If you’re like many other people these days, you have downloaded numerous apps to your smartphone or tablet, and would struggle to get through the day without the use of various applications which help you to save money, increase productivity, and more.
The popularity of mobile apps has grown tremendously over the last five to 10 years, and isn’t slowing down either. There are millions of apps on the market, and more and more people across the globe continue to take advantage of the benefits of this type of tech. In fact, according to recent data, the estimated global mobile app revenue for 2017 will be $77 billion (up from $35 billion in 2014).
If you’re a business owner, it is definitely worthwhile thinking about some ways in which you might be able to utilize this demand for your own venture. While years ago the costs of making an app were prohibitive for all but the largest corporations, today it is more affordable than ever for even small organizations.
The benefits of apps for businesses are many. Customers are busy shopping on mobile devices now (according to a recent report from Tech Crunch, a record $771 million was received in revenue from mobile customers over Thanksgiving in 2016), and as such tend to remember and be more loyal to ventures which have a mobile app. As well, apps are more popular than mobile websites, and they can provide organizations with more data about their customers than simple website visits can – information which can then be used to target consumers more efficiently, and to design better products, services and processes.
If you’re keen to get cracking on a mobile app for your business, it’s important to go about it in the right way. Read on for some tips you can follow today.
Know Your Goals and Audience Upfront
First up, before you actually start any work on an app, make sure you sit down and work out exactly what your goals are. This will help you to ensure that what you create gets the results you’re after, and isn’t a waste of time or money.
The goals for each business will be different. They might be, for example:
- To entice new people to check out your venture
- Generate viral content or app recommendations
- Grow your customer database, your annual revenue, or the satisfaction of your clients
- Help increase your team’s productivity
- Foster better brand engagement
When creating a mobile app, you should also be clear about who your intended audience is for the technology (e.g., know their age, sex, location, socioeconomic profile, and more), and how, when, and where they will use an app. You should see how you will solve a problem or create a benefit for the particular users you’re after, and understand what the drawcard will be that will make customers download the app. In turn, knowing this will help you work out how to best design it so that it generates results.
For assistance, don’t be shy about asking your current client base, and potential customers, for feedback on what they’re looking for in an app. As well, look to the data you already have on your clients to determine how they live and shop, and/or conduct focus groups and send out surveys for further enlightenment.
Look for a Point of Difference
Next, you also need to ensure that your app will have a point of difference so that it stands out from the millions of other applications on the market. What you create needs to have a unique selling proposition (USP) that will attract the attention of your target audience as soon as possible. This might be in how the app solves a problem, how it entertains or otherwise benefits users, or in the particular design that is involved.
To ensure that your product has a clear USP, it is a good idea to closely examine the apps which have been released by your closest competitors. Analyze their offerings to see what they do and don’t include, and how they present their apps to users, and how the programs are used by people. Oftentimes, too, simply by examining your venture’s specific business model, you will be able to see where your strengths lie and, as a result, how this can be incorporated not only into the app you create, but how it is marketed as well.
Choose an Experienced Developer
Lastly, keep in mind that it is typically a very good idea to consider hiring an app developer that specializes in the tech, rather than trying to do the work yourself, especially if you have no background in the area.
By outsourcing the work, you will find that your app will likely be finished much earlier than if you tried to work it out yourself in-house, and be of a better quality. After all, specialists understand what does and doesn’t work, and tend to keep up on all of the latest trends and design ideas.
When selecting a contractor or development firm, look for experts who have experience creating apps for both iOS and Android systems, as well as tech in many different styles and suitable for diverse industries. Make sure you read testimonials about the firm you choose, and read the fine print carefully on their contracts and/or quotes to ensure that there are no hidden fees that you need to know about.