Modern reality forces companies to conform to imperatives of our time: consumers no longer satisfy their needs only through visiting a physical store or using websites. Now, they want 100% brand accessibility anywhere: on the way to their work, at work over a cup of coffee, on the playground, essentially, wherever they can hold a smartphone in their hands.
There are actually only two options:
- do nothing and hope the website mobile version will reach the mobile audience;
- start developing a mobile app and build a unified structure of sales and customer interaction.
In the first option, the company’s path is clear: we simply “roll with the tide.” But looking through a business prism, the second option is far more promising.
There are currently three topical options used to create a business mobile app, and each of them has its pros and cons. Let us consider them in more detail.
Option 1. Create a Mobile App Independently, Using an App Builder
There are special services which allow for the development of a mobile app using ready block elements. To do so, users do not need coding skills in any capacity.
These services are not free. It is common to pay a monthly fee (subscription model). However, the application will cost much less than when developed from scratch according to order.
Create a mobile app in a couple of clicks without involving software engineers! This sounds tempting, but unfortunately, it is far from reality.
- it is relatively quick;
- it is the cheapest option available.
- limited design and functionality;
- it is almost impossible to personalize the app;
- monthly fee payments (often with restrictions on installation).
In addition, it is worth noting that there is a high risk of getting a non-operational app, and as a result, wasting money and receiving negative feedback from users.
Let us get real: it is impossible to develop a fully working product featuring a convenient design and elaborate functionality without involving professional software developers.
Option 2. Order an Individual Solution from a Software Development Company
This is currently the most common option, and a large number of agencies in the market offer mobile development services.
The main advantage of this approach is that customers get a ready-made product which is maximally adapted to their business needs. The software will have no extra functions, but if the need arises, some modifications can be made with no trouble.
The whole process of creating a mobile app takes 4 to 6 months on average, depending on functional complexity. The work will be performed according to each specific scenario: defining software requirements, designing interfaces, designing and coding the app. We covered this process in our article “How to Build a Successful Mobile App: Step by Step Guide” in more detail.
The project cost usually starts at $5,000 and depends on the estimated complexity and time spent by the developers.
- a professional product for your needs;
- high-level development flexibility;
- the possibility of creating an individual design;
- pre-release testing;
- technical support and possible scalability.
- longer development time;
- higher app development costs;
- additional costs for technical support.
Option 3. Start the Product on the MVP Principles
Actually, this method is one of the implementation options mentioned in the previous paragraph. However, it has important differences which often increase the chances of success for a project.
MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product. The objective of this approach is to quickly test the main hypothesis about app relevance among the target audience. The point is to quickly release an app solving one or two basic tasks well enough rather than spend a lot of time and money developing an app with a large set of functions and scripts.
This technique allows you to get quick feedback from real users, understanding what can be improved or corrected, and continuing to move on, making small iterations.
- significantly reduced budget due to limited functionality at the start;
- much faster project release, sometimes even within a couple of months;
- rapid user feedback helping to develop the product more efficiently.
If your objective is to develop a business mobile application, you have several basic options. Each method has its pros and cons, and we have considered them in detail in this article.
To make the best choice, you have to proceed primarily from your business needs, future plans, and available resources. However, in any case, if we are talking about a commercial project, you had better discard the option involving online app designers. This approach would entail too many restrictions on improvements and scaling.
If you still have questions left after reading this article, contact us and our professionals will advise you and help you come to the right decision.