Small Businesses Building App Strategies
The digital marketing firm eMarketer projects that by the end of 2013, there will be 116 million smartphone users in the United States. Cisco adds to that number globally reporting that the number of mobile-connected devices globally will exceed the number of people on the planet. What????
Of course, that puts the app at a tremendous advantage considering all of the devices that apps currently populate and the limitless sea of screens they will inhabit in the future. Noah Elkin, an analyst with eMarketer says. “It’s getting to the point where apps are similar to search. If you don’t get any results for a brand, that brand doesn’t exist.” Consumers expect to see apps for their favorite brands; it's a convenience like expecting to purchase bread and milk in any store that sells food.
So if you are in business, you feel the pressure to create and promote your own app. The following guide shows several companies that created their own apps tailored to their own brand.
The Basics of Building Your App
Two kinds of apps exist. Native apps, installed directly on a device and available through online stores (iTunes, Google Play) are written for specific operating systems — Apple’s iOS, for example, or Google’s Android. The second kind, Mobile Web apps run slower because they run on a device’s Web browser, though they work on a variety of systems. Mobile Web apps are more difficult to locate because there is no app store for the mobile Web.
Small businesses can build both types of apps. They can, of course, hire a developer to custom-design one if they don't have the time and are willing to undergo the expense. If one is moderately tech savvy and has some spare time on their hands, he or she can use do-it-yourself tools to create their own native app. Tiggzi, a development platform made by Exadel, offers drag-and-drop tools for building apps. They also integrate services like Facebook and OpenTable. Tiggzi, a cloud-based subscription service, has a cost range from free for one app to $50 a month for 50.