A research study published in Statista suggests mobile app downloads have continuously been on the rise since 2016 and have reached a significant level by the year 2022. As per the study, 255 billion mobile apps have been downloaded by the end of the year 2022 worldwide, which shows a growth rate of 80% from the year 2016.
Hence, if you don’t have a highly interactive and functioning mobile app for your business, you might lose a big chunk of your potential customers every year.
The mobile app gives you an edge over your competitors, provides greater accessibility to the market arena and ensures a more extensive reach amongst your targeted customers.However, for building a successful mobile app you must have a certain amount of budget and a solution provider who can seamlessly assist you with the complete mobile app development process.
In this article, you’ll find everything you need to know about making cool and interactive mobile apps. We’re going to walk you through the whole process and important stages of creating these apps. Let’s dive into this complete guide to mobile app development for your business!
Let’s get to the good!
What is Mobile App Development?
The mobile app development process involves the procedure of writing the software application that can run on the smart device such as smartphones or tablets. It includes the creation of codes, binaries, and more for different operating systems, such as mobile applications for Android or iOS or for cross-platform. These applications can be pre-installed during the manufacturing of devices or provided as installable apps through mobile app stores.
Advantages of Mobile App Development for Businesses
Mobile apps are essential to uplift and grow businesses these days. It is a useful advertising and branding tool and helps enhance the overall customer experience. Apps also make the browsing and buying process easy for the users and offer multiple add-on benefits like geotargeting, in-app purchases, push notifications etc. Let us now see the top benefits of mobile app development to your business:
Increase Customer Reach
Since most people use their smartphones for buying and selling, a promising mobile app will help enhance your business and increase customer reach. Your business mobile application lets you connect with a larger customer base and capture a significant market share.
Your mobile app offers multiple features, such as push notifications and sales promotions. You can also track users’ buying patterns, tastes, locations and much more, and use them to promote your product and services.
Amazing Digital Shopping Experience
Mobile apps are a boon for small-scale to established retailers to grow their business and profits by opening up a complete market set up online. With a user-friendly ecommerce store, you can offer your targeted audience a comfortable and seamless buying experience and acquire a larger market share.
Looking at the continuous rise in mobile usage, understanding how to build a mobile app for an ecommerce store will help you have your own digital marketplace to target domestic and global customers. It offers multiple benefits, like customer engagement, improved loyalty, and better conversions.
Creating Brand Awareness
There’s nothing better than a mobile app to create your digital footprints. Since most people worldwide use smartphones, developing a mobile app can effectively help you create your brand awareness. Here, you can float various offers and discounts to first-time buyers to boost the branding of your business.
Since apps are more convenient to use and leave a different kind of impression in the minds of users, you can leverage them in various ways to let people know more about your business.
Make an Incredible Customer Experience
As per a smartphone usage statistic report published in the Insider Intelligence, users spend more time on mobile applications while browsing through their mobile phones. Looking at this rapid growth of 253.3 million mobile phone users in 2023, it is imperative to have a fully-fledged application for your business.
The mobile apps create a unique experience for your potential customers by giving them an informative and user-friendly platform to navigate while using their phones. This helps them engage with your business more significantly at any time.
Since the business needs customers to flourish, it is essential to prioritise their buying patterns, needs, and geographical location. This information is crucial for anticipating your targeted audience’s buying needs and providing them with a personalised experience by giving exclusive discounts on their favourite products, various offers and perks on each purchase.
Boost Business Profits
Your business’s mobile app also helps to yield more profits by increasing the reach to the wider audience base and diminishing the requirement for extensive infrastructure. By just utilizing mobile technology for your business, you can also go global with minimal investment. You can learn automating mobile application functions like sending push notifications, messaging, running loyalty programs etc., through your mobile app.
How to Develop a Mobile Application for Your Business?
Having understood the numerous benefits of mobile applications for your business, it is equally important to learn about its development process. A user-friendly, active and interactive mobile app can provide you with an edge over your competitors. The steps discussed below shall give you a brief of the entire app-building process that must be considered to ensure successful performance:
Design a Blueprint
The first step towards developing a responsive mobile app for your business is to create a blueprint keeping in mind your goals, objectives and vision. Think about what you want in your app, whom you’re targeting and how you want to achieve your goals. When you know exactly what you are looking for, you can create a well-defined strategy.
Conduct Market Research and Competitors Analysis
Once you have clearly defined your purpose for developing a mobile app, the next step is to conduct detailed market research, including competitor analysis. Through market research, you can figure out the pain points of your targeted audience, what they are expecting, and how can you improvise in your current approach.
By evaluating your competitors, you can get a brief idea about how your competitors target the audiences, what they offer in their mobile applications, and the success rate of their apps. By doing this research, you will be able to provide a unique solution to your customers in the form of a better version of the business mobile app with improvised initials.
Create a Prototype Design
By the prototype design, we mean that you must plan on the basic designing of your app, decide on what features and elements you want to include, select user-friendly functionalities etc. Let us look at the important points to remember while creating a prototype design of your app:
1. Plan the App Design – Having an engaging app design ensures better footfall and conversion rate. A pre-planned app design also helps eliminate the small loopholes before the actual work begins. Therefore, invest the initial time creating an alluring, engaging and captivating app layout with unique designs and features.
2. Work on Wireframes – Once you know the basic design of your app, start working on the features and elements you wish to include. The features must coincide with the app layout. It is also essential to keep a user-friendly interface and interactive elements keeping in mind the simplicity and consistency of every page.
3. Select UI/UX Design – The look of your app is the first thing users notice. It is essential to provide users with a user-friendly UI/UX design layout for easy navigation. The User Interface design (UI) must include the graphical elements that are simple, interactive, intuitive and engaging. At the same time, User Experience (UX) is the quality of experience you seek to provide your customers, including loading time, content quality, app structure, etc. It will also help in your business branding.
Hire an Expert App Developer
Once you are ready with the app prototype and know what you look forward to in your business mobile application, it is time to start with the development process. Creating an engaging, interesting and appealing app requires experience, expertise and proficiency in this field.
To ensure the inclusion of all the requisites in your app, you must look for a team with hands-on experience in UI/UX design, programming, coding, QA Testing and Product Management know-how. Therefore, as per your requirements and budget, start hiring a development team to handle your project. You can proceed with the below options:
1. Hire an Internal Development Team – You can hire an in-house development team who can work closely with you as per your terms and conditions. With the in-house development team, you can keep your details intact. Also, you can hire the members as per the capabilities and expertise needed. However, the noteworthy thing here is that hiring an entire internal development team may take several months, and it may raise the cost. Therefore, the overall budget may go up in such a case.
2. Hire an App Development Agency – To curb the issue of putting efforts into hiring an in-house team; you can choose the alternative measure of hiring a highly equipped and professional mobile app development agency. With the app development agency, you can save enormous costs required to hire and nurture the internal team.
Since the development agencies have their own diligent staff, you can rely on them for various tasks such as app designing, wireframes etc. The app development agencies also help you minimise the fixed cost and assist you with various digital strategies to increase visibility, reachability and conversions.
Once your app is ready, you can customise the features and designs as per your choice. People look for something different, and with selective Plugins, you can expand the functionality of your website by using add-on features in your existing app. This is how you can create a unique and appealing website that manages to attract a large chunk of users across the globe.
Selection of Mobile Operating System
Another crucial yet necessary step is to make a clear selection of mobile operating systems where you wish to run your business mobile app. There are mainly two operating systems available; iOS and Android. The choice of the mobile application system depends upon your targeted audience’s geographical area of residence.
As per the surveys conducted by many agencies, the iOS operating system is primarily popular in the USA, Canada, Western Europe, Australia and Japan. While the rest of the areas, like Eastern Europe, the Middle East, South America, India, Russia, Africa and China etc., are captured by Android. Therefore, make your selection as per your targeted location and users.
However, it is proposed that using the cross-platform is beneficial in many terms, such as allowing wider reach and accessibility to the audience across the globe. Since it is compatible with most devices, it also reduces the cost of developing separate codes for each OS.
- Quality Assurance (QA) Testing
Before the final launch of your app, it is recommended to test on various quality parameters to ensure the stability, functionality and security of the app. To begin with the process, your testing team can include the testing cases and the plan. The tests like Performance testing, User Experience testing, Functionality testing, Device testing, and Security testing will validate your app and verify each component.
Launching the App
Now your app is ready to launch. You can submit your final app version to the Apple Store or Google Play Store, depending upon the OS selection while app development. Comply with the guidelines of each platform before the app submission and synchronise your monetary transaction requisites as per their respective requirements.
Alternatively, if your app is a cross-platform app, you can submit the same built-up on both platforms simultaneously. Once you have made the successful submission, wait for a few days for the Android and iOS to review and give feedback. If everything goes well, your app will be accepted, or you might have to make the necessary changes as per their guidelines.
Post-launch Marketing Activity
Marketing your app is crucial to face your competition. There are over 3 Mn apps in the app store, and if you don’t work on your app awareness, there is a high probability that people might never know about it. There are various methods of mobile app marketing.
One such method is promoting through other popular apps, such as pop-up ads. Social media marketing is another form of promoting your business app. You can also spread word-of-mouth campaigning to make people aware of it. It is important that your targeted users download the app so you can analyse their behaviour, offer first-time discounts etc.
If you outsource the app development process, you can sit back and relax as they will take up a larger portion of the post-launch activities.
Types of Mobile Applications
There are various approaches to building a mobile application. While selecting the approach, you must keep in mind your objective, goals and your vision. Depending upon your core purposes, you must choose your mobile app building type. While selecting the best method, it is crucial to leverage the current technology and provide the most desired user experience. Let us discuss some common mobile app types to give a clear picture:
Native apps are the most common type of mobile application written to work on a particular operating system. The native app lets the user focus on either Android OS or iOS because the programming language shall be written separately for both operating systems. There are various differences between Android and iOS UI design; therefore, you can choose depending on your purposes.
The selection of OS depends upon the purpose of app creation. For example, the larger user base is available on Android, and the revenue-generating user base is primarily on iOS. Hence, it is also to be noted that the native app can be run only on Android or Apple iOS.
Cross Platform App
While a Native app focuses on either iOS or Android, the purpose of selecting the cross-platform is to publish your app simultaneously on Android and iOS. The cross-platform or multi-platform app is developed to run seamlessly on any platform with the same programming. It means, in the cross-platform app, most of the codes or all the code sources can be shared.
There are multiple uses for cross-platform apps, such as low development costs, code reuse availability, larger customer base, maximised reach etc. However, some disadvantages include low quality, differences in app design, and slow updates. To curb the cons of cross-app development, you must ensure proper research before the platform selection and have a detailed discussion with your app development service provider.
Web app is an application programming software that can be accessed through the web network. They are stored on the remote servers and thus need not be downloaded to operate. The creation of web applications is simpler in comparison to any other app formation. It can be developed by the development team on a limited budget and time.
There are various benefits of having a web app. It can be accessed over an internet network or web browser and thus must not be installed to run. The same version of the web app is accessible through multiple users at a time over any device like mobile, desktop or laptop. Also, the web app can be operated over multiple browsers at the same time to leverage maximum benefits.
The Mobile Development Trends to Expect in 2023
The constantly evolving mobile app development technologies are shaping up the entire spectrum of the app landscape in terms of prevailing practices and approaches. To meet user expectations, developers are incorporating the latest components, advanced tools and libraries with the various app development frameworks for building intuitive mobile applications for businesses.
A report generated by Grand View Research projects the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of the global mobile application market size by 13.8% from 2023 to 2030. Therefore, to woo the targeted audience and stand tall in this constant race, absorbing the latest mobile app development trends is the key to success. Below are the recent trends in app development, expected to influence current procedures:
- 5G Integration and Optimization – With the gradual rollout of 5G networks, mobile app developers were expected to optimise their apps to take advantage of faster speeds, lower latency, and increased bandwidth. This could lead to developing apps that rely on real-time data streaming, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and other data-intensive features.
- Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) Apps – AR and VR were expected to continue gaining traction, moving beyond gaming and entertainment. Retail, real estate, healthcare, and education industries were projected to explore AR and VR applications to enhance user experiences and engagement.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) – AI and ML were anticipated to play a significant role in mobile app development, enabling features like personalized recommendations, natural language processing, image recognition, and predictive analytics. App developers were expected to integrate AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants for improved customer support.
- Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) – Progressive web apps were likely to become more popular due to their ability to provide a native app-like experience through web browsers. They can work offline, load quickly, and offer cross-platform compatibility, making them a cost-effective option for businesses to reach a wider audience.
- Voice User Interface (VUI) – Voice-controlled apps and interfaces were on the rise, thanks to the proliferation of voice assistants like Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa. Mobile apps were expected to integrate voice commands for improved accessibility and convenience.
- Security and Privacy – As mobile apps handle sensitive user data, there was a growing emphasis on security and privacy. Developers anticipated implementing robust security measures, including biometric authentication, data encryption, and compliance with privacy regulations like GDPR and CCPA.
- Foldable and Dual-Screen Devices – With the introduction of foldable and dual-screen smartphones and tablets, developers were expected to design apps that adapt to various screen configurations and provide seamless user experiences across different device formats.
- Instant Apps and Mini Apps – Instant apps allowing users to access specific app features without installing the entire app were projected to gain traction. Similarly, mini or lightweight apps focusing on particular functionalities were also expected to become more prevalent.
- IoT Integration – The Internet of Things (IoT) trend was set to impact mobile app development, with apps connecting and controlling various intelligent devices and sensors. This could extend to home automation, healthcare monitoring, and more.
- Low-Code and No-Code Development – The trend of low-code and no-code development platforms was anticipated to continue, enabling individuals with limited programming knowledge to create functional mobile apps. This could democratise app development and lead to a broader range of innovative apps.
Cost of Mobile App Development
The mobile app development cost is one of the most critical aspects in the entire mobile app building journey. The cost of the app building varies depending upon various factors such as app features, complexity, infrastructure and functionality. Another crucial factor is the platform to be used, such as iOS, Android, cross-platform, hybrid, etc., which significantly affects the app building cost.
It’s important to note that estimating app development costs can be quite variable and depends on factors talked above. While AUD $50,000 might provide a rough minimum value for a quality app in Australia. The costs may vary and go to millions of dollars depending upon the complexity of the app, number of added elements, features and the design layout. The cost of building your spectacular mobile app also depends upon the factors like:
- Marketing of the App
- Budget for adding new features after launching it to the market
- Ongoing costs for support and maintenance
Having an intuitive mobile application is a must these days, and if you are an owner of a startup business, you have to have a functional mobile app to capture a larger market share. Mobile apps also provide a better reach for your targeted audience and a larger space for branding and marketing.
While app development is an important business activity, it is equally complicated if you don’t have enough know-how about app-building processes. Therefore, it is recommended to outsource the activity and take the help of an experienced and expert service provider. They will not only provide you with the best services but also derive the latest trends in business mobile apps.