03 Aug How To Select The Best Mobile App Development Company For Your Business
Hard to believe, but it’s been almost 10 years since the commercial for the iPhone 3G coined the phrase, “There’s an app for that.” Since then, the mobile app market has exploded, with statistics portal Statista reporting 3.8 million apps available on Google Play, and 2.2 million apps on the Apple App Store in the first quarter of 2018. At this point, your business probably already has a mobile app, or is planning to launch one. If the latter is the case, choosing the right mobile app development company is essential to success. But what should you base your decision upon? Here is what you need to know – and think about – before even starting your search.
Facts about the mobile app market
According to Yahoo! Developer Network’s Flurry Analytics, overall app usage grew by 11% and time spent in apps grew by 69% from 2015-2016. However, adds a report by Sarah Perez for TechCrunch, this indicates that indicates that “… apps have maxed out on the finite resource that is users’ time. That is, drawing attention to a new app will mean having to shift users away from others.”
With so many mobile apps in every conceivable category vying for a narrowing band of attention, you should first be sure it meets a specific need of your target market. Thomas Smale – founder of FE International writing for Entrepreneur – provides this observation:
“The temptation for even small, local businesses to develop their own app is completely understandable. An app that gains you traction with customers can be a significant way to boost business. And the solid number of active users that the app brings is one of the most important factors for determining how to value an app and how the app adds to the overall value of your business.”
But the key phrase in Smale’s observation is “active users.” Statista offers this cautionary statistic: During its most recent survey period, only 21 percent of people who downloaded a mobile app continued to use it after six months. Which means that even though your app may initially be popular, most users could quickly lose interest.
Mobile app trends
So how can your app keep your audience interested for long-term engagement? Relevancy is essential, as consumers use their mobile devices to find what’s important to them. Search Engine Land’s Brian Solis – Principal Analyst at Altimeter Group – chronicled four new growth trends in mobile apps, via Google. Basically, people want apps that will help them do the following:
- Become more productive and discover new conveniences.
- Learn new things and refine skills.
- Improve mind and body to stay in shape physically and mentally.
- Better manage finances or find ways to save money.
Notes Solis, “… it is clear consumers are becoming increasingly empowered and specific in how and what they search for in apps.” Which smoothly leads to this segue into how to find a mobile app developer.
How to find a mobile app developer
- Assess what you want your app to do – Determine the purpose of your app, as well as a basic concept of functionalities and features. Appademics provides a very helpful blog post on the subject from the app developer’s experience and perspective.
- Consider experience – How long has the developer been in business, and how much experience does it have in developing the type of app you want? How much experience does it have in developing apps for your industry? A developer that primarily has clients in the financial industry may not necessarily be the best choice for your health and fitness company.
- Assess its portfolio – Review other apps the developer has created for businesses in your industry. If possible, run analytics to see the track record of those apps.
- Ask for client references and contact them – Reputable app developers are glad to provide the contact information of satisfied customers. But don’t assume that getting a list means there’s no reason to follow up. Use the opportunity to call, email or message references, and ask about their satisfaction in dealing with the developer in such areas as project management, ease of access, etc. While a client may have been happy with the overall outcome, issues they had with poor communication or delivery delays may come out during your conversation.
- Look for innovation – As in every industry, some mobile app developers are ahead-of-the-curve leaders, while others do things the same way until technological advances force them to change. Which leads to number six.
- Look at cost – You can hire the rock star app developer, but expect to pay accordingly. A company with an excellent national reputation and big-name clients can either provide you just what you need to get your app into that 21 percent of long-term users, or be a case of overkill. As noted in number five, the budget-priced developer may not be able to deliver an app with the design, features and/or technology you need. The sweet spot may be somewhere between the extremes, so do your due diligence and balance cost with your expectations.
- Commitment to customer service – Again, get references and do your own research to learn the developer’s reputation for meeting project deadlines, resolving issues and taking a proactive approach before, during and after the project
How to find us
While you’re compiling your list, Virtual Stacks Systems has over two decades in the software industry, and is experienced in developing user-friendly, engaging mobile apps for businesses in a wide variety of industries. Contact us to learn more.