Is It Time For Your Business To Build A Custom Mobile App?

By Sean Blair | February 20, 2023
Sean is the VP of Digital Transformation at Ntiva. He leads the Digital Transformation team with over 20 years of helping companies solve complex business problems and modernize their systems and processes with digital tools and software. A tech guy at heart, Sean is always on the hunt for emerging technologies that can improve our quality of life and how we run our businesses.

Small businesses face an operational paradox: while consumers place the same expectations on small to medium-sized companies and enterprises for service, speed, and supply, smaller-scale organizations typically need more staff and more resources to compete with their corporate counterparts.

Working with a mobile application developer to create a custom-built mobile application can help bridge the gap. A responsive and reliable app design (available in the Apple or Google Play stores!) can empower customer-friendly frameworks and enable small to mid-sized businesses to deliver enterprise-level consumer experiences without enterprise-level expenses.


What Is Mobile App Development?

Mobile application development is the process of building apps for smartphones and tablets.  It included several steps: planning, designing, developing and testing. When working with a mobile application development team, you can expect them to follow a defined process that includes the following:

1. Defining The Project Goals:

The first step in developing a mobile application is identifying the client's goals and what they want to achieve with a mobile application. These goals will be the basis for every phase of the development process.

2. Identifying The Market:

Who will be using this mobile application?

Another essential part of the development process is to identify the target audience. This is crucial for building a successful app that customers will want to use and keep using.

3. Choosing the Right Technology:

The choice of mobile app technology is critical to the success of your mobile app. You can choose from three main options: native, cross-platform, and hybrid solutions.

4. Creating a Native Solution:

One of the main advantages of native mobile app development is that you can use your device's hardware and functionality to build an exceptional product. This makes native apps much faster and more efficient than cross-platform or hybrid solutions.

5. Building UI/UX Standards:

The goal of any application development project is to create a wholly mobile experience that is intuitive and straightforward. In addition, the look and feel (or user experience) of your mobile app should be consistent across all platforms and phone sizes to ensure a seamless user experience and help in readability.

6. Securing the Application:

It is vital to create a secure app that is safe from hackers. A mobile app not protected against attacks can lead to severe data breaches.


How Small & Mid-Sized Businesses Can Benefit From Mobile App Development 

It's no exaggeration to say that mobile rules the digital world — 54.8% of time spent online in the United States is now on mobile devices, and mobile app engagement outpaces desktop web viewing. However, mobile apps are also distinct from their mobile website counterparts; while website access improves the ability of users to search for products and services on their preferred device, the former makes it possible to establish two-way, ongoing interaction with customers.

Let's break down some of the most important benefits of mobile apps for small businesses:

You Can Offer More Functionality and Better Service To Your Customers.

Mobile apps are a great way to get more people to know about your products and services. But before you start creating an app for your business, you must consider what functionality your customers need.

For example, if you're looking to increase sales of a particular product, your app should include various interactive features to keep customers interested and satisfied. It should be easy for them to use your app.

Another consideration: how does the mobile application affect the users' productivity? For example, if the application is a tool that helps employees stay on top of their tasks and projects, is it easy for them to access their information when needed?

A well-designed mobile app can provide in-demand features like:

  • GPS-based functionality
  • Push notifications
  • Customized e-commerce experiences
  • Instant feedback communications such as real-time chat options
  • Easy to access customer service tools

Mobile apps are a great way to boost customer satisfaction and retention. They can help you manage your customer base, send marketing campaigns, and provide support when needed.

Since a mobile app is a software application designed to run on specific devices and operating systems like Android and IOS, they can usually take advantage of device-specific hardware and services, such as cameras, GPS, and internet connections, to deliver in-demand features and functions to the user.

The most successful mobile applications feature a rich user interface, often including an integrated app store experience to allow customers to purchase or download new content. Some businesses even offer a dedicated mobile customer service team to handle issues and complaints.

A well-designed app is the best way to increase customer engagement and ensure customers have a positive experience when they need it most. In addition, offering customers a great mobile app experience is a cost-effective way for smaller organizations to enjoy the same benefits and deliver the same service levels as large, well-known companies.


A Mobile App Offers A Fresh Option for a Smartphone-Friendly Clientele. 

These days, smartphone users have a high comfort level with their devices. They might use their phones to watch videos, check their social media accounts, or purchase airline tickets. They often use it to access their bank account.

And as for shopping online, more than 80% of smartphone users have at least one retailer's mobile application saved on their devices. In fact, recent studies have shown that people are more willing to disclose their personal information (like credit card info) when using smartphones. It is clear that mobile users are accustomed to simple user experiences to access goods and services, and companies that are prepared to offer a mobile option can reach their audience in a familiar, easy-to-use way.

Provide Easy Access For Customers To Log In To Use Your Service Mobile App.

If a customer needs to log in to use the service, it is time to develop an app. 😉

If a business offers food delivery, data storage, or utility service (or any other login account), it should provide easy, quick access to its customers' data. Smartphone-friendly customers expect mobile access wherever they are...whenever the need arises. A well-designed app can make that happen.

For example, when the Food Depository approached Ntiva for application development, they were looking for an outsourced mobile developer that could build a user-friendly application that could be shared with their 700+ partner agencies of shelters, soup kitchens and food pantries. These partners were required to comply with state auditing requirements, and were following a time-consuming, manual process that needed to record answers to 150 questions within each audit session. These sessions required manpower, time and processes that could be significantly improved by development of a mobile platform for the auditors to use and record the data. 

Ntiva's app dev team got to work and digitized the Food Depository's manual auditing process, housed within a mobile application that has the ability to leverage and measure data, sync data to the cloud and allows seamless upload of photos and external data. Auditors can now complete their work on simple iPad tablets to complete this process quickly and accurately. 

You can read the case study here.

Developing an app is complex and time-consuming, but it can be highly rewarding. It takes a lot of planning, consideration, and a methodical approach to creating an effective app that meets your business goals. A critical part of the planning process is selecting the right application development team for your project.


What Are The Benefits of Outsourced Mobile App Development?

While it's possible to create your mobile application from scratch, this process isn't easy, fast or cheap. Outsourcing your mobile app design and deployment to an experienced developer like Ntiva can help your business get the app you need on time and on budget.

Advantages of the Ntiva app development framework include:

  • Collaboration: Our experts work with your staff to identify your ideal timeline and budget and to deliver exactly what we promise.
  • Customization: Realizing the benefits of having an app for your business requires an app that reflects your business brand, vision, and mission. We work with your organization to deliver purpose-built mobile software solutions.
  • Combination: Form and function are critical to driving customer engagement and interaction. Our teams have the expertise and experience to deliver seamless, end-to-end mobile app operations.
  • Compatibility: Your potential reach is limited if your app is limited to one platform or development ecosystem. Development services from Ntiva always include cross-platform compatibility and support.
  • Consistency: Consistent hardware support is critical to ensure your app works on the broadest possible range of devices. Our customized design and development process helps you cast the broadest net possible.
  • Continual support: Apps aren't fire-and-forget. That's why we provide ongoing support, so your app delivers reliable performance over time.

Maximize Your Mobile Impact!

With an experienced app development team on your side, you can get the mobile solution that is right for your business. Ready to boost engagement, improve loyalty and drive increased sales with a customized customer experience? Maximize your mobile impact with Ntiva. Let's talk.


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Tags: Application Development