With more than 105 billion app downloads worldwide from App Store and Google Play within the first three quarters of 2020 and over $581 billion estimated mobile app revenue in 2020 overall, there’s no surprise that the mobile application industry is considered to be one of the most promising.
However, businesses enter the sphere not only for the sake of income. There is a couple of other reasons:
- Accessibility. Brands directly communicate with their customers via apps, which is especially vital for retaining tech-savvy younger generations.
- Added value. Mobile apps are additional platforms where companies can showcase their product assortment, share recommendations, or engage the audience with loyalty programs.
- Automation. Apps allow businesses to automate repetitive tasks, therefore making the processes more efficient.
If the above reasons, among others, triggered you to build a mobile app, then your next question is which app development method to choose. To make a prudent choice, you need to examine your options. In this article, we will compare one of the most popular ones – custom application development vs. white-labeled solutions.
Custom Mobile App Development vs. Ready-Made Solutions
The names speak for themselves: custom mobile application development implies building an app from scratch with regard to your preferences and needs.
Ready-made solutions come in the form of app builders or ready-to-purchase adjustable platforms. They have limited functionality and design options compared to custom apps. Therefore, the end-user product is usually rather mediocre and fails to stand out from competitors.
Nonetheless, there is a bright side: besides being cheaper and quicker to implement, off-the-shelf solutions are:
- A good option if you want something basic. If you’d like an app that does a single and simple thing or facilitates a common process, you might find a solution exactly for that.
- A good choice for smaller businesses. Ready-made solutions come in handy when the budget is limited, yet the app is necessary. Although small businesses might struggle for a bit, they can always develop a new shiny custom app upon expansion when money is no longer an issue.
Here is the question: why do businesses spend more on customized apps when they can easily get themselves a working app much cheaper? It’s the benefits that make a difference!
Advantages of Custom Application Development
Customization is among the ultimate reasons why you should build a custom app as it will meet your business goals and needs from A to Z. When dealing with white-labeled solutions, you have to do with the presented set of features that may be unnecessary or insufficient for you.
The advantage of customization is so significant that it drives four more benefits:
- Personalized UX: Off-the-shelf solutions typically offer a basic set of features and templates that provide a rather mediocre user experience. It can hardly help you win over your audience and provide maximum comfort when navigating your app.
- Brand Identity: In the eyes of a customer, an artfully made mobile application with branded UI and UX always sets the business apart from its competitors. Considering how popular apps are today, it’s a perfect chance to share your authenticity with a wider audience. By the way, according to Stackla, authentic content is a determining factor for 86% of customers when deciding which brands to support and like.
- Decision-making freedom: You can implement almost any idea and integrate any feature if you go off-the-beaten-path. This also includes technology stack – frameworks, programming languages – which may not be an option in ready-made solutions: you would have to stick to whatever is available to fulfill your top requirements.
With custom mobile app development, you have full control over where your project is going. Since it doesn’t have an issue of extensibility, unlike off-the-shelf solutions, the app can always be adjusted to satisfy your business needs and meet new consumer demands now and in the future.
If you want to make an update and add new features, you have the freedom to do so, which allows you to start small and then develop the project. With app builders, you are bound to consider the limitations that usually prevent you from running an application with an up-to-date, stunning user experience.
Usually, even if you buy a premade app, you still won’t have full ownership over it. It can have several consequences:
- Lack of solo image: the logo of the service that provides the app will be displayed in your interface. Also, this information may be displayed in the app stores. For businesses that value autonomy, it can be unacceptable.
- Businesses that choose to go for ready-made solutions can often experience troubles with distribution restrictions, copyright claims, etc.
- Uncertain future: The provider may go out of business, get into a public scandal, interfere in the app activity – in a word, you will be dependent on a third-party.
When you are the one in charge and own the intellectual property, the risks of uncertainty are significantly decreased. Therefore, your investments are much safer.
Integrations and Compatibility
Going custom is a sure way to integrate with any devices, software, and OSs you need. For example, you can create a custom Android app only if your audience is predominantly among the 71% of the global Android users.
Besides, it’s always much easier to manage seamless integration with your business software if you develop a unique application from scratch. You can equip it with all the necessary functionality to communicate with your order processing, stock monitoring, or any other software.
A mobile app isn’t always a means of dealing with consumers and enhancing the service. Very often, they take the place of a reliable supporter that facilitates business operations, optimization, and automation. Although custom app development cost is higher, it will definitely meet your needs and establish a rapport with other software you may be using. While an out-of-the-box solution can still provide a sufficient number of features, it may include many more unnecessary ones that will only delay your process.
Security is where a custom app wins over an off-the-shelf one completely. First of all, it’s created with the OS and API requirements in mind. Secondly, you can integrate additional security measures like two-factor authentication and data encryption. This way, your users’ personal data will be well-protected.
Additional Revenue Opportunities
When making an app from scratch, it is in your power to implement a monetization strategy. You could sell your product, advertisement, subscriptions, or additional services. Everything is up to you, unlike with a ready-made solution, where you are bound to built-in features that may completely exclude monetization.
All in all, building an app from scratch in accordance with your demands results in higher quality in the short and long term. For example, choosing custom iOS app development means that your application will be 100% aligned with the App Store and its regulations, hence offering seamless bug-free performance, as well as boasting high-quality branded design. This increases the chances of a positive experience, which can make 77% of customers recommend your brand to a friend.