Enterprise and business leaders are pondering a very important question these days: Is it really necessary to spend precious budget dollars on a custom mobile app? Less than a decade ago, this question could easily be answered with a resounding no, considering that custom mobile apps were still a luxury that only the top Fortune 500 companies could afford to develop—for only those users who could afford a smartphone or mobile device to access the application.
However, since the launch of the iPhone in 2007—a good reference point for when the smartphone consumer craze began—the world has seen the rapid adoption of mobile technology. Today, nearly 65 percent of U.S. adults own a smartphone, according to a report by the Pew Research Center. Furthermore, when we look past the smartphone at other mobile technologies, like tablets and smartwatches, we see that the Internet is accessed more often using these devices than traditional computers.
With mobile technologies now the norm, enterprises and businesses in all verticals that want to improve their customers’ experiences must work toward custom mobile application development.
Still not convinced? Let’s try a quick exercise:
Take out your smartphone and head towards your favorite mobile app, avoiding apps like Angry Birds or any other mobile game and, instead, navigate to one that provides you with a service. This could be a note-taking app like Google’s Keep or an on-the-go banking app.
After you’ve played around with the app for a minute, close it, open your mobile Web browser, and try to duplicate your experience. You should notice markedly better performance with the app.
Apps like these are similar to an app you might create for your consumers to use. They were designed to address the needs of a specific target audience. While you might be able to log into your Bank of America online banking account through your mobile Web browser, the experience on the app—as you’ve noticed—is more streamlined, faster and feels more personal.
Consumers today are picky and are willing to switch to a competitor if the user experience you provide isn’t up to par. A custom mobile application gives you an edge over your competition and allows you to provide a greater user experience than a website alone can offer. As the number of U.S. smartphone users continues to climb, as the Pew Research Center report mentioned above indicates it will, custom mobile applications will separate the industry leaders from the rest of the pack.