Although the Apple App Store and Google Play Store have more than five million apps in their arsenal combined, generating an eye-watering 218 billion downloads in 2020, the truth is that native mobile apps aren’t always the right choice for businesses.
Sure, there are a number of great reasons to develop an iOS or Android app – access to billions of consumers and the ability to leverage functionality on users’ devices – but progressive web apps should not be overlooked as an alternative.
We’ve rounded up some of the biggest benefits below.
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of web app development over native app development is that you can scale your software to suit the changing needs of your customers and business.
The chances are that your business looks very different today from how it did five years ago. With a bespoke web app, you can shape, adapt, and transform your user experience without having to write entirely new software for Android, iOS, and other native platforms.
Web apps do exactly what they say on the tin – offer the same functionality as an app but work on web browsers like Safari and Google Chrome – so they can be easily updated and work across all platforms, offering a greater level of flexibility and allowing you to make tweaks immediately, rather than managing multiple apps and deploying updates that take time to get approved.
Boosts your SEO
Custom web apps are not only great for users on smartphones but can be adapted to work on other screen sizes like iPads and desktop computers, making them far more flexible and adaptable.
Because of this, you can also take advantage of advanced SEO optimisation and ensure your web app appears for relevant search terms on Google and Bing. Whereas on the App Store and Play Store you have to compete with thousands of other developers for a place on the search engine results pages (SERPs), you can leverage your SEO expertise for your web app to target your ideal audience and drive organic traffic straight to the software.
Put it this way – if you’re offering a free piece of software that helps logistics companies find new routes and clients, for example, and users can access the software on whichever device they’re using, you’re likely to rank high on search engines for terms like ‘find logistics jobs’ and ‘logistics software’. There are some great digital PR opportunities in that regard, too.
Custom API development
Whilst Apple and Google offer advanced APIs that allow you to take advantage of features like Siri and machine learning, the truth is, a custom web app gives you more flexibility and control over the functionality you want to include. Developing an app that’s truly tailored to your business and client needs means that you can bypass some of the sticking points many native app developers face, and you’ll be able to integrate with all of your currently used processes and software.
Creating your own APIs also means that other developers, clients, and suppliers will be able to tap into your software for their own gains, which will position your business as an authority in your niche and increase efficiencies across the board.
Custom web app development also allows for automation. Google and Apple are notoriously strict on how apps can interact with other third-party software and content, whereas with a custom app, you’re in control of how the workflow works and can easily integrate software to save time and improve productivity.
For example, you could add contact information that’s received when a user signs up to your app to your CRM system for future sales purposes, or screen new user sign-ups based on remarketing lists and your Facebook Ad campaigns.
Control over the user journey
A bespoke web app solution allows you to take responsibility for every aspect of your user journey and ensure customers want to stick around and interact with your software. Whereas on the App Store and Google Play Store you need to find ways to get customers to search for your app, enter their Apple ID or Google Account password and then download it, with a custom web app, you can find new ways to onboard users through SEO, landing pages, QR codes, social media, email marketing, and more.
Mapping out how users will find you and use your software means that you can A/B test and find new ways to build trust and loyalty. It could be something as simple as offering a free trial or adding gamification to your content.
In short, a custom web app means you’re in control. You don’t need to bend around existing frameworks and best practices and you can decide how and where your app can be used.
Improved security controls
Sure, apps published to the App Store and Play Store must comply with security scrutiny from Apple and Google, but developing a custom web application means that you’ll have total control over the cybersecurity of your software. This is both a blessing and a curse – though you can decide which features you do and don’t want to include in your app, you have more responsibility for handling your customers’ data and must work to stay compliant.
When built correctly, bespoke software solutions can be harder to crack and make your software less prone to attacks and vulnerabilities. Make sure you’re implementing the right cybersecurity features to give both your customers and stakeholders peace of mind, from two-factor authentication to biometrics. Indeed, you can still take advantage of features like Sign in with Apple and Google Authenticator without needing to use their app platforms.
If you’re looking for support building a custom web app for your business, the team at Zudu is on hand to help. Click here to find out more and check back soon for more useful advice.