According to various surveys, about 89 percent of all time that mobile users spend on the internet is through various apps and only 11 percent is through a browser. So, while optimizing your website for mobile is still important, it might be more useful to direct all your effort and resources towards creating a mobile app instead. Aside from these obvious reasons, apps are also great for staying constantly on the minds of your customers (notifications and icon on the display) and they are quite useful as a direct marketing channel. All in all, building a mobile app is a great idea and here are some tips on how to do so.
1. Start by surveying your audience
An app is a piece of software that is supposed to build up a customer loyalty by providing your audience with a bit of a practical value. However, what your audience finds valuable can be quite subjective. Therefore, you can start by trying to understand your audience. First, you need to identify your target audience, set some basic parameters by which you can differentiate them and then look for online community forums, subreddits and similar places where they go to express their thoughts, needs and concerns. If you’re attentive enough, you can allow them to tell you what they need instead of wasting time and effort by trying to figure this one out on your own or look for it in the subtext.
2. Focus on Android and iOS
Another thing you need to understand is that sometimes you simply need to prioritize. Sure, in an ideal world, your app would be compatible with every mobile OS out there, including Windows Phone and BlackBerry, however, in reality, you only need to focus on the major two – Android and iOS. Spreading your actions too thin will not result in a satisfactory ROI, which is why it might not be worth your while to try and accommodate absolutely everyone online.
3. Define your goals
The next thing you need to do is construct viable goals for your new app. Think about it, with all those apps out there, what’s to stop your app from being dismissed as a duplicate. You can start by defining its core function and then think about what you can do in order to make it different from all the similar apps. Sometimes, nonetheless, the ideas you make won’t be feasible, which is why it might be for the best if you were to find reliable IT consultants that you can lean on with some of these technical issues. At times, all you need to do is ask a question but for this to work to your benefit, you need to have someone with the answers you need.
4. Manipulate your public image
One of the things that a great app can do is add to the legitimacy of your company. For instance, not a lot of people expect a local SMB to have an app, which means that they might take you a bit more seriously upon the realization that you do have one. In other words, you can use this app to appear more seasoned than you actually are, however, don’t push it too far. Sometimes, the fact that you’re a small, local business might turn out to be your strongest selling point so don’t try to make your company look like a conglomerate. It will only make you look less reliable and make an adverse effect.
5. Test, test and test again
Finally, the larger your app grows the more probable it is that it will start malfunctioning. Therefore, instead of indefinitely prolonging your development stage, you can simply dedicate your time and effort to the core-tasks of your device and spend the rest of the time testing your prototype. The more testing you do, the stronger your app will be.
As for the testing itself, alpha testing is a great way to keep your app’s secrets in-house, yet, it might not be as efficient as you want it to be. After all, alpha testers may already know about some of the app’s shortcomings and deliberately avoid or bump into it. This is a serious problem, seeing as how it might paint your app as more or less reliable than it actually is. Therefore, a closed beta testing process might turn out to be a much safer bet.
While people spend a lot of time on their apps, this isn’t the case by default. Just because someone downloads your app doesn’t mean that they’ll actually be using it on a daily basis (or at all). If that was the case, every company out there would develop an app long before they create a website, which is clearly not the case. In other words, you need to place an emphasis on quality, usefulness and reliability. With these three values at the forefront, your business mobile app is bound to become a resounding success.