When you go to the app store to look for an app, what drives you to download and use an app? Two main elements are the app rating and user reviews. Users do not even think of downloading an app with a less than four app rating. When the rating is satisfactory, users read reviews given by other users. What is it that urges users to give a good review or a bad one? Why do users seem frustrated with one app and satisfied with another? The difference comes from the usefulness of an app, which can be determined by making an effective mobile app strategy. Before going into the details of mobile device strategy, let us look at the reasons for having an app.
Why Have an App?
Businesses need to build an app for several reasons. It helps in reaching more customers, which in turn increases sales and total revenue. It gives an improved customer experience to the users and makes your brand competitive. An app that acts as a direct marketing channel increases customer engagement and boosts awareness.
An app that appeals to the users allows businesses to digitize products and services. Digital products and services mean that customers can order them at any time. With a traditional physical store, you can reach a limited number of potential customers. But, with an app, the number of people you can reach is potentially limitless.
A mobile app will also help to gather valuable customer details that can be used to improve your selling and marketing strategies. This data also helps in making more informed decisions by giving insights into consumer behavior. Stats show that consumers spend more when they buy through an app than when buying from a website.
Improved Customer Experience
Today’s customers know what a truly immersive experience is, and they yearn for it while shopping online. They want businesses to give them more value and appreciation. Customers pay more when they believe that the brand is worthy of the money. This is where a mobile app strategy comes into play.
An app gives customers a seamless experience by making the process from shopping to payment easy to execute. Mobile apps can offer multiple payment options such as cash-on-delivery, credit/debit card, PayPal, etc. It also includes things like push notifications and SMS confirmations, which add to the overall customer value.
If you do not stay competitive in the market, competitors will take your customers. About 65% of small businesses already have an app for their customers. Do not let give a competitive edge to your competitors. Enterprise mobile application development strategy will bring you back in the race besides your competitors. It will also give you a competitive edge over those who have not yet devised and implemented a mobile development strategy.
Direct Marketing Channel
Application strategy can also include a marketing strategy, especially when there is an environment for it. A mobile app can be used as a direct marketing channel to attract customers and entice them into buying more. A simple reminder about an on-going or up-coming sale, a bundle of products, or a personalized recommendation can do miracles for your business.
When customers see personalized notifications, they feel valued. In turn, they are more likely to buy something. With more data about customers, your marketing techniques will improve and give better results.
More Engagement with Customers
Customers are looking for instant replies and highly engaged brands. They do not want to wait for days or even hours before they get a reply. Mobile apps give customers yet another communication and engagement avenue.
Give your customers an effective way to get in touch, and a mobile app will do exactly that. It can be in the form of live chat, feedback, or a helpdesk in the app. In the minds of customers, these features make a big difference in how they perceive the brand.
Boost Brand Awareness and Recognition
A mobile app can boost your brand’s awareness by more than ten folds if utilized correctly. Think of your app as a billboard sign but without anything in it. You can fill it up with engaging, educative content and make it stylish to please the users. Remember that you want your customers to cherish and love the app. Design your app with style and elegance to make an impressive brand image.
Pick a color theme and use it across your brand so that your customers will remember it. You will be victorious when customers look at the colors of your brand and instantly recall your name.
Understand Company Strategy
To define the mobile app strategy first, you need to understand your company’s strategy. Understand the company’s processes and priorities to determine its direction. Write down the company’s strategy and key performance indicators (KPIs). At this stage, do not think about online or mobile app strategy. Think big and think about what the company wants to achieve. Answering the following questions will give you the right direction:
– What is your company’s mission?
– What are your values?
– What is the objective of the company?
– Define the scope of the strategy.
– What is your competitive edge?
Competitor Research & SWOT Analysis
Find your company’s competitors and look at their strengths and weaknesses. Focus on your competitors’ weaknesses and make them your strengths to get a firm grasp on the market. There are several advantages of studying your competitors. It will reveal best practices and common functionalities and features that you must include in your app. You will start identifying gaps that your competitors have missed. List down all of these points and focus on integrating them into your differentiation strategy.
A SWOT analysis shows your strengths & weaknesses and reveals the opportunities & threats in your business environment. SWOT analysis will help make your app successful and prevent you from going towards your app’s demise. It will also help in defining and overcoming the challenges you will face.
Clearly Define App Goals
Defining the goals for developing the app will help throughout the process. It will set priorities and work as indicators to help you stay on track during the app strategy formulation and implementation. They will make a map to determine where you are at any given time, where you should be, and how you will get there.
Define Target Audience
Without defining your target audience, you cannot get anywhere. Everything in the app, from content to images and colors, depends on the target audience. When you define your target audience, you can determine ways for potential customers to use the app. Define primary uses first, then move on to secondary uses for the app. Make sure that the secondary uses all support the main functions of the app. Think of uses for a specific target audience, not for everyone.
Decide on a Platform
Most of your customers will either use the app on iOS or the Android operating system. You need to decide if you want to develop a native app for both platforms or a hybrid app that will work on both platforms.
There are advantages and disadvantages of native and hybrid apps. Native apps give the best user experience but are costly to develop for each platform. Hybrid apps are cheaper to develop but might not be able to leverage all the advantages of the device’s hardware and firmware.
Define the Data Strategy
Apps collect data about usage, customer behavior, and preferences. Decide the type of data you want to collect. One app cannot do everything, which is why it is important to decide this before developing the app. Besides collecting data, you will also have customer data. You need to come up with a strategy to keep this data confidential and secure.
Design the App
Users will either download the app or keep using it, or they will uninstall the app. This depends on the design and the usability of the app. A good app is easy to use and navigate through; do not overcomplicate the design. It should be attractive enough to catch the attention of the customers and easy enough to help them complete the process from shopping to checkout.
Finally, Develop the App
Now that you have everything you need, you can begin its development. Make a prototype to see if the app matches what you had in mind. Test the app, and work to remove any bugs in the app flow. Once the prototype is perfected, continue to the full development of the app. Once the app is developed, test it again to be sure that everything is in order. No matter how much you stress on testing the app, it will not be enough. Have a strong quality assessment team to make sure the app works how it was intended. When the app is completed, move on to its deployment on the app stores.