How to Develop an Application to Help Your Business
With over 60% of the world’s population glued to their mobile devices for hours a day, it would be a great disadvantage for businesses if they fail to tap into this market. For this reason, many businesses today are beginning to invest in developing their own mobile applications and research on how to develop an application. That being said, this is a trend that’s not going to die out anytime soon. Despite the mobile application’s projected growth, today’s market is extremely competitive. And if you’re starting to realize your business’s potential in this sphere, you need to get yourself up to speed to take advantage of this wonderful opportunity.
Whether you’re considering building an app from scratch or hiring a tech agency like December Labs, understanding app development basics is crucial to help you transition your business. Read on to learn everything on developing an application that can catapult the success of your business.
Mobile applications are software programs that you can download on a mobile device. These programs can range from basic calculator apps to sophisticated mobile games. In today’s world, where everyone relies heavily on their phones, you can bet there is an app you can download for whatever solution you are looking for. Whether you’re tracking the calories you eat or looking for the best deals for your next vacation, you can find an app for it in the app store.
How to Develop an Application – Mobile App vs. Web App
It’s important to note that mobile applications are different from web applications in many ways. While mobile apps are installed on your phones, web applications are simply websites you access over the internet using a web browser. In most cases, mobile apps are more accessible for users, especially when they have offline capabilities.
Benefits of Mobile Apps
Entrepreneurs who want to thrive in an environment with constantly evolving consumers need to bring their business where the tide is. In this case, it’s the mobile world. Creating an application for your business, whether for your customers or within the organization, is a crucial decision for your company. As a business owner, you’ll invest time, money, and other precious resources to design an app that adds value to its user base. Despite all costs, if you manage to play your cards right, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of it and return your investment in no time.
Here are some of the benefits of having a mobile app:
Increase Customer Engagement
Having mobile applications for your business can increase engagement with your customers. One way to do that is by leveraging push notifications. Push notifications feature mobile apps that notify users about certain things, like checking out items, sending updates about new products, etc. Mobile apps also foster a better environment for your user to interact with your business, especially when the interface is easy to navigate. Laying out all the information about your products and services creates a better user experience.
Typically, users want to have all the information they need right at their fingertips. Ensure that your mobile app is easy enough for them to navigate, so they’ll choose to stay in your app and check out your products and services.
Increase in Revenue
Unlike websites, mobile applications are usually straightforward in terms of UI and UX. In fact, one benefit to having a mobile app is it helps users experience smoother payment processing. In-app payments improve the customer experience, which can impact your sales.
You can also monetize your app via app advertising, in-app purchases, offering freemiums, or creating a paid app. Don’t be afraid to use these strategies to earn from your app. After all, many users won’t hesitate to pay for a service that adds value to their experience.
Encourage Brand Loyalty
Converting leads into consumers who buy your product is great, but turning them into loyal customers is another thing. Believe it or not, having a mobile app can encourage your new customer to become loyal to your brand. You do this by creating an engaging mobile app that builds your brand authority.
Better accessibility to your products and services means more frequent visits from your users. You can also continue to keep them using the app by offering rewards to your users. As a rule of thumb, always remember that users will be more inclined to avail of your services if you are consistently adding value to them.
How to Develop an Application – Things You Should Know Before
Before you jump right into development, you need to understand these basics first.
Choosing a Platform
If you ask yourself how to develop an application, there are several platforms you can choose from, but two main platforms monopolize the current market: Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android. You can certainly choose both—in fact. It’s best to create an app on both platforms to obtain a wider reach. However, you need to understand that each has its own behavior.
Apple’s iOS operates on a closed ecosystem, which means developers can only use Apple’s features. When you create an app for their App Store, you can only use their own products. This translates into more expensive development, depending on your developer. On the flip side, Android developers work on an open-source ecosystem. This means anyone with the skills to program Android apps can develop for devices running on the Android operating system.
Another important consideration is the features you’ll include in your app. Creating an app that stands out among your competitors calls for unique features, but there are basic features you need to incorporate first to attract users.
Just because the idea of creating an app is exciting doesn’t mean you have to add all the features you can think of. In fact, the simpler your app appears, the more it appeals to users. Stick to your core services. People install apps on their phones simply because they’re trying to solve a problem they currently have. This is the main reason why you won’t find a jack-of-all-trades app.
Adding unique features can enhance your user’s experience only when they add value to the app and improve your consumers’ experience using your app. Unnecessary features only clutter your app and can even motivate users to uninstall your application. As a rule of thumb, keep everything simple and stick to your core services.
Load speed is a make or breaks for mobile applications. No user is going to wait more than eight seconds for an app to startup. They’ll leave unsatisfied and eventually delete the app from their phone. There are some reasons why apps run slow. One of the main reasons is how optimized the application is. In developing an app, make sure that you’re using fast servers and current technology.
As mentioned earlier, push notifications are reminders that users receive on their mobile phones. Businesses utilize this feature to interact with their customers and encourage them to keep using the app and eventually buy their products and services.
One good example of utilizing push notifications is reminding customers about their checkout cart—notifications like this alert users to decide to buy or ignore the reminder.
Facing technical challenges along the way is normal for those who previously asked themselves how to develop an application. Obtaining feedback from your users is an effective way to identify and solve those problems.
At the same time, feedback also lets you know what your users are looking for in an application. This can help you make more improvements later on. Doing it this way allows your users to know you are listening to their concerns and are doing your best to provide the best service.
Cost of Production
Production cost is another important consideration a company should make and after choosing how to develop an application.
Typically, there are four options for companies to choose from:
- Do It Yourself
Creating an app from scratch can save you thousands of dollars but could take months to finish, even if you have a programming background.
- Hire a Freelancer
Working with a freelance developer is one of the cheapest options. If you’ll take this route, be thorough with your screening as some applicants may be unable to deliver your desired results. Make sure you prepare all the necessary paperwork to ensure both you and the freelancer.
- Hire an Agency
If you are prepared to go big, development agencies can turn your idea into a seamless application.
- Hire an In-House Developer
If you’re really committed to transitioning your company into the digital world, this is a great option for you.
How to Develop an Application for Your Business
At this point, you might already be convinced that mobile apps can take your business to the next level. That being said, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you in your journey:
Determine the Purpose of Your App
After you have checked how to develop an application and before you try it yourself, it’s crucial to create a plan and identify your app’s purpose first. Consider answering these questions:
- What goals do you want to accomplish in deploying this app?
- In what ways can have an application improve your business?
- What features can attract users to download the app?
- How can this app turn new users into loyal customers?
As you plan, remember to create a framework of how your app should look, identify features you want to include, and how much you’re willing to spend.
During the development stage, consider whether you’ll be building the app on your own or hiring the help of a contractor or agency. This is also the time when you’ll be setting milestones to track how the development is going. Setting milestones enable you to see if the development phase is on time or not.
How to Develop an Application – Getting the Word Out
The third and most important part of app development is marketing. In fact, this is where most applications fail half the time. However great your idea for an app is, nobody’s going to download it without proper marketing. Develop a strategy to market your application using social media, blogs, websites, and SEO.
While developers work on your app, use this time to learn how to utilize social media to market your application. Social media is a great tool to reach a broader audience and build excitement over your application. Make sure to use social media platforms where your target audience is. You can also work with blog sites and influencers so that you get to know the answer to how to develop an application and how to promote it.
Make search engine optimization (SEO) your long-term strategy. Optimizing your website can drive more users to learn more about your application. This can help yield more attention and eventually drive more users into downloading.
Track KPIs, Gather Insights and Make Improvements
The only way to determine your app’s success is by setting relevant key performance indicators (KPIs). Tracking your app’s KPIs allows you to gain insight into how well your app performs in terms of downloads, uninstallations, and usage. KPIs also allow you to see which features users utilize more than others. This is also the part where you obtain valuable feedback from your users. Users are often more than willing to give their honest review of your application, but don’t be intimidated—accept their feedback, both critical or complimentary. Asking users for their feedback will help them see how much you value their business and, in turn, encourage them to become loyal customers.
After gathering all the data, this is the time to implement changes to improve your app’s user experience. No app is perfect, so you must be willing to make certain changes to improve the way you conduct your business online.
How to Develop an Application – Conclusion
If you have ever wondered how to develop an application, you’ve developed an app for your business that is certainly worth it in today’s evolving economic scene. Mobile applications allow you to compete in the market and can take your business to the next level. To do that, you need to create a foolproof plan for designing, deploying, marketing, and tracking your application.