Have you got an App-etite?

20-02-12 Alison Parker 0 comment

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Apps are not just profile raisers, they can increase sales when you consider them part of your marketing mix in Dubai.

If you’ve visited the Apple website recently you can’t fail to have noticed their 25 Billion App download Countdown. From the ever-popular Angry Birds to the incredibly useful Dubai Travel Guide, there truly is an app for everything.

Which is why every company, regardless of whether they are a SME or international corporation should be considering the development of an app as a marketing tool for their business.

Undeniably it can be expensive to develop apps for businesses, not only because of the time involved, but also because of the different software packages required to publish on different platforms. However, since the skill sets of graphic designers, programmers and software developers have improved dramatically over the last four years, the costs have come down somewhat.

In 2010, an American company, Miss Cayce’s Christmas Store, spent $20,000 on creating an app that gave Christmas decorating tips. The owners of the store, based in Texas, viewed this cost as part of their marketing budget and were very pleased with the results: “We have gained (customers) and have the potential to gain more.” They said in an interview with Small Business Computing.

And this is what lies at the heart of developing a company app: it is a marketing tool that can gain you more customers and re-engage old customers who may have forgotten about your business and what it can do for them.

Although the costs have come down, there are app development companies offering app development for as little as $2,000 now, you have to ensure that you know what you want from the outset. Only by having a clear idea at the beginning can you keep a lid on the costs of developing your company’s app.

Another consideration is your target market. Despite the fact that very loose estimates put Blackberry apps at around 30,000, a company who sells high-end business software in Dubai, will need an app that can be used by Blackberry users as well as iPhone users. An app that isn’t available on Blackberry is going to miss a chunk of your potential customer base.

And don’t be seduced by the thought of making money out of selling the app. Only rare games such as Angry Birds bring in the big bucks and they required a huge investment of over $1m to get the return you see today.

Think of developing your app in the same way as the owners of Miss Cayce’s Christmas Store did. By providing a really neat service showing their customers how to decorate a Christmas tree they provided a fun and useful app.

An app that is downloaded and then languishes on the home screen without ever being used is a waste of money. Consider your business and your customers, what is going to be a big benefit for them and for you?

* In December 2011, Apple announced there were over 500,000 apps available to download. It is impossible to get exact number of apps available on the other major platforms such as Microsoft, Blackberry and Android, however approximate estimates put them as follows:

Apple – 500,000

Android – 200,000

Windows – 40,000

Blackberry – 30,000

Sources:

Small Business Computing – http://www.smallbusinesscomputing.com/emarketing/article.php/3930736/How-Apps-Can-Help-Market-Your-Business-Increase-Sales.htm



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