Do you remember the first smartphone you purchased? How many people owned a smartphone back then? The past decade has seen exponential growth in the usage of smartphones. In 2021, 6.2 billion new smartphone subscriptions were recorded. A number that can soon surpass the total population of humans on the planet! How insane is that?
With every single person getting their hands on a smartphone, does it make sense for your business to let go of the opportunity to reach them? With the increased usage of the internet and online transactions, your consumers would find it easier to interact with your business through its own mobile application. There is no doubt that businesses become more accessible with a mobile application. So, how important does it make it for you to have one for your business?
Now that you’ve made up your mind that you need a mobile application for your business, you would want to weigh the costs and benefits of developing one. Many times you might wonder why it costs so much more than a web app. Well, here is a list of important aspects that go into the development of a mobile application and, in turn, justify the costs that are borne by your business:
1. Mobile Apps Are Considerably Complex
A mobile app needs to be built using specific languages and Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that differs from web apps… it’s more complex. The development team must have the skills to deliver on those requirements, which in turn might mean that more resources are required for the mobile-app portion of the business initiative. Thus, with increased complexity, the development becomes more complicated and intricate, leading to additional costs.
2. They Have Cool Features
Apart from the basic functionalities, mobile app developers have access to the device and platform-specific features, which can be used to offer a bunch of cool features that websites and web apps might lack. Mobile applications also have better performance, offline usability, in-app alerts, user-friendliness, and increased brand visibility. As compared to web apps, they also provide a better user experience with respect to push notifications, social media integration, emails, payment gateways, and more.
3. Branding and Designing Take More Time
Developing a mobile application is pointless if it doesn’t enhance the customer’s experience. For users to like your app, it needs to be user-friendly with enhanced ease of accessibility. A mobile app must excel at the concepts of User Interface (the look) and User Experience (the feel).
Creating an interactive user interface and branding the same requires more energy than you would imagine. To provide that brand-specific touch to your mobile application, you need to ensure that you use all the relevant design elements which best resonate with your brand.
4. Highly Customized
There are a considerable number of applications out there that could be catering to your target audience. This competitive environment sets a high-quality bar for market entry. To make yours stand out among others becomes not just a choice but a necessity for your business. This compels you to add your business’ custom touch to your application and a personalized experience for your users.
Between the wide array of possible functionalities in a mobile application and your brand’s requirements, you need to make careful choices about what to include and what not to, which leads to a detailed process of customization.
5. Need for Custom Admin Functions
Having a high-performing admin panel is just as crucial as any other part of your application. It allows your team to manage your application and its users in a more efficient manner. A customized panel can assist in getting reports, following and analyzing metrics, and keeping an eye on your app’s performance. In addition to this, a feature-rich admin panel can make it easier for you to manage and understand your app’s data and track bugs. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to developing an admin panel. It all depends on your needs and your product, but the time and resources to do so must be accounted for.
6. Expensive App Developers
A good app developer will have extensive qualifications and skills with the known technologies in play. App design is extremely popular, so there is a demanding market for expertise. As the supply is limited, the talent costs are considerably high.
7. Secured Back-end System
When a consumer logs into your application, they trust you with their personal information. Managing and protecting the privacy of your customers should be your top priority.
However, as technology has advanced, data leaks and privacy breaches have increased heavily. A strong cluster of app infrastructure, data storage, security, and hosting is essential for an app to operate securely and reliably. You run the immediate risk of experiencing a significant cyber-attack if your back-end infrastructure is weak. Having a secure back-end system is expensive but a must for your application.
8. Requirement for Multi-platform Support
Your customers use different types of devices and operating systems. In order to cater to them, you must ensure that your application is responsive, adaptable, and user-friendly across all of these devices and operating systems.
This requires additional development and testing time and a dedicated team of developers for each platform. This undoubtedly leads to an increase in development time and cost.
9. Repair and Maintenance
Your work does not end upon the release of your application. To stay updated with the newest developments in your industry, you need to ensure that your application is regularly updated with new features and bug fixes. An application without bug fixes only creates dissatisfaction among consumers.
Furthermore, your application might face compatibility or security issues that could require immediate attention. This makes it important to dedicate resources toward resolving issues and committing to customer satisfaction.
All these costs might seem intimidating to you, but as the dependency of users on mobile applications is increasing, your business is definitely missing out on a lot if it doesn’t have one for itself. It’s safe to say that having a mobile application has its sure-shot benefits, which can turn the added expense of development into an investment in customer satisfaction that pays you back.