The Biggest Disadvantages to Investing in Mobile Apps
A mobile app may be the next best thing for your business, or it might take valuable resources away from a strategy that'd be better worth your time and money. Apple’s app store and the Google Play marketplace combined feature over 5 million apps for users to choose from. Among this selection are mobile apps dedicated to specific businesses. With some performing well — and others not — the biggest question that businesses must answer is are these mobile apps worth investing time, money, and resources into?
While a growing number of apps signals an increase in popularity, it also means tougher competition. Businesses that want to take advantage of the space need to be able to produce something worthwhile.
If this is the route you ultimately decide to go down, we can connect you, for free, with up to 5 companies within 72h that match your needs. Hear us out first, though, and make an informed decision before you decide to dive head-first into this space.
5 Downsides of Creating a Mobile App for your Business
Just like any other business decision, there are pros and cons to mobile app development. Your target audience, the size of your business, and your budget are all factors that'll determine if a mobile app is right for you.
A solid strategy is needed to decide which business avenues are worth pursuing, and which aren’t. Choosing to develop a mobile app isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation — it needs to be properly researched and made by your team. Any investment in one strategy takes time and resources from another, and can leave your business at a disadvantage on other — potentially more important — fronts.
Aside from all that, there are some general disadvantages that all businesses looking to develop an app should be aware of.
Needs user buy-in
If your app serves as the only way users can access your product or services, you’re facing obstacles before even getting your foot in the door. Over 90% of users find it frustrating when a business requires them to download an app to finish — or even attempt — transactions.
Smaller businesses are at even more of a disadvantage. Even though mobile apps are how many users like to interact with digital media, users are more hesitant to try new ones.
Requires significant marketing efforts
No one is going to download an app they’ve never heard of on their own accord. Mobile app marketing is its effort, entirely separate from the idea behind your app and the development.
Before you begin marketing, you need to ensure your app will meet your users’ expectations. What’s your app’s message? Who are your users? These are two key questions that need answering before you launch any kind of mobile app.
Can be costly
Well-built native mobile applications are going to rise to the top, but with that comes a hefty price tag. If you’re looking to develop an app that double-dips and is compatible with Android and iOS, you might want to think again. Design, development, and testing costs will skyrocket, with no real guarantee that your app will attain success.
Your app’s design, platform, and functionality will all affect the cost in the end. Since the market is saturated, an app needs to stand out for it to be beneficial to your business, which means it’ll be more expensive.
Demands ongoing maintenance
An app isn’t a one-and-done deal — maintenance costs and efforts also need to be considered. If you’re looking to rival some of the better-performing mobile apps, your app may need to be updated at least four times a month. This is to iron out any bugs, consider bad reviews, keep up with your competition, and add additional features.
Mobile users have to update apps themselves — it isn’t an automatic process like with a website. Users may move on to a competitor’s app if yours is slow, buggy, or no longer meets their needs. If there are any urgent security vulnerabilities with new OS or platforms, those need to be taken care of as well.
Doesn’t replace your website
A mobile app likely isn’t going to replace your website. Unlike a native mobile app, your website can be discovered through search engines if you have good SEO practices in place. Even the most successful services that function as apps — for example, Uber — still have a website.
A good desktop website is the cornerstone of a good business model. There’s less commitment for users when navigating your website. Investing in a mobile app and a website is double the effort, and double the cost.
Alternatives to Mobile Applications
Users are increasingly using their smartphones to browse the web. This trend might be one of the core reasons you think you need a mobile app to capitalize on these numbers, but there are other ways to take advantage of that.
Optimizing the web experience for mobile users is a key step to attracting smartphone users to your business. This requires a lesser upfront cost as well as lesser ongoing maintenance costs.
A dedicated mobile site is one way to get around user buy-in as well. If the mobile experience on the web is satisfactory, users can choose to save a link to the page as a device icon and access your mobile site whenever they want. With the right tools, a web app can almost mimic a native app, without the disadvantages listed above.
All big decisions come with their own risks and potential rewards. Choosing to build a native mobile app is no different. If you’re a smaller business, operating on a tight budget, or don’t have a clear business strategy in place, there are likely better and more affordable options to attract new users to your business.
At the end of the day, if you do decide to develop a mobile app, make sure you feel confident with your research and select a trusted team, whether that be a mobile app freelance developer or a remote mobile app development team.
Q1. What are the advantages of mobile applications?
A well-performing mobile app can cement your branding and level up your reputation. They offer a competitive edge, showcase your ability to keep up with digital trends, and can serve as a great marketing funnel for attracting new clients. If your business has a loyal user base, then a mobile application is one more way to keep them engaged.
Q2. Are apps good for business?
Mobile applications are best suited for businesses that are willing to invest in them. When given the proper resources, a mobile app can spell out success for a business. Businesses that are targeting the younger generation are also more likely to find their user base interacting with mobile apps.
This isn’t to say apps are good for every business, but they certainly can be.
Q3. What are the advantages of software in a company?
Software can help a company by aiding in decision-making and providing support with customer relations. Software is useful when it automates certain tasks so that the company can invest its time and resources elsewhere.
An efficient company relies on software to help them better understand what’s working and what isn’t. Analytics and reports are two key insights businesses can glean from useful software.
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