamless user experience.

Professional app developers can also advise you on all of the different options that are available with smartphone applications and can help you build out your original idea into something that could be even more impactful.

6. How Will You Market the App?


Finally, once you’ve gone through the process of determining what the value-add of an application would be for your company, it’s time to work with a developer to refine your ideas. Strategizing about how to help your existing customer base adapt to it and how do you intend to market the app to potential customers is a key discussion.

Social media can be a powerful vector for getting your app out there, and ideally, your social media and your app will feed off each other to drive sales. But this won’t happen automatically, and you should have a plan ready for how your rollout will work.

Applications represent one of the twenty-first century’s most exciting new developments in marketing, sales, and customer engagement. But developing an app for your business is not something to be taken lightly. Before you take any steps toward building it, you should think about the need it will serve, the partners who will help you create it, how your current customer base will respond, and how you will market the application itself.

About Jeanette Iglesias