Does My Business Really Need A Mobile App?
No one seriously doubts that mobile is the future of the web. We crossed the point at which a business could blithely ignore mobile users a couple of years ago. Today, if you’re not mobile-friendly, you’re in trouble.
But what does it mean to be mobile-friendly? There are two choices: native mobile apps or the mobile web. Native mobile applications have a host of advantages compared to the mobile web: access to the device’s hardware, easy push notifications, and better performance. But, when I chose my company’s mobile strategy, we went all in on the web. Here’s why we made that choice, which might get you thinking about whether your business really needs a mobile app.
If we were to ask users to install an app, there would have to be a very good reason. Good reasons include a genuine need for access to on-device features like the camera or accelerometer, or a requirement for graphical capabilities available only to native applications.
If the functionality of benefit to the user can’t be implemented on the web, you have a good reason to create a mobile app. Let me stress “of benefit to the user.” If the only benefit is to your company, then it’s a little rude to nag a user into installing an app on their phone.
Here’s the thing: Almost everything that the majority of businesses want to do with an app is possible on the modern mobile web. Modern front-end and back-end web technology, when coupled with responsive design techniques, give us everything we need to create a powerful experience for our users, regardless of the device they use.
My company’s clients come to us via the web. If we created an app, there’s no chance that we would get new business through an app store. The web is how our clients find us, and the web is where they want to do business with us. That’s not true of just my business — it’s true of most businesses with a presence on the web.
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