Branded apps for businesses can be created for many reasons and many purposes. But it doesn’t mean that any business essentially needs one. It’s not just about a wish to have it, it’s all about your business strategy and the goal that will be pursued by the app – most probably driving more clients to your products and services. Furthermore, every task must be perfectly handled by the app; otherwise it will definitely do nothing but lose users. Let’s see when you should say no to making an app for your business:
1. A mobile website is already enough.
If your business isn’t revolving around the mobile app itself, having a mobile-optimized website is an absolute necessity. And then there’s a question of having or not having a mobile application. If there’s a set of tasks that you lay upon a website, and the website does them perfectly, and there’s no obvious reason to lay the same tasks upon an application, then why should you make it? A website generally costs less than an application, and it can be browsed for from any mobile device, especially if it’s a responsive one.
2. You don’t have many returning clients – or not many people know your brand (yet).
In many (but not all) instances, a branded application will be downloaded and installed by a loyal, returning client, who often purchases your products and services. That’s convenience for both sides. Casual visitors, for one reason or another, may find themselves on your website and get acquainted with what you offer. But an application is downloaded intentionally, mostly by those who already know your brand.
3. You don’t have enough time and budget to build and maintain an app that will easily face competitors.
Sometimes apps by different competitors face inevitable comparisons on various blogs. Here it’s better to have no app than to have a bad app. Software development budget plays the main role and requires thorough planning. You need to be ready to invest enough money and your own time and efforts to create a software product with (almost) flawless user experience. Let’s not forget that having reserve budget for support and maintenance is vital – otherwise it may be better to say no. If you cannot afford the full product, some features may be left for later – the main thing is to define the minimum that will work and plan upon that minimum.
4. You haven’t figured out the exact purpose of the application.
It often happens that business owners want an application just to keep up with mobile trends, and don’t think and prepare much to create something that will solve problems of the business and problems of future users at the same time. These problems must be solved efficiently and quickly, otherwise we return to #3, where we say that no app is better than a bad (or useless) app. You could as well develop an in-house app that will rid your employees of daily routine, or you could develop an app for your clients, present your services and special offers for mobile users. But you must exactly define what it’s for and who it’s for. Never ignore the audience and what they want. Very often the frequency of use doesn’t define value of an app, if it’s truly useful when it’s needed.
Perhaps you don’t really need an app, but rather a better website, in order to gain clients and bring them back to products and services you offer. All of these are general thoughts; of course, there are a lot of different situations and businesses. What are other cases when it’s better to say no to an app? What have you discovered throughout your own experience – or maybe experiences of people you know?