- Introduction to App Development
- Mobile Apps in Business
- Digital Consulting Process For Mobile Apps
- Business Model
- Business Functions
- Current Systems vs New Systems
- Business Processes
- Define Inefficiencies
- Propose Solutions
- Pain Point #1: Part-Timers Not Able To Track Working Hours
- Pain Point #2: Part-Timers Not Able To Change Shifts Conveniently
- Pain Point #3: Beauty Salon Customers Not Able To Book Or Change Appointments Quickly
- Concluding Solutions
- Final Presentation
- Examples Of Enterprise Mobile Apps Beneficial To Businesses
- Inventory Management Mobile Apps
- Accounting Mobile Apps
- CRM Mobile Apps
- HRM Mobile Apps
- Food Ordering Mobile Apps
- Project Management Mobile Apps
- M-Commerce Mobile Apps
- IoT Mobile Apps
- Industry Application Examples of Mobile Apps
- Mobile Apps vs Websites
- Download Process
- Agile Development in Mobile Apps
- Learning App Development
- Types Of Apps
- Native Mobile Apps
- Hybrid Mobile Apps
- Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality Mobile Apps
- How To Make Money With A Mobile App
- Freemium Model
- Paid Apps
- Direct Income From Mobile Apps
- Other Strategies
- About SleekDigital
Mobile apps have been in rising trends in recent years. Mobile app development agencies are in high demands. Smartphone usage rate is at an all-time high. It is only mandatory that companies and organisations start to adopt technologies like mobile apps to further achieve their goals, get good ROI, and hit their KPIs. In any industry, mobile apps can be used to provide value to the corporation that might not be able to achieve with traditional means. We will be exploring topics on mobile apps and some examples of how mobile apps have benefited businesses and startups. We will also be talking about some topics related to mobile apps, like the advantages of learning app development, and even how to learn app development.
This articles also cover heavily on some examples of how app development can help different companies in different ways. The main purpose is to spark a new idea in your company for a mobile app to be developed. With examples, you can apply to how the mobile apps can be tweaked to your industry. This article will be written in SleekDigital’s point of view of mobile apps.
Mobile Apps in Business
Mobile apps can help businesses transform by allowing business activities, business processes and business models to be innovated for the future. Usually, a digital consultancy has to be hired in order to propose the technologies that are needed for the company. The digital consultant will check your current systems in place, and propose new systems to be adopted. This is a step-by-step agile approach so that companies do not need to spend too much money at one go. The main benefits of mobile apps are that they can improve your companies are to reduce costs, save time, increase profits, and to beat the competition.
Digital Consulting Process For Mobile Apps
In order to have a mobile app ready for your business, digital consulting is needed to take place before we can start implementing these systems in the business. Unless a company has a digital department in place, we recommend digital consultancies to be engaged before starting to get quotations for mobile apps. The digital consultation involved 4 parts in our opinion: Consulting, Define Inefficiencies, Proposal of Solutions, Final Presentation with Roadmap.
Firstly, we start with the actual digital consulting stage where digital consultants drop by your office to discuss the existing technology already in place. This is to know where to press on and where the company lies in the digitalisation process. The digital consultants will ask things like “What are the current HR systems in place?”, “What are the current accounting systems in place?” and “How is your company keeping track of inventory?”. From there, we can make a rough guess as to where the company is in terms of digital technology. Mainly, we will delve into the business model, business activity/business functions, and business processes.
For the business model, we will analyse how the business is making money currently. Our digital consultants will also try and figure out any possible other sources of revenue can be made via digital strategies. For example, if a retail store is making money purely through walk-in customers, we can propose omnichannel solutions, allowing them to sell their products online. This is the simplest example of innovating the business model.
In some other cases, we can even propose more advanced technology solutions to get better business models. In other words, we can create new product lines with digital and tech strategies. For example, if a company does regular maintenance for a product that has already been sold to a client, they can integrate IoT (Internet-of-Things) to their business to get data of the product. In this way, a new business model can be implemented, where clients are only charged maintenance fees when needed, and not for regular checks. IoT systems can send data of machines to a mobile app of the company. The company can check the product via the mobile app. This allows the company to get live data from the product instantly, removing the need for regular checks.
These are some examples to business model innovation via digital consulting.
Business activities or business functions can also be improved with the help of digital consulting and mobile apps. Business functions, as we define, are functions internally that is not directly related to how to company makes money. For example, HR, accounting, marketing, sales, customer management, project management. In this functions of the business, we can propose systems that can either be bought off the shelves or custom built. These systems will be able to streamline the business activities in the company, saving lots of time, allowing the company to put their resources to better use.
To put one specific example into context, companies can integrate a payslip mobile app system for their employees. Instead of the traditional way of printing payslip, the company can upload payslips into the cloud servers. Employees then can get notified when a payslip is uploaded, and view the payslip either in the company mobile app or website. This is a very good way to save time printing the payslips (and the environment as well!).
Current Systems vs New Systems
Although companies may already be spending thousands, if not millions, of dollars on systems that do these purposes already, most of these systems that are provided in the market currently do not offer mobile app options. This is how app development can be an advantage over the traditional systems. In our app development, we will ensure that the previous data will be migrated over the new systems without losing any data, and also with limited downtime. We will also be going into details the advantages of a mobile app vs a website in the later part of the article.
Moreover, system companies might charge a bomb yearly for using the systems. With SleekDigital, we offer digital consulting and affordable app development in Singapore at the highest ROI. We tend to keep our costs low as compared to other system providers out there in the market.
Moving on to the business process optimisation with the help of mobile apps. Business process, as per our definition, is the operations that are generating profits for the business. This varies greatly from business to business. Only after analysing the business process can propose a mobile app that will help the company improve their business process. The best way to explain this is the come up with examples that will suggest how app development can help companies like yours.
In a logistics company, for example, the business process will be the actual delivery of goods to the destination. Since we focus on digital experiences, we will try to optimise digital experiences of every stakeholder of the business. Therefore, digital consultants will be proposing digital strategies to tackle the drivers, fleet managers, admin staff, even the consumers. To simplify and streamline the process, we would propose something along the lines of the following:
- Allowing drivers to see a list of deliveries for the day in the app.
- Allowing admin to key in deliveries or gather data from API.
- Being able to notify users via SMS or mobile app notification when delivery is arriving.
- Allowing customers to e-sign on a mobile app for verifying that goods have been delivered successfully.
- Allowing fleet managers to track locations of all their vehicles (using mobile app GPS)
This is a low-level proposal of what we would try and optimise in a logistics business. Every business has different needs and our proposals will be different for every scenario. Above is a typical example of how a simple app development can bring ease to companies who are using manual tasks. As compared to traditional means, drivers have to carry physical D.O. (delivery order), manually print the D.O., call the customers manually, customers have to sign on the D.O. physically, and fleet managers will not be able to track the location of their vehicles. This is how app development can improve business processes in a company, and it will apply to almost any industry out there.
The next step to the digital consultation process for mobile apps is the to define inefficiencies that can be observed in the company. These are pain points that we hope to eliminate with the help of a mobile app. Inefficiencies might be a headache or a chore that is being experienced by any of the stakeholders. These inefficiencies, or pain points, is the crux of how our app development will be able to churn out positive ROI. It is only with pain point can we find out what the company is lacking. The following paragraphs will be explaining some examples of pain points that can be found in companies.
For example, a pain point that a part-time employee might experience is that they cannot keep track of how many hours they are working every day. Another pain point is that part-timers cannot change their shifts conveniently as shift managers would have to contact each shift staff to check for their availabilities if a part-timer is looking to change a timing. Pain points can also be on the client side and not just on the employee side. This, not surprisingly, is the most important pain point that needs to be observed, as it might make or break the customer lifetime value. For example, in a beauty salon, many customers face the problem of not being able to reschedule their appointments and thus will not sign for more packages.
The amount of inefficiencies that can be found in a business is countless. However, it is important to note that some of these pain points can be really subtle and hard to spot. That is the job of our digital consultants; to pinpoint these inefficiencies and correct them. In the next section, we will be talking about using mobile app development or similar systems to curb the pain points that are observed.
Pain Point #1: Part-Timers Not Able To Track Working Hours
For all the inefficiencies that we find, our digital consultants will definitely find a solution to each and every pain point. We have to think out of the box to find not just the obvious solution to the problem but also innovative solutions. Being able to step up, be creative and innovative about each solution will allow our digital consulting to give our clients an edge over their competitors. To follow up with our examples that we have pointed out in the previous section, we will show an example of how app development and tech can solve the pain point.
Part-timers find it inconvenient to track how many hours they have worked. A mediocre solution for this will be to create an attendance mobile app for the user to input how many hours they have worked per day. The next level of innovation allows a user to “clock in” and “clock out” as attendance in the app. This allows more convenience for the users to take their attendance when they start work and when they get off work. There are even more innovative ideas to solve this problem. One way would be to use GPS systems in the phone to track where the users are. If the user is in the location of the workplace, count him/her as present at work. That is a good and convenient idea but it might not provide the most accurate information or data to the mobile app.
We can expand it further with IoT technology, allowing users to use thumbprint to clock in and clock out. Upon doing so, the data is being captured in the mobile app with IoT technology. This not only brings about accurate information but also brings about security in the sense that it will be tough for employees to trick the systems for attendance. For those who are keen to understand how this system can work, following is a brief explanation:
There is a fingerprint device at the workplace. When a user comes to work, he or she can use the thumbprint scanner. This device is connected to the internet, thus sending “start time” data into the cloud. When the person scans the fingerprint again, the system sends “end time” data in the cloud. By subtracting “end time” with “start time”, we get the number of hours the user has worked for the day. This data is all stored in the cloud, and the mobile app calls data from the cloud, providing the information live.
Hopefully, this will give you some ideas of how you can come up with innovative solutions for the pain points in your workplace. If this intrigues you and you hope to hire an innovative digital consultant, drop us a message to schedule a digital consultation!
Pain Point #2: Part-Timers Not Able To Change Shifts Conveniently
To solve this pain point, SleekDigital digital consultants suggest implementing a shift mobile app for all the users. This app allows part-timers to know their schedule beforehand, rather than the traditional way of physical rosters being printed out. The app will also solve WhatsApp communication which is not the more efficient for managing shifts. The app will also act as a calendar to let employees know when they are working.
When a part-timer is requesting to change shifts, the mobile app notifies all other part-timers to see who is willing to replace the requester of the shift change. This will allow the first person who accepts the shift change to take up the shift. It is a good and effective way of allowing part-timers to change their shifts and check their shifts. Moreover, if integrated the mobile app shown in the previous section for Pain Point #1, shift managers will also know how much to pay the part-timers. They can even integrate auto payments to the part-timers upon approval. From here, we see that we not only solve the pain point, we even come up with value-added ideas to improve the business process, the business activities of a business.
Pain Point #3: Beauty Salon Customers Not Able To Book Or Change Appointments Quickly
This is a very common pain point that consumers are facing. When booked an appointment, they have to call and cancel or change the slot of the appointment. The receptionist will then have to check a physical log book to see the next available timing. Truth be told, this is very inefficient and consumers prefer to just manage their appointments with a website or via a mobile app.
Beauty salons can integrate a booking feature on a website, linked to a backend that can schedule the availabilities of the beautician. This allows dynamic appointment bookings and the volume of users coming to the salon will improve significantly with improved customer experience. From our surveys, with the annoyance of not being able to change appointments via a mobile app or an online mean, consumers might just forgo the appointment and change to another vendor that provides more convenient ways to interact with the salon.
Of course, we also have to take into consideration the beauty salons as stakeholders. A solution that can also improve their processes is to collect payment beforehand in the mobile app. This promotes cashless payments and also ensures that the salon will not make a loss should a no-show happen. If no payment is collected in the mobile app while scheduling the appointment, we can create a function where users are only allowed to cancel or change an appointment if it is 24 hours or more from the appointment.
Hopefully, this will give you a better idea of how some solutions will be able to aid businesses to be quicker and more efficient. The amount of digital strategies and mobile app development that can be integrated to improve a business overall is countless. Our digital consultants choose the best mobile apps and most cost-effective digital solutions to be proposed to the client for the final presentation.
Upon getting the solutions for each pain point, we will propose an integrated mobile app or web solution for your company depending on which we find more appropriate. After discussing internally and coming up with the final solution, we will present our findings and solution to the client. We will also deliver a roadmap of suggested implementation, which is a step-by-step implementation of the technologies that we suggest. This concept is the agile methodology which we will adopt for companies to get the most ROI.
In conclusion, we will release a mobile app that has all the features solving all the problems that were pointed out during our digital consultation.
Examples Of Enterprise Mobile Apps Beneficial To Businesses
Inventory Management Mobile Apps
Inventory management mobile apps can help a company track their stocks in and out of the company. Mobile app inventory management systems, have huge benefits over both the traditional means of stock-taking, as well as the older technology of inventory management. In traditional ways, if a company wants to know how many stocks there are in the company, they have to find the ID of the inventory and find the data from the stock book. In the more modern ways, systems have been implemented to increase the speed of these stock checks. New technologies allow staffs to key in the SKU of the inventory to determine how many stocks are there in the storage. There are also systems that allow them to use a barcode scanner attached to a computer to scan the barcode of the inventory to see the stock data.
For our solutions, we will be pushing how app development can help speed up the process even more. We will use a QR code mobile app that can instantly get data of the inventory with a scan of the app. Moreover, our app developers can also integrate the data in a way that can get information of the particular stock, and how many similar products are there in the store. This is the advantage of getting customised app development solutions from SleekDigital; You can be flexible and the mobile apps can be built to your exact and specific requirements.
Accounting Mobile Apps
Accounting mobile apps can help a company keep track of their financials, i.e. payments and expenses. Gone are the days where manual bookkeeping is needed. Also gone are the days of desktop-based accounting software. Every expense recorded can be done in a mobile app and the convenience that it brings is incomparable. Especially for small businesses, when a payment has come in, the financial manager can key in the details into the mobile app for future reporting purposes. In addition, everytime the company spends money, it can also be recorded. This way, when financial statements are needed at the end of the month to assess the financial condition of the company, a simple report generator based on the data keyed in the past.
There are subscription-basis mobile apps that can do the trick for accounting. One example is Xero. They even have a functionality where you can link your business bank account to the mobile app. The drawback is that the mobile app cannot be customised to the way companies might want it. For example, if a company wants the mobile app wants the app to be able to send an email whenever an expense is recorded, subscription-based apps will not suffice. That is the advantage of customised mobile apps over subscription-based mobile apps.
CRM Mobile Apps
CRM mobile apps, also known as Customer Relationship Management mobile apps, are apps where you can keep track of your customer base. This is to track the leads, the current clients, completed jobs clients, etc. This can help your company better analyse your company status by seeing how many clients do you have on hand and the growth rate of the number of clients. Not only in mobile apps, but mobile apps can also be made to work on both mobile apps and websites. On websites, it can work on both desktop web and mobile web.
In CRM mobile apps, you can combine technologies like invoicing or quotation generation technologies. In other words, quotations can be generated instantly in the CRM to the client, and also sending the quotation automatically in the CRM mobile app. Moreover, it can even be combined with the previously suggested technologies such as accounting software. What can be done is from the customised CRM mobile app, we can insert a payment option using PayPal so that clients can pay online. When paid, the CRM mobile app can automatically record this as a payment and can be synchronised into the accounting software.
This is another huge benefit of custom mobile app development. Systems can be integrated together, which means there will be no need for so many systems at one go. One system can be made to run all the mobile apps or systems that are in the company.
HRM Mobile Apps
HRM mobile apps are known as Human Resource Management mobile apps. This manages everyone who is in the company, such as taking over processes like staff particular storing in the database. This will help when certain information is needed from an employee. With this set of data being in place, we can even create accounts for the users to log in to find information that the admin has put up for them. For example, users can log into the mobile app to view their payslips that are generated by the admin. This is a quicker way than the traditional methods of printing and giving out payslips, which has also been mentioned in the above topics.
Some other things that can be in the mobile apps are to allow employees to apply leaves, along with seeing how many leaves they have left. We also can integrate an attendance system in the mobile app for users to take attendance. As mentioned above, we can also integrate shift management systems for the employees in the mobile app to swiftly and efficiently manage the shifts.
All these functionalities are done customised by our app developers. They assess the technologies needed from the client and build it accordingly.
Food Ordering Mobile Apps
Mainly for F&B businesses, food ordering mobile apps can save the efforts needed to operate the store at any time. With lesser manpower needed in the store, the focus can be on delivering high-quality tasty food. Food ordering apps allow users to order from the table itself as compared to needing to call for the waiter or waitresses to take their order. It also allows the customers to order as they are browsing through the menu.
Many restaurants and cafes have already adopted this technology and there have been many improvements in the app in recent years, in terms of design, functionality and integration. Some mobile apps allow the customers to order and call for the bill directly. Some even send the orders to the kitchen directly. There are also apps like eatsy that allows customers to order food from their own mobile phones. I am sure in the future more improvements can be made to all food ordering mobile apps.
Project Management Mobile Apps
Project Management mobile apps are systems that allow businesses who work on projects to better manage projects and giving better customer digital experience to their clients. Some examples of companies that need these systems are construction firms, contractors, interior design firms, IT companies, app development companies like SleekDigital. As long as the business runs on a project basis, the need for project management software is very high.
Although some companies do not see the need for a project management mobile app, it is more important than what we can expect. Reason being project management is improving the experience of the clients. Whenever there is an update the client can view the update live in the mobile app. Our app development team can also build the mobile app in a way that allows notification to the client when there is a new update. We can also build image upload functionalities and allow businesses to post updates of the project.
Project management mobile apps can also be a team collaboration app. Project managers can invite their team members into the project and assign tasks to them. Whenever a task is complete, allow them to indicate in the mobile app, along with details like duration taken, delivery time, extra comments, etc. The possibilities are endless to make project management seamless for project managers, business owners, and especially to enhance the digital experience of clients.
M-Commerce Mobile Apps
M-Commerce mobile apps are apps where we allow users to purchase products or services from their mobile app. A typical M-commerce mobile app allows users to add products to cart, browse by categories, filter by keywords, then proceed to pay using their preferred payment gateway or credit card. This is a standard process an app development agency would follow through for a mobile app. App development agencies will also ensure the design is acceptable for the target market and the audience of the mobile app.
M-Commerce is mostly beneficial for retail customers who are looking to go omnichannel. With the current trends of E-commerce, mobile apps that allow users to buy things directly is on the rise. M-commerce also can take advantage of systems such as in-app payments (IAP) which allows users to buy products that Google or Apple has already stored the credit card information in the mobile app. This will help with them in the checkout process.
IoT Mobile Apps
IoT mobile apps allow communication between software and hardware. This is mainly for businesses who are looking to automate processes. Some processes that are done manually can be translated into automation with the help of these mobile apps. For example, certain checks that are done manually at the site of a construction site can be done automatically by attaching devices to communicate with the mobile app. This way, data can be obtained from the site just by checking the mobile app.
In addition, the communication between the hardware and the software can be 2-wayed. In other words, mobile apps can control hardware. A simple example will be smart home setups where you can on and off lights with your mobile app. This can be applied to industrial uses. For example, if a company runs a business that needs to be remotely controlled, an IoT mobile app can help with the control of these systems.
Industry Application Examples of Mobile Apps
In the construction industry, it is one of the most traditional businesses in Singapore. Therefore, it calls for digital transformation in these industries. Since construction based businesses are more project-based, it is best to implement project management systems in the company. More particularly, mobile apps that can help with project management. For example, as mentioned above, a functionality that can help companies track their progress of the project, in whatever stage that it is in. This can be extended to allow clients to view the progress of the projects that they have on hand. Moreover, if you have subcontractors, they can log into the mobile app and key in the progress of the project that is assigned to them.
In addition to project management mobile apps, HRM mobile apps are very useful in this scenario as well. Since construction firms have many workers, subcontractors, clients, it is best to have a system similar to a CRM mobile app where they can view all information of the people involved in the company. Moreover, it is easier for the company to track how many people have been working at how many hours. Since the cost of salary is going by the hour, construction firms have to have a system to calculate how much to pay each worker at the end of the month, if they want to save time.
Construction firms can also implement inventory management systems if they have a lot of inventory that is tough to manage. As mentioned in our inventory management mobile app system above, it will be a good fit for construction firms to adopt this technology if they plan on going digital.
Since every company operates differently, it is best that a digital consultant inspects the current situation of the company before we implement any strategies. Without the help of digital consultancies, it is hard to estimate the ROI of each individual functionality of the app without wild guesses. Also, the help of the roadmap and digital implementation timeline will help the company allocate the right amount of budget without overinvesting.
In Singapore, construction is one of the most thriving businesses over the last decades. However, surprisingly, it has one of the slowest adoptions of digital strategies in Singapore. Thus, app development agencies in Singapore like SleekDigital aims to digitalise them and make them as efficient as possible.
Logistics has been discussed in the previous topics, but to recap, we can digitalise all touchpoints of all stakeholders who are involved in the process of delivery. Not just in logistics company itself, but also in general companies who do delivery in-house, can adopt these systems. For example, to digitally sign deliver orders in a mobile app, to automate sending of SMS to the customer when the driver is arriving, to allow companies to automatically assign jobs to drivers, to choose the best route for drivers to travel to save petrol costs.
Above are some ways mobile app development can help logistic companies can benefit from the rising use of technology. Amazingly enough, many companies are adopting these mobile app systems and are already reaping the benefits of their investments. Now, it is an issue of who can come up with the most innovative and most valuable mobile app for all logistics company to adopt.
Retail is one of the most common businesses in Singapore. It is also the industry that has taken the hit in the face of businesses going digital. It has been most disruptive for the retail industry as when people started to shop online, retail sales have taken the decline. Thus, we have to help our clients differentiate from the competitors and help bring innovative solutions to these clients. For example, proposing the right digital marketing strategies is one of our jobs as a digital consultancy. Since branding is the key to retail sales, digital marketing has never been more important for companies looking to grow their retail business to the next level.
Apart from digital marketing, mobile apps are also one key trend of users. Since users love to shop on their phones now, especially en route to their locations, shopping online and with their mobile is one opportunity not to be taken lightly. Being able to easily pay for their products via payment gateways is one huge convenience that users seek when they are buying things in mobile apps.
Manufacturing companies are recommended to adopt mobile apps such as inventory management systems and manufacturing management systems which all falls under factory management systems. In addition, factories can also add HRM mobile apps that can help with the ease of giving a salary to the company.
Inventory management mobile apps can help a company easily track their inventory as compared to traditional methods. We can also integrate QR code mobile apps for companies to scan to get more details of the product that they are looking check the details. Next, we can also implement manufacturing management mobile apps. This is done by a log card system where assembly rooms can see the assemblies that are assigned to them, and key in the progress of the assembly. They can also have a timer functionality in the mobile app to keep track of who is performing in the company assembly and who is not.
This leads to our next proposed mobile app functionality, HRM mobile app. HRM mobile apps can help to which employee is performing and which employees are not meeting expectations. From here we can also allow people to track their own performances, to know where to improve on. Factory managers will also get to find out where each department is lacking in. For example, if a particular department is always not meeting deadlines, they are not operating in the most efficient way.
One other mobile app functionality that is beneficial to companies who are doing manufacturing are support systems. It is a platform where their clients can log into the platform and give feedback on the manufacturing systems. They can also see the current assembly status of the product. This will allow companies to understand their customers better and improve the digital experience of the company overall.
From these points, we can see that data is also a key to digital transformation. When we can get data from different stakeholders, for this scenario, we can get data from customers, factory workers, factory managers. We can also see from the data where the company can improve further, and we can also see from the customer’s point of view where each part of the company is lacking. With the customer’s feedback, we can also generate data like customer satisfaction level out of all the assemblies done.
Mobile Apps vs Websites
This is a comparison that many will make and wonder which is better suited to the needs of different people. This is some direct comparisons of mobile apps vs websites. At the end of the comparison, we will summarise to see if a mobile app or a website will suit your needs better.
Price wise, mobile app development is higher priced than web development. As there is a lower supply in app development knowledge, it is priced higher. Also, app development requires a wider range of knowledge as compared to web development. In app development, there is a need to code, design and test in both iOS and Android phones. There is also a need to test for both mobile app and tablet apps. In websites, however, there is only a need to test for screen size changes. Therefore, the effort needed for app development is way more than web development, thus causing the higher price.
One way we can reduce the price of app development is to use a type of app called a hybrid app framework. This is a cross-platform development framework that allows a code to be run on both iOS and Android phones. This is a relatively new set of technology and is improving along the way. Not only is this solution cheaper, but also takes a shorter development time as compared to a fully native app which uses separate codes for iOS and Android phones.
TL;DR: Mobile apps are definitely more expensive than websites of the same magnitude.
To download and use an app, we have to go to the app store, search for the app name, and then download to be able to use the app. For a website, however, it can be used almost instantly after navigating to a URL. This is a bummer for website owners who have very frequent users, as users will have to keep entering a URL in the website as compared to installing the app and accessing it with a simple tap. Mobile apps give the flexibility to access it quickly, but websites save the inconvenience of needing to download a mobile app upon usage.
User-friendliness has improved in both websites and mobile apps in recent years. Mobile apps are specially made for mobile usage and UX(User Experience) designers have made it a point for users to easily navigate through a mobile app. Websites were initially made for desktops only but new technologies that adopted mobile-first methodology has also improved UX.
However, there are some elements in a mobile app that is tough to achieve on websites. For example, the UX when opening a camera on a website vs opening a camera in a mobile app is different. Websites use HTML5 elements to access the cameras of the browser device that it is in. Mobile apps, on the other hand, have natively built-in camera functionalities that allow the app to seamlessly take pictures or even access galleries to upload images.
There are some functionalities that mobile apps can achieve that websites are still catching up on. To list a few, they are push notifications, camera access, Bluetooth, GPS, compass, phone rotation, accessing data in the phone itself. These are all functionalities that only a mobile app can do, and websites are still trying to build around it to allow them to function similarly. For example, web browsers are allowing websites to now send push notifications to browsers users. Similarly, new HTML5 elements allow websites to use the GPS to get the location of the browser device, and also to access the camera to take pictures or videos.
Although websites are getting more advanced and catching up with the functionality of a mobile app, a mobile app still has the upper hand being able to access all the features that a website cannot.
Whether to decide on a mobile app or a website really depends on what you need in the system. If you require a simple corporate informative site to show to potential clients of your offerings, it is better if you have a website. Web development can help with this by building beautifully designed websites and allowing users to share the URL with their counterparts. People can view the website with a click of a button, as compared to needing to download the app. Therefore, if you are looking for an informative system, then a website will suffice for you.
However, if you need advanced features like accessing the device’s information such as contacts, location, calendar events, then a mobile app is needed as it cannot be achieved with a website. If you need a more data-based platform like accounting systems, then we suggest both mobile apps and website so you can access the data at any point in time. Also, if you are a B2C business, and your user comes back to you frequently, then a mobile app is suitable for you. However, if your customer only buys from you every once in a while, or only comes to you once in a lifetime, then a mobile app is not suitable for you. Generally, users will not download a mobile app for a one-time usage.
Since mobile usage is on the rise, we at SleekDigital highly recommend the adoption of mobile apps in the systems as it can be accessed at any point in time, even when you are on the go. That is the main advantage of a mobile app over a website. If it is for consumers, then it depends on the frequency of usage. If it is a tech system that requires complex advanced technology like QR code scanning, then a mobile app is suitable for you. If you need a quick MVP or an informative system, then a website is better for you.
Agile Development in Mobile Apps
Being agile allows companies to use as little cost as possible to start out their digital journey. We adopt agile methodologies in our apps by proposing milestones in our development. We allow the first version of the app to be cheap and fast, but usable and the companies can test the feedback of the app immediately. This has a few benefits to it. Firstly, it saves initial costs on the company. Secondly, it allows the company to have feedback on the app early, allowing us to iterate early, rather than launching it big and have to change it again. Another reason is that agile can allow companies to gain ROI in the first version of the apps and reinvesting the returns for future iterations of the mobile app.
Agile development in mobile apps helps companies to step-by-step learn about each digital strategy that is implemented without needing to guess where each result came from. In other words, if all strategies were implemented at once, it will be hard to track if good results came from the mobile app or some external factors. Also, if we were to implement a whole mobile app at once, it will be hard to educate the stakeholders on how they are to use the app. If we were to implement it step by step, then educating users will be much easier.
One key importance in agile app development is having the need to work closely with the customers to learn about the feedback of the app. We as app developers also have to execute swift demos on our app development team side. Though we are still learning, we hope to be a professional practitioner of this methodology.
SleekDigital pushes for agile development a lot as it brings a higher amount of value to companies at lower costs. Agile development is one of SleekDigital’s unique selling point. Although profits come slowly for agile app development, we are still an advocate for it as we genuinely feel that more value will be created with this strategy. To learn more about agile development, schedule a digital consultation with us today.
Learning App Development
App development is one of the highest sought-after skills in the economy at the moment. With increasing demands for app development, people are looking to learn app development and be a full-time app developer. Moreover, being an app developer or a web developer pays well if you can choose a good company to work with.
Learning app development has a common understanding that it will be tough to pick up and you have to be an advanced programmer to do. Well, though a certain amount of programming knowledge is needed, it is not necessarily hard to pick up with the right mindset. The first steps to learning app development is to choose what kind of apps you want to programme. Of course, you could learn to programme one type of mobile apps and learn more in the future.
Depending on your purpose of learning app development, you can choose the technologies that you are interested in picking up. First things first, if you are learning to get a job as an app developer, then learning native app development will be the most appropriate as it has a higher salary compared to hybrid app development. However, if you are learning app development so you can launch a mobile app quickly, then it is suggested that you learn hybrid app development, for a few reasons. Firstly, it is easier to learn, you can build a product faster, and you can build for both iOS and Android phones with just one set of codes!
After you have gotten a hang of the programming language, you can start watching videos on how to do the actual app development. You can buy a course from the above-stated websites, or you can watch from YouTube if you can find the right videos. Do make sure that the videos are updated to the latest version of the mobile app framework. The first app that you should try to build yourself should be a to-do list app. Since that covers a few key topics of mobile app development, it is a good start. Then you should try to build a weather app by integrating weather data API that is available for free.
You should also delve into the documentation of the mobile app framework that you are exploring. In the documentation, there are tutorials on how to start developing an app and also all the different functionalities that the mobile app framework can help to create. Though it might be a boring and a very overwhelming read, it will benefit your knowledge in the long run. Even if you skim through a topic not understanding it, you might be able to come back to it when you have more experience in app development.
After you have gotten the hang of the syntax and usage of the mobile app framework, practise practise practise. Keep on practising and keep giving yourselves new projects to try. For example, you can try building simple apps like blogs, weather apps, to-do list apps, image sharing apps, etc. When these are a piece of cake, you can start picking up different native functionalities of mobile app development like GPS functionality, image capture functionality, or even in-app purchases.
With practice, we strongly believe that everyone has to potential to be an app developer. Although this might not be for everyone, we think that as long as you are willing to put in the effort and go through the steep learning curve, app development will become second nature one day.
SleekDigital does not teach app development at the moment, but there are some established schools in the market that even provide official certification of app development. One example of such schools is General Assembly.
Types Of Apps
Native Mobile Apps
Native mobile apps are mobile apps that have been built for one particular platform, e.g. Android mobile app, iOS mobile app, windows mobile app. Native apps are the most stable as they are released by the Operating System themselves. In other words, for Android apps, the Android creators themselves released android studio for the sole purpose of developing native Android apps.
Hybrid Mobile Apps
For Hybrid mobile apps, they are usually cross-platform app development frameworks, which means that you can write a code once, and run it on both Android and iOS mobile phones. The advantages of hybrid mobile apps are that they can be built using a shorter time and it is cheaper than native apps.
However, there are limitations as to what hybrid apps can do. The limitations include fully customising the designs for different Operating Systems. Also, if there is a new release of a technology from the native apps, hybrid app frameworks will need some time to catch on. Nevertheless, hybrid app frameworks are still preferred by many as it has improved tremendously over the years.
Augmented Reality & Virtual Reality Mobile Apps
Augmented reality and virtual reality mobile apps use completely different technologies as compared to hybrid or native apps. Augmented reality and virtual reality can be achieved in native apps mainly, but can also be done in unity3d, which is a framework made specific for AR and VR apps. There are also some plugins for Ionic app framework, but it is preferred to be done in unity3d or native apps.
How To Make Money With A Mobile App
This is a burning question for people who are interested in a mobile app: “Can I make money from the mobile app?”, “How much can I make from developing a mobile app?”. This article will cover some ways of how running a mobile app to make money. We will be explaining briefly about how each method can make money and the pros and cons of each of it.
This is the most common way to make money on every mobile app. The idea is showing advertisements to the users of the apps. Advertisers are willing to pay you for every person that views the ads. This is a win-win for both the advertisers and the app owner. However, without a large user base, the amount of money you can get is very minimal. Mobile apps that earn through ads usually offer the usage of their mobile apps for free. In other words, free usage, but you will be seeing ads while using the apps.
The key for running ads as a source of revenue stream is to have a large user base who is using the app frequently. Some examples of mobile apps that utilise ads as a revenue stream is Facebook and Twitter. They run ads so often that they are making billions of dollars every year. Another popular examples are games. Many games run ads after a few rounds, but users generally do not mind seeing them as they will be wanting to continue playing the games.
Running ads, however, can be annoying to the users and it might be a reason why users will delete an app. The most common example of this is games. Many games are filled with ads that pop up so often that users cannot take it but to delete the app.
There are a few ways to run ads. The most common way for smaller mobile apps to run ads is to run Google Adsense. Google Adsense is a platform where you can embed ads into your app with a simple integration. Adsense also analyses the users and show them appropriate ads that are suitable for them. This is the simplest way to run ads in the mobile app.
Another way to run ads in a mobile app is to have a ad management system in your CMS, where you create a function where you can manually upload the ads for a fixed time, and you collect payment from advertisers offline. If you can do it, it is even better to automate everything and collect the payment from the advertisers online. It is amazing if you can figure out what can be done. For example, you can allow advertisers to advertise only on certain times.
In conclusion, ads are a great way to make money but do take note if you are being to spammy in the ads that your users delete them.
Mobile app subscription is also a common way for mobile apps to make money. What this means is that the user has to pay either a yearly or a monthly fee to continue using the app. Apps like Audible, Spotify, Blinkist uses subscription based model. It is one of the most profitable ways to monetise an app. In order to run subscription, it must be coded in the backend in order for this to work.
The drawback of subscription models is that users generally do not like to keep paying for a product knowing that it is an app that they use regularly. Also, if the app is not used at least once a month, then subscription will not make sense. Some users will also prefer to pay once off and not have to pay a monthly subscription fee anymore.
Subscription is a good way to get recurring revenue for a mobile app. This is what mobile app companies are looking for. Although they may not make much money in the short term, the customer lifetime value is extremely high if they can continue to deliver quality updates and new features in the app. On the user side, some users prefer using subscription based apps as they can cancel the subscription at any point in time.
Therefore, subscription is a good business model when you want constant income every month and especially if you have future updates that will keep your users using your mobile app.
Freemium models are when users are allowed to use certain functions of the mobile app for free but they have to pay in order to unlock other functionalities. This is a good strategy for tantalising the users before getting them to whip out their credit cards and pay for the app.
One thing to take note for freemium apps, is that app developers must ensure that not paying for the app does not sabotage the usage of the free version. For example, if the mobile app is not usable without upgrading to the premium version of the mobile app, that might cause some loss of users. This is a bad practise that app developers should take note of.
Freemium models are good if you want to allow users to try out the app for certain features and leave the advanced features to being paid.
Paid apps are the most straightforward form of monetising apps. In order for users to use the app, users have to buy them in the app store. These are good for apps that believe that they are valuable and no need for users to try out the apps.
Direct Income From Mobile Apps
This is the most interesting form of monetisation of apps. This comes in the form of service fees, commissions, credit fees, etc. A very popular example of making money via service fee is Uber or Grab. They collect commission by using the app to simplify the lives of drivers and riders. By getting in the center of value created, these ride hailing giants get a commission out of every ride.
Some other examples are to allow users to top-up credits in the mobile apps. This are usually in the form of mobile app games or mobile apps that will assist users.
Also, most marketplace apps and platform mobile apps are using this strategy to monetise. For example, if they are a property platform, they allow users to post properties for a listing fee. This is the best way to make money using a mobile app as value will be created for the users in exchange for letting the app earn money. Other than posting fees, commission can also be collected. For example, when someone buys a property, the user will pay the mobile app a certain amount of agreed commission.
The possibilities and permutations for this monetisation strategy is limitless. Everyone can use this strategy to monetise their services. For example, if you are a laundry company, you can create an app for your business to allow people to book a collection for the laundry to be washed. If you are plumber, you can create an app to let people book appointments with your mobile app.
An article will not be sufficient for us to describe all ways to make money using a mobile app. What we can tell you is that in order to beat the competition, you have to be innovative in your monetisation strategy. If you can combine, or even come up with your own monetisation strategy, your app will do extremely well. For example, you can be a laundry app making money by allowing users to book collection times of the clothes. If you implement an “Express” option for users to get the laundry quicker, it is a good upsell for you to boost revenue.
Mobile apps will be here in the next decade and the trend will continue to grow. People will start to utilise mobile apps more and more as more innovative apps come into the market. Businesses will start seeing the improvement in their business by adopting the mobile apps that can be proposed by digital consultants. Therefore, the key to striving in the digital world is to think of how exactly can a mobile app be created for all of us, or even just people in your organisation.
The reason for any mobile app to be in the market is value creation. Without the thought of value creation for any particular demographic, the mobile app will be a flop. We have seen many parties come up with mobile app ideas just to make a quick buck, but end up losing their investment. It is also important to be prudent in your digital transformation strategy and to approach a suitable vendor and digital consultancy.
SleekDigital is a digital consultancy and app development agency in Singapore. SleekDigital aims to help companies transform digitally. SleekDigital believes that digital strategies can improve the lives of all stakeholders of a business. We have done mobile apps and websites for companies not just in Singapore, but overseas as well.
SleekDigital was founded by Lester Law in his Polytechnic days. Now serving the army in 2018, he has formed a team to help him manage the everyday tasks of the business. He started out as a freelancer for web development in Singapore and moved on to focusing more on project management. Eventually, he found the trend of the mobile and decided to pursue app development services. Soon after running the app development agency, he pivoted to focus on digital consultation as he found out that there is no lack of demand in apps, but there is lack of knowledge of what app is to be developed. Now, SleekDigital provides end-to-end consultation and development to corporations.
SleekDigital hopes to reach new heights by coming up with interesting proposals for companies who are interested in digital consultation and mobile app development for their business. In 2018, SleekDigital has started to grow at a steady level, but will be expanding operations greatly in 2019.
We hope to reach out to more businesses to showcase what we have to offer. We genuinely believe in the value that we can bring to the table. We are excited to implement strategies to let businesses feel happier when they operate, to let customers feel happier when they interact, to let employees feel happier then they come to work.
SleekDigital is not just an app development agency, we are an agency of transformation. By identifying the trend of mobile in recent years, we decided to ride on the bandwagon and help all companies that we can reach go mobile. We hope to uncover undiscovered opportunities via mobile apps.
To understand more about our company, our products, or our services, feel free to drop us a message here and we will get back to you shortly. We look forward to speaking to all of you to help your business grow.