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It’s tempting, we know; with today’s digital growth, app development can seem a very lucrative prospect for businesses. 

However, do you actually need an app or is app development on your radar because you have a `fear of missing out’?

Jumping headfirst into developing an app is not for the faint-hearted and ideally it should be on your radar because it can offer you something that your current online presence can’t. It is a strategic rather than a technical decision for business and growth.

Don’t get us wrong, yes, apps are very modern, on trend and can, in the right instances, make life simpler, but are they always the answer, or could there be another way?

To help in the decision-making process, we’ve pulled together some of the key questions we talk through with clients to help them understand if app or web development is the best way forward.

App or website development, that is the question

Have you done your research?

As with any new project, you need to do your research and do a lot of it. You need to see what opportunities are out there. What are your competitors offering? How would your app be different? What research is available around accessibility and simplicity?

Gathering as much intel and detail about the market, the sector you operate in, your customers, their profiles, and behaviours online is vitally important to make the most informed decision for your business.

You should also look to evaluate your current website. For example, what are its strengths and weaknesses, customer feedback, do you currently interact with customers online, how, what is the frequency, etc.

Again, this information can prove essential in better understanding what benefits developing an app would provide you with or if website development is a better option…

What is your customer’s perspective?

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes.

How do they currently see you? What more would they like from you. Can this additional value come from website development, or do you need an app to fill the gap?

Look at their journey with you from their perspective:

  • Would they appreciate an app?
  • Would an app be beneficial to your customers to improve levels of communication with you?
  • Do you need an app to connect to your customers?

Break down your target audience and where they currently access your services. For example, are they continually on the go, making an app a great solution, or are they situated in one place with a desktop in front of them with no real need for an app at all?

What can you offer through an app that you can’t offer online?

If you are already providing value to your customers online, why do you need an app?

Could optimising your website, adding more content, and refining your online customer journey be the best and most cost-effective approach?

Apps are good if, and only if, they allow you to provide something you can’t provide online that you can’t develop online, i.e., they provide your customers with a high level of value that you can’t offer through your website. For example, apps can offer:

  • Tighter integration with location based services
  • Push notifications/reminders
  • Offline capability

Do you have a robust strategy in place?

What is your strategy for not only developing an app but ongoing maintenance? Platforms/software (iOS/Android) designed for apps move on at a much quicker pace, and they aren’t afraid to change features which can lead to the app setup falling behind much quicker.

Consider how you will manage daily interactions through the app? Do you have the time, the resources, the patience?!

Look at interactions and `touch points` from your customer’s perspective. Think about your customer journey, where these touchpoints are currently, and how you could improve them.

This type of in-depth analysis often shows that a fully optimised, functional website can be just as effective as an app. 

Are you going through a period of growth?

Often when businesses go through a period of rapid growth, it can be vital to have an online presence that scales with you.

  • Will your app serve your long-term goals?
  • Bring in more revenue?
  • Streamline your services?

We know that eCommerce is big business, and we understand that both online stores and apps must be fast loading and responsive if they are to be effective.

Developing a fully optimised site designed for business growth, matched with an appropriate app can help you reach those immediate opportunities while also placing you in a good position to scale in the future without the need to redevelop…. again.

Do you want to attract a wider target audience?

Do you want to widen your customer base and target more and even different audiences? As such, would an app and a fully optimised site be the perfect solution?

Think about how you communicate with your customers currently? Is this working? Do you need more face-to-face communication? Or do they prefer online messaging? Online FAQ etc.

You need to match your current target audiences’ preferences with your identified new target audiences and work out the best solution for both.

Conclusion

Often the answers to the questions above will provide you with a good starting point on the direction you should take. At Arkay, we always recommend starting with your end-user and identifying their problem and how you can solve it.

For us, apps must have a clear and distinct purpose, with your website also optimised to scale with your business. If you need to take the next stage in your website with a bespoke build, or you want to build an app from scratch, look no further.


At Arkay, we have the skills, knowledge, and security requirements to build websites and apps designed for growth.

Get in touch today to discuss how we can help you >