6 Things You Need To Think About Before Going Mobile-First
Mobile apps are fast becoming a must-have for many companies, with a 731% rise in custom-built apps being reported in 2014.
Despite this, studies show that between 80% and 90% of downloaded mobile apps are eventually deleted.
This is bad news for companies hoping to engage their clients via apps, because it shows that their apps were probably not that engaging after all.
So how can companies avoid this unfortunate fate and remain in their customers’ mobile devices for long healthy lives?
The answer is simple: by truly delivering value to customers and to their business. And however obvious this might seem, so many companies get it wrong.
In this article we look at some of the things that companies need to think about as part of their mobile app strategy to ensure that these deliver value while meeting business goals.
We also survey some other considerations that will need to be made to establish whether going mobile is the right solution. After all, an app that gets deleted is a far worse solution than no app at all, because it damages company reputations and leaves customers unimpressed.
Here are the things that you should consider before going mobile.
6 things you need to think about in your mobile app strategy
The first thing that you should be thinking about is: why am I building this app?
It’s astonishing just how many companies build apps without asking themselves this question.
In just the same way that business plans are created to keep key goals in mind, so should you always be aware of your goals as part of your mobile app strategy.
Not only will goals help you stay in the right track, but they may also be essential when making key decisions.
At the end of the day, apps are supposed to deliver value to your business as well as your customers, so having clear goals is a way of ensuring that they do so, and a way of measuring success.
Goals can range from increasing sales or creating new source of revenue to raising brand awareness and finding new leads.
Once you’ve established your goals, you should think about whether your app will help you meet these goals, and of ways in which they could do so.
The second thing you will need to think about is your customers and what their needs are.
What are your customers’ needs and how can an app fulfill these needs or solve their problems?
Will the app change how the product or service is actually delivered, or will it simply complement it with added features?
Only an app that delivers value both to the business and to customers will be successful, so these first two steps will be of utmost importance to your mobile app strategy.
If you’ve established that your proposed app will meet the first two considerations, then the next step is to think logistics.
Many companies fail to understand that a mobile app is not something that you simply build, deliver and then forget about. A mobile app is a long-term proposition and therefore requires long-term commitment.
Many mobile apps get deleted because they are no longer relevant; their information is not being updated or the app is not being supported.
On the other hand, successful apps tend to come with regular content and technical updates that ensure that customers always have the right information in an optimized format at hand.
If a company wishes to create a mobile app, they will need to commit themselves in the long-term to updating the app and ensuring that it never ceases to deliver value.
This will involve a process of optimization through feedback and of delivery of new and updated content that is never out of date.
The second logistical consideration to keep in mind is also one that often puts off companies from creating apps in the first place. Mobile apps are notoriously costly, and become a long-term investment that must be maintained to make the app successful.
Companies will therefore need to ask themselves whether the value delivered by the app will outweigh the cost.
Nowadays there are many options available for the creation of mobile apps, of varying costs:
- Having your apps built by developers. The most common way for companies to build apps is to hire a developer who can design them to meet the company’s exact needs. While this allows companies to create optimal apps, they normally come at a high price, which can be multiplied over time because of the need to deliver updates. However, this is a feasible solution for companies with large budgets.
- Building your own apps using an app builder. Thankfully, companies who cannot afford to hire developers have solutions available to them too: app builders. At Fliplet, for instance, we provide companies the tools to allow them to easily build apps to suit their needs with no coding required. This normally requires only a small amount of time, and is far more affordable than hiring a developer.
With so many options available, most companies nowadays should be able to create their own mobile apps if they so desire.
App development strategy
The final two considerations to keep in mind are to do with the way the apps themselves are built.
As part of your mobile app strategy, app development and delivery will need to be carefully planned.
This infographic shows all the steps that will need to be followed to ensure that all aspects of app design and development are taken care of.
One aspect that many companies fail to carry out, resulting in malfunctioning apps, is testing, which is essential to ensure that the app you ultimately launch meets customer expectations.
Another aspect is the importance of constantly analysing and optimising your app after it has been launched. Collecting feedback for this purpose will be essential.
Finally, companies will need to keep in mind that apps aren’t simply mobile versions of online content. Apps are viewed on devices that are different from computers, and in completely different situations. As such, the design of apps will need to be optimized for mobile device use.
The most essential element of mobile-optimized apps is a simple and clear user experience. Mobile users generally check apps on the go and when they need to access information quickly. They also access apps on devices with smaller screens and which are more difficult to navigate.
Mobile apps should therefore be made as simple as possible, including only the most vital features and information. Navigation within the app should also be easy, without too much information being asked at sign-up and allowing users to arrive at the required information in as few taps as possible.
If the app delivers a product or service, companies should also ask themselves what the best way of delivering it via an app is, as this will often be very different to desktop service or product delivery.
There is no doubt that mobile apps are the future of business delivery and customer engagement. Studies show that mobile users spend 80% of their time accessing apps rather than a browser, so mobile-optimized apps are definitely the way forward.
However, many companies keen to join the mobile-first revolution are failing to create mobile apps that truly add value to their business and customers.
If you are considering introducing mobile apps into your business, keeping the considerations outlined above in your mobile app strategy will ensure that you do it the right way.