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Why you shouldn’t develop an app for your business

Apps seem to be all the rage right now, but do you really need one to run a successful business?

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“Do I need an app?”

When you start a business, a thousand questions demand answers and one of those questions may very well be, “do I need an app?” Most large companies have apps and they definitely seem to be popular, especially considering app stores are flooded with new creations, but do you really need one? Christopher Ratcliff examines why businesses should and should not have an app.

Contrary to what many entrepreneurs believe, you may not need an app to run a successful business, or at least in Ratcliff’s opinion.

Why you should NOT have an app:

Most people I know love apps. Even though they are popular, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are useful. Gaming, social, and photo apps all serve a universal purpose: entertainment, but what about business apps?

Ratcliff suggests that if you app offers something your website does not, then by all means, go for the app. If it doesn’t though, it may be more time and money than its really worth.

Consider his example of a “good” app: eBay. While it does perform many of the same functions that both the mobile and full websites provide, it goes beyond these functions in the mobile app to offer more. Mainly: the ability to load pictures from your phone, scan bar codes, and the design is clean. This makes using the app more useful for casual eBayer, storing photos on their phones.

Another good point against mobile apps is they rapidly consume data, storage space, and time. Whereas, if you offer a mobile-friendly website, users can get exactly what they need without wasting any data or storage space. Bottom line: good apps, or rather good reasons to have an app, should include one of the following: a way to reward or entice users to keep them engaged; implementation of scanners or iBeacons, better customer communication, you offer a unique service, or your biggest competition also has an app. You might want to re-think app development if you’re only offering the same information that is readily available on your website; your app doesn’t allow your customers the same experience as your site, for example, no way to actually purchase items in-app; and again, apps consume data and storage space.

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Still unsure?

Focus on building your mobile website first, then you can move on to app development. This will allow all users on-the-go access, without investing in app development.


Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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