An increasing number of SMEs are turning to web applications to streamline processes, making huge savings while improving customer experience. In other words, they’re embracing digital transformation – overwhelmingly so. 

Digital transformation is a buzzphrase for a reason: digital-first businesses are a staggering 64% likelier to meet their objectives than their tech-averse contemporaries.

Digital-first company

While most of us have a broad understanding of digital transformation, what do we mean when we talk about an intelligent, responsive web application? Is it the same thing as that app you use for banking? 

Before we explore the benefits offered by web applications, let’s break down the differences between the 3 most commonly used applications

Web application

Also known as a business application, this is an app that runs in a web browser – for example, CRM systems and quote calculators.

A web application will adapt for use on whichever device it’s accessed from – desktop, mobile, tablet, etc. – which means it’s termed responsive (much like a well-designed website). 

Business application on tablet

You need to be online to use a web application – it won’t operate offline. Additionally, a web application is not native to a specific device, so it does not require downloading or installation (whereas a mobile app does). 

Mobile application

In comparison, a native mobile app is designed to be used on specific platforms such as Android and iOS and is downloaded from an app store. Certain mobile apps can run offline. 

Progressive web application

A new arrival on the scene, the progressive web app sits somewhere between a standard web app and a mobile app. 

A progressive web application is built like a web app, runs on a browser, and doesn’t require downloading from an app store. However, a progressive web app also allows for the addition of new technologies such as offline capabilities, syncing capabilities, and the option to install onto the user’s home screen of their mobile or tablet. Google Chat is a prime example of a progressive web app. 

The arrival of affordable web applications

No longer restricted to the budgets of e-commerce titans, application development is now an affordable option for many SMEs. 

Web applications are only growing in popularity; this is due to their ability to optimise a company’s operational infrastructure, opening up new revenue streams via cost-saving digital solutions.

Happy customer

From online customer tools to sophisticated CRM systems, web apps can drastically improve CX, delivering the seamless journeys people have come to expect.

The majority who approach us for web apps do so because they’re yet to find a system that fits the way they work. They’re looking for a custom platform that meets their unique needs precisely. 

The benefits of a bespoke web application

There may be several areas of your business you’d like to improve, from customer experience to employee and supplier experiences. 

Barber’s, the world’s oldest cheddar cheesemaker, wanted to transform their supplier experience. Their products are sold in supermarkets and shops across the UK and Europe, so the ability to provide suppliers with real-time, accurate data is of tantamount importance.

Business application for Barber's

They commissioned us to build a bespoke online milk portal that gave suppliers easy access to the most up-to-date information regarding traceability, contracts, and background, in addition to product quality assurance.

Intelligent technical design coupled with a simple, intuitive interface resulted in a user-friendly portal that continues to streamline Barber’s day-to-day operations. The app’s impressive capabilities led to its placing as a finalist for Wirehive’s Digital Transformation award.

“The development of the Suppliers Portal has transformed the way we work with our Milk Suppliers. Key to success has been the considered planning and skilful creation of the Portal. Many thanks to the team at Resolution.” – Chris Newcombe, Chief Financial Officer at Barber’s.

Web application for Barber's

Following the tremendous success of the milk portal, we have been briefed to create a new web application for another of the brand’s departments, due to launch this year.

Interested in how your business could benefit from an app? Here are 3 reasons why a web application is a stellar investment…

1. A web application helps optimise workflows

A custom-built system enables you to automate tasks previously delegated to employees, boosting productivity while assisting with project management, application processing, report creation, and more. 

As a case study, if you’re operating an e-commerce business, a web application could facilitate streamlined processes for customer ordering, tracking, and relationship management. Pretty clever.

2. Digitised operations are more agile

Web applications can be integrated with your existing systems to improve the visibility of real-time data, linking stock systems to e-commerce databases, customer web activity to your CRM system, automating pricing, and more. This empowers you to pivot accordingly to meet market demand and make insight-driven choices

Eye

By doing away with piecemeal legacy systems and moving to intelligently integrated applications, your company becomes more flexible – and more secure.

3. Web apps equal better brand experiences

A smart application enables you to deliver a more joined-up customer experience and accelerate the purchasing journey. 

76% of customers expect brands to understand their expectations and needs; in today’s world, these revolve around ease of access and fast, high-quality service. 

Fast car

Web applications such as quote calculators and booking platforms ensure your brand can promptly cater to customers as soon as they register their interest, improving CX and fostering long-term brand loyalty

A case in point is the custom quote calculator we built for Awdry Bailey & Douglas. This useful tool enables them to respond to clients’ conveyancing enquiries swiftly and efficiently, without sacrificing the personal touch

Our app development service

So, how does a typical app development process go at Resolution?

Phase 1:

Once we’ve discussed and determined your needs, we’ll check the market. If there’s already an off-the-shelf product that could meet your requirements, we’ll let you know (no smoke and mirrors here). If not, we’ll begin creating your shiny new web application.

Phase 2:

This constitutes a scoping phase, during which we break down your businesses processes into modules, ready for the build phase. 

Phase 3:

Design is a relatively short stage, as us developers have plenty of excellent components handy. Our focus is to keep things clean, simple, and intuitive for the user. Of course, if you have specific design preferences, we can work to accommodate those. 

Phase 4:

The build stage is the most complex part of app development. This involves us carefully crafting the database and building all the necessary relationships into the system. Following this, we will test the system, then it’s handed over for your review and feedback.

If any changes are needed, we’ll make ‘em – quality assurance is our top priority. After this, your web application is good to go. Better yet, we’ll be there to support you every step the way. 

We’ve designed and built award-winning web applications for numerous high-value projects. If you need help elevating your customer experience strategy or want to optimise your processes, why not get in touch

Written by. Matt Groom

Matt Groom