by Stan Grabowski on July 25, 2019
“There’s an app for that!” We’ve all heard the phrase, and it’s most likely true. There usually is an app to do whatever you’re imagining, even the strangest thing, such as (virtually) counting $1 million in the bill denomination of your choosing.
Because of the infinite number of apps out there, many business owners think they need one to keep up with customers or to engage in new markets.
But is that true? Do you really need an app?
To answer that question, we need to think about how an app differs from a website and the pros and cons of each platform:
- It doesn’t matter if you’re on a Mac, Windows, Linux, or even an Xbox — your website is available to all systems. It’s easy for your customers to find your website.
- Websites don’t need to be manually updated by the user. Meaning, once you make a change to your website, the updates are published immediately, so the very next person who comes to the site will see up-to-date info.
- Websites can’t be used when you don’t have an internet connection, so you need to have WiFi, 4G or another internet source to access it.
- There are fewer ways to take advantage of a device’s sensors such as gyroscopes and accelerometers — big words that mean “reacting to your phone’s movements.”
- Apps take full advantage of a device's abilities without needing an internet connection: GPS, gyroscopes, accelerometers, cameras, microphones, you name it! Take a run-tracking app, for example. It uses sensors to track how fast you’re going, how quickly you get there, and so on, without a signal.
- A user chooses to download the app, meaning most people who use your app are already fans and can be targeted as such.
- Apps need to be developed for each type of phone or operating system, so you need a version for iOS (iPhones) and Android (Samsung) for each kind of user to enjoy it.
- The app only gets updated when the user decides to update it from the app store, which isn’t as often as you’d like it to be.
This final app con deserves more than a bullet: Download does not mean usage.
I have tons of apps on my phone — you probably do too — and find myself scrolling through the list wondering, “Why did I download that?!” A large number of my downloads get used once, then never again.
And it’s not just me! The average person uses around ten apps a day.
Compare that to the number of options available in the Apple Store (almost 2 million) and we’ve got a problem. Spending money to develop an app for your business that someone will only use once can be costly.
None of this is to say that apps are a fruitless endeavor, but is very much to say that you should think long and hard before diving into development. The bottom line is, an app is only necessary if it will provide your customer with something worthwhile that your website cannot.
For most businesses, your online presence needs to tell people who you are, what you do, how to contact you and (possibly) provide a space to purchase your goods. A website can do all of that and more!
So, the bottom line is probably no, you don’t need an app. Your funds would be better spent improving your website and investing in Google Ads and digital marketing once your website is the best it can be.
Contact us with your web marketing ideas today — we'll help you figure out the right move.