Ways Custom Mobile Apps Increase your ROI

January 31, 2023 / Katarina Rudela

Reading Time: 10 minutes

Ways Custom Mobile Apps Increase Your ROI

Most businesses have invested in creating a custom mobile app to promote their products and services. Mobile phone apps have become a ubiquitous feature of the modern world, so overlooking apps as a resource to connect with customers and foster engagement is a surefire way for a business to fail.

Yet while many companies have set up apps, the full range of methods that can be used to optimise their return on investment (ROI) is often overlooked. This begins with the app's creation and the underlying architecture on which it runs. It continues as users interact with the features and provide helpful feedback to guide future development.

This article will explore a broad spectrum of ways custom mobile apps can be used to increase ROI, from security and analytics tools to deliver customer confidence and insights to a range of techniques used by leading companies to foster engagement and brand loyalty.

Building Return On Investment Strategies Into Your Mobile App

When developing a new mobile app for a business, the first question to consider is whether to choose custom software versus off-the-shelf software. While the latter has advantages, custom software allows for a more meticulous approach to development, ensuring the core architecture of the application feeds into a healthy return on investment.

By building a custom mobile app from the foundation up, a range of core features can be implemented to empower the user experience and confidence in the platform. The article in Forbes, Essential Considerations For A Business Building Its First Mobile App, identifies several points businesses need to consider when building their custom mobile app. These considerations lie at the heart of a custom app’s architecture and can fundamentally affect how effectively the app drives return on investment.

Before discussing a range of methods to directly increase ROI on a custom app, let’s review some of these core features required for an optimal user experience.

Integrated Analytics

Without analytical tools to gather appropriate metrics, a mobile app will only achieve so much growth in ROI before hitting a wall. User data analytics tools allow software developers and businesses to understand how users interact with the app and improve the app accordingly.

The app’s design can be altered to create funnels and heatmaps and generate increased revenue using integrated tools that monitor user sessions and demographic-related data. This data analytics allows for continual reiteration of the app to revamp old features while measuring the impact of new ones, easily viewed through dashboard reports.

Mobile AnalyticsFigure1: An example of Mobile Analytics

Security and Protection

With many mobile apps susceptible to exploitation from phishing scams and malware, in-built security and protection are vital for giving the user peace of mind their data is being protected. This means building apps that are transparent about the information they collect from their users, as well as what is done with this information once it has been received.

Custom-built mobile apps developed with security in mind and give users control over their data will enjoy greater user retention. With data protection of increasing concern for many app users, these measures go a long way to encouraging ongoing use of your business app.

User Customization

Most available apps allow users to customize their experience while using the application. This customization allows users to create a digital environment where they feel most at home, from creating their user profiles to selecting color schemes and templates.

When building a custom app, including these user customization options is another way to increase retention and use of the app to ultimately drive revenue growth. Once an app has been rolled out, consistent customer feedback can help drive additional development that allows them to tailor the app to their tastes.

Cross-Platform Performance

While there has been an increasing trend towards growth in the use of mobile phones and tablets, traditional devices such as laptops and desktop PCs still have a large role to play in our daily lives. This is especially true in the workplace, so custom mobile apps should be designed with cross-device performance in mind.

A basic understanding of cross-platform development allows businesses to build mobile apps that function on any other devices they anticipate their clients will be using. Business-related apps aimed at office workers are prime candidates for cross-platform development, allowing them to function on a wide range of operating systems.

Cross-platform development is the most cost-effective way to develop an app that reaches the most devices and the most significant potential customer base with minimal development costs.

Integration With Social Media

Social media use has rapidly grown over a relatively short period of time since its inception. According to Our World in Data, approximately 3.5 billion of the world’s 7.7 billion total population are on one form of social media platform. The percentage of US adults who use social media increased from 5% in 2005 to 79% in 2019 and continues to grow today.

This makes capitalizing on integrating social media platforms into a custom mobile application a common sense decision, allowing users to drive reach through sharing content and bringing new users to the app.

Other benefits include:

  • Increasing valuable customer insight.
  • Developing rapid brand awareness to increase customer loyalty.
  • Higher conversion leads and conversion rates.
  • Improve search engine rankings.
  • Data-driven targeted advertising campaigns.

Reason to Integrate Social Media in Your Mobile AppFigure 2: Reason to Integrate Social Media in Your Mobile App

Effective Ways Custom Mobile Apps Increase ROI

By creating a consistent and professional user experience, security, customization, analytics, and social media integration all help to increase the ROI of a custom mobile app indirectly.

Now let’s break down some direct tools and strategies business owners and software developers can use with their custom apps to enhance customer revenue streams. They can also be used to drive employee productivity by giving them a tool to perform their work on the go. Let’s focus on the former strategy and examine the ways custom mobile apps drive ROI by more effectively reaching a customer base.

Using Personalized Ads the Right Way

Personalized ads are a tried and trusted method for reaching out to customers and converting to sales. But they need to be handled the right way to ensure they are delivered without breaching the client’s confidence in the security of their personal information.

A report from the Harvard Business Review discussing the importance of not overstepping these boundaries of trust and confidence encourages developers to implement targeted ads that respect the consumer’s personal information. The report states, “Control over personal data is becoming increasingly important in today’s online world, where protracted, multilayered data collection is now common.”

This requires:

  • Steering clear of personal information such as sexual orientation and health conditions.
  • Committing to transparency on how data is being used for personalised ads.
  • Justifying the data collection that is being used through full disclosure to customers.
  • Using the data effectively, in line with insights gathered from data analytics and reports.

Implementing Engagement Strategies

A well-designed custom mobile app provides many opportunities for increasing engagement with customers. After gaining users, these strategies help to ensure they don’t forget about the app and are incentivized to return and engage with content on a regular basis.

This means understanding how the custom app can be used to funnel customers toward purchases. At the same time, these engagement strategies can be used to help businesses use their existing customer base to reach out and connect with potential new clients.

Engagement strategies you can use to increase the ROI of custom apps include:

  • Encourage sharing via social media. We’ve touched briefly on the importance of building apps that integrate social media platforms, and these should be used frequently to promote the app to a broader audience. Existing customers are more likely to have like-minded associates and colleagues who may be interested in the product or service the app supports.
  • Offer your customers rewards and other perks. Creating a loyalty program that is available only through the custom mobile app gives users a clear incentive to keep returning to the app. This can also include early access to products and services that only users of the app can access.
  • Use the app to create a new revenue channel. While mobile devices are lagging behind other platforms regarding how consumers make purchases, the app is nevertheless a great way to expand purchasing options and give clients more options. As Gallup's report outlines, “if companies can create an engaging mobile storefront, they can generate a new revenue channel that does not compete with their existing revenue channels. This is equivalent to striking business gold.”
  • Use the custom app to provide regular value. This can be anything from providing access to high-quality blogs and guides relevant to the product or service or including tools such as scheduling and reminders to help them optimize the application's functionality.

Ways to Increase App User EngagementFigure 3: Ways to Increase App User Engagement



Increasing ROI With App Store Optimization

App Store Optimization (ASO) is another often overlooked method that can be used to maximize the potential reach of a custom mobile app. Incorporating elements of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) found in web development, it combines keyword research with A/B testing of in-store assets to drive the visibility of the app in online stores such as Google’s Play Store.

ASO initiatives begin with understanding what these stores expect from apps to promote them to potential users. Aspects to consider include:

  • The app’s name, title, and URL optimization.
  • Keyword research that reflects the search terms most likely to be used by potential customers.
  • Ratings and reviews the app has received.
  • Thumbnail images and other images used to build a store presence.
  • Deep linking within the mobile app.
  • Optimising the click-through rate.

Selecting the best keywords for a custom mobile app is a process of trial and error, with the major stores offering opaque guidance on what works and what doesn’t. Apps should also be designed to encourage users to rate and review the app in the relevant store since this organic feedback will help to boost its ranking in the store and acquire more users.

App store optimisation also incentivizes developers to deliver regular updates to their apps. These updates tell Apple and Google stores that the app is continually evolving and bringing additional value to users through more robust engagement. These stores base their ranking algorithms in part on such updates, so the more time developers dedicate to iterating and improving the app, the better its in-store performance will be.

The Essential Elements of App Store OptimizationFigure 4: The Essential Elements of App Store Optimization

Improving The User Experience By Developing the App’s UI/UX

When developing a custom app for a business, it’s important to understand the different processes and practices for UX/UI software development and ensure both aspects have been carefully considered. The user experience (UX) is driven by the app’s user interface (UI), and how this is designed can make or break the app once it is launched in stores.

UX designers work closely with software developers to ensure the app meets several core requirements, from being useful and desirable to bringing value and conforming to accessibility requirements. Whether the app is aimed at clients or employees, the same principles apply and can drive ROI through higher sales or greater worker productivity.

While UI/UX development can be time-consuming, taking on a full stack developer to handle the entire process can bring many benefits and a significant return on investment. Apps can be streamlined so that users get straight to the information they need without any fuss, and the bounce rate, which sees users leaving the application, can be cut to the bare minimum.

It’s another excellent method for developing a custom mobile app that delivers a pleasurable user experience and drives ongoing improvements through feedback.

Ways To Check Your Custom Mobile App’s ROI

Once a strategy for increasing ROI through a custom mobile app has been put into action, it’s time to develop strategies for measuring its success. While most companies understand that having a mobile app adds value to their brand, methods for measuring this value can sometimes feel opaque.

Let’s look at a four-step process business owners can use to determine their app’s ROI so they have a fuller understanding of its value.

1. List the purpose and goals of the application

A clear understanding of the function and desired outcomes from the app is necessary to work out the ROI. This involves creating a comprehensive list of these purposes and goals, such as increasing consumer engagement with the brand and product.

Healthy consumer engagement can be measured by various metrics, such as increased retention rates and lead acquisitions. Other metrics that can be used to measure an app’s ability to achieve its stated aims include:

  • Customer satisfaction scores (CSAT).
  • Net Promoter Scores (NPS).
  • Daily and monthly active users.
  • Customer churn rates.
  • The average number of transactions.
  • Session times and visitor frequency.

2. Add up the development cost of the app.

Next, the total cost of the app, including software development, asset creation, server costs, and other development costs, needs to be added up. This includes any integration costs and the amount paid for any graphic design work and other freelance services used as part of the app’s development process.

3. Establish the key performance indicators (KPIs) that reflect anticipated financial benefits.

Once the total cost has been arrived at, the next step requires understanding the measurable financial benefits that have come from it. This means referring back to the goals in the first step and using data analytics to put a precise figure on engagement, purchases, social media reach, and other key performance indicators.

Figure out details on lead acquisitions and sales conversions based on these KPIs, and use this to determine the total financial benefits that are expected to be gained.

4. Calculate the ROI

Finally, it’s time to choose the time frame over which the ROI will be determined. For example, using a five-year ROI assessment can be achieved as follows:

  • Take the anticipated business benefits established in step 3 and multiply this figure by five.
  • Subtract the capital costs from that figure to get the net present value benefits (NPV Benefits).
  • Add the annual maintenance costs associated with the app to the overall development costs, multiplying the maintenance costs by five and subtracting the opportunity cost of capital to get the Net Present Value Costs (NPV Costs).
  • Divide the NPV Benefits by the NPV Costs to arrive at the ROI of the application.

With this calculation in place, ongoing development of the app can then be used to modify and improve the various maintenance costs, and KPIs used to further increase the ROI. Working with an experienced full stack developer to build a custom mobile app tailored to the needs of a business ensures that all development costs are focused on the features needed the most. It also means the app will evolve with the tools and features that are best suited to drive reach, engagement, and healthy ROI growth for years to come.

About Baytech

Baytech is passionate about the technology we use to build custom business applications, especially enterprise solutions that optimize business processes. We’ve been delivering software solutions in a variety of technologies since 1997. Our success is due to the skill and efficiency of our senior staff, which includes software engineers, project managers, and DevOps experts. All of our engineers are onshore, salaried staff members.

We focus on the quality, usability, and scalability of our software and don’t believe in mitigating cost at the risk of quality. We manage project costs by implementing an efficient development process that’s completely transparent and uses the latest standards and practices to build software right the first time. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your business. Find us online at