When You Do and Don’t Need a Native App

According to a recent report from eMarketer, Americans spend almost 25 hours a day on using their mobile devices. This means a carefully crafted mobile strategy is increasingly vital to the growth of a business today.

Unfortunately, some entrepreneurs and small businesses owners are just blindly jumping on the bandwagon in developing “me-too” applications. For starters, an app might not be the best technical solution for many businesses. Moreover, given the costs of app development, basing a mobile strategy based on an app is simply a poor business decision in many cases.

Sure, a thoughtfully developed native app is going to deliver the best user experience in many cases. If creating your ideal user experience calls for built-in smartphone data or a camera, voice recorder or GPS, an app is what you want. For those on a more modest budget, a well-designed mobile-optimized website can offer users much more and cost you less than an app.

App Development Is Not Cheap

App development is a costly and time-consuming process.

A mobile-enabled website is relatively inexpensive to build and maintain, and can be accessed by any device no matter what platform it runs on. This cuts the development time in half or less, and notably decreases maintenance costs.

Mobile-Friendly Websites Often Get the Job Done Better, Easier and Faster than an App

Mobile-enabled websites are often a better way to meet both business objectives and customer needs.

Given it is a platform-agnostic, user-friendly, cost-effective solution, a mobile-friendly website will often meet a client’s needs and budget better than an app.

While it is a fact that a well-designed app is incredibly useful and convenient for customers/clients, enterprises of all sizes need to do a careful cost-benefit analysis before they rush into developing an app.

The key rule of thumb for deciding on developing an app is to make sure benefits of the app outweigh the total costs involved in building and maintaining it. It does not make sense for businesses to pay more and wait longer for a solution that allows access to smartphone capabilities they don’t really need. This is especially true given the costs of building and maintaining a top-quality mobile-optimized website today are significantly less than building/supporting a native app from scratch.

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