3 Key Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Launching Your Business App
As online activity continuously shifts to mobile, as a business, it seems you can’t afford to just have a website anymore. In fact, your business app is now the primary web tool: last year, the number of mobile-only Internet users overtook the number of desktop-only Internet users. And, as a result, the marketing possibilities are vast. Mobile applications have the potential to reach your customers like we’ve never seen before. With push notifications, promotional sales, and special events all popping up on their personal screens, connecting with your customer, at any point, is just a finger tap away.
So, is it time you launched your business app? Who do you seek for help getting started, and what do you want to get out of it?
1. How is my app going to make money?
App monetization comes down to one key decision, which takes your planning one of two ways. Do you charge your consumers to download, or do you make your business app free?
97% of the top grossing apps in the U.S. are free, so it’s likely you will gain exposure faster this way. From a developer’s standpoint, though, these applications aren’t exactly free – there’s a hefty planning and coding process involved. To make money on a free app, via a ‘freemium model’, you have to build a user base and gain revenue through ads or in-app purchases – or indeed both. According to Forbes, 76% of all revenue from the app store is derived from in-app purchases in the U.S, so they’re unquestionably effective. You can adopt a popular strategy of tempting consumers with a free app, allow them to fall in love with it, then provide irresistible purchases they simply have to have.
A freemium plan will expose you to a high concentration of users, but you still face the problem of turning them into paying customers. Paid-for apps dilute the necessity for conversion since there’s a guarantee of upfront payment each time it is downloaded. Business-focused apps may be worth charging a small amount for, or initiating a free trial period, in the hopes of encouraging users to continue your useful service by paying a small charge. Even if you charge as little as a dollar for your premium service, word-of-mouth should build up the reception, leading you to higher rankings in gross charts, ultimately generating more revenue.
2. iOS or Android?
Selecting your developer platform really depends on your goals and how much time you have.
If you’re looking to deploy your app quickly, Android might be the better platform for you. Apps deployed to the Google Play store are available for download within a few hours, compared to a few weeks for Apple’s App Store, where you have to undergo a strict reviewing stage. Android also offers versatility with easy customization options, enabling developers to create and build diverse functionalities, whether it’s technical tweaking or web application integration. On top of this, you have the flexibility to integrate communication tools, data management functions, and multimedia.
If you are looking to prove a stronger revenue over the need for faster development, then iOS may be a better place to launch. Whilst Google Play has actually overtaken iOS when it comes to install volume, iOS is still the top money-maker. Apple generates 45% more revenue per user than Google does from Android, and iOS users are 10% more likely to make in-app purchases.
3. Have I got the right software support in place?
Having the right support in place is crucial – your team are your app’s machinery, and beyond.
Once you know what you want from your app and what resources you have available, seek out experienced professionals who can help you get started. The software company you hire will want to know if you’re trying to integrate specific external services, and whether you want your app to connect with an internal system. The developers need to know about any other existing APIs, or if they’ll need to create that for you. If they can incorporate a comprehensive service, including beta testing and quality assurance, it’s probably a good idea to go for that too. That way, you can receive your finished product without worrying about bugs – or any bigger issues that might arise after deployment.
Do you have a design idea in mind, or would you like your developers to carry out a graphic overhaul? Have they got experience of delivering customized projects? If you’ve changed your mind on the design, can they quickly comply with what you want changed?
Be clear about what you want to build, but be open to suggestions too. Make sure your queries are covered on the outset of your first few meetings, so both parties are clear on what’s required, and how the development process will unfold. Any good software company should listen to your concerns and offer you recommendations relating to their expertise.