Today, 85% of Americans use a smartphone to stay connected, and data trends suggest that number will continue to rise. For business owners, this data points to the value of a strong mobile presence.
Mobile applications—native or hybrid—improve the user experience by providing a single touchpoint for most if not all functionality and engagement activities.
With that in mind, the question isn’t necessarily, “should I get a mobile app for my business?” Instead, the inquiry focuses on what type of app: off-the-shelf or customized.
Although off-the-shelf mobile apps do provide high-level value to some businesses, custom mobile application development can have significant benefits for your business. When you invest in custom development, you give your business a competitive advantage, unlocking revenue and a pathway to growth that isn’t available through off-the-shelf technology.
Following are six revenue-growing benefits you can expect when choosing custom mobile application development over an off-the-shelf mobile application.
Cultivates a user experience that supports acquisition and retention.
When you choose an off-the-shelf application, your user experience—both customer and employee—is limited to the functionality available through the application. You may be able to do some high-level customization, but your chance to truly control the experience ends there.
A custom mobile application gives you total creative and logistical control, allowing you to design the user experience from the ground up. You won’t have to worry about working around a bunch of features you don’t need or struggling to fit your workflow and customer engagement strategy into predetermined pathways. Instead, you can analyze data, user behaviors, and organizational objectives to craft a tailor-made mobile or hybrid experience for users.
Eliminate costly accessibility barriers.
Because you have control over the overall user experience, you can ensure that your mobile app eliminates common barriers for both general users and a more targeted audience. For example, this control allows you to mitigate the risk of lower engagement and conversation metrics because users experience slow load times, limited readability, or poor navigation.
Similarly, as a customizable application, you can determine if and how you will collect user feedback. As a result, you’ll gain access to an ongoing source of usability metrics that can guide ongoing maintenance, new version releases and ultimately lead to meaningful accessibility improvements and a more robust user experience. You’ll improve acquisition and retention, both of which positively affect revenue and growth.
Provides users with a convenient, single touchpoint.
When you create a custom mobile application, you can include any functionality, tool, or resource your users will need and do so in a way that supports the expectations of today’s consumers. For example, membership applications, billing and subscription management, user customizations, and resource or information repositories can all be built into your app.
When your users have access to everything they need at a single touchpoint, they’re more likely to have a positive experience. They’re also more likely to complete activities like paying a bill, submitting forms, managing their subscriptions, completing a sale, or engaging with a community. When these functions are not centrally located, the user experience becomes more disjointed, leading to abandoned forms or cats, account management issues, more customer service issues, and ultimately lower conversions and stagnant revenue, and upward growth.
Enhances data collection that informs strategic decisions.
When your employees have highly curated data collection tools and management opportunities, they can more easily view and analyze the data to make informed decisions about strategic objectives. In turn, they can gain valuable insights about user engagement and make changes or tweak processes to better cater to user needs and wants. This, of course, influences revenue growth.
Provides purpose-driven support to keep customers satisfied.
Some of today’s most popular off-the-shelf mobile app creators include some support capabilities. Still, there’s a consistent and noticeable gap that can leave users feeling frustrated and undervalued.
A custom app, on the other hand, seamlessly integrates with your existing customer support team. As a result, users can seek out and receive support directly in their app. Likewise, your support team doesn’t need to deal with the nuances of a third-party mobile app.
Instead, their training or onboarding will focus on your custom mobile app, empowering them with the confidence and knowledge base to quickly and efficiently assist users at any point in their journey.
Supports intuitive and effective push notifications and in-app communications.
How those capabilities and controls come to fruition depends on your industry, target audience, and mobile app objectives. For some clients, it allows for quick and easy alerts and notifications, in-app instructions and guidance, or other logistical communications. Others may find that they can add functionality that makes it possible to upsell or provide additional value propositions to users.
As you build your custom mobile application, you can work with your development team and sales, marketing, and accounting personnel to ensure that customers receive the information they need at any point during app navigation.
Custom Mobile Apps Success Stories
For consumers, travel insurance is a peace of mind that requires little more than a few forms and a premium, but for travel insurance companies like A.G.I.A., Inc., the logistics can get quite complicated.
A.G.I.A., Inc. wanted to enhance their insurance services by offering members easy, on-the-go assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. To do that, they needed a mobile app that managed policy data and information for each of their more than 10 million members. They also needed to provide those members with real-time trip planning tools, immediate emergency assistance functionality, real-time data (e.g., weather, safety notifications, etc.) about multiple locations across the globe, and other information that travelers need while they’re on the go.
The problem, of course, was that off-the-shelf mobile apps simply couldn’t manage the needs of both their organization and their members. By partnering with DADEN, they were able to invest in a one-of-a-kind, native mobile app that was accessible from smartphones and tablets around the globe. Today, their EA+ member app makes it easy for travelers to get everything they need, including insurance cards, emergency assistance, and real-time destination information, in a single touch.
The EA+ membership app isn’t only helpful to members, however. A.G.I.A’s custom mobile app seamlessly integrates with the company’s internal self-service portal, making it easier for administrators to manage legacy accounts, make updates, push notifications, and continue to provide a valuable and reliable tool for members. Plus, because A.I.G.A. does not rely on a third-party application, they aren’t subject to monthly maintenance, service, or licensing fees, which creates a strong ROI.
Don’t let an off-the-shelf mobile app stifle your business or prevent you from reaching your organizational goals. Custom mobile apps offer users the experience they deserve without the gaps and glitches common in off-the-shelf mobile app products. And because you get to decide what your app looks like and how it functions, you also gain access to tailormade back-end capabilities that can lead to informed decisions about user engagement, strategic initiatives, and the overall success of a product or service.
Not sure if a custom mobile app is right for your business?
Schedule your complimentary Innovation Session today to learn more about your company’s goals and challenges and discuss how a mobile app may help.