Before you spend the time and resources to build an app, however, consider what value a dedicated app can bring to your business. If your app doesnt tap into the extra benefits the format provides to deliver a particularly unique or helpful experience to your customers, you might be better off devoting your resources to a top-notch mobile website, whichas I outlined abovewould be both universal and (likely) cheaper.
That said, while theres no doubt that you can find horror stories in the app-building world, no one we spoke to said they regretted building a mobile app, even if they didnt quite get the results they wanted.
Anybody can build an app
This may sound like a cliché, but any business can build an app. It doesnt matter how visible you are to consumers. All you need is a thoughtful approach toward adding some value for your customers.
For example, you wouldnt expect a small vitamin manufacturer to have much reason to create a mobile app, but Nordic Naturals did. Project manager Cecile LaRiviere says Nordics app lets you find stores that sell its products, order vitamins online, anda crucial addition that helps it remain top of mind"set reminders to prompt users to take their vitamins and to reorder pills. Plus, the app is stuffed with literature about the value of omega-3s, helping to enhance the awareness of and interest in its primary product line. On top of that, app users get notifications about new product launches.
Next page: What does it cost to build an app?
What does it cost to build an app?
Sooner or later, discussions of mobile apps come down to money. You'll find no easy shortcut to this one. Among the businesses we interviewed, development costs varied dramatically, ranging from virtually nothing (with some businesspeople learning how to code by reading off-the shelf reference books and building the app in their spare time) to hundreds of thousands of dollars. It all depends on how ambitious and complex your app is, and how you go about building it. Apps tend to cost more to develop than mobile websites, however.
Little Idea, mentioned previously, spent $4000 to create its app, using an independent developer. (The first person we talked to, who was on point in every way, says Hudson.) Work took two months to complete.