How to build an amazing app for your customers
09 May 2016
We know how tricky consumer apps can be, hence we give you the four golden rules on how to earn your mobile presence and make users come back for more
Rather than relying on customers to find them online, businesses nowadays have started reaching out with apps which can earn a lasting presence on a consumer’s smartphone or tablet. However, developing an enticing app for end customers has proven to be quite challenging for companies with little or no experience in mobile technology. First of all you should consider what truly interests and engages your customers and if your app will be able to meet those expectations. Keep in mind that the customers who do decide to download your app are the ones who are most loyal and valuable for your business, so you should definitely not disappoint them. But in order to have a quality end result, you need to be in tune with not only your clients’ needs, but also with your own objectives. Do you want to boost sales, gain a competitive edge and overshadow competition, or simply achieve brand awareness? Remember to set your goals straight before you attempt to go mobile. And finally, try to find the best mobile development provider to meet all your standards on efficient teamwork and also your expectations of the app’s realization.
It can be a tricky balance to get right, but if you can pull it off, you may just come out with the perfect mobile product. Here are four golden rules for making your users happy and coming out with an app both you and your provider can be proud of:
#1 Dig deep within your strategy
When setting out to create a killer app for your current and potential audience, you need to have a deep understanding of what exactly are you offering to them. Is your app going to be purely informative, productive or just entertaining? Try to place your mobile strategy somewhere in the middle in order to cover all your potential mobile conversions. But also don’t go overboard – apps need to be functional and ultimately simple to use. Communicate across to the designers and developers exactly what you are trying to achieve and what is your business logic for the product. Helping them understand your strategy will consequently result in a better app. Do not underestimate the user experience and interface aspects. Your application needs to be attractive, bold but also user-friendly and easy to adopt. So dig deep, seek out the right mobile approach for your business and for your clients. A good idea is to look at the competition – how are they approaching the same goals and what solutions did they come up with along the way? By doing some initial research you can find out what works and what doesn’t, as well as get a better idea of what’s missing from the market.
#2 Pinpoint your audience
Every marketing specialist would agree that it is imperative to target and segment your audience, no matter what communication channel you are using. Mobile technology gives you the opportunity to go big and at the same time narrow down and pinpoint the exact audience you need. Understand your customer’s behavioral and demographic characteristics and transfer them to your app strategy. A product can’t be everything to everyone, so by focusing the features and design efforts on a specific audience can turn the odds of success in your favor. You probably already have plenty of information on your customers’ demographics, but when it comes to their design preferences, smartphone usage, and app preferences, you may need to turn to the mobile development experts for help. Trust in their decisions for your app, but also don’t be shy to question and clarify its usability and purpose in your long-term business plan.
#3 Make it useful and viable
The best apps are the ones that make the customer’s daily life easier and more fun. Keep that in mind while you plan your mobile business approach. For example, a restaurant might not have much luck with an app that merely offers up its menu and operating hours, but an app that allows customers to place a delivery order or add their names to a wait list would be a big draw for regular customers. Starbucks’ app, for instance, allows customers to pay directly from their smartphones, earning points for every dollar spent. Because of the company’s existing loyal customer base, the app has seen a great deal of downloads by customers who purchase coffee regularly. After you set your intentions for the app, remember that a cool idea is not enough to make a buzz. You also need to make sure the application works like a breeze under the user’s fingers. It can be easy to get sucked into neat and trendy features, however trying to cram countless functionalities into a first-generation product does not necessarily make it better. On the contrary, you will end up having developed a tedious and buggy app. Research has shown that the vast majority of users will give up on an app very quickly if it fails to work the first time, and while it’s possible you may win some of those users back in version 2.0, many of them will be gone for good. What we recommend is modesty, because we believe simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Simple apps are typically more intuitive, meaning users understand the intended purpose quickly. And once an app is available, users will let you know what they feel it needs in order to grow.
#4 Collaborate all the way
There are two mistakes companies often make when it comes to outsourcing software development. They either start acting like dictators, disregarding the provider’s professional opinion, or they leave everything in the hands of the developers without giving them the necessary guidelines and project specifics. In truth, the sweet spot for clear communication and workflow lies somewhere between these two extremes. Don’t forget the provider is your partner and your teammate; a powerful resource with the same desired end point in mind. So take the time and discuss together what you aim to achieve with your app in respect to your business and your customers. State your point of view on the design, architecture and most importantly business logic of the product, but also give the mobile developers an opportunity to bring out their best work, so that both sides can be proud of their creation. Teamwork is key to any and every successful outsourcing project.
Is your company ready to step into the mobile world head on? Or do you require more insight on app development? Either way you could count on us at Imperia Mobile to lend a hand.