Mobile apps have continued to soar since 2007 and have never slowed down. This was the year of the first iPhone, and soon after many companies followed with releasing their smartphones. It seems like every company is trying to design trendy technology, so what is the next big thing and should my business follow these trends?
So does my business need an app? Based on trends you may think your business needs an app. This is not always true, and greatly depends on what industry your business is in. Such as a retail shop that deals with goods and client data could benefit more than maybe a attorney’s office that would be more informational. You need to try to visualize your business and compare a responsive website versus an app. Many businesses just have a website that provides its audience with the proper functionality and content to drive its sales and or services, others rely solely on an app or maybe even both.
You need to ask yourself would an app provide a better solution or would it just provide the same functionality of a website? This question can be addressed more efficiently through analytics. Analyze your visitors, you need to make sure you are targeting your audience across the best platforms. Many websites now provide a responsive design that is the same experience on a desktop computer to a mobile device. It would not be the best practice to build an app and later realize that customers prefer using the website. Additionally if all users use mobile devices you may not need a website and instead an app would be the best solution.
Evaluate your business needs. This should include the needs of the business, and your needs of your audience. Your target audience should always drive your platform development decisions. This way resources are spent on what matters most your audience.
In conclusion to evaluating development decisions company goals such as budget, content, SEO, interface and accessibility also play an important role. In general a responsive website is more budget friendly and rely more on great SEO, accessibility, and more frequent updates. Apps are better at handling large amounts of data, more complex user interfaces, and has the advantage of using a smart phones functionality.
While many companies have both a responsive website and an app, many would be more cost effective to have one or the other. These decisions should mainly evolve around your audience and the needs and budgets of your business.