It is absolutely true to say that the size of the mobile application or app market is growing year on year and with almost everyone you know having access to a smartphone of some kind, you should consider having a personalised app for your business.

But first, it is important to think about development costs as it is a multi-stage journey with each stage requiring specialist expertise and extensive tests to ensure quality and functionality for best practice. Whilst it can be sizeable investment especially for a small business, it can drive significant short and long-term revenue along with a whole host of other benefits besides just sales.

Why does your business need a mobile app?

If your business has a user-friendly and mobile-responsive website, in some aspects, you are already ahead of the competition. But if you add a mobile app into your marketing channel mix, this could give you a point of differentiation or competitive advantage especially if your rivals haven’t quite got there yet. Here are the main advantages of having a personalised mobile app for your small business:

1. Increases customer engagement

Rather than having to switch devices, if your current website traffic tells you that your audience is predominantly on mobile devices rather than desktop. You could drive all-important customer engagement and interaction through the convenience of a mobile app.

2. Improves brand awareness

Most of us spend a considerable amount of time on our smartphones and are often double-screening whether that is watching the latest Netflix series on our tablet whilst also replying to the WhatsApp group chat on our mobile device. We’ve all been guilty of it! With this in mind, driving brand recognition and awareness through digital downloads on mobile should be considered within your overall marketing strategy.

3. Adds to your value proposition

Your mobile app is a digital marketing channel which allows you to directly reach your customers and analyse their behaviour closely. Based on your business and the products and services you offer, this can include personalised promotional offers and in-app advice and guidance which gives value and is tailored to your users as individuals.

5. Drive lead volumes and increase sales

Ultimately, an effective mobile app which is fit for purpose and creates a great user experience for your audience can lead to an uplift in revenue.

Here are the main stages involved in the development of a mobile app:

1. Research & Idea Generation: The process of developing your mobile app starts with a concept which might be based on extensive market research and competitor analysis.

2. Functionality & App Structure: As you develop your initial idea or connect further, your app developer will present wireframes to give you an idea on how the app will function.

3. Design: This includes both the backend and frontend development phases as well as comprehensive testing of both your app’s functionality and the overall user experience.

Once your app has been tested and fully approved by your app development agency, you will be given a launch date to go to market. Bear in mind that if you are developing an app for iPhone or iOS, you should have a specific code installed so it can be featured in the Apple App Store.