The tremendous popularity of mobile devices
About fifteen years ago, a business was considered cutting edge if it launched its own website. Fast-forward to the present day and maintaining a website is now a commonplace activity, while mobile app development is the new hot topic.
Businesses’ interest in apps has been sparked by consumers’ rapid adoption of powerful yet compact mobile devices. In 2015, Ofcom announced that the UK had become ‘a smartphone society’. Its research shows smartphones, not computers, are now the go-to devices for internet users. Two thirds of people in the UK own smartphones, and they typically use them for twice as long each day as PCs or laptops. With a mobile app, your business can be within easy reach of your customers, wherever they happen to be.
Think carefully before going mobile
Clearly, mobile apps present significant commercial opportunities. However, that doesn’t mean every firm should jump on the mobile bandwagon. Not all businesses can benefit from mobile apps; you should only pursue mobile app development if you’re convinced that it will help you and your customers.
When contemplating a move to mobile, there are several key points for your business to consider. Essentially, you must be able to justify the time, effort and resources you’d need to devote to working with a developer or app-building platform in order to create, launch and promote a mobile app.
Capture customers’ attention
Mobile users can pick and choose from a bewildering array of apps. You need to be confident that your mobile app will capture – and hold – your customers’ attention.
Some products and services lead to more enjoyable mobile apps than others. If your company prints and sells customised t-shirts, you could develop an engaging mobile app that enables customers to create unique designs using photos from their smartphones. If you want to promote a new range of chocolate bars, you could invent a mobile app game that invites users to go on a quest in order to earn discount vouchers. You could print special codes on the bars in order to enable customers to access bonus features in the game. If users can easily share what they create or achieve with your mobile app via social media, that’s even better.
Firms selling less inherently exciting products (carpets or insurance policies, for instance) may struggle to make compelling mobile apps. Don’t dive into mobile technology unless you’re confident you can create an app that’ll succeed. It needs to entertain, educate, or sell.
Real value, not just novelty value
It’s important to ensure that your target audience will find your mobile app useful or rewarding. The only mobile apps with staying power are those that have more than just novelty value. That’s why so many game-themed apps enable users to earn rewards through play. Successful apps are used regularly, not instantly forgotten about.
One way to keep mobile app users coming back for more is to provide insightful content that’s relevant to you and your target market. You can create a content app for articles, books, magazines, whitepapers, etc. and even white-label it as a news app, if you plan to update the material frequently.
By offering a steady stream of high-quality content via a mobile app, you can establish your firm as an expert in your field. However, if you don’t have the resources to do that, avoid moving into mobile. An out-of-date mobile app is as bad as a neglected blog.
Insights into customer behaviour
It goes without saying that your mobile app should ideally boost your sales figures by giving users the opportunity to make in-app purchases.
Moreover, if you link the app to your Customer Relationship Management platform, you can use the app’s data to create tailored recommendations and offers, thereby increasing the likelihood of sales.
A mobile app gives you a fantastic opportunity to gather and analyse information about your target market’s purchasing decisions – as long as you have the skills and technology needed to manage that data. When developing a mobile app, it’s vital to take into account your ability to deal with data, and then bring in expert help, if required.
Enterprise technology experts
At Ribbonfish, we’re committed to helping businesses make the most of technology. We take the complexities out of data management and migration, as well as providing efficient technical support where necessary.
To discover how our expertise can enhance your organisational performance, please request a call back or contact us online.
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