By: Guest Post
A mobile application is known to be one of the most effective and popular tools for reaching out to the target customers. Moreover, it may serve as a direct marketing channel and sales booster. As a lot of large enterprises have already realized all the benefits of using apps and got a mileage from them, SMBs also do their best not to pull the rear in the market.
We have reviewed a several ways of how small businesses can benefit from using custom apps. If you want to learn more about app development for SMBs, our article “Custom mobile application as a compelling need for modern small businesses” will introduce you some initial steps for building a mobile app from scratch.
Why does your business need a mobile app?
Enhanced brand awareness and recognition
With the help of a custom mobile application, you can make your business more viable for a target audience. Every time customers start using an app, the first thing they see is an app icon representing your company’s logo. The more brand’s logo catches users’ eyes in an app, the better brand recognition your business gets.
If you want to enhance your brand awareness with an app, it should be genuinely engaging and generate special value for your customers. It is possible to realize by implementing a loyalty or reward program.
With a reward program, clients get a kind of a bonus for using your app, making regular purchases, writing a positive review on a social network, etc.
Offering a discount for the customers in an app is an excellent idea for cultivating customers’ loyalty, as well as for getting the repeat and new clients.
A custom mobile application can be used as a powerful marketing channel for your business. If your company doesn’t plan to make substantial investments on marketing purposes, using social media is a good option. In such a way, you can build a social application or set up a social network integration with an application. Via social networks, you can promote your company’s services and boost up sales.
After all, you can enhance your sales rates by the retargeting option in an app. How does it work? An application sends user push notifications about their unfinished orders or offers suggestions for the next purchase. To make these reminders more targeted, your app should analyze users’ in-app behavior and buying preferences. In fact, the chance of completing an order or making a new one increase, when users get regular reminders.
What are the milestones for custom mobile app development?
Research and planning
No matter what type of mobile application you are going to create, its development process starts with market research. It will help you find out whether there are any counterpart mobile apps in the market, and who will be the target users of your mobile app. With this information in mind, it will be easier for you to set up the right marketing strategy.
In fact, building an app because your competitors already have it is a dead-end job. If you want an app to have a positive impact on your business, you need to carry out thorough planning to help you define the requirements and goals of an application. Thus, before starting a development process make sure you have clear answers to the following questions:
- What is the aim of your app?
- Which benefits do you expect to get from using a mobile application?
- What features do you need to implement in the app to bring those benefits?
If you set up the right mission for your app, there will be more chances to complete the app building project significantly faster.
Sketching is the best way to depict your idea of an app. With a visual representation of your app, it will be easier for you to get a bright idea how your app will look in the long run. In such a manner, you need to sketch the UI/UX flow of the app. It will help you understand the app’s logic, i.e., how a user will interact with an application from start to the end.
To add more technical performance to your sketching, you need to create a mockup of an app. Nowadays, there is a great variety of wireframing and prototyping tools to suit every taste and budget. Services like Picodo, Balsamiq, and iPlotz are well-regarded by UI designers.
Setting up a team
To turn your idea into reality, you need to hire a team of talented and skillful developers. Your principal task is to get out a clear message what you expect to get in the long run. As a result, your developers’ team must create a custom app according to the following criteria:
- Effective reflection of the brand
- User-friendliness of the interface
- Seamless compatibility with a mobile platform
- Rapid performance
- Compliance with target market
- Visually pleasant design.
Though hiring a developer may cost a hefty sum, such an investment is worth making.
First, start searching for a freelance app developer on Indeed, LinkedIn, and Upwork. Then, find time for checking up such forums and communities for IT-experts as Designer or Coder, Borderless Mind, Topcoder, NewAppIdea or Koding. You may find an engineer with ample experience in app crafting.
Nevertheless, you may face an issue when you have several candidates but don’t know which one to choose. If that’s a case, you will need to check their technical skills in real case scenario. The best way to do it is to ask them to send their samples of code or an already made app mockup on Github. This way, you will be able to screen their skills appropriately and understand whether their coding style appeals to you.
Having created your first version of the app, make sure your developers’ team is ready to test, maintain and support it. Otherwise, you will need to hire new engineers for the task.
Marketing and monetization
Nobody will use your app until they find out it exists in the market. Thus, you need to set up a proper marketing strategy. It will help you develop an extensive customer base and increase your brand awareness and recognition.
Besides, a custom mobile application can maximize your revenues. For this reason, you must adopt a monetization model that will meet your business needs.
Nowadays, the popularity of using apps for purposes of modern businesses cannot be underestimated. Thus, if you want to propel your SMB to the next level, a custom mobile application is a brilliant idea.
About Guest Author
Helen Morrice is a content writer at IDAP. She is an author of more than 200 articles on up-to-date trends in mobile app development. If you want to stay tuned with the latest IT news, check out her other articles on Facebook. More information on mobile app crafting you can find here.