Many companies think they should create an app to stay with the times, but that is not always the case. An app is great for some companies, but completely unnecessary for others. An app is not an alternative to a website, it is a completely different tool with a completely different target usage and demographic.
If you are considering an app for your business, you must ask yourself:
- Why would someone want to download my app? Yes, download. An app has to be intentionally downloaded onto a mobile devise to be used, unlike a website which can be accessed with a simple URL. So if you have a store, you are more likely to want to use a website for your online sales than an app, because you wouldn’t want to limit your customers to only those who were comfortable downloading your content.
- Will limiting your user’s experience to mobile devices be an issue? Most apps are only compatible with mobile phones and tablets, not desktop computers. So if your target client does not already use a tablet or mobile device, this may be an issue. An example would be a payroll company using an app to process payroll. If the target user is an office worker, they likely wont have access to anything but a company desktop, and would not be apt to add a work app to their personal cell phone.
- Do you want a fully personalized experience for your clients? Unlike websites, which show the same information to every viewer, unless they login to an account, an app can be set to display completely personalized information to the viewer each and every access. For example, if your company offers podcasts, the website would show a library of all the podcasts. An app could be set to only show the “unplayed" podcasts to the user, increasing the user experience.
- Is your data private or require higher security? Apps offer a higher level of security than websites, keeping information private until a user is granted access. The data can be encrypted and is more compliant with security measures required for things like HIPAA or other privatized legislation.
- Will users benefit from using the site more than one time? Potential customers are more likely to download your app if they will use it weekly or even daily. Otherwise, they may be weary about granting you access to their information and mobile devices. If you are offering a one-time service, which as a clothing company calculating the right size for their product, skip the add and build up the website’s offerings.