With mobile connections reaching the 7 billion mark in 2012, a significant change in mobile app strategies is underway. This explosion in app development has allowed consumers to stay connected and entertained from any location. The average mobile user has their phone within reach at least 16 hours a day.
For small businesses to gain visibility, developing an app is becoming increasingly critical. If the app is seen, even at a glance by the user base, it will be far easier to stay top-of-mind, which will lead to increased conversion and more repeat customers.
Let’s say 100 people end up downloading your app. It sits on their home screen, and every time they unlock their phone, search for another app, check their messages or jump on social media, they see your logo. This creates constant visibility and make your business top of mind for the next time there is a need for your product or service. If this additional exposure leads to a new conversion, that translates to additional revenue.
How Can Your Small Business Stay Relevant in the Mobile World?
But, how do you get to the home screen — or even better, become an everyday app? Experts are weighing in on how small businesses developing apps can keep their brands relevant.
Create More Controlled Feedback Cycles
A critical challenge that small businesses encounter is creating apps that don’t take excessively long to build and aren’t subpar when completed. “Things are usually very clear as long as the concept lives as sketches or prototypes, but once the app leaves the comfortable sphere of idea and enters the real world of implementation, it can all go pear-shaped very quickly — even in really disciplined and experienced organizations,” says Anders Lassen, a thought leader in app development and CEO of Fuse.
He continues, “A designers’ ability to directly affect the final look and feel of the app is also greatly reduced once the app enters code form, which is something that can only be addressed by a new breed of development tools.”
Solve a Real Problem
All of us can think of an app we have downloaded that does something, but doesn’t solve a real problem. Apps like these may seem great because of the various functions they contain, but if they don’t meet a practical need, they are just clutter.
“Make sure you leverage every single touchpoint you have with the customer to promote the app. Many brands will promote their app on the website, on social, in email and on other digital platforms but don’t ignore your other connections with customers. If you’re a brick-and-mortar, use your in-store signage or your receipts to promote your apps,” says Marin Perez, Content Marketing Manager at Kahuna.
Understand Less Can Be More
Everything in the digital world is moving toward simplicity. First, because consumers are constantly overloaded with information. Secondly, complexity tends to be the arch nemesis of customer success strategy.
Marketing Sociologist Richard Kelleher says, “You need to utilize the cloud to serve your application. Associated Press app takes about two or three minutes to download. Too much information. Web design focused, not mobile. Thirty seconds is death to a mobile app loading. Don’t try to be everything to everyone via an app. That’s the problem with websites and why they were abandoned by consumers for mobile.”
Always Look Toward the Future
“Designers will become more and more code-driven because using code in designs that would otherwise have been static mockups and images will be the new norm,” says Lassen. “At the same time, the process of writing that code will be much simpler, with tools assisting designers to the point where a lot of them won’t know they’re actually coding. Real data and widespread use of good, cross-platform layout engines will be the choice for smart designers in the future.”
If they want to stay ahead of industry trends, companies need to leverage the best in tech innovation, while making sure every app deployment makes sense for business and customer needs. Checking in with industry experts can help prevent the pitfalls that come with change, and speed a company’s go to market strategy.