Does Your Biz Need a Mobile App?

Scrolling through Facebook recently we couldn’t help but notice there were a number of companies touting their new mobile apps. Which made us wonder, does your business need a mobile app to stay competitive? With more and more people joining the mobile/tablet world, the answer would seem to be a very clear, yes. But as with lots of things, the answer is, it depends.

Here are 3 questions to ask yourself before jumping on the mobile app bandwagon:

Does an app help someone use your product/service? This may be an obvious question, but would an app actually make your business more accessible? If you already have a mobile friendly website, you may be fine and might not need an app. But an app can provide an easy way for customers to pay for your products or services, like Starbucks does. Their mobile app allows you to pay for items and serves up their loyalty program. Consider what features your mobile app would include that could help someone use your product or service?

Do you have a mobile website? If your product or service is web based, or someone needs to fill out a form to sign up, a mobile site may be in your future, or you may already have one. The cool thing about a mobile site is that it can accommodate the various needs of your customers based on the phone or tablet they access it with.

What about responsive web design? You’ve probably heard a bit about responsive web design, or how a website adapts to the environment used to view it, but probably don’t have a site like this yet. This is the web design of the future, or at least of 2013. With responsive web design your website will work it’s best no matter what device is used to view it. Removing the need for a mobile specific site, and, depending on your biz, the need for a mobile app. Have a form? No problem, the site will adapt to show the form correctly, and work, for any device. The site The Next Web has some examples of websites that have embraced responsive design to help inspire you.

While a mobile app can be useful, take a look at how people access your biz online (Google Analytics can show you this) and see if the time is right to create a mobile app, or will just making changes to your site fit the bill.

What are your plans for the mobile explosion? A new app or update to your site?

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