Apps are essential if a business wants to build a lasting relationship with its customers. It helps deliver promotional messages, run marketing campaigns, showcase new launches, collaborate with complimentary services, and also develop a personal relationship with customers. And of course, revenue from in-app purchases and ecommerce help you achieve a healthy ROI on the business app.
Now that all bigwig brands are already on the app bandwagon, it is time for small businesses to get their act together. B2B businesses like Scondar are also trying to integrate an app into their customer outreach activities. After deciding to invest in an app, it becomes important to get familiar with the ways of building one. Several app builders out there offer great platform, robust features and excellent customer support to app designers. Some app builders are specially designed to cater to small businesses, while others can be customized to varied business needs.
Here are a few app builders you can consider if you want to build a great app.
- Appy Pie
Appy Pie helps you design and build professional-looking apps that can be as simple or as feature-packed as you want. The best part is that you can get the job done even if you have no coding skills.
The clean interface of the DIY app builder is intuitive and guides you fluidly through the three important stages of choosing, designing and building the app.
You need to first choose your type or niche of business, and then decide on a suitable pre-made theme. You can also easily import content from your business website or Facebook page to the app.
Customizing the navigation style, font and color schemes, and the ease of editing various pages of the app at a single place make the app builder extremely user-friendly. Some builders provide only specific navigation styles based on the theme you have chosen. But with Appy Pie, you can create lists, bottom navigation or image-based navigation, or any other style regardless of the theme you have chosen.
If you have subscribed to a plan, you get all the features that the app builder offers, regardless of the package you opt for. So you get all the premium features even if your plan is the basic one priced at $15 per month. Unlimited push notifications, geo-targeting and other location-based marketing features, ecommerce integration, payment gateway integration, blog builder, and chat options are some of the core features that come with an Appy Pie app. Appointment schedulers, mortgage calculators and menu builders are some of the other handy industry-specific features that are provided.
Only the $50-per month Platinum subscription plan supports Amazon, Windows and BlackBerry devices, in addition to Android and iOS devices.
BuildFire is not the cheapest DIY app builder around. The basic subscription plan starts at $19 per month. But it is definitely the best one available for beginners, where you can virtually build an app in a matter of minutes.
As soon as you choose your business type or niche, a customized builder is launched to cater to your unique business needs. The building tool helps you create the app using two main parts – appearance and widgets. They help edit and customize each part of the app page like color, theme, font, icon and layout. Because the interface is intuitive, you will not have any trouble finding your way about with the app.
The user-friendly features include social media integration, local marketing features, push notifications, content syncing, and customized loyalty programs.
Limitations include customer support that is available only during business hours and there is limited ecommerce integration. The lack of payment gateway integration means that you can monetize your app only through advertising and in-app purchases, but users cannot purchase stuff through the app or make table reservations/schedule appointments through it.
The BuildFire app builder can be used to create iOS, Android and HTML5 apps.
- Bizness Apps
Bizness Apps are your best bet if you want to build an app to market your brand and increase customer awareness. It is aimed mainly at small and medium businesses and provides a very strong content management system.
You can go for a pre-set industry/niche-specific template that will enable you to design your app in quick easy steps, or you can use custom imagery.
The building process is also super easy with the drag-and-drop builder that helps you add native features and robust third-party integrations. Push notifications, location-based services, tell-a-friend social media integration, custom email forms, and a full-fledged shopping cart make mobile commerce rewarding. You can also run loyalty programs using ecommerce integration.
A great feature of Bizness Apps is that you get in-depth analytics that make it easy to track user engagement and capture user demographic info. You can also monitor feature usage to further improve and update your app. This is a powerful feature that helps small businesses keep tabs on ROI and customer growth.
The app builder is backed by excellent customer support available 24/7 via email and on phone during business hours. Weekly webinars and tutorials make it possible to ensure that you are constantly learning and maximizing your business app.
The mobile app monthly subscription plans start from about $59, and you can publish your app on iOS, Android and HTML5 platforms at one go.
App builders give businesses the freedom to design and launch apps that cater to the unique needs of their business. You can add just the right amount of features and expand as your business needs grow. So, explore these options available to you and decide on an app builder that meets your requirements.