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Should Your Business Build A Mobile App? 12 Questions To Help You Decide – Forbes

Should Your Business Build A Mobile App? 12 Questions To Help You Decide – Forbes

With the advent of fast mobile internet, it has become common to see people surfing the Web or accessing apps everywhere and anywhere they go. According to BroadbandSearch.net, mobile Web traffic shot up 222% between 2013 and 2018. The introduction of 5G has the potential to supercharge the exchange of data and give consumers high-speed access to a range of content through their mobile devices.

Data and developments like these may prompt businesses to decide that it’s time to invest in creating a mobile app—but does every business really need one? Below, 12 experts from Forbes Technology Council detail questions companies should consider before deciding whether it’s wise to create a mobile app and what their mobile app might look like.

1. Are Your Customers Asking For One?

If your customers are asking for it, use agile development to build a mobile app productively and quickly. If they’re not asking for it, but you want to build an app, find where you have room for growth. There could be a bottleneck in your product that can be opened with a mobile app. Test your market to see if it’s a profitable idea and strategize how to capitalize on it. – Ben Lee, Rootstrap

2. Will It Expand Your Reach?

A well-designed mobile app engages users effectively in your services and enables access to native device functionality such as the camera, location and notifications. A mobile app also opens the door to more of the connected devices ecosystem, including watches and voice assistants. Mobile is a minimum bar for consumer adoption and customer retention, and if done well, multiplies your reach. – Michael McCormick, Salesforce

3. Does It Fit The Nature Of Your Product?

Not every company needs a mobile app. Building an app for your business depends mainly on the people using your product and the nature of the product. If your business rarely requires people to interact with your company and team, then you certainly don’t need an app. But if your clients communicate daily with your business, then it is a good idea to develop an app and make that process easier. – Ivailo Nikolov, SiteGround

4. What Should Its Scope Be?

Yes, just about every company needs a mobile app, but what they should really be focusing on is the scope of that app. Many companies try to build a mobile app with the same functionality as their desktop app, and that’s just not necessary. Start by thinking about which of your services your customer will need on the go. Build those features as a minimum viable product (MVP), then solicit feedback to add more functionality. – Henry Schuck, DiscoverOrg

5. Can It Become Part Of The Consumer’s Daily Process?

A mobile app is critical—it creates easy access to the consumer! The app doesn’t need to be a complete replica of the desktop experience, but at a minimum, it should be customized to provide precise information whenever the consumer needs it. Also, it’s a great way to become integral to any part of the consumer’s daily process. – Nitin Ranjan, Elutions

6. What Are Our Users’ Needs?

The first question we need to ask ourselves is, “What are the users’ needs?” Then we build a solution that meets those needs. If our users interact with us only occasionally, then mobile-first Web design is sufficient. If our users interact with us daily, then a mobile app is the desired approach. Focus more on solving the users’ needs than on building cool technology just because we can. – Kathy Keating, Apostrophe, Inc.

7. How About An App For Internal Use?

We are living in an era where the mass populace has embraced mobile as an inherent part of their lives. Companies can use this situation to their advantage by introducing apps whereby employees can communicate and keep everyone updated on the work they do and reduce turnaround time. It’s also important for companies to evaluate the overall effect of this and use it only if it helps them in their business. – Sachin Deshpande, Qualitas IT Private Limited

8. Does It Have At Least Three Mobile-Specific Uses?

Everyone wants a slice of the booming app economy. But apps should create genuine value for customers. Consider these factors: Will it provide convenience? Will it offer better personalization? Will it be location-sensitive and -specific? Can it use built-in mobile features to drive the user experience? As a rule of thumb, if you have more than three mobile-specific use cases that cannot be done on a desktop, then go for it. – Manish Tandon, CSS Corp

9. What Value Is This App Going To Bring?

It is true that over the past few years more and more people have been accessing the Web via mobile devices. However, it’s a big mistake to go out and build an app just because people are checking out your website on their phone. You have to ask yourself, “What value is my app going to bring?” If the answer to this question isn’t obvious, then you probably have more important work to do elsewhere. – Kevin Batchelor, Complete Merchant Solutions

10. Would A Mobile-Friendly Website Be Better?

Having recently reinstalled dozens of mobile apps on three devices in the last month, the proliferation of mobile apps has become a hassle. Many of these apps are clones of existing websites, and modern browsers can provide an app-like feel. It’s easier to develop and publish a single mobile-friendly website than it is to certify apps for multiple platforms and hundreds of phones and tablets. – Blaine Kahle, Five Nines Technology Group

11. Could We ‘Piggyback’ A Bot On An Existing Platform?

Apps are not always the right way to deliver mobile experiences. For example, bots are a great way as well. People using several enterprise and consumer messenger services already have these apps installed. Build bots on top of these messenger platforms. That way the challenge of getting your “app” in the hands of the users is circumvented. – Ashwin Ramasamy, PipeCandy

12. Should We Start With  A Web-Based Solution?

Many times, a mobile app is not necessary for a company’s needs. Instead, they should be looking toward functional, well-designed and mobile-optimized websites and progressive Web apps. A good Web-based solution is cheaper to build, simpler to direct to and easier to maintain—it also helps you understand whether it’s worth pursuing a dedicated mobile app in the future. – Artem Petrov, Reinvently

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