How can an app help your business?
Mobile apps are currently one of the fastest-growing sectors. Smartphone and tablet users spend most of their time just using apps, with the rest dedicated to using the web browser. It’s not just games or social networks that provide entertainment and allow you to connect with friends. Mobile apps are also crucial for business operations – they will enable you to both deliver your services to customers and improve your workflow.
Why is a mobile app in business so important?
It’s hard to disagree with the statement that these days, if “you’re not on the Internet, you don’t exist.” When running a business, it is necessary to take care not only of outdoor, TV, or radio advertising but also precisely of online presence, because it is currently where potential customers look for a company that will provide them with the services they need – businesses with a professional website, social media profiles and business cards and reviews on Google, among others, are considered more reliable. However, the web has also changed in recent years, with most of the traffic shifting to mobile devices, especially smartphones.
Not surprisingly, more and more companies have begun to opt for dedicated apps. A professional app is supposed to provide customers with convenient access to products or services. In addition, a modern “app” affects the positive image of the company, and thus improves its position in the market. Let us point out here that such an application can serve both colleagues and customers. Depending on its purpose, it can either, for example, enable people to make purchases, order food or participate in loyalty programs, organize work in the company, or facilitate the distribution of tasks.
Business application – what is it?
Business applications are software, created for the needs of a specific company. Of course, companies can use ready-made or modified IT solutions, but it often happens that such “off-the-shelf” applications do not provide all the necessary functions. Preparing an application from scratch is more demanding, but it also has many advantages that outweigh this choice. First of all, such a dedicated application will be created specifically for the company’s requirements, without unnecessary features that only hinder use. It is meant to be a comprehensive tool for customers, as mentioned above, or for employees – in the latter case, the application is meant to facilitate daily work, which is why during the development of the application, the processes undertaken in the company, the difficulties faced by employees and the activities that such software can improve, among other things, are taken into account.
Among business applications, several types can be distinguished. These include:
- B2B applications – business to business – facilitate cooperation between several companies, for example between a manufacturer and a distributor, through a platform based on electronic data exchange,
- B2C applications – business to client– are responsible for delivering value to customers. Thanks to such software, customers can get news about the products or services offered, inquire, or, as a result, place an order,
- employee applications, which are used internally for time management and information transfer.
What is the process of developing and implementing business applications in a company?
The first step in the process of creating a business application, once the need for such a product has been realized, is to find the right company to develop the software. It will be up to the company to analyze the needs of employees and design and write the application. The next step is to plan what features the application should have in order to best fit the needs of the company. The next steps are design and programming, that is, creating all the software, based on the information gathered earlier.
Some may think that since the software is already finished, the whole process has been successful. This is not quite true. There are still two key stages ahead. Once the application is finished, it’s time for testing. It is difficult to determine how long testing will take – it depends on the level of complexity of the program. A thorough analysis of the application’s performance gives a guarantee about the later performance and smooth functioning of the software. If any bugs are discovered at this stage, this is the best time to make corrections. The last component is implementation, i.e. publishing the application and conducting training. Only when all employees are using the product smoothly we can consider the job done. Of course, it’s a good idea to stay in touch with the development team and update the application as the company’s needs change. This last, post-implementation stage can be called monitoring. During this time, the development team continuously checks whether the application is working properly and suggests ideas for improving the product. After all, only constant development and adaptation to current customers guarantee the satisfaction of existing users and reach out to new ones.
Mobile application – advantages for the company
Mobile apps not only help streamline work in a company but can also be used to stay connected with customers, making it easier for them to place orders and use services. These are not the only benefits that apps bring to entrepreneurs.
First and foremost, the app enables better contact with customers by sending messages with new offers or product presentations, push notifications, which everyone is probably familiar with in the form of Messenger app notifications, among others, or information about promotions. All such activities increase user engagement. In addition, the application definitely shortens the user paths – operating in a web browser, a potential customer has to use the search engine, find the best offer and only perform the planned action. The application requires only one click on the icon on the device’s home screen.
Another important thing is that the user’s data and history of actions are saved. Again – this is a big convenience for the customer, as he doesn’t have to log in or enter the delivery address each time. This makes users more likely to return to make a repeat order. It is simply faster and more convenient for them.
For the company, in turn, the mobile app is an excellent source of statistics and an indicator of real user engagement. We write “real” because there is practically no probability of accidental clicks in the app, as happens with websites. In addition to this, an in-house mobile application allows the software to be precisely tailored to the specifics of the company and customers.
What does it look like in practice?
A lecture is a lecture, but it is best to show by example how applications can help in specific situations. We will use the 4GOAL application we realized. The client’s goal was to create a space for young soccer players to showcase their skills. The biggest challenge, on the other hand, was that the app had to serve people from 5 to 20 years old, so it had to be clear and intuitive at the same time for younger and older users.
The result of 5 months of work is an app that met all the client’s requirements. Among other things, it has an editor that allows you to edit one video from several cropped fragments of different footage, and it also allows you to annotate videos with text and add color filters. The main video grid is based on an algorithm that shows videos published by all users, taking into account the popularity of a given material. On top of that, the app allows users to comment and share videos, as well as tag users. The best proof that the application fulfills all its tasks is the award received at the prestigious Mobile Trends Awards gala. You can find the entire process of creating 4GOAL here.
Mobile applications helpful for businesses
Since we are talking about mobile applications for business, it should be noted that this topic includes not only solutions dedicated to specific companies. There are also programs that make it easier to run a business and streamline work.
We are talking about mobile project management applications, among others. The choice depends on the complexity of the project, but for the simpler ones, even the calendar offered by Google, which allows you to save appointments, set reminders, and create automatic alerts synchronized with your Google account, will come in handy. This way, each employee will have access to a schedule of tasks in real-time. This type of solution is also perfect when several people, working from different cities or even countries, are involved in one project. Such apps are available for both Android and iOS, and they also have desktop versions, allowing the program to be used on computers.
Another useful segment is business communication apps. Of course, everyone is familiar with WhatsApp or Messenger, but corporate contacts require a slightly different solution, more professional and varied in form. Such applications allow you to create multi-person conferences or video conferences, also with the possibility of Q&A sessions and thematic rooms, which can be public or intended only for invited people. An additional advantage is an ability to send attachments in multiple formats and prepare employee and customer surveys.
It is impossible to list all the types of applications that are useful in business. For example, it is worth looking at programs for comprehensive monitoring of website traffic, which provide information about user preferences and conversion levels. The data is available in real-time, but it is also possible to create comparative analyses or generate reports based on self-selected parameters. Of course, you can’t forget about “clouds”, i.e. virtual drives, where you can not only store files, but also share them with other users.
There are also solutions for running mailing campaigns – editing contact lists, creating reports on already existing campaigns, but also organizing completely new campaigns, scheduling social media ads, selecting target customer groups, and maintaining contacts with contractors. But that’s not all – let’s also mention applications that allow you to manage all your social profiles, create virtual mobile business card databases, write notes that can be synchronized between all the devices you use, or view and edit documents in many of the formats you use most often. The choice is truly vast and depends only on what your business needs.
Mobile apps are helpful to businesses in many ways. Depending on how specific your company’s requirements are, you can choose to merely modify off-the-shelf solutions or create a business-specific application from scratch. Mobile applications that are already available on the market can also be a big help in communication or project planning. As you can see, there are really many solutions, and… we probably don’t need to convince you anymore that nowadays a mobile app can boost your business.
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