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As our devices become ever more integrated into our lives, the time we spend in front of a screen just keeps on increasing. According to recent research, the average amount of time Americans spend on their mobile amounts to around four hours per day.

With that in mind, it only makes sense that companies who want to expand their business and keep it viable choose to target their customer base where they spend most of their time: on their screens. By building an app, a business can enjoy any number of benefits, from increased visibility and brand recognition, to improved customer engagement and customer loyalty.

However, making the decision to build a successful app is much simpler than building one. As of May 2019, there were 2.6 million Android apps and 2.2 million iOS apps available for download. So, how do you go about creating an app that will be well utilised in today’s very busy market?

In this post, we’re going to go over the various benefits of building a mobile app, to then look at the factors you will need to consider if you want to make your app successful. This will include general considerations, as well as those specific to building an app in Qatar.

The Benefits of Building a Mobile App

Why build an app? While the benefits of having an app are numerous, here are some of the most important:

  • You are visible at all times. Your customers are scanning their devices throughout the day – and while they may be looking for other apps, your app is still being recorded by the brain as their eye moves over the icon. When your customers decide to interact with you, your app is ready 24/7.
  • You can provide value to your customers. A well-designed app targeted to its audience can provide value to its customers, making the company who offers it a better option than their competitors.
  • You can create a direct marketing channel. While apps can provide many functions, the best ones offer all the information customers need in one place, including special sales and promotions. Using push notifications can allow for even more effective information sharing.
  • You can build brand and recognition. While it may provide value and function to your customers, your app should also be beautifully designed, showing off your brand. If it’s easy to use, your customers should use it more and more, helping to build recognition.
  • You can improve customer engagement. By offering a way for customers to communicate with you through your app, your customers can engage with you in the way they like best.
  • You can stand out from your competition. If you want to stand out, you need to give your customers what they want. As a small business, your offering an app may put you ahead of other businesses that don’t.

What To Consider Before Building an App

Now you know what benefits your business could gain from having an app, what should you consider before building it?

  • Find out where you stand: Market research is the key to success in app development. This means looking at what your competition is offering, defining your target audience, what users like and dislike about apps similar to yours, and so on.
  • Define your budget: Unless you are a seasoned app developer, you may be better off paying a professional to create an app that will work well, rather than do it yourself and then wonder why no one is using it. Get a few quotes to find out what you can expect to pay.
  • Understand your target audience: Pleasing your target audience – and keeping them interested in your app – means taking time to understand what they want. This should influence the way your app looks and acts. Location can also play a part. If your app is specifically for users in Qatar, it will need to appeal to those users.
  • Choose a platform: The major platforms for mobile apps are Android and iOS. Developing an app on both platforms will extend useability, but it may be more than your budget allows.
  • Promoting your app: An app needs to be seen to be successful. You may choose to promote your app on your website and have it there to download. You may also place it on the app store of its platform. Including important keywords will increase its visibility.
  • Updating your app: Building an app is not the end of the road. You will need to update your app regularly to accommodate changes on the mobile operating system, and to update content and keep users interested.

Building a Mobile App in Qatar

Having looked at the general considerations of building a mobile app, let’s go over some of the factors specific to Qatar. For businesses just starting out, one of the most important of these considerations involves whether or not you will need a Qatari partner.

While there is a variety of options open to those looking to start a business in Qatar, it really depends on the nature of their business as to whether they require a Qatari partner. In most cases, foreign investors choosing to set up an LLC will require a Qatari partner, in which the foreign investor may own up to 49% of the company, to leave at least 51% Qatari-owned.

Do you need a Qatari partner to build an app in Qatar? This is something of a grey area. Unlike bricks and mortar businesses that have a physical presence in Qatar, an app may operate in Qatar without being registered locally. However, this will largely depend on the app’s function.

For example, an app that solely provides information and entertainment while gaining revenue from ads is unlikely to need a Qatari partner as it would not need to be registered locally. However, an app that provides a product or service within the Qatar market, that takes payments in person on delivery, or that requires a payment gateway with a local bank would require a local partner in Qatar to establish their business.

If you want to find out more about the costs associated with establishing a business in Qatar, take some time to read our previous blog post on the topic here. It covers everything from the fees you may be expected to pay, to the general costs associated with starting a business in Qatar. Of course, if you want a more thorough answer, all you need to do is contact us and we can provide a free, no obligation consultation.