What small business entrepreneurs need to know about mobile apps

October 26, 2017

Have you been entertaining the idea of having a mobile app to boost your business and brand, bringing in increased revenue? Then you need to know that Apple recently introduced some significant changes to the App Store guidelines, and these could have severe implications for you.

However, it’s not all bad news: there is a clear alternative to the native app stores, and the number of big brands heading that way has been growing rapidly. Interested? Read on.

Apple is putting obstacles in the way of SMEs and entrepreneurs

This summer, Apple introduced new changes to their App Store Review guidelines, as part of their crackdown on so-called clones and spam apps.

The big change that sent ripples across the mobile app industry and could have significant financial implications for the users involved, relates to rule 4.2.6, which states: “Apps created from a commercialized template or app generation service will be rejected.”

Now, developing native apps can be an incredibly expensive venture – just check the How Much to Make an App website to get an idea. Even the simplest of native apps will set you back in the region of £25,000 – £50,000, but if you have a more ambitious project in mind, that cost can easily double or triple.

In light of this, many entrepreneurs and small businesses have turned to DIY app platforms that provide you with pre-defined templates and tools for those without a developer team on their back.

The problem is that rule 4.2.6 directly targets apps built from commercialised templates, and this can mean a myriad of problems for these small business entrepreneurs.

After considerable investment, native apps are getting rejected

SD Times recently reported on the case of Neo Gourmet, an app that was rejected twice simply for being built with a DIY platform – in this case, Appy Pie.

For companies on small budgets and with little room for manoeuvre, getting an app rejected can be absolutely crippling. The choices become investing even more money and time without any guarantee that it will get accepted this second time, or abandon the idea completely. But mobile apps are increasingly important for small businesses, with more and more people choosing their mobile devices over desktop for online shopping.

Other major encumbrance that appeared after Apple pushed these changes has to do with account listings. Here’s how TechCrunch puts it:

“One other signal that people in the ‘creating apps for other people’ space should probably look out for is account listings. Apple will very likely not be excited about you shipping apps for other people on the App Store under your own account.”

Obviously, you are expected to pay for your own account listing, and some app builders in the market have felt the need to push this cost onto their customers, like Goodbarber.

On top of their monthly / annual prices, there are additional costs involved: $99 p/ month to publish an app on iOS store ($299 p/ month for the Apple Developer Enterprise Program), and $25 to publish on Google Play, plus a review fee charged by the Goodbarber team, for them to evaluate the standards of your app.

Doesn’t sound too great, does it? Not to mention that getting into the App Store is only the start of your worries: 8 out of 10 apps don’t make any money from app stores, becoming no more than zombie apps. Your app would be one between millions, literally, and with big companies prepared to invest large sums in sponsored search, your ability to compete would be limited.

small business mobile app

PWA: A new way for small and independent business

The costs to develop a native app can easily become insurmountable for most small businesses, thus putting them off the idea. But growing evidence shows that neglecting the mobile market can be a costly mistake in this day and age, with apps providing footfall for businesses and driving both sales and customer acquisition / retention.

We created Beezer with a very clear goal in mind: to democratise the app market, and make it accessible to everyone. While we are aware that this is an ambitious goal, we believe that we can make it happen with the use of Progressive Web Apps.

PWAs bring many advantages to small business, especially in light of all the problems and difficulties highlighted above. One of these is that they allow you to bypass app stores entirely, by offering an advantageous web-based solution. This means no more fees paid to the App Store or Google Play – PWAs can be distributed directly to your customers, while still having access to many of the great perks of native apps, such as push notifications.

A PWA is also about time, and we all know that is synonym with money. To fully develop a very basic native app, it will very rarely take anything less than 4 months.Add to that any possible problems or delays, and you can easily see how costs can go up unexpectedly. A PWA, however, created with a platform like Beezer, can be created and get ready to be distributed on the same day.

TRY BEEZER’S FULLY FEATURED 30-DAY TRIAL NOW

Progressive Web Apps are still new, but they have been making significant waves. Huge names like Starbucks, Forbes and Tinder have already launched their own PWA version, some seeing an incredible improvement in their overall performance compared to their native apps.

If you have been considering the opportunity of having a mobile app for your business, now is the right time to come out with your own PWA.

The Beezer web app builder requires no developer or technical skills at all – it is a truly DIY platform that allows you to create, manage and distribute a mobile app with everything in one place.

Drive footfall for your business, boost sales and improve your customer retention; all at an incredibly accessible cost. Click here to see our pricing plans and associated features for each.

The golden days of native apps as we know them are now on the decline, and Progressive Web Apps are shaping up to become the new future of web experiences.

Hesitate no longer: take a chance, and see for yourself what these PWAs can do for you, by trying out Beezer’s 30-day fully featured trial.

SIGN UP TO BEEZER FOR FREE

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