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Apps are a growing force in the world of commerce. In 2021 alone, consumers spent a staggering $170 billion on apps, up 19 percent from the previous year. Users spend about 87 percent of their time on mobile devices in apps, and unlike websites, which are generally free to use, many apps require purchases.
Those stats aren’t surprising when you consider the benefits of apps over web browsers. Apps are easier to use and visually appealing. Content adapts perfectly to different screen sizes, loads faster, and navigation is more intuitive. Some apps may also use a device’s hardware, such as the accelerometer or camera.
The faster load times are especially significant, considering that 40 percent of website visitors will abandon a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load. Faster load times also make checkout processes smoother than in a browser. For these reasons and more, apps are eating up website revenue. As JMango360 reports, 40.4% of all users buy from more than one company after installing the company’s eCommerce app.
The apps also reach a previously untapped customer niche. Websites cast a wide net and often reach the merely curious. For customers looking for richer, more interactive content, apps are much more effective. Younger users are also more likely to use apps, twice as likely as those over 45. That’s a valuable part of the market that you can’t afford to ignore.
All that said, hiring someone to develop mobile apps is often not practical for small businesses. In those cases, there is another option.
Related: How to Make an App When You Can’t Code
Enter the Progressive Web App
A newer approach is to use a Progressive Web App (PWA). These applications have many specific advantages. They are easy to build, share, and access, and organizations can use them for numerous purposes. They also offer automatic updates, instant downloads, and offline use. Also, unlike native apps, PWAs can be used on all devices.
Of course, PWAs aren’t the right choice for every small business; it depends on whether the application will employ the native functionality of a device. For example, native apps can access a device’s camera or Bluetooth connection, but PWAs can’t. If you need extra security or extremely fast speed, a the native app might be a better option.
Given the business benefits of apps and the advent of PWAs, it seems like a no-brainer for small and midsize business leaders to rush to launch their own software. But sometimes finding a suitable developer can be difficult. And even if you do find one, their fees may be too high for your budget.
Fortunately, business owners can opt for a no-code solution to get the job done without breaking the bank.
Related: These $3 Million Apps Were Built By Non-Programmers
3 tips to get started with no-code apps
Before you dive into no-code app development, here are three steps that will set you up for success:
1. Be clear about what features you need for your app
Any worthwhile project needs to be carefully thought through from the early planning and development stages without code. it’s no different Consider what exact features you’ll need for your application, such as a drag-and-drop design interface, database integration, analysis and reporting capabilities, programming capabilities, or e-commerce capabilities. Be sure to choose a platform that uses templates, as they will help you build an app quickly and visually, which is the most intuitive approach.
Also, see if the no-code solution provides a way to extend the app using code in case you need a developer to modify it in the future. No one wants to have to start from scratch at that point, and many no-code solutions can also be low-code.
2. Choose the right no-code app builder
Be sure to check a platform’s website for pricing transparency. Ask yourself: Can the platform scale with your business? Is it updated regularly? Which companies have already used the platform successfully? Questions like these will help you assess the suitability of the platform for your needs over time.
When choosing a no-code app builder, look for platforms that offer the features you identified in the previous step. This can also help determine if you need a native app, such as when you need to use some device functionality that a PWA can’t provide.
3. Create your fusion team
Application development should never happen in isolation, so engage a wide range of stakeholders to gain input into building the application. Create what’s known as a “fusion team”: a combination of groups from across the organization to give input on developing an app for a specific function. For example, ByteDance, the company behind TikTok and other blockbuster apps, has found success in this way by using shared services platforms (SSPs) to foster effective teamwork.
With SSPs, ByteDance can support highly flexible specialized teams to work on specific applications while drawing on centralized business, technology and operations functions for support. This allows the company to deploy people as needed from these teams.
Related: Build cross-platform apps for your business idea with minimal coding
Join the future without code
Applications are central to business strategy these days, and with the availability of no-code solutions, there’s no reason not to have one up and running for your business. By doing a little homework, using a PWA solution, finding a platform that works for your business needs, and assembling a great team, you can build an app with little to no coding and capture more market share.
But don’t delay: the same option is available to your competitors. Fortunately, getting started with mobile app development is easy. In no time, you’ll be enjoying the increased brand recognition and customer loyalty that comes from an app, without the massive expense associated with native app development.