10 min read
Custom Mobile Applications Development
In today’s increasingly digital world, the significance of mobile applications is obvious, and creating a generic mobile app is not enough today. Enter custom mobile applications development!
Our smartphones have become a crucial presence in our daily lives, offering more than communication via phone and text messaging, but also by serving apps for our every need.
There are apps that serve as entertainment, apps that help us stay productive, apps that count our calories and track our fitness, apps that bring food and even medicine to our front doorsteps.
Mobile application development is expanding in incredible ways, with developers and entrepreneurs constantly finding new markets or improving on old ones.
Mobile applications have also become a way for businesses themselves to expand. They’re being incorporated as a key component of their business strategy.
As a result, we’re seeing more and more business-centric mobile applications.
But creating a generic mobile app isn’t likely to make a meaningful impact on businesses. The solution is custom mobile applications.
Custom Mobile Applications Development as a Solution
While mobile applications may be the solution companies are looking for to help expand their business, dynamic businesses need a custom solution, not a generic one. Mobile app development should never be a one-size-fits-all endeavor.
Having a custom-built mobile application can offer features and functionality tailored to a business, like a customized communication framework, best-in-class security, and scalable infrastructure.
A custom mobile app experience stands out from a regular generic app in that it’s built for a very specific user base which will retain customers and bring in new ones.
Here are some ways a business can benefit from custom mobile applications development:
1. Personalized experience
One of the best ways a mobile app can succeed is by offering its users a personalized experience. We see this with fitness apps that let users create profiles, set their weight, height, and age, to yield the best results.
Personalizing the user experience goes a long way. Custom mobile application development lets developers create a mobile app with a specific user in mind.
Features will be tailor-made and carefully designed based on the business the app is for, which will boost customer engagement and return higher profits.
2. Generating revenue
Creating a custom mobile app can also add more paths for generating revenue. You have more flexibility and can be more strategic about incorporating third-party partnerships.
Let’s say you have a hot new mobile app that allows users to find the best, last-minute hotel deals in an area. You can establish partnerships with car rental agencies and local eateries.
So now when someone books a hotel through your app, you can offer the option to rent a car or find nearby restaurants as a way of “upselling”. From there, you can establish a revenue share when third-party vendors when users make sales through your app.
These kinds of strategic alliances exist in many apps that we use and across many industries. Custom mobile application development opens doors for new and various revenue opportunities.
3. Boost productivity
Custom mobile app development also improves productivity for businesses by facilitating smoother employee collaborations and communications through incorporated functionalities.
This can benefit businesses of any size. While a smaller company may only need a single application with a few functions and features, large-scale businesses can have multiple integrated apps promoting cross-team accessibility and more.
This can greatly augment efficiency and, in turn, productivity.
When a business decides to have a custom mobile app, scalability is dictated by the scope of your business rather than being limited to a generic mobile build’s scale.
If a company plans on expanding in the future, this can be communicated with your team of developers so that features and functionality are built with those goals in mind.
Even if a business expands its scope, the app will have the ability to follow suit.
5. Increased security
Don’t underestimate the importance of security when building a mobile app. When you’re working with basic off-the-shelf mobile applications, they’re often based on certain templates and so the security standards they offer will never be as high as those you set with a custom-made app.
Sure, you can always pay a premium price for greater security with most app builders, but they still won’t match what you can get with custom apps.
6. Stay ahead of competitors
When you download the same software as your mobile app’s competitors, it can be pretty limiting.
Businesses that have a custom mobile app have an advantage over competitors by having the ability to build an app that fits their processes rather than relying on having to fit their processes to conform to their app.
Building a Successful Custom Mobile App
#1 Getting prepared
As the years roll on, the mobile app market is becoming more and more saturated. Especially now with YouTube videos and online tutorials, almost every developer thinks they can take their low-level development knowledge and build an app, which is probably true.
Nowadays with all the resources out there plus the existence of app builders, it’s really not that hard getting a new app off the ground.
Just because you’re stepping things up with a custom mobile application instead of a cookie-cutter app, there’s still a long way ahead to ensure success.
After all, entrepreneurs and developers are now facing the same challenges as any other online business vying for people’s attention.
The first step is to be prepared to bring a unique idea to the table. While your core product doesn’t need to be revolutionary, it does need to differentiate itself from what’s already on the market.
Going the custom route is a great step because it already makes your mobile app much harder for competitors to replicate.
One common misconception among mobile app creators and thinkers is that success will come as long as they have a great idea when in reality being successful is about having a rock-solid strategy and knowing how to execute it based on user feedback.
Remember, your first minimum viable product (MVP) won’t be your last. Instead of bloating your app with every feature that pops into your head, get to market quickly with a few primary features.
This will get you testing and receiving user feedback which can help flesh out your app.
Throughout this process, you’ll have to learn how to stay true to your vision while also listening to user feedback and accommodating the MVP into something people want.
#2 Idea validation
In the past, developers would have to have a fully-coded app prototype for users to test out, but that’s not the case nowadays.
With usability testing tools like UserTesting, UserZoom, and more, you can now test real user behavior with only design prototypes and a concept rather than having to code out your app first.
Using this feedback, you can pivot if you need to or redesign parts of your custom mobile app until users find it to be easy to use.
Creating a custom mobile app can take months of development, which is costly. Do what you can at the beginning to find the perfect product-to-market fit before making that investment.
Another thing to consider is that some user feedback is valuable and other feedback can be discarded.
Not all of it needs to be taken to heart. When kicking off your MVP, pay less attention to user’s words and pay more attention to their actions. Use data analytics to verify what feedback needs attention and which is just white noise.
Analytic tools are essential and can show you what parts of your app are engaging users the most and what parts have users dropping off.
#3 Selecting technologies
Don’t get too caught up in trending technologies if they aren’t the right fit for your mobile app. While an AI-driven mobile app sounds like a cool idea, there should always be a clear data procurement strategy.
After all, artificial intelligence algorithms are only as effective as the data it has to glean from. You want to ensure there is intelligence in your AI.
The key takeaway here is to always select the right technology for your specific use case.
There are times, for example, when building a native app is the better route than building a progressive web application. It all depends on who your user base is and what are the core features of your mobile app.
This brings us to our next point. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Take advantage of available open-source libraries to build features for your custom app.
Custom mobile app development doesn’t mean everything needs to be coded from scratch.
Just be sure to consider the availability and compatibility of any off-the-shelf libraries you want to use. They should play well with your app and the desired functionality you’re after.
#4 Know privacy laws
If your custom mobile app will be dealing with user data (which of course it will!), you need to have a very solid understanding of data privacy laws, especially as they’re becoming more strict now than ever before. Not complying means costly penalties.
Set up your app’s compliance in the early stages and encrypt all data. Remember, data privacy is no longer something big tech giants like Facebook have to deal with. It’s something all startups need to comply with.
If security isn’t your forte, that’s ok! There are services you can use for your mobile app that will help developers handle privacy matters and which are perfectly accessible to most budgets.
It’s better to pay to be compliant from the earliest stages rather than wait to get hit by penalty costs later.
Not sure where to start? Educate yourself on your industry’s primary security concerns, consider hiring a developer who specializes in data protection, and do your research on Privacy-As-A Service platforms.
Data protection and privacy should be just another regular cost of business and shouldn’t detract you from your goals.
#5 More Strategizing
One of the most important components of creating a custom mobile app is having a digital marketing strategy in place that will focus on putting your app in front of users through referrals and ads.
The influencer market has become a popular avenue (and a cheap one) to capture new users, but of course, depending on your business this may not be the best strategy.
The idea is to invest in one marketing avenue at a time with a low-cost experiment, see what the cost is of user acquisition (CAC) for it, and then try something else.
When all is said and done, stick with the methods (no more than three) that had the lowest CAC.
When thinking about numbers for custom mobile app development, don’t forget the costs involved in maintaining your app.
Remember, there are always new software updates and new devices being released which might require updates to your codebase, so be prepared to factor in these annual costs.
There’s plenty involved when building your mobile app, but one important component is to avoid costly mistakes, whether it’s not complying with new data protection laws, not testing your app before it’s fully coded, picking the wrong technologies, and so on.
Just like anything that’s custom-made, custom mobile application development is a process that takes time, talent, and careful consideration, but it’s absolutely worth it when looking at the benefits.
A custom-made app in your hands will essentially be tailor-made for your specific user base. It has the power to create a more personalized user experience and with careful strategy, generate more revenue than a cookie-cutter mobile app.
The next step is fleshing out your ideas, getting them in front of users, strategizing, and thinking about costs before beginning. And, of course, hiring the right team of developers, project managers, testers, and so on will play a big part in how your mobile app comes together.
Our Simple Starter package is a simple approach that includes exactly what you need to get started in building a mobile app, like technical documentation, wireframing, and user research.
When building a custom app, there’s no limit to what you can do. Get started early by testing your app concept with real users to ensure it’s a solid product-market fit before setting out on the long journey of development.
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