The increasing shift of mobile internet usage to apps confronts businesses with the issue as to whether to develop their own app. Marketing experts, however, still recommend optimizing the existing website for mobile devices as a first step. The website is essential as a marketing tool and remains the first port of call for the vast majority of internet use, which is accounted for by desktop and tablet devices. It is also essential to search engine optimization. And it provides the basis for mobile apps. Even if an app is offered, the mobile website can be used for distribution and marketing.
Whether developing your own app is worth the effort, or whether more emphasis should be placed on integration in existing apps (like Facebook), depends very much on the content being offered. The hurdle of offering one’s own app is not nearly as high as it was a few years ago, but success is heavily dependent on the actual added value for the user.
Apps compete with millions of other applications, of which only a tiny fraction actually even enter the consciousness of users. And usually this is accomplished by means of massive marketing campaigns. Once users install an app, the expectations are high. Conceptual weaknesses and technical problems are quickly punished by uninstalling. If an app does not promise special added values such as access to exclusive content, discount coupons, a shopping module, a special entertainment factor or social networking, it will only have a slight chance of winning and retaining favour with users.