Your business has been steadily growing over the years, but has recently slowed down in sales.
You’re wondering – what is next?
You’re most likely missing out on customers or paths to revenue. How do you grow when you know the way people research, compare and purchase has drastically changed from when you started your business? When the landscape has shifted even further with covid, and we’re entering another evolution in how we spend our time – working remotely and using our phones to fulfill more of our daily needs.
Ordering food, booking hotels, consulting with doctors, and investing our hard earned money has moved to mobile and people are no longer accepting the minimum when it comes to their mobile experience – it needs to be fast, intuitive, and above all attractive to catch their interest and get them to click the download button.
If you get it right it could mean capturing your piece of the almost $156.5 billion spent on mobile app marketplaces in 2022.*
So how do you get it right?
How do you make sure you are building or optimizing an app that compliments and enhances your current offering – providing a seamless experience for your customers.
When consulting our clients, we typically start with 5 questions to determine what should be built for their particular business. These 5 questions help to pinpoint the right app and plan for any size and type of business. An app fit for growth.
The first question: Does my business need a mobile solution or does what we have now work for us?
While it’s been standard for many large enterprises and new tech startups to have an app, small and medium businesses are usually unsure if an app would help their business and sales. In 2022 and beyond, all signals point to the growing need that even small and medium businesses’ can profit from an app or mobile offering.
Top Design Firms surveyed SMBs and found that nearly half (48%) of small businesses have an app in 2022, compared to 32% in 2021 – a 16% increase in one year. Their findings point to the growing trend that an app or mobile offering is a must in growing business.
- Of those that don’t have an app, 27% have plans to invest in one for future business growth.
- Small businesses are most motivated to build a mobile app to improve customer service (19%) and boost branding efforts (19%).
- Outsourcing is the most popular way small businesses choose to build an app: 79% of small businesses outsource to either an app development team or a freelancer. Additionally, 46% of companies have an in-house development team and 43% use DIY software.
- Most small businesses have apps for both iOS and Android devices (37%), while 35% have only an Android app and 25% exclusively offer their app to iOS users.
If you are selling goods then an app or mobile platform could always assist in more sales. Even if you are not able to take orders online, you should be making sure that your website is mobile friendly. Per Statista, in January 2021 around 55% of website views came from mobile devices. The trends point to the fact that if you are a business – you need to go mobile.
The answer to this question is usually Yes.
Question 2: What kind of mobile solution do you want to create?
An app is just an app. Or is it?
As most of us know there are two large categories of apps depending on the type of phone – iOS or Android. Beyond that it can get quite technical and that is where your app development agency can help you out. As stated above most companies have both iOS and Android, but if you’re just getting started and want to prioritize one over the other then you’ll need to look at who your customer is.
- Where are they based? 60% of mobile users in the U.S. are on iPhone, while a majority are using Android devices in European and emerging countries – like Brazil and India.
- How old are they? Younger generations in the US tend to favor iPhone (44%), while 45+ skew more towards Android.
- What type of app does your competitor have? This can sometimes point you in the right direction, as we assume they’ve done their homework too and you have similar customers.
The easy way to get started is to fully understand your target customer. Who they are, where they are and what they are using their phone for. This can be done via surveying your client base, or reaching out to your potential customers. In either case, get started by focusing on your customer.
Create the type of app that your customers are already using
Question 3: What sets your mobile experience apart from competitors?
With approximately 2 Million apps on the App store – how do you stand out in your category?
You’ll need to narrow down your feature sets.
Branding and marketing can help capture awareness and interest, but in order for them to click that download button and then continue to use it you will need to decide which features are important to your customer.
After you have the basic list of what your customers need, you should see what your competitors offer to make sure you can provide something extra – that one feature that sets you apart. This typically should tie into your unique positioning as a business.
Are you all about customer service – make sure you have a customer service chat feature. Are you the one with the latest hot products – highlight those up front in your app with a new products section and notification. It’s best to make sure your app is a reflection of who you are now as a business.
What makes your business extra special to your customers? Make sure that shines through in your app.
Question 4: How does your mobile solution enhance the life of the user?
Your customer has downloaded your app, now how do you get them to use it?
The average person uses 9 mobile apps per day and 30 apps per month. If the average smartphone user has approx. 80 apps on their phone, this means that more than 62% of those apps don’t get used every month. What does this mean?
It’s simple. People are downloading apps and not using them. In fact, 25% of apps are used only once after being downloaded, and then never used again.
This can be seen by average churn and retention figures for app users, with them typically churning within the first 3 months. Like any habit, if you can get them to use your app on a weekly basis for the first 3 months, they will continue to come back and you will have a retained customer.
To make the lucky short list of apps the user is opening on a daily basis, you will need to make sure your app enhances their life.
How do you do this?
You’ll want to figure out how they usually use their smartphone, what other apps they are opening and using, and then personalizing their experience with your app to their particular needs. Do you offer notifications, suggestions of similar products, or offer tips on content they’ve shown interest in.
All of this can be discovered during onboarding. After they download your app, this is your chance to gather information about who they are and their preferences. Use that first opportunity to WOW them with what they can do with your app and then allow them to personalize their experience so they are happy to keep coming back.
Onboarding is your secret hook – use it to enhance your customers experience by tailoring it to their preferences.
Question 5: How do you plan to make money off your app?
When you’re creating a mobile app, one of the things you need to figure out is your monetization strategy.
That’s why you’re building an app in the first place, right? To make more money.
There are several ways people monetize their app – the most common are paid apps, ads, in-app purchases, or selling data to third parties.
You might think the easiest way would be a paid app – your customer needs to pay for to download. This is actually the least common way to monetize these days. Just look at your phone – how many of those apps did you pay to download? Not many I bet. In fact most apps, over 90% are free apps for both Android and iOS.
Remember you first need your user to download your app, and then capture their attention immediately to get them coming back and using it.
Charging for download presents a potential reason for the user to choose your competitors’ app instead. Once they’ve downloaded your app, you can leverage their continued interest for in-app purchases.
This can look like unlocking premium features, purchasing credits, or simply up-selling your products if you’re an e-commerce company. The app at that point serves as another path to purchase with notifications of items your customer might be interested in buying.
When developing our clients apps, we will map out the customer journey and monetization will be seamlessly built into their experience. It should be an organic part of your app and not another alert or pop-up they need to close and ignore.
These 5 questions should help you map out exactly the app you need to compliment your business and help it grow. We use these with our clients, and it helps uncover the strategies necessary to make sure the app you invest in will pay off – not just in additional customers and sales, but in future growth.
The right mobile solution will work seamlessly with your current business model and channels. It should be a reflection of your brand and company – not separate from what you’re already doing.
Our clients are amazed at how the business transforms when they start to connect with their customers via an app. They see the possibilities, how they can be front and center in their customers mind throughout the day.
We walk through these 5 questions and more when working step-by-step with our clients on their mobile or software solutions. From idea to concept, there is a lot that goes into building the right solution and by working with different types of companies in various industries we’ve been able to flex our muscles in customizing solutions based on unique sets of criteria.
The app should work for you and your customers.
If you want to get started today, we can look at your particular business needs and advise on a custom solution that will show you the bigger picture of how a mobile or digital solution can help.