Do I Need a Mobile App for My Company?

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Many businesses are implementing new tech-savvy solutions for their company. Living in a world where new technology is being created every day, it's easy to feel like you're falling behind.

Because of this, business owners are starting to wonder whether or not they should have a mobile app for their company in addition to their website. So how can you tell if you need one?

We asked some of #TeamOnsharp for their insights on mobile apps. Read on to see what these guys had to say about some commonly-asked questions:

  • Scott Babcock, Senior Software Developer
  • Jerad Barbot, Senior Front-End Developer
  • Joe Hixson, Director of Operations
  • Mike Unser, Senior UI/UX Strategist

Should my business have a mobile app? Everyone else does!

Mike: The only time I would recommend a mobile app for a business is if you’re planning to use it for a specific need. For example, I just deposited a check using my banking app by taking a photo of my check using my phone’s camera. That was awesome! Now I never have to go to a bank to deposit a check again. That fills a specific need—me not wanting to ever visit a bank in person.

Jerad: I agree. You should always have a reason for creating an app. Mobile app development is a big process, so don’t waste your time making one if there is no need for it. Just stick to having a mobile responsive website.

What should I consider to determine if I need a mobile app?

Mike: There are some things apps can do that websites can’t. For example, push notifications. If you want to notify your customer of something, this option is available with an app. It’s not as easy to implement this on a website.

Joe: Apps let you cut the fat from website information. They’re nice because you don’t have to include a lot of information like the "About Us" section, "Contact Information" and other stuff.

Scott: Exactly. And once apps are downloaded, it should be faster than going to a website. Plus, they can be made more offline-capable, so you don’t have to be connected to the internet to make it work.

Mike: A good example of this is Amazon. Amazon took their website and made it into an app on the Apple Store and Google Play. You can use the app to quickly find and buy things. It makes sense for them.

Are there any stipulations with making an app?

Joe: One thing you want to make sure to remember is that an app might need special permissions. For example, if you’re going to have an option for people to scan their checks in to make a deposit, you need to have access to their camera. These are the types of permissions that websites aren’t always able to get.

Mike: An app can put a big focus on specific things like checking an account balances, engaging on social media, or something else. Only choose features that will make sense to be supported.

Joe: It’s also important to remember that your mobile app is usually an extension of your website. If you make a watch app, it's an extension of your app, and it needs to be fine-tuned even more.

Mike: Also, as an extension of your website, you should always have calls to action (CTAs) on your website that lead people to your app. Explain what your app is and why it's useful for a user to download it.

What are some examples of industries that are doing apps the right way?

Mike: There are a lot of businesses out there with apps that make sense. Apps in the social media industry are a given—but banking, fast food, and even pizza chains are definitely doing something right. Each app serves a specific need, and it makes sense for a user to download and use that app.


Think your business could benefit from a mobile app?

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