1 December 2020
  • Industry Insight

Three reasons you DON’T need an app on the App Store

At Steadfast Collective we build websites and applications for our clients. When it comes to native mobile apps, we have built our fair share of apps, designing, developing and deploying them to the App Store / Play Store – and it is something we love to do. 

But, despite this being one of our businesses core offerings, in all honesty, not everyone needs a native mobile app. 

Let’s take a look at three reasons why you don’t need an app on the App Store…

You might not need it (just yet)

Native Mobile Apps take a lot of work and a long time to build. 

A lot of companies want their name on an app. They see success as featuring on the App Store. But often, a website or web application is more than enough. 

Unless your app requires specific mobile functionality – something you can’t do on a website or that’s better on a phone – then you might not need an app. 

Disclaimer: If you need your application to access the camera on mobile, GPS, use face ID or thumbprint to log in, have elements of virtual reality, or have a strong requirement for push notifications, then you probably DO need a mobile app.

But if you don’t need these features, there might be a better alternative…

For most companies, a web application can be the ideal starting point. A web application is application software that runs on a web server and is delivered over the internet. There is a lot you can do with a web application – taking you 95% of the way toward what you could do on a mobile app. 

Web applications are generally quicker and easier to build. There are often existing plugins for development teams to build upon, with fewer hoops to jump through than when building for the strict Apple and Android app regulations. 

And the great news is that web applications can still be used responsively on mobile – you just access the web application through a web browser, rather than clicking on an app. 

For most companies, a web application can do everything you are looking for. It’s a way to prove your concept and get your idea off the ground before you launch headfirst into committing to the App Store.

Native mobile apps are expensive.

Imagine spending thousands on app development and launch then instantly losing a percentage of any revenue to Apple/Android each time someone subscribes to your product.

Both IOS and Android take an instant cut of any revenue made on the App Store. Until recently, this charge was 30% for both Apple and Android.

Within the past couple of weeks, Apple has reduced its cut to 15% for companies making less than $1,000,000 per year of App Store revenue.

In choosing a native mobile app, App Store charges are a large portion of your revenue that simply vanishes. A cost you wouldn’t incur if instead opting for a web application.

Add to this the additional time and resources required for ongoing App Store development. 

Apple and Android make changes to their regulations every year – meaning for the majority of app owners that minor or even semi-major tweaks will be needed on your app just to keep it on the App Store. 

Over time, these ongoing costs add up.

People don’t just stumble across new apps

The sad reality of the App Store is that it’s saturated with products, with hundreds, if not thousands of new products being added every day. 

Unfortunately, unless your app is a completely new, innovative game-changing idea or unless you already have thousands of dedicated followers who will share, promote and review your app, then your app is not likely to be found. 

If you have and small dedicated audience and are not worried about people stumbling upon your app, then that’s fine. But, if you are building an app with the hope that people will come across it in their everyday scrolling then we are sorry to say they won’t.

As soon as you launch on the App Store, you’re likely to be competing with millions of other apps. 

Spend time first building your fan base, proving your concept and growing your business with a web application. Then build a native mobile app. 

To get street cred from Apple or Android, to come up as recommended or to hit the charts you are relying on downloads and positive reviews, which can take time and a lot of effort to acquire. (Think about all the pop-ups you have seen asking for a review on the App Store).


While these are three factors to consider when building a native mobile app, there are also a lot of reasons that you SHOULD build an app – which we will cover another day.

If we have left you re-considering your whole app idea – don’t despair; a web application might be just the answer you are looking for.

Get in touch to discuss your idea and we’ll help you work out the best digital solution for your business.

Rachel Heslop, Content Director

Our in-house wordsmith and head of content at Steadfast Collective.

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