Did you know consumers downloaded around 250 billion mobile apps to their phones in 2023? Most of these downloads come from the Google Play and Apple App stores. With so many apps on the market, you need to deliver high-quality custom apps to attract high-value users.

You do not have the luxury that existed a few years ago when you publish an app and have an instant audience flock to your solution. Instead, you need a comprehensive strategy designed for your specific business needs.

Mobile App Downloads Worldwide from 2016 to 2023

Source: Statista

The Concept of Building a Custom App

Custom mobile app development is the process of building a tailored to the needs of your business solution that delivers unique features. When it comes to enterprise solutions, custom apps for buisnesses are in great demand since, oftentimes, off-the-shelf apps cover only the basic requirements and can’t provide desired functionality.

Usually, there are two ways to work on custom-built applications. The first one is to allocate internal resources and assemble an in-house team that will devote its efforts to implementing a solution. Another way is to outsource your app development to a third party. This option has an array of benefits, such as saved costs, quick project delivery, and deep expertise.

The current situation in the IT job market, where we see a shortage of software developers, adds another reason to partner with an IT company and delegate the implementation of a customizable app to it. Thus, you don’t have to spend time looking for a team to take on a project.

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What Is Better: Custom versus Off-the-Shelf Apps

The biggest question we usually get next is “Why exactly should I use a custom solution over an off-the-shelf one?” To find out the reasons, let’s briefly take a look at the differences between off-the-shelf, or canned, and custom-made apps.

Off-the-Shelf Apps

A canned solution is like it sounds. It is an off-the-shelf application with many canned features and add-ons included already. Sometimes, they are enough to provide value for business, and it’s not always necessary to come up with something new.

A good example in this category is a mobile version of CRM or ERP solutions or a team collaboration app. Most likely, you don’t need to develop anything unique here, and thus, apps that are not overwhelmed with customizable features can suit you well.

Generally, companies choose off-the-shelf apps for the following reasons:

Canned solutions are great for a new company exploring mobile apps for their business. They are quick to acquire and install and cost less in the short run. The challenge is they do not have the flexibility and specialized services a custom-developed application provides.

Custom Apps

Does your business have specific needs other companies might not have? Do you need a customizable app to grow with your company? Do you want to avoid an application with too many unwanted services that clog up your app and confuse your users?

If you answered yes to the questions above, then you want a custom application. Below, we discuss why your business can benefit from building an app that’s fully customizable to your requirements.

Canned solutions vs. Custom Apps

How Can Custom-Built Apps Help Your Business?

Numerous pros of bespoke solutions are compelling enough to make many companies opt for them. In most cases, an application designed exclusively for your needs increases the company’s efficiency and allows you to stand above the competition.

A tailored app provides you with maximum control over it — defining a set of features it incorporates, governing the process of project delivery, clarity in software costing, and full ownership of the app in the end.

We’ve picked the major advantages of custom apps to help you make the right decision.

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1. Apps Are Tailored to Your Needs

As we discussed above, your business has specialized needs. Your application should answer those needs. App customization provides a flexible solution that complements your company’s goals.

An experienced software vendor treats all customers as individuals with specific needs. The customization process starts with business analysts getting to the bottom of your business goals.

They transform your business requirements into app functionality, taking into consideration platform specifics and hardware options.

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2. Functionality that Meets Your Requirements

Canned solutions come pre-packaged with many unwanted add-on features. Your app becomes a random collection of tools that take up valuable resources and waste the user’s time. This is deadly to the success of your app.

On average, users have around 80 applications downloaded on their phones. However, they actively use only 30 of them per month with only 9 apps opened daily.

Many developers focus their time on more utilitarian apps that do one thing extraordinarily well. The all-in-one mobile app lags in this category.

3. Flexible Support and Maintenance

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When you work with a reliable software vendor that builds custom solutions, you save money in the long term. Building mobile applications according to the specifications makes maintenance easier and cheaper over time.

A good rule of thumb is you need to spend approximately 10% of your development budget annually updating your app. This will make your app work on the most recent mobile OS version and will keep it fresh and aligned with the latest UI/UX trends.

Read more about the Successful UX Strategy

4. Scalability that You Can Manage

No one builds a mobile app for it to sit and languish on the Google Play or App Store. Instead, you want the app to grow.

Canned solutions do not always provide these capabilities. On the other side, bespoke apps are usually designed and developed with consideration of scalability options.

Additionally, the licensing cost might be prohibitive as the app grows. Many app builders like AppGyver and Appian get progressively more expensive as you scale.

It makes the system less attractive for businesses reliant upon these platforms for their mobile apps.

5. Advanced Integration Opportunities

With countless software programs available today, it is vital for your platform to integrate easily with other software solutions. We build native mobile apps that easily integrate with third-party services like Salesforce, RingCentral, PayPal, or QuickBooks, etc. via API.

Custom Apps Easily Integrate with Third-Party Services

6. Personalized Customer Support

Not surprisingly, a canned solution does not include a lot of customer support. Comparatively, a custom-built application entails an entire team working on your project. You can connect with the project manager, account manager, and developer whenever you have a problem with the app.

7. Security that You Control

Did you know up to 95% of all mobile applications are vulnerable to a security attack? Consequently, you need top-notch security for your app. Many companies that offer canned mobile apps are not always as quick to come up with solutions.

Velvetech does not rely on simple user and password authentication. Instead, we use secure encryption techniques to protect our enterprise customers.

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Final Thoughts

To wrap it up, let’s summarize all the information we’ve covered above. The table below will help you have a better overview of both custom and off-the-shelf apps to build the right strategy for your business and make the right choice.

Custom Apps
Off-the-Shelf Apps
Implementation time Longer development time due to uniqueness Quick deployment as the apps are pre-built
Cost Higher initial cost and ongoing maintenance but cost-effective in the long run Lower initial cost, but may have subscription fees
Security Customizable security measures Standard security features, may lack customization
Scalability Easily scalable to meet growing needs Scalability depends on vendor offerings
Integration with other software Seamless integration with existing systems Limited integration options, may require additional tools
Customization Highly flexible, tailored to specific needs Limited customization, fixed features
Support and maintenance Regular updates and maintenance required Automatic updates, less maintenance
Vendor reliance Independent of third-party vendor Relies on a vendor for updates and support

While an off-the-shelf app can be a great bootstrap variant, the majority of applications benefit from a personalized touch. Let us know if you have an app idea so we can help you deliver a fully-customizable solution. Our team of mobile app developers is always eager to jump on a project and provide deep expertise to build an efficient and secure custom mobile application.

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