Should You Invest in a Mobile App for Your Business?

Mobile App for Small BusinessThere’s an app for just about anything these days, which has led many business owners to wonder if they should invest in one. Like many things in life, there are advantages and disadvantages to having one developed for your business – but regardless of which you choose, you should pay close attention to your small business mobile strategy.

 

Why You Should Invest in a Mobile App

Faster than a Web Browser

If people want to access information about your services and products, they can choose to go to your website with their browser or they can bring up your app. If they use the browser, their experience will be significantly slower than the app due to signal strength.

Additional Advertising

When you have a mobile app, it will appear in the App store. When someone searches for a keyword related to your business’ services and products, it will show up in the results. This increases your exposure to your target audience.

More People Use Apps

People spend more time on apps than they do using their mobile device’s browser, according to comScore.

Apps Engage Users More

Mobile app users have higher rates of engagement than mobile browser users, according to CEM4Mobile. Engagement means they are more likely to buy through an app, use the features, and share content on social media.

 

Why You Should NOT Invest in a Mobile App

It’s More Expensive

Setting up a mobile site isn’t as expensive as developing an app. Since businesses are running towards the next best thing in technology, which is apps, developers are pricing accordingly. After a while, the price may go down, but right now, you’ll pay significantly more than you would for a site.

Extra Steps to Use It

Apps often require an approval process to use, which can be a turn off to some users. A mobile site doesn’t have any approval process, which makes it easier to use.

Users Buy on Browsers More

While consumers may use apps more, they are still more comfortable buying from the business’ website. This may be due to the familiarity of the process rather than the functionality of the application.

People Are More Likely to Search on a Browser

When people need something, they are more likely to bring up a browser to find it on a search engine. At this point, people believe they have more of a chance of finding what they need online rather than in the App store.

 

What Should You Do?

The best choice is to have a mobile app and site. That way you end up reaping the benefits of both. If you can’t afford both at this time, consider your target audience. Are they more likely to use a browser or an app to access your business? Age may be a factor. According to Pew Internet, 75% of people 18-24 years of age use their phone to go online, 80% of those aged 25-34 use it for that reason, and 68% of 35-44 year olds do. Only 16% of older Americans use their phone to go online. Ethnicity may make a difference in your decision too. Pew reports that 2/3 of black and Latino cell phone owners use it to go online, while ½ of whites do. Location is significant because urban and suburban cell phone users are more likely to use their phone to go online than rural ones.

With all of these considerations, it’s time to decide whether you should invest in a mobile site or an app. One thing is for certain, you need one or the other if you can’t have both.

Image courtesy of KROMKRATHOG / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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