User-friendly applications are a great brand outlet to interact with customers. But it must be worth using and downloading. From this perspective, many business owners wonder how to build and implement a customer-oriented app to make the most out of it.
This post will guide you through the peculiarities of app development for business, including preparation steps and approaches.
Why Should You Develop an App for Your Business
Nowadays, it’s hard to imagine a business without a website or an app. It motivates clients to interact with your brand, search for products/services offered, gain a competitive edge, and much more. So let’s take a quick look at the necessity of apps for your enterprise.
Keep your customer loyal
You can easily incorporate and automate loyalty programs into your business app to encourage repeat purchasing. Moreover, the software solutions are able to scrutinize consumers’ preferences allowing for delivering customized buyer experience: individual discounts, personalized invitations, and other pleasant bonuses.
Generate higher sales
Mobile devices have become a one-stop-shop for all people’s needs: from ordering food and looking for rent to tracking freight and managing order. Appealing and intuitive applications coupled with customer-centric push notifications will allow you to engage more loyal customers resulting in an increased number of closed deals.
Transform brand image
What brand image do you want to form in the mind of your clients? With a well-designed mobile app, you’ll be recognized as a modern, forward-thinking organization that pays heed to its clients. In addition, app implementation allows for attracting more prospects, retaining loyal ones, and increasing customer satisfaction.
Encourage communication with an audience
In customer-centric reality, staying in touch with your audience becomes critical for any service-based business. Mobile-first app building is a proven way to bridge the gap between clients and brands. Your software can act as an integrated communication path with clients to ensure high-quality service delivery and support.
Choosing Development Method Fitting Your Needs
Being a business owner, you consider many factors to build a cost-efficient, appealing, and secure application. And selecting the type of app is one of those factors. Therefore, let’s consider the main approaches to app creation so you can choose the best-suited one.
Native apps are designed to run on specific platforms (iOS or Android). Such projects are the same software built for both devices’ OS personally. The choice between platforms is typically influenced by your target audience. Specific-platform apps are fast, user-friendly, easy to navigate and offer a recognizable functional fullness. The main drawback is the need to customize the solution design to multiple devices. Besides, native app building results in double development and maintenance costs since you need to support two platforms individually.
This is the most cost-efficient method of app creation. Such apps are designed employing web technologies borrowing elements from the web and native mobile solutions. While offering a native-like experience, they rely on rendering in a web browser embedded within the application. However, they can still be promoted via App stores like native projects, benefiting from OS features. Compared to specific-platform apps, hybrid app building costs much less. This approach requires programmers to build one code base running on multiple devices.
These apps are made to serve different platforms. It’s a good approach if you want to implement a custom app that doesn’t greatly rely on native functionality. Having been deployed in a single code base for iOS and Android, cross-platform solutions accelerate time-to-market and shorten development price. Flutter is the most widely-used framework to create such apps. It enables delivering a digital solution with stable 60 FPS across the devices, which means the user experience is rich and fast-loading.
Progressive web app
It’s a perfect development method for providing a native akin experience while remaining a budget-friendly solution. PWAs are designed and hosted on the network but submit intuitive capabilities. For example, you can send customers push notifications about nearby sellouts. Apropos of providing a native-like experience, such applications address shared website issues: slow loading, no offline mode, and limited security capabilities.
How to Initiate a Business App and Not Make Mistakes
Creating an application means breaking down the process into phases and tasks with a defined timeline and a dedicated team involved. Here are the core stages of designing an app step-by-step.
Before actually developing an app, you must research to ensure your product will be in demand. The needs of your target users and industry leaders should also be considered. Careful analysis will allow you to define the business model and incorporate the features to satisfy customers’ expectations.
At this stage, you work with business analysts to outline the project’s requirements. You share with the team your product’s vision and thorough instructions on its design. Having the input info, BA analyzes your demands and prepares a project specification detailing the app’s nuances, such as features, tech stack, API integrations, etc. The design team crafts the wireframes that show the UI elements’ placement on each screen. After your approval, the team proceeds to the architecturing stage.
The design team models how the software will operate. They determine the user stories and visualize the main functionality. Some aspects of the design include selecting an app infrastructure, coding language, and security systems. Finally, the UI/UX designers prepare a product prototype displaying how the platform will look and feel and its functional richness.
The development team sets up the business logic of your software. Then, they build a backend of your app, incorporate APIs (to convey data between the server and the programs), and transform eye-catching UI into a functional application. Typically, for complex, enterprise-level solutions, MVP is designed. It’s a mobile app with limited functionality needed to meet primary users’ needs and gather initial feedback. Further, the team makes the improvements (if required) and moves to develop a feature-rich application.
QA engineers carry out multiple manual and automated tests to avoid functional flaws. It’s critical to test the real device as fast as possible and ensure its testing frequency. Even devices with similar hardware peculiarities may respond differently to usage situations. Also, remember, if the app’s elements performed smoothly in the preliminary testing phases, it doesn’t mean there won’t be any defects or bugs during the acceptance testing. The testing stage is critical for successful app implementation. Any failure may lead to disadvantages and concerns with data safety.
The team conducts the final tweaks and polishes to ensure your mobile applications function as intended and all is set out for launching and implementation. Once all the activities are done, the app is released to the target audience for further testing and collecting early feedback. Finally, all the project materials are submitted to the client.
The process of building a quality company app may seem tricky. However, by knowing the basics, you’ll receive the chance to offer outstanding business solutions and increase business capitalization.
Yuliya Melnik is a technical writer at Cleveroad. It is a web and mobile app development company in Ukraine. She is passionate about innovative technologies that make the world a better place and loves creating content that evokes vivid emotions.
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