It’s not a question whether you should adapt your business to the mobile devices, it’s a question of HOW you are going to do it. There are several options.
We previously wrote a blog post on how mobile applications are done (in Finnish) from a more technical perspective, but what it means in practice and how your organisation can benefit from it?
At Appliware, our current focus is highly related to mobile applications and we are trying to help our customers understand the opportunities around mobile platforms.
Obviously, investing in a mobile service can be a costly thing, therefore it’s necessary to list all the reasons why you are building the app. Does your business goal require users to frequently come back to your service? Do you need to communicate with your users on daily basis? Would this application make their life easier and the customer service smoother? These are only some of the common question every service should consider.
For instance here in Finland, gyms offer great amount of different classes and group exercises for their members. However, there is very little of personal communication between the gym and the user, since their existing platforms give as many options as a basic Google or iOS calendar.
From the other side, some business goals can be achieved with a responsive site. The main question is whether our ideas require native features to be implemented.
Mobile is the frontrunner of digitalisation
Having been part of several projects that prove this, I can tell with high confidence, businesses all around us have explored just a tiny part of the possibilities in the world of mobile. And that’s why these times are so exciting for us as a company.
We have seen that mobile applications can improve internal processes significantly. When organisations used to spend several hours a day to finish certain task, now with a mobile device and app the same job can be done in less than 10 minutes. Productivity is rising and employees are focusing on other things instead.
What could be the reasons to build a native mobile application?
Apps are often personal and remember user profiles. It means users can go back to it anytime. This is a great reason why native applications create better engagement than other.
2. Consumer loyalty
If your service already has users/customers, it’s time to take their experience to another level. Customer loyalty is as important as new customer acquisition because a loyal customer can refer your product or service to many other potential prospects.
3. Location/GPS services.
We implemented this feature for our client Ateriat. The location service is handy for instance when users are looking for the closest lunch restaurants.
4. Device related features
Camera and other device related built-in features are sometimes necessary to achieve a certain outcome. We created an Android app for a client to let them scan barcodes and take photos of products within the app for quality assurance purposes. The photos are saved immediately to the cloud. This could not be achieved with a web application.
5. Push notifications
Push notifications are the best tool to keep users informed about your service in real time. One example could be the gym I mentioned earlier. It would be great to let users book classes through their mobile app and inform them on the upcoming classes so they don’t forget.
The Web is not dead
When will a mobile friendly web app do the job? Below are some advantages of web applications.
1. Cross platform
Web applications are platform independent. They work on iOS, Android and Windows including all browsers and all screen sizes.
2. Search engine friendly
Discoverable by search engines. Even though, you can’t be cool and say “download our app from the app store”. However, before purchasing, customers are doing their research on the internet, so being found is as crucial. Google has recently been supporting an initiative called Amp Project which is a mobile accelerator for websites. It speeds up your page up to 10x, making it more enjoyable for your customers.
3. Cost less
Easier and quicker to develop. From a technical point of view, web applications are simpler to make and often more cost effective.
Most web applications and websites can be customised to work well on every screen size and platform possible (responsive web).
The Internet beyond apps
The year 2016 was definitely a year when bots got smarter. There are endless opportunities around the idea of bots. Namely, it’s amazing how Facebook chat and bots can be used to create app inside an app. A great example is KLM’s bot that perfectly well replaces a whole native app. Check it out from Youtube or KLM’s website.
Finally, when choosing your platform, think mostly about your business requirements. What are the most important features you want your users to enjoy and that will guide you to the best possible platform for your business.
Did you like this article? Show some love and connect with me.