“The rich and interactive experiences we have come to expect on mobile apps have created new standards and expectations for all digital media including the web. The result is websites are evolving to become more app-like in their rich functionality” – Raj Aggarwal
It is the digital age – the age of speed and being on the go. A lot of business is conducted and data is gathered via smart device and mobile apps are providing the impetus required for such transactions. As a business, it is vital to understand your target audience and existing customer’s usage of their mobiles and the kind of mobile apps that would be beneficial to them for their line of business and for their personal use. As a company you must remain ahead of your customers to know what they are looking for, what will enhance their business, what kind of device they use and which mobile apps would they be most interested to download and use.
Studies conducted on the use of mobile apps have revealed that at least one in every 3 persons visits a company’s website or social media site via their mobile phones and this means that if the mobile apps experience is not optimal, at least a third of the business will be lost. The studies also revealed that 78% of smart phone users visit an online ‘store’ through the mobile apps since when they are on the go they are able to get the required focused information through the data available via the mobile apps. In addition, the data gathered in research has revealed that a very high 63% of mobile business is conducted via the smart mobile devices, which necessitates the requirement of mobile apps along with a mobile friendly company website. We have delved in detail on the need to provide mobile friendly websites – the website becomes easier to find and access and the chances of leads converting to sales is much higher.
When a company offers mobile apps, they must ensure that the customers also know how to download it, install it and use it for their convenience. None of these activities must pose a hindrance to the users if the mobile apps are to be successful. In addition, to creating mobile apps your company must also pay equal attention to promoting it – without effective promotion the effort of creating mobile apps would be futile.
Before the launch of your company’s mobile apps ensure that you have done ample research of the current market scenario. You need to have a clear understanding of – your target audience, the other mobile apps available in the market, the names of these apps, what names seem to catch the fancy of the customers and which ones fail, how you would like to position the app and other such key data that will help your mobile apps be highly successful and visible in an already crowded market. You would also need to understand how your competition’s mobile apps are faring in the market and what you would need to do get ahead. Making an analysis of the features of your competitor’s products in this area, will help you to launch a product / products that remove any shortcomings and create a product that would stand head and shoulders above theirs.
The other important thing to remember before the launch of your mobile apps is to review the comments made by customers on other similar apps already in the market. Customer feedback makes elucidates exactly what customers attach value to and what they consider to be a wasted effort. By taking into account these reviews and comments you would be able to understand the psyche and mind-set of the target customers – their likes and dislikes. You could also reach out to some of your key customers – through a customer review board for example – to ask them for feedback on your yet to be launched product such that it can be as close to what the customer wants ensuring that it gets a great response and is successful when launched.
Companies often get so caught up in the design, research and development of their products – in this case mobile apps – that they ignore the crucial portion of simultaneously planning the grand marketing and launch of the product. The fact is that if the marketing and sales team are not completely aware of the product, how would they, be able to convince the customers to use it. They need to be involved from the early stages of development of the mobile apps in order to understand every feature and utility of the app. In addition, the marketing team’s involvement is crucial in order to decide the right time and date for the actual launch. This team is the one that is aware of the market and would know if competition is planning any major event / launch and therefore would advise on a suitable date to avoid any clashes. The marketing team would be the key players to ensure that there is enough hype built around the launch of the mobile apps such that when it is launched, people already understand what it would do for them and be ready to download and use it immediately.
So you had a successful launch and had a huge number of customers download and begin using your mobile apps. However, the error that some companies make is to ensure that customers remain engaged and continue to use it. This would mean using all channels of communication, especially social media sites, together with your marketing campaigns to keep your product relevant and continually used.
Just like with any other aspect of business, monitoring and measuring any new launch is absolutely vital. You could have gained crucial revenue in the initial stages but in order to ensure sustained success it would be necessary to monitor which features of the mobile apps are most used and liked, which aspects are ignored or used lesser, any particular portion that consistently loses the user, the frequency of usage and dropping off and other such considerations. Focus on improving what is not working so well and sustaining that which is keeping the users interested and engaged.
A very crucial part of any business is customer service and support. This service to customers becomes even more important when a new product is launched and if it is something like mobile apps, which could be considered technical in nature, then customer service becomes indispensable. If you ignore this key feature of your product’s launch, you can be sure that it would not bode well for your company and its offerings. In business, you have to show your customers that you care about them and be swift to respond to any issues they may have. Anyone running a company knows that more business is got by positive word of mouth or customer testimonials. Ignoring your customers would have the completely opposite reaction on your customers and they would soon opt out of using the mobile apps if they don’t receive the attention they demand and deserve. Disregarding customer service and support when your product is doing well could soon translate to your customers ignoring you or worse still going over to your competitors, resulting in the downfall of your product’s popularity and usage.
We all now know the power of social media. It is not a force to ignore but rather one to be harnessed to one’s advantage. While launching the new mobile apps ensure that there is ample opportunity for your customers to share the information about the apps and the apps themselves, to anyone they wish. Give them reason and make it easier for them to ‘share’ your mobile apps and gain more visibility and audience reach without the added effort.
Irrespective of the business you run, mobile apps not only attract but also help to retain customers given that everyone who is using smart devices want to gain more out of them and hence conduct searches, business and indulge in retailing using these devices. If your company is approachable ‘on-line’ and there are mobile apps that users can easily download, it would make doing business with your company ‘a breeze’ – customers just hate to put in extra effort! Make it your business to make things easier for them.