If you own a SME or independent business, the idea of having a mobile app has certainly popped up on your radar. Current trends suggest that this is not merely a creative decision, but an increasingly necessary part of commercial success. However, developing a mobile app can be a costly venture, without any guarantee that it will get past an app store’s approval system. Today, we will see what is the alternative to native mobile development – and how it can boost your mobile presence for years to come.
In this article, we will look at some of the issues that come with the development of native mobile apps, and how they are affecting businesses of all sizes. But most importantly, we will get a detailed overview of their alternative – progressive web apps, and we will see some of the ways in which they can help you build a great mobile presence along with a sustainable long-term mobile strategy.
1. Bypass the app stores and get straight to your customers
For small and medium businesses, the costs of outsourcing the development of a mobile app can be absolutely crippling, inhibiting your business from going mobile in a competitive way. Not to mention that hiring your own team of developers can be completely impossible for micro SMEs.
On top of that, getting onto an app store is by no means the end of your troubles – you will then have to devote extensive marketing resources to make sure that potential customers can find your app between millions of others. Of course, in the case in which your app doesn’t suffer from app store rejection, in which case you might incur in even more costs to resolve the issues before even publishing and promoting the app.
In the iOS Store’s particular case, you’ll also be giving 30% of profits on your app to Apple. If you’re already dealing with low-profit margins, this could have severe implications and might not even be worth developing an app in some cases.
Make no mistake; the current app distribution model is broken and it’s increasingly controlled by the big brands. However, there is a solution to this that seems far easier and quicker than you might think of: and that is, progressive web apps.
Because PWAs are essentially websites that have the look and feel of a native mobile app, they allow you to bypass app stores and get straight to your customers with a single link or a QR code. Your audience will not need to install them on their devices, which will save them a tremendous amount of space and hassle.
However, it is a win-win not only for customers but also for businesses – as progressive web apps are easier to promote, and more people will use them because of how easy it is to access them. In the end, this will not only boost your mobile presence in the long run, but you will also be able to better engage with your audience.
2. Reach a wider audience without extra costs
One of the main reasons why native mobile app development ends up being so costly for many businesses is because they have to invest in the development of a different app for each app store and operating system. For example, having an app for both the Apple Store and the Samsung Galaxy Store requires the use of different technologies, which is also associated with additional development costs.
As a result, many businesses that want to build a mobile presence narrow down their audience to a single store to avoid incurring in too many costs that they are not able to fit in their budget. Or, they end up investing in app development for all app stores, which is not a guarantee that their audience will actually find and use their app long-term.
Progressive web apps, on another hand, do not require a separate PWA technology for each particular app store, adapting seamlessly to each electronic device, browser, and operating system. As a result, companies are able to boost their mobile presence by reaching a much wider audience without the need to invest in separate development for each store. This way, they can easily get in front of anyone who has the link to the app, no matter the device or operating system.
Beezer provides a viable and efficient alternative to the current problem, staying true to the company’s motto: Mobile apps made easy. By developing a progressive web app with our platform, you not only cut out the extra costs for app development, but also the middleman. It is this easy bringing your business straight to customers’ devices, boosting your mobile presence seamlessly.
Via SMS, Email, QR Code, Social Media, or a simple web link, your app will be easily shared and downloaded, without ever having to go through an app store.
We currently offer one of the most competitive prices for mobile app creation, allowing you to get on with what matters without your hands getting tied up by budgeting constraints. Additionally, you will potentially save on development costs, because our platform provides all the tools that you’ll need to create your app, without requiring developer skills.
This is why we are proud of our mission. Big corporations have enjoyed the success of mobile apps for a long while, but the current model no longer works for the majority of users and developers. By providing an easy to use and accessible progressive web app maker, we put the power of taking decisions and creativity back in the hands of those that matter, without punishing costs or arbitrary constraints.
3. Establish a solid mobile presence based on mobility, speed, and results
Progressive web apps are designed to bring the best of both worlds – native apps and websites. For this reason, they help businesses establish a solid mobile presence based on some of the most advanced and high-performing features and characteristics, including:
- Responsive technology – PWAs are built according to progressive enhancement principles, which means that they will quickly load the basic content and functionality for everyone, regardless of browser or connection quality. And just after that, they will unwrap more enhanced content for users with good bandwidth or connection – but no user will be left without the basics!
- Unmatched speed – did you know that progressive web apps load up to 10 times faster than mobile websites? Speed is one of the most important aspects when it comes to a great mobile presence, and it should be a key factor for any app. In fact, studies have shown that 53% of users will leave a mobile website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
- Lower bounce rates – another performance metric that scores in favour of progressive web apps is the so-called bounce rate. Or in other words, the percentage of visitors who navigate away from a website after viewing only one page. Compared to an average mobile bounce rate of about 60%, PWAs score just 42.86% on average in this department. Which means that people are more likely to stay and engage with your content, thus positively impacting your mobile presence.
However, these are not all of the features that make progressive web apps a better solution to their native counterpart. Users will also be able to access the app in offline mode, with potentially smaller internal storage takeover from the mobile device than native versions, as well as lower data consumption overall.
Overall, progressive web apps are easy to install, and should provide a user experience with no noticeable difference from native apps. The magic that makes PWAs so especial should be working in the background to provide your audience with the best possible product.
4. Grow your brand and make it more visible
Another way in which a progressive web app will help your business establish a solid mobile presence is that its unique features will result in greater awareness for your brand. Simply by having it on a user’s home screen, your brand will occupy more of the customers’ mind space without requiring a huge investment in marketing and advertising (although that may help!).
A mobile app provides a sense of proximity, given that all it takes is one click and your customers will gain access to purchasing your products. Of course, there is no doubt that native apps profit the same benefit of proximity as users can have the icon on their phone.
However, the key difference here is that native mobile apps usually occupy a lot of space, and will end up being uninstalled the moment the user needs the space for something else. On another hand, progressive web apps might take as little as few KB on the user’s phone, which means that he will not abandon it as easily.
As an advanced progressive web app builder, Beezer also supports push notifications, which allow businesses to reach customers directly and offer them special discounts and offers. Or they can use them to communicate the arrival of a new product to their store, reaching the audience at the right time with the right message – all while building a reputable mobile presence.
If you need a further boost to grow your brand visibility on mobile, you can also check our article on the best PWA Marketing strategies for more information.
5. Make your app easier to find
As we already mentioned, having a native mobile app implies that users would have to search for it through the whole app store, all the time while bumping into competitor apps that might attract their attention even more than yours. Imagine spending a lot of money on Marketing and Advertising to get users to download your app, just to lose them in the middle of their way to installing it, and to your biggest competitor. Ouch!
Without a solid Marketing strategy, you not only risk losing the attention of your audience, but they might not be able to find your app at all – although you have already invested money in your mobile presence. An app store can countain thousands and even millions of apps – and the truth is, many apps will never see their first download unless you promote them actively.
Without downloads, you will not get customer reviews, ratings and feedback, which will lead to a vicious cycle of not getting downloads because you lack reviews. The end result might be devastating for small companies that have invested a huge part of their budget into native mobile app development.
Progressive web apps, on another hand, can skyrocket your mobile presence in two main ways:
- Increased traffic due to easier access – app download and installation usually require a lot of extra steps for the users, and the more steps there are, the easier it is for your audience to drop out of the process. By simply sharing your app with a single URL or a QR code, you remove these extra steps, significantly increasing the traffic to your app. This way, you not only gain more brand visibility but also improve your engagement metrics.
- Search Engine Optimization – as opposed to their native counterpart, progressive web apps can actually be indexed by search engines. This not only gives you the opportunity to enhance your mobile presence by optimizing your pages and content, but also means that you can be discovered even if you are not actively promoting your app. In other words, you can get organic traffic for free because people found your app on Google, which is something that definitely doesn’t happen with native apps.
In other words, just by switching from a native app to a PWA, you will be able to increase your traffic and make your app more easily discoverable. Thus, boosting your mobile presence even when you are not actively investing in Marketing actions.
The future is mobile – embrace it
Over the past couple of decades, it has become clear that every business needs to have a mobile presence if they want to maintain a solid competitive advantage. More and more users are changing from laptop to mobile devices, even at home, in order to go online, as shown by Ofcom’s graph below:
It is estimated that 1 in 2 people in the world now own a smartphone. This is an incredible asset for businesses, being at your customers’ fingertips most of the time, ready to be engaged with. As consumer behavior is changing in favour of mobile devices, companies that are not capable of adapting on time (and in the right way) will simply be left behind.
A mobile app for your business can leverage this incredible potential, expanding your customer base and making the most out of it. Couple features like push notifications with our analytics dashboard, and you’ll soon realise how effective these tools can be in order to give your business the boost that it needs.
And the best part is that you don’t need to put aside a huge portion of budget to invest in multi-platform app development. Nowadays, you can simply take advantage of the cross-platform technology that progressive web apps are built with. With a no code Drag & Drop app builder like Beezer, you can start building your mobile presence today.
We provide the platform, you bring the vision
Make full use of the customisation tools provided with our platform in order to create a mobile app that suits your vision. If you already have an existing business icon, you can include it in your app.
Move components around and discard the things that you don’t consider necessary. Our aim is for you to feel like this is your app, and that we are only paving the way and providing the necessary tools to make it simple for you to achieve your goal. Once you have the right tools, you can start playing with all the components and features that our platform has to offer.
So, don’t hesitate about taking the first step – as soon as you sign up for a free Beezer account, you’ll instantly access a fully featured 30-day trial, with none of your progress lost at the end of it. In other words, you can actually start building your app for free, and only begin paying at the end of the trial if you are fully happy with it and the platform. So, there is absolutely no compromise on your side!
Ready to take the next step and start building your mobile presence today? Start your free trial with Beezer, If you need additional information to make up your mind, you can read all about our pricing plans and the different features available to each of them here.