What do popular applications like Google Docs, Salesforce CRM, and Netflix have in common?
They’re all web apps.
Just like traditional websites, web apps (or web applications) rely on a web browser to display information. Like traditional websites, web apps can be accessed from any browser on any device – laptop, desktop, mobile phone, or tablet.
The difference between web apps, traditional websites, and mobile apps
Still, there are fundamental differences between web apps and regular sites:
- Whereas traditional web sites are generally designed for information sharing, web apps tend to be more interactive, enabling users to initiate workflows, submit forms, share data with other systems and engage with the app in other ways.
- Web apps automatically adapt to fit the device they’re being accessed on. For example, when a user navigates to a web page on their smartphone, that page will automatically adjust to fit their phone’s screen and provide a good user experience.
- Although web apps can have multiple pages, most do not have as many pages as a traditional website or a mobile application. This makes them easier to build and manage and more cost-effective to maintain.
Web apps also have significant benefits over mobile apps, which need to be customized for iOS or Android OS. For instance, there’s no need to develop a web app for a specific app store or mobile operating system, as they can be accessed from any web browser. That means they require fewer resources to build, and are easier and less expensive to build.
The power of web apps
Web apps typically serve a specific function or purpose, but don’t let that focus fool you. Despite their perceived simplicity, web apps are highly customizable and can be extraordinarily powerful tools for collecting and managing information and interacting with customers.
Web apps’ winning combination of power and cost-effectiveness makes them a tool that every startup should consider. But which web apps should you prioritize building? Here’s a list of four essential web apps you and your team should consider creating:
1. Lead inquiry forms (or lead generation forms)
Lead inquiry forms are designed to gather critical information about a customer or prospect. They typically include basic information like name, company, contact information, as well as demographic information and such. Some might include fields asking the prospect to provide additional information or feedback.
2. Customer relationship management (CRM) tools
As mentioned above, Salesforce CRM is one of the most popular and powerful off-the-shelf customer relationship management tools around–and it’s a web app. It shows how a robust web app can be used to collect and share customer information, emails, inquiries, and more. However, often out of the box solutions don’t meet your exact needs and aren’t easy to customize. With no-code tools, you can build a custom CRM to match your specific requirements.
3. Invoicing and billing apps
Web apps don’t need to be exclusively customer-facing. Your internal teams can also use web apps for their multi-stage workflow processes that span multiple departments. For example, a customer can approve a quote that then goes to the sales team to review and process then forward to the finance team for invoicing through a web app. You can also develop web apps that customers can use to pay bills via the device of their choice using no-code solutions.
4. IT and customer support forms
Instead of having employees call the IT help desk or send the IT administrator an email, employees can sign into a web app on their device, fill out a simple form, and have their help request automatically routed and assigned to a support team member. The support team will have full visibility to all open requests and can monitor statuses and assign escalations to the Quality Assurance team or Tier 2 Support team for more complex issues. Likewise, customers shouldn’t have to call an 800 number or write an email to customer care; they can submit an inquiry via a web app which is more efficient.
Creating your own web apps using no-code development
Web apps are easier to build than you might think. In fact, just about anyone can create a web app using no-code application development practices.
No-code development democratizes application development by enabling those with minimal or even no programming experience to create their own applications. With no-code, users can build user-friendly interfaces and backend workflows and can configure business rules for their applications. They simply drag and drop objects onto a design canvas. They don’t need to understand or manipulate the underlying source code. All of that is updated automatically based on where the user places their objects. It is also an option to integrate with other popular applications and third party systems.
Democratizing development through no-code allows web apps to be developed faster and more easily. Software developers can build web apps more quickly by using the drag and drop method, freeing them up to focus on building more labor-intensive and complex applications. And by negating the need for deep coding experience, you can invite others in your company to develop web apps, too.
Embodying the startup mentality
Startups are known for their fervent attention to customers and prospects and an “all hands on deck” approach where everyone is involved in building their companies’ offerings. Web apps and no-code development match up well with both of these ideals. You can use web apps to engage with your audiences and create compelling and rich online experiences, and you can use no-code to get everyone involved in that process.
The result will be fast and cost-efficient application development and the ability to reach your customers and prospects any time, anywhere, and on any device.