Over the last couple of years many companies have jumped on the build me an app bandwagon as the smartphone and tablet industry has taken the world by storm. However before you delve into having an app built for your organisation you should be asking yourself some important questions.
The most important question you should be asking, in my opinion, is does an app add any value to my business. For some reason alot of people seem to think it is cheap to build an app, then are shocked at the price when given a quote. There have been many advances in building apps including app building platforms or the ability to build an app as a website and put it through software like phonegap meaning apps are easier and cheaper to build due to the wider range of people who can build and produce them. However if you have functionality requirements that require a native app build the price can still be very expensive.
The app market is flooded and it can also be problematic get an app into the app store (especially with Apple). So does your app add value are people going to download it? Obviously if you are a large online retailer it can increase your sales and if you have the right idea and it takes off you can raise brand awareness. What you need to do is to offset your quoted price against the potential benefits you could reap and make your decision.
So if you decide the app route is not for you what are the alternatives? The most obvious thing to do is ensure that your company website works acrcoss all different devices from desktop to tablet to smartphone. One of the best ways to do this is to build your website to a responsive design, this means that whatever screen size your website is viewed on it will display and work perfectly. Another option is to build a webapp this is slightly cheaper, runs on the web and will not need to be submitted to the app store, you can either encourage users to add the webapp to their homescreen which makes it seem much more like a native app.
If require and advice on app build or usage please contact me.