Mobile application development has become a priority for businesses. And the emphasis is not without reasons.
Consumer behavior continues to change, so businesses have to reorient their strategy to suit the behavior of consumers.
With the increasing usage of smartphones among consumers, businesses need a mobile app to run their businesses successfully.
It is wrong to regard a mobile app as the mobile version of the business website. An app acts like a tool to increase consumer engagement and provide an experience-driven environment for a cohesive customer journey. It can help attract a large audience towards businesses.
As per sources shows that nearly three quarters of the globe population will access interenet via smartphones by 2025. And the figure also indirectly indicates why businesses should invest in mobile apps.
Why Invest in Mobile Apps?
The investment has become necessary to stay competitive. As more and more people use smartphones to interact with their favorite brands, businesses cannot fall behind in building their mobile presence.
Mobile apps help businesses to boost sales, provide a better customer experience, strengthen brand value, remain competitive, and get a better return on investment.
The Essential Steps in Developing a Mobile App
Developing an app is not a single affair. It consists of a sequence of steps, which extend from strategizing to maintenance. It is not only about technology but a bunch of practices.
You can regard the following as the best practices for mobile web application development:
Formulate a Business Strategy
The first step is the creation of a business strategy. If you develop an app without a plan, it would be analogous to building a house without a blueprint. As there will be no direction, the result might not be good. A strategy is essential to depict your needs and a methodology to make the app. Your business strategy will dictate the mobile application deployment strategy.
Hire App Developers
Once you have your business strategy ready, you can proceed to build the app. Professional mobile app development requires UI design, programming, QA testing, and project management. As such, you need to hire a team of app developers to execute your project. The team size will depend on your budget. You have the option to hire freelancers or a mobile app development agency. Another option is to deploy your in-house team, but make sure the team members are competent enough to execute step by step mobile app development.
Insufficient funding is one of the reasons for the failure of most apps. So, estimate all necessary expenditures and ensure that you have enough funds to spend on the app development project.
There are typically five stages in the mobile app development cycle – define, design, develop, test, and deploy.
DEFINING involves creating functional specifications and rough sketches on how the app will look. These serve as the foundation for programmers to start building the app. For more complex apps, you need use cases and user stories to capture requirements for each function
DESIGNING is the creation of the visual and solution design. To create the visual designs, the designer translates the app requirements into wireframes using design tools like Invision, Sketch, or Adobe XD. Solution design in the mobile app design development phase involves identifying the app’s structure, database structure, technology stack, and API design.
The DEVELOPEMENT phase involves the front and back-end development and API development. It is the coding phase, where developers build the app.
TESTING is verifying whether the app conforms to your expectations and detecting bugs. While functional testing ensures that each feature within the app works properly, performance testing shows that the app loads quickly and there are no memory leaks. Security testing examines if the app poses any risks to the user.
DEPLOYMENT is the last phase, where you need to submit to the right platform. Submit an iOS app to the Apple App Store and an Android app to Google Play. After submission, your app will undergo a review. While Google takes a few hours to review and approve your app, Apple needs around a week timeframe to review. The app stores will inform you if your app does not meet the requirements and guidelines. In that case, you have to resubmit the app. Once the app store approves your app, it will be available for download.
If you hire a mobile app development company to develop your app, ensure that it has competent developers who know how to create a mobile app and the best way to develop an app.
iOS App and Android App Development
Usually, most companies that provide mobile app development services bear the capability of developing both iOS and Android apps. Yet, you should cross-check if developers in the company you choose know how to develop iOS apps and Android apps.
In iOS app development, developers use either the Objective-C or Swift programming language. Although the languages are different, they are compatible with one another. Besides, the developers should keep themselves updated with the best ways to develop iPhone apps.
Android app developers mostly use Java as the programming language. They need to remain up-to-date with the latest trends in android app development to incorporate the best app features.
Benefits of Mobile Apps for Business
We have already mentioned some benefits mobile apps bring for businesses. Here let us examine a few advantages in detail.
Customer Value Addition
With a mobile app, businesses can increase customer engagement, which helps in strengthening customer relationships and increase interactions and transactions. As a result, the possibility of getting sales increases.
Strengthens Brand Image
A mobile app can act as an advertising banner in front of your audience to promote your business offerings. It can generate brand awareness and act as an effective communication channel. You can also gain customer trust by frequently interacting with your target audience through the app.
You can make your customers revisit your app by offering different loyalty programs. Such initiatives can help you to get brand recognition and increase sales.
Build Loyal Customer Base
A mobile app enables your customers to interact with your business round the clock. You can run a few referral programs to encourage your customers to refer your business offerings to others. An app is an effective way to engage your customers and transform them into loyal customers.
App development is a strategic process that calls for the best ideas and the right team. Ensure you follow the best practices to get an app that will increase your business’s profitability. We believe that this article will serve as a valuable guide for your app development venture.