Quick Guide to Mobile App Development for Small Business?

Introduction

According to a recent report by App Annie, mobile applications experienced a remarkable surge in downloads and revenue during the first quarter of this year. With a 15 per cent year-over-year increase in downloads, reaching nearly 25 billion worldwide on both iOS and Android platforms, the significance of mobile app development for businesses cannot be overstated. Mobile-first has become a business necessity rather than a luxury, as online activities increasingly shift towards mobile devices.

To effectively engage with target audiences and prospects, it is crucial to connect with them on the go through mobile apps. The widespread use of smartphones has revolutionized how brands interact with consumers, offering direct marketing channels such as push notifications and geolocation technology for personalized in-app offers. It’s a common misconception that mobile apps are exclusive to large corporations. In reality, the growing availability of high-quality app builders and mobile app development companies has made it easier for small businesses to harness the power of iOS and Android platforms.

Mobile App Development for Small Business

Developing a mobile app for a small business is a complex endeavour that requires careful planning and attention to detail. Before diving into small business mobile app development, it is crucial to establish specific details, such as creating a comprehensive project brief, defining a project timeline and regularly monitoring progress. One of the initial steps is determining the purpose of the app and clarifying the objectives you aim to achieve. Is the app intended to complement a service offering or serve as an eCommerce platform?

Open communication and understanding with your app developer are important. Engage in thorough discussions before commencing the project to align expectations and establish collaboration on essential milestones.

Steps for developing Mobile applicationĀ 

Testing

When your developer completes the initial test version of your app, it is crucial to thoroughly test it for any flaws. Here are some key points to consider during the testing phase of mobile app development for small businesses.

Skins and User Interface

Evaluate the visual appeal of the app’s skins and ensure they align with your desired display. Check if the user interface matches your expectations and provides a seamless experience.

Responsiveness

Verify that the app responds quickly to user requests and interactions. Ensure smooth navigation and transitions between different app sections.

Flow-chart Compliance

Compare the app’s functionality with the flowchart you created earlier to confirm that all components are properly incorporated. Check if the app follows the intended user journey and fulfils its purpose.

Intended Benefits

Assess whether the app provides users with the intended benefits or features outlined in the project brief. Confirm that the app meets the needs of your target audience effectively.

Functionality and Graphics

Test for any malfunctions, bugs, or errors within the app’s functionality. Evaluate if the graphics and colours align with your brand identity and create a cohesive visual experience.

External Testing

Involve a diverse group of people, including existing customers, to test the app from their perspective. Encourage them to report any flaws or issues they encounter to aid in further improvements.

Iterative Testing and Feedback

Collaborate with your developer to address and fix reported flaws or bugs promptly. Repeat the testing process multiple times until you achieve a polished and flawless mobile app. Thorough testing and incorporating user feedback is essential for refining the app and ensuring a successful mobile app development experience for your small business.

App Approval

Before submitting your mobile app, it is crucial to carefully review the submission guidelines for both iOS and Android platforms. These guidelines, such as the Apple Watch Human Interface Guidelines and the App Store Review Guidelines, are in place to ensure compliance and quality. By thoroughly studying and understanding these instructions, you can avoid potential delays in the approval process. Failure to adhere to Apple and Google guidelines may result in rejection or extended review times. Take the time to familiarize yourself with these guidelines to enhance the chances of a smooth and successful app submission.

App Store Optimization (ASO)

App Store Optimization (ASO) is a strategic approach aimed at boosting the number of downloads and improving the visibility of mobile apps by optimizing their rankings in app store search results. This process involves conducting a thorough analysis of your target audience, specifically identifying the keywords and phrases they are likely to use when searching for relevant apps to download.

For small businesses, it becomes crucial to focus on keywords directly associated with the core products or services offered. By identifying and incorporating these keywords effectively within the app’s title, description and other relevant metadata, ASO can significantly enhance the app’s visibility, attract more organic traffic and ultimately lead to increased downloads. The meticulous implementation of ASO techniques empowers businesses to maximize their app’s potential in the competitive app store ecosystem.

Main Factors

Selecting a unique app name is crucial for effective ASO and building a brand. Including relevant keywords in the app, and title improves search results and visibility. Conduct thorough keyword research to identify high-traffic keywords for inclusion in the title. Avoid frequently changing titles, as it can negatively impact app rankings and traction.

Monitor competitors regularly to gauge your app’s performance and make necessary adjustments. While downloads are important for ASO, they are not entirely within your control. Ratings and reviews play a significant role in ASO but can be challenging to manage. Mobile app development services are available to create apps for businesses.

Push out mobile coupons or provide deals/offers to app customers to boost engagement. Building an app for your business doesn’t have to be costly, thanks to available tools and resources. A mobile application can enhance your brand and promote your products or services.

App Pricing

App monetization is a critical aspect of the app development process. Consider the following approaches to generate revenue from your app.

In-App Purchases

Offer additional features, content, or virtual goods within the app for users to purchase. Implement a subscription model where users pay a recurring fee for premium access to your app’s content or services.

Advertising

Integrate advertisements within your app and earn revenue through ad impressions or clicks. Provide a basic version of the app for free, with limited features, and offer a paid upgrade for enhanced functionality. Collaborate with relevant brands or businesses for sponsorships or partnerships to promote their products or services within your app.

Data Monetization

Anonymize and aggregate user data to provide valuable insights to third-party companies for a fee. Include affiliate links or referral programs within your app, earning a commission for driving sales or leads. Engage users to support your app development through crowdfunding platforms and provide exclusive perks or early access.

Select the monetization strategy that aligns with your app’s nature and target audience, ensuring a sustainable revenue stream while delivering value to users.

Improve Customer Engagement

Including a help desk feature in your app enables secure and direct communication with customers, facilitating active sales. By allowing customers to book appointments through the app, eliminates the constraints of physical appearances and accommodates their schedules more effectively. This convenient and efficient method of reaching customers not only boosts customer engagement but also increases the potential number of customers for your products or services. The help desk feature enhances customer satisfaction by providing a seamless and accessible means of communication, ultimately contributing to the growth and success of your business.

Conclusion

In today’s mobile-centric world, smartphones have become our primary devices, surpassing desktop usage. While your customers may predominantly use desktops, a mobile app can still bring significant benefits to your business. However, it’s crucial to ensure that the app aligns with your brand and meets customers’ expectations to avoid damaging your brand credibility. Communicate your development expectations and thoroughly understand the rules and guidelines for app submission.

Once your app is approved and available in the app store, don’t assume that customers will automatically flock to download it. App store optimization (ASO) becomes vital to maximize visibility and attract users. By implementing the right ASO strategy from the very beginning, small businesses can differentiate themselves from the competition, even against larger organizations. With careful planning and execution, a well-optimized mobile app can help small businesses thrive and make a significant impact in their respective markets.

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