First of all we’d like to wish a very happy 2020 to all of our clients, friends and anybody reading this blog. 2019 was a great year and we’re excited by upcoming projects in 2020. One of the projects we’re looking forward to in early 2020 is a mobile app for a Gorey based business – and we thought we’d take this opportunity to describe the benefits of an app to your business or organisation.
For the purposes of this article, we will be discussing only native apps here. See our post on the differences between native apps and mobile apps for more context.
Apps are fast
An app will run locally on your device and will be optimised for the platform it will run on. A website for example runs on a remote web server and is accessed through a browser. Every time a page is requested, it takes time to load depending on your network speed and how busy the web server is at that time. An app doesn’t have this issue and will run more consistently.
Apps are bespoke
By their very nature apps are developed from the ground up with the client’s requirements in mind. This is not necessarily true of websites where there exists a market for off the shelf themes and templates that facilitate most businesses. If you have a killer idea that you have identified a gap in the market, your app developer will be able to create you a custom app with all the functionality you need to support your business ideas.
Apps make use of your devices hardware capability
Apps can access your devices hardware capabilities in a way that a website can’t. So for example an app can integrate geo-location services, accelerometer, camera, photo album etc. into the user experience in a very smooth fashion. One of the apps we worked in over the last 12 months was for a real estate company who wanted to digitise the way they did house valuations. The app had to be available at all times in all locations – even when there was no network signal. We developed an app that detected the address of the house by using geo-location services built into the phone. The app allowed for a number of photographs of the property to be taken in-app and then integrated with the mail client on the phone to create and send a report back to the office. If there was no network signal, the app would store the report in an offline database before sending it when it was on a network. None of this would have been possible with a web application.
Apps build relationships and loyalty
Publishing an app to the app stores can enhance your brand by giving your customers another channel to interface with your business or organisation. Some businesses make certain content exclusively available on an app which can greatly increase brand loyalty. Having an app on somebodies home screen will remind them of your existence frequently.
Apps are good for business processes
If you have a business process that is currently manual, apps are a great way to digitise these processes. Apps can gather information through forms and submit this information to a central database where it can be used by other systems to automate tasks etc.
Apps are easy to use
Can you access online banking, your social media platforms or mail through a browser? Of course you can, but doing so through a native app is a much nicer experience. There are no page loading delays and you don’t have to enter your username / password each time you want to view content. These same advantages will apply to your app idea and will invariably give your customers a much better user experience.
Not very many businesses need an app. For most businesses a well laid out and functional website will work as a tool for translating visits into interactions (calls contact form submissions). For more established businesses however, and app can open up new opportunities and provide the benefits specified above.