Choosing the right developers for your mobile app can be a daunting prospect. Choosing between a quick start with a mobile platform or a long-term custom development project only adds to the stress. In this article of the mobile app development company Innovins you will find what you need to know to make the right choice for your business.
Users across most age groups are spending upwards of 40% of their screen time using smartphones. For three consecutive years mobile web traffic is dominating over desktop (55%). What’s more: users are spending nearly 85% of their smartphone screen time using mobile apps. With all this information on hand, it’s no surprise that many businesses are starting to see that having a dedicated mobile app is now not only a highly recommended step, it’s pretty much a demand. The market shows that there is a demand for mobile apps, and it’s now just a matter of time before this demand begins to be met across all industries.
Why develop a mobile app?
User desires and preferences are important, but they’re just the tip of the mobile app iceberg. A dedicated mobile application brings with it the benefits of deeper analytics and flexible engagement opportunities. Even the most basic mobile app would allow you to reach out directly to your users, send them messages at the right time, and keep them informed about new developments in your business, product line, or offered services. On the flip side of this equation: comprehensive analytics. A well executed back-end will give you insight about your users, where they’re from, what features of your app they use the most. This will give you a clear picture of whether you should be thinking about adding more features, or whether your mobile app already meets the expectations of your users.
Custom app development vs low-code mobile platforms
As discussed in the eBook Get Mobile or Get Lost, the foundation of your mobile app’s success is your understanding of its end users. This understanding is also the basis of your decision for how to go about making the app. As of today, there are two options you can opt for: custom app development (i.e. in-house development or outsourcing) or developing an app using a mobile platform (i.e. using a WYSIWYG CMS to build, populate, and publish your app to the App Store). Each has its benefits and drawbacks, but your decision should be based on who you perceive your end users to be.
Choosing the right mobile app development plan
The key differentiation to consider regarding end users is their relationship to your business, in other words, you must decide whether your mobile app will be used mostly by employees and managers or by customers and clients. This will dictate whether you app will need to aim to improve daily business operations or sales and marketing objectives respectively.
Choosing custom app development is the best choice employee-oriented applications. Custom development presupposes the involvement of a dedicated Project Manager and Business Analyst, each bringing a unique perspective to the needs of the business and the ways software can help businesses obtain software that meets their needs and helps them meet performance goals.
While platform applications can also be extremely versatile in their use, they are generally better suited to the needs of customers, either providing them with information about the company and its operations or giving the company a great way to engage their customers on their mobile devices, sometimes both.
Benefits of custom mobile app development
Custom development is the optimal choice for employee-oriented applications because it aims to fulfill the needs of individual employees, optimizing their daily operations, and simplifying or automating tasks. These apps presuppose a concrete understanding of business needs, and integrate existing software solutions, making them mobile. Whether a business needs a mobile app for closing deals away from the office or a comprehensive catalogue of its product line — a custom app can become an irreplaceable asset.
Long-term custom development plans
A major benefit of opting for custom app development is the ability to plan a long-term development project. Development of this kind is often broken down into stages, each adding a key feature to the application. The initial release of the app will allow employees to optimize their daily business operations, while future iterations of the app will add features that are specific to individual departments and users. What’s more, opting for custom development presupposes the client’s ability to make fundamental changes to the design and functionality of the app. Custom app development gives full control over the end-product.
Low-Code mobile app platforms
Platforms are the optimal solution for creating customer/client-oriented apps quickly. Many platforms offer similar features, enabling managers to update the app on-the-fly through a web interface, send push notifications to users based on their activities (in more advanced platforms-based on their location), and receive at least a basic level of user analytics.
While features vary, it’s safe to expect a web-interface that allows marketing managers to populate the mobile app with news, images, videos, and sound clips. This same web interface can be used to design the look and layout of the app, choose whether users will need to log in using their social accounts and create triggers for notifications (requests to rate the app after 5 uses, discounts offered after certain in-app actions, promotional messages sent at specific times, etc).
Application feature development
While the aforementioned features may be enough for most, there’s no reason to believe that these are the limits of a platform-built mobile app. If the right platform for your mobile app is chosen, you may be able to request the addition of custom features just for your app. Whether you want to roll out Augmented Reality features in your retail chain or include a mobile shop directly in your app, the right mobile platform provider will be more than willing to develop these features for you.
This is one of the key benefits of using a mobile platform, they are simply a solid foundation for your customer-oriented mobile app, but custom feature development can still help you do what it takes to make your application truly stand out from its competition. They offer a robust feature set from the very start, while leaving plenty of room for improvement and growth.