As of today, development of mobile apps for local businesses is not only a privilege of grand-scale business activity. Such apps can serve as great means to expand targeted audience due to the fact that in most countries, one in two people has a smartphone. The audience expansion causes increase in sales numbers and growth of your business-organization’s status in the eyes of rivals and potential clients. This article describes the principles to adhere to when you decide to build an app for your small business.
How to define general attributes of mobile apps for local business?
Choosing functionality. The fact that your business activity is not related to attributes featured in most mobile apps does not mean that you have to exclude the option of common software. There are cases when mere business card type of website is sufficient enough for an organization. But even in such cases, local business app that is able to really profit users will certainly attract more clients. Take, for example, companies which promote their goods or services in the field of construction, design or repairs. They can apply incredibly popular nowadays technologies of augmented and virtual reality in their software. Recruiting agencies can develop online curriculum vitae catalogues with advanced search functions and video greetings. Businessmen whose work is related to farming can order the development of vivid and informative 3D-tours of their possessions and manufacturing spaces. And so on. Think over in what way can smartphone inform your potential clients of your business as thoroughly as possible. Ultimately, employ the marketing experts’ services. Also, be sure to remember about implementation of high-leveled UX.
Developing good user experience. What do words “good user experience” exactly mean? Let us figure out which key moments should be adhered to in order for your small business app to comply with this notion.
• Profile orientation. Regardless of your field of work, “proper” apps for small businesses must be profile-oriented. I.e. users should be able to create their own personal accounts and, if appropriate, personalize them (e.g. add an avatar, unique nickname and some personal information).
• Integration with social media apps. Make sure that your mobile app is integrated with popular social media apps. Due to this moment, users are provided with convenient authorization process. They will be able to use same passwords and logins as they do in their social networking profiles.
• Intuitive navigation. Of course, the development of intuitive interface is mostly developer’s task. Nevertheless, detailed description of your business activities will simplify the development process of user navigation.
• Temperate use of corporate symbols. Presence of corporate symbols in your application is totally necessary. But it should not distract users from the general functionality of application. According to practice, many clients demand all-around usage of logos as part of app’s interface. This causes the following negative user experience. That is why you should always be governed by common sense and moderation.
• Utilization of geolocation data. As statistics show, around 69% of Google search requests are in one way or another “attached” to user’s location. You can make this fact beneficial for your business by adding location-oriented data to your mobile app’s functionality.
• Development of chatbot. Quality and timely tech support is app’s essential feature. It can be enhanced with the help of well-made chatbot that can answer users’ questions immediately.
• Integration with electronic payment systems. Provide users with ability to pay for your services and products via internet. You can use such renowned payment systems as PayPal, Skrill etc.
Providing seamless integration. If you decided to develop mobile software for small business, be prepared to make certain financial and time investments. It is crucial that your application loads equally fast regardless of smartphone’s model, operating system version and internet connection speed. This requirement is especially important for apps developed for Android platform. Most gadgets working on this platform feature galore of screen sizes, which, in its turn, complicates the process of app adaptation to a certain smartphone or tablet. Otherwise, you automatically limit the app’s availability to at least 25% of users who could as well become your business’s constant clients.
Choosing platform. Cross-platform development is, currently, becoming increasingly popular. This can be explained by the apps’ less pricing and humble time expenses as compared to native development for each platform. However, everything is not as clear. In case of mobile apps featuring complex functionality (e.g. usage of camera, GPS, step counters etc.) price ratio for one cross-platform and two native software solutions will be approximately 2,8:3. Although the second option will be more properly adapted to dedicated platform from user interface design point of view.
Applying popular security mechanisms. Integration with most popular social media apps such as Facebook, Vkontakte, LinkedIn etc. is not just “common courtesy” of any mobile app. Apart from providing undeniable accessibility, such step can decrease a number of possible vulnerabilities in profile-oriented mobile apps. In similar cases, functionality of renowned social networks’ APIs is used for user access to accounts; this way, your application will apply advanced authorization mechanisms created by the best software developers.
Looking for team of developers. You can find optimal pricings of your services among foreign developers (for example, in Ukraine, country, very rich with experts in IT-sphere). What to choose – team of physically remote freelancers or employment of the services of fully-fledged IT-company’s manager? According to practice, second option gives more guarantees as to timely implementation of a project and full adherence to client’s desires. That is, due to complete systematization of all stages of software development for the team of developers.
How to calculate price of local business app development services?
It is unlikely that you will answer this question by googling “cost to create an app for my business”. This can be explained by the fact that definitive price of local business app development significantly varies dependant on dedicated team of programmers and functionality of application. So, how much does it cost? In one way or another, man-hours spent on development of a single application’s function affect the pricing. Man-hours expenses will be, approximately, as follows:
• development of terms of reference and their coordination with a client – 8-10 man-hours;
• elaboration of user interface – 8-10 man-hours;
• coding – 12 man-hours (for cross-platform or single platform solution);
• testing of implemented functionality – 8-10 man-hours;
• development of technical documentation – 3-5 man-hours.
How to make an app for your small business: conclusion
How to make an app for your small business? Summarizing all the aforementioned, it is safe to say that it is quite a difficult task. Nevertheless, development of such apps in the frame of existing business activity is a great way to promote one’s products or services on the internet. If you follow the rules mentioned above, you will get a really useful software solution which completely justifies invested financial and time resources.