How businesses use mobile apps

Mobile apps can help business owners:

  • provide customer service (e.g. banking or transaction apps)
  • add value (e.g. apps that enhance customer relationships or experiences)
  • make money (e.g. selling apps based on the business' intellectual property)
  • do their business (e.g. tools for frontline or remote workers to access customer databases, fill in timesheets or manage inventory).

A mobile app should solve a problem for a business or a customer. Ideally it will allow them to do something on the move rather than on their computer or in person. An example is a sales reps using an app on their smartphone to submit orders or perform stocktakes in-store, or a tourist using an app to book the closest hotel room.

Developing mobile apps

To date, most business development of mobile apps has been larger firms like banks. However, smaller enterprises are starting to see the potential and to generate apps for sale or distribution.

Some example of apps developed by businesses include:

  • a wedding planner app developed by an event planner to help clients keep track of their plans
  • a literary guide to Melbourne developed for sale by a local writer working with a guide app development specialist
  • an app to help customers design modular furniture to their own specifications, developed by a furniture maker.

Businesses can make money from apps by:

  • selling the app
  • selling a premium version to people who want to upgrade from a limited free version of the app
  • selling advertising or listings on an app — for example, an event planning app might include supplier listings who pay to be included.

Some apps never generate a direct financial return but bring other benefits such as increased loyalty or better customer service.

Also consider...