Mobile apps are an exciting, new and growing venue for business. Companies will invest thousands of dollars into a mobile platform with the hopes the app will give them an advantage over their competitors and better help them reach their clients. They aren't wrong – these days, it seems everyone has a smart phone and consumers use their devices as an avenue for commerce. For a small business, building a mobile app may bring more legitimacy to its operations and put the company ahead of its rivals.
With that said, these businesses must take care in the ways in which they build and apply their apps. Just having an app is not enough – it must be clean, glitch-free and user-friendly. As building an app can be a significant investment, small companies should take the time to plan out and build a quality mobile app.
How to build the proper business app
An inadequate mobile app can ultimately do more harm than good, according to The Guardian. Forty percent of consumers say they were disappointed with their favorite brands' apps. Companies also forget to factor in the cost of running, operating and marketing the app, in addition to the start up investment. While these are legitimate obstacles, they are not insurmountable.
Smart businesses recognize that technology is not a be-all, end-all solution. It require time and effort to perfect. So before rushing into the first mobile platform it encounters, small companies should consider their own needs and the customers' needs first. That means analyzing specific areas in which an app could help, how and when customers will benefit and why an app may be better than a more traditional solution.
Biz Report summarized a study from Contact Solutions that found customers are frequently dissatisfied with the human resources within mobile apps. Of the 1,000 customers surveyed, 75 percent shop online and 30 percent use a mobile device as often as a computer. But 38 percent said they cannot access customer service within an app. When presented with an obstacle, 51 percent of users were likely to close the app and abandon the shopping altogether.
"Customers are using apps more frequently for shopping, but when they encounter problems and cannot get the help they need, the results are disastrous for retailers," said John Hibel, director of marketing at Contact Solutions.
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