If you’re running a business, one of the things you may be thinking about is how you can give your brand the edge against your competitors. How can you stand out from the crowd? Technology is booming and people love seeing new and interesting technologies at work. Your business is no different.
Here at EB Pearls we conducted a survey of our business customers, and discovered some interesting and engaging insights into how the Australian market is approaching digital developments such as apps, websites and mobile sites.
A website is one of the keys to building your brand and business online. Without a website, many potential customers will not find you. A well-designed website that is easy to use, easy to find and is free of errors is only going to boost your online reputation immensely. But, how else can you improve from here?
Mobile app developments are on the rise in Australia, and for good reason.
However, it is completely normal for many business owners to be apprehensive about delving into an area that they have no experience in.
Creating a website
Creating and building a website isn’t an overnight process. Of course, there are some fast fixes available online with many templates available for quick and easy builds. However, for a business to really make a good impression and be unique in the market, developing a website is a must.
Our survey found that 52% of survey respondents with a website spent over $20,000 as an initial investment to design and develop their website, with more than half of these projects taking over six months to complete. With the majority of funding of the website coming from the business profits, the biggest challenge in building a website was working through delays and changes to the original scope of the project.
One surprising factor from our respondents was the fact that many businesses did not independently conduct any market research before approaching website developers, but instead solely relied on the knowledge of their chosen website developers. Having said that, many businesses stated that they were very involved in the creation of the website throughout the whole process.
With a keen eye for what is ahead, more than 60% of the respondents who only have a website for their business at this stage are looking to build mobile apps in the near future, with more than half prioritising this project.
Why have a mobile app for your business
A few years ago, the dominating apps in the marketplace were mobile games. Now, things are changing. We’re seeing a huge increase in other types of apps that are being downloaded every day; from ride sharing apps and food ordering services to retail outlets and airlines. With more people turning to mobile apps to get what they need, it is estimated between 2016 and 2020 yearly download numbers will double to about 284 billion.It has never been a better time to get started on developing an app for your business.
Developing a mobile app
Before you get started on thinking and creating a mobile app for your business, it’s important to have a good reason why you need one. A key learning that we took from the survey was that businesses are approaching their digital strategy without doing the necessary research. An effective and efficient way to understand what you need from your mobile app is to talk to your current customers. Customers will be more than happy to tell you what they want and what they’re looking for from your business. If you deliver their wants, you’ll have a customer base who are happy that they’re being heard, will become loyal to your brand and will, therefore, be more likely to endorse you to friends and family.
There are a few goals you should have in mind when considering your mobile app. Why do you really want a mobile app for your business? To get started, you will need to consider your primary goal for having a mobile app in the first place.
There are many reasons why businesses develop a mobile app, but a couple of reasons include:
- To find a new way to make money
- Save money
- To follow the trend of other businesses and competitors who have a mobile app (simply to have an app).
This third option isn’t a viable one and you may want to reconsider your choice for getting started on a mobile app. Many businesses choose to create an app to provide a better customer experience, help boost sales, or to become more competitive in the market.
Better for customers = better for sales
In general, buying habits through mobile apps have shown great results for many businesses. In comparison to website browsers, users view 4.6 times more products and have a 130% higher order value when purchasing via a mobile app. Mobile apps also have a 140% higher order value compared to mobile sites.
Increasing sales and productivity on the road
Sales teams from various organisations have turned to mobile technology to help with accessing sales information or even utilising technology guided selling support. A massive 70% of organisations have adopted mobile technologies to help sales teams whilst they’re on the road or visiting clients. However, with the amount of sales representatives using such technology, less than half of these users are accessing sales content and tools or using mobiles and tablets during presentations to clients and prospective clients.
This is where a mobile app developed for the sales team can be hugely beneficial. Not only can it help to streamline the sales process, it can help staff members to reduce paper and printing, take advantage of real-time updated information via the app, reduce mistakes, and also save time during the signup process. Depending on your business needs, you may even utilise presentations and videos on the app for sales members to instantly provide a presentation at the touch of a button.
Businesses who have taken the plunge into mobile app development
According to the business’ we surveyed, one of the biggest reasons they decided to invest in the development of a mobile app was to lead their industry via mobile applications, according to our survey results. For those respondents who have both a website and a mobile app, over 50% said their initial investment of the website was over $50,000, and an initial investment for their mobile app started with a $20,000 minimum.
For funding it appears that the more digital the concept is, the more funding had come from other sources (other than business profits), including investors, help from family and friends, and bootstrapping. This has been noted to be the most challenging aspect of managing a mobile application. Many of our respondents noted that financing the project, as well as working through delays and/or changes to the original scope of the project was a challenge.
Development times have also varied for business with both a website and a mobile app. Mobile app developments have taken anywhere from 6 months to well over a year, while websites have taken a year or less. This could be due to the fact that websites are now becoming a lot more common to develop these days compared to mobile apps. Having said that, mobile apps will take significantly less time in the future as more developers begin to use growth hacking approaches to speed up development.
Gaining feedback for better mobile apps
A positive for businesses working on developing both a website and a mobile app is the feedback that can be received from customers via the website. Once the website is up and running, it gives the business the opportunity to conduct customer surveys to understand what a customer wants and how they would like to see improvements on the website. This information can then be used to gain a lot of information on what customers would potentially like to see in a mobile app.
Once an app has been created and developed it’s also a great way to gain extra feedback for improving the current mobile app.
Where to from here
Boosting your online profile and reputation can be a big step towards greater business success and a competitive edge that you may be looking for. After you have decided that building both a website and mobile app for your business is the best option for you, it’s important to get the right advice and build an app for your business that either sales team members or customers will want. With a huge drive in mobile app downloads expected to continue in the coming years, now is a good time to seriously consider your options.
For professional advice and to discuss the future of your website and mobile app needs, contact EB Pearls today.