The market for mobile app development has branched into many cost-effective solutions such as converting websites into applications. Is it worthwhile and does it make business sense?
The website has been the first business card for a while and continues to serve its purpose valiantly, even in the eye of the storm that has come in the form of mobile solutions. While a responsive design has worked for most companies to continue working with their website, many feel the need to expand to either convert to a mobile application or have both, a mobile application and a website. Indeed, responsive web design is essential as devises with browsing options have grown (laptop, PC, tablet, smartphone etc.), creating an exclusive mobile application is a strategic decision, based entirely on the nature of business.
There are two approaches to creating a mobile application for the business; one is to create an exclusive application from scratch with customized design and development. The other is to use services that will transfer all the website data into a mobile application and directly publish it. While the second option appears feasible, in terms of cost and time efficiency, it may not always deliver the best results, especially where the demands on the application will be complex.
Taking your website to the mobile application
The cost of converting your website into a full-fledged website will be around $30, whereas the cost of creating a new mobile application will be around $10,000. With a converted application, the experience will not be the same as the website data is simply copy pasted onto a generic template and published on the app store. In the case of customized mobile app development, the business model and market is researched, a customized design is drawn out, features are added, and a planned release is made coupled with marketing efforts to improve app ranking.
Online services such as Como and iBuildApp offer a platform to create a customized application from scratch with attractive features. you can choose a readymade template, edit it and publish it on Google PlayStore or Apple AppStore. These are cost-effective solutions for small businesses that can cost anywhere from $ 23.40 to $59 or more monthly. These are convenient solutions, but they may not fully meet customer expectations.
Is it worthwhile making the move?
Market research has shown time and again that people spend more time browsing on their mobile phones, and the tiny icon representing a mobile application is where most of the action happens. Many businesses that forayed into a mobile application format first studied the market relevance and then took the plunge, which worked for most.
Classic instances of these are AirBnB and Amazon. To willow down to smaller businesses, with more localized presence, the cost analysis will be greater. You can try converting your website into a mobile application and see the response before opting for a big application release. Or, you can take a different route and study the goals of the app, solutions it should provide and the aspects it should cover. When you hire a mobile application development team, you can work with them to define the app’s functionalities, the design and what purpose it will serve for the customers.
The app model is thereafter sent to a designer who will design the UI/UX and create a brand identity. The process of product development will be very exhaustive as the finer details will be studied and an application will be created after studying the market viability and a series of tests are made to ensure its functionalities are ergonomic.
The market for the application
Most mobile users are on either Google’s Android platform or Apple’s iOS platform devices. So, if your application covers both or either of the platforms’, you would have covered a large part of your target audience. Google Play releases apps faster and with a professional team you can succeed in getting a quick and successful release on AppStore as well.
The problem with platforms converting apps website into mobile application is that there is no guarantee that your app may get released. Furthermore, even if a mobile application has been designed from scratch and released on the app store, it requires optimization and online marketing efforts to attract crowd and must create an engaging experience. For this, a professional developers’ team is a requisite. They are the best for dealing with initial system problems and making improvements wherever it is needed.
It’s not only about converting
Though converting the website into a mobile app is the easy route, it is not only about making the application available, it is about creating an experience that resounds with the business’ ethos. A fully-functional mobile application supported by a foolproof marketing strategy will ensure incremental return on investment.
It doesn’t matter if the website is based on the most stable CMS, converting it to a mobile application will not give the same effect because the functions will differ. If it is mroe sensible for the business to convert their website into an application, then it is important to assure that the conversion is not limited to data transfer alone. It should have a different experience in displaying the products/ services, have a homogenous device experience and echo with the audience interests.
Some tools as alternatives
iBuildApp has been rated as one of the best app developers in 2017, and Como offers attractive features such as blogs, reviews and reservations etc., even though it may have stock templates. Recently, leading designer Tommy Hilfiger released a mobile application TOMMYLAND to promote its branded content. The app is a type of look-book in which users can add a #TommyNowhashtag and upload content to the app.
L’oreal also ventured into mobile apps to offer professional hairstyle solutions and flooded the mobile app market with its brand name which it lends to stylists and amateurs to upload their content. TOMMYLAND and L’oreal are apps that are open to users to upload their content and small businesses can ride saddle to success and recognition.
A business’ power lies in its product or service quality and brand name. Applications are powerful tools for creating a brand identity, and it is imperative to stay true to the process. If you don’t feel you are ready for a dedicated mobile application, maybe it is better to wait for a good time. On the other hand, if you are looking for a vehicle to spread brand awareness and expand your services, then may be mobile application is the way to go.
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