If your brand doesn’t have a mobile app, you’re missing out. According to a 2016 survey, nearly 50% of small businesses expect to have a mobile app up and running by 2017. Millennials use the most apps out of all demographics, so it’s worth looking at the generation to gather some important takeaways.
Learn From Millennials
When compared to other generations, three times as many millennials consider mobile apps a “must-have” for businesses. Most millennials have 20 to 25 branded apps installed on their phone, while about 75% use mobile apps to browse and purchase products or services. Fifty-five percent of mobile millennial users say that a poor experience will make them less likely to spend money on a brand.
You need a mobile app to reach one of the most influential demographics in today’s market. Your app should offer an engaging and positive experience. Otherwise, you’ll lose potential customers.
More customers usually translate to a boost in revenue, so you can ultimately increase your profits by deploying a worthy mobile app. Eighty-seven percent of millennials aged 18 to 34 say they are never truly away from their mobile devices. If you want to reach those folks, you need to go mobile.
Be Sure Your Mobile App Is Successful
Mobile apps can be a hit or a miss. You can spend time and money creating a native app for your business, but that doesn’t resonate with your audience. There are so many mobile apps available that you need to make sure yours stands out. There are over 2 million mobile apps in the Google Play store, and at least the same in Apple’s app store. Comparatively, the Windows Mobile store has nearly 700,000 apps, while the Amazon Appstore for Android has over 600,000.
If your app isn’t easy to use or unique, it will get lost in the noise. Follow these 10 simple yet straightforward mobile app tips to help your app succeed in today’s competitive market.
1. Be Unique but Useful
To be noticed, your app should be unique, but instead of spending too much time trying to come up with a different or special feature for your app, simply focus on making it useful.
Your brand probably already offers something unique. Bank on that aspect of your business and use it to your advantage. Your app should reflect the experience your customers have with your conventional products.
For instance, if you are an e-commerce provider, tailor your app so shopping and checkout are super easy on the go. Match the theme to your full site, and optimize the experience so it’s quick, responsive and satisfying.
Unique doesn’t necessarily mean amazing or super innovative. Your ultimate goal isn’t to change the game — it’s to increase your revenue.
It could be something as simple as deploying a hosted web app for your service. It’s an SaaS tactic that allows business users to access full desktop-based applications on their mobile. It’s unique because, compared to rival apps, your customers could use it everywhere, anytime.
2. When in Doubt, Swipe
There are plenty of gestures to improve the mobile experience. There’s pinch to zoom, tap and double tap, drag, long press and many others.
The most useful — and one you should never forget — is the swipe. It’s one of the most natural and user-friendly gestures implemented on mobile. Design your app so navigation and movement can easily be done through a swipe. Your customers will thank you
3. Take Advantage of Geo-Targeting
Geo-targeting is when a device updates a user’s location, and you deliver information based on that placement. For example, if your app recognizes a customer is near one of your brick-and-mortar stores, you could send a push notification letting them know about a sale.
You can also use geo-targeting to boost revenue. Send location-based offers or special offers to local customers, or provide news updates for your local area. For example, department stores could tell customers it’s going to rain in the next few hours and encourage them to buy umbrellas or rain gear.
Pretty smart, right?
4. Focus on the Right Customers
When setting up a promotion in a physical store — also called showrooming — you should put together something that appeals to a wide array of shoppers. Mobile apps allow you to do something different. You’re not competing for attention because they’re already using your app, so you can focus on specific demographics.
Instead of advertising or marketing to a broad spectrum of people, you can focus on a single group. You can then, for example, lure customers who haven’t been to your stores in a while back in with exclusive offers. You can also target the budget-minded, people seeking great deals or loyalty rewards programs and more.
5. Employ Personalization
Did you notice how Amazon suggests products similar to what you last viewed or recently purchased? Or how Facebook shows you targeted ads about products you were considering?
You can do the same within your mobile app. It’s not difficult. Simply track what your customers do online. For example, if one of your customers looks at running shoes, you can suggest other shoes for them in a recommended section.
You can use mobile user data to segment the experience. It works!
6. Collect User Feedback
You have to come to grips with the fact that you’re going to be out of touch with at least some of your customers and audience. For those crowds, you should offer a customer feedback service, which allows them to suggest improvements for your app and products.
Asking for feedback has several benefits. First, you collect valuable feedback from the people who matter, the people invested in your brand and products. Second, you make them feel like they matter, which empowers them. Collecting feedback also helps you find bugs or problems within your mobile app, which you might never have caught otherwise.
It takes a total of 12 positive experiences to make up for only one unresolved negative customer experience. You can use customer feedback to eliminate poor experiences as much as possible.
7. Ask for Reviews
It’s a great idea to set up an auto notification feature that politely asks customers to review your mobile app on their respective app store. More reviews translate to a boost in exposure, at least in Google Play and the Apple App Store.
Twenty-four percent of American adults have published reviews or made comments online about products and services they buy. Fifty-eight percent — that’s about six in ten adults — have done research online about a product or service before spending money.
Organic reviews from real people serve as testimonials. Someone on the fence about downloading and investing in your app could potentially see one of those reviews and make up their mind.
Plus, reviews serve as great bullet points for your site and other channels, like social networks. You can take quotes and reviews and share them elsewhere.
8. Feature Products and Tips
Most brands have a blog where they share news, information and useful tips. You should set up something similar for your mobile app, and offer exclusive content only for your mobile users.
If you sell DIY and home improvement products, you could post videos or articles on unique projects customers can complete with your gear. If you have a multi-faceted product that can be used for many things, you could share all the ways it can be used in a video demonstration or mobile article.
Offer something exclusive to your mobile audience. It will keep them coming back to your mobile app for more.
9. Run Cross-Promotions and Ads
Don’t litter your mobile app with intrusive ads or annoying popups. No one likes that. But that doesn’t mean you can’t monetize your mobile app in some way. Try adding small ad placements for sponsors or running cross-promotions with other brands. Try to tailor your marketing efforts to your customer base.
10. Offer Extras or Exclusives
Do something for your mobile app users that you don’t for your other customers. It shouldn’t be locked behind a paywall because you want everyone to take advantage of it, and it will entice other users to install your mobile app.
Anything from deals and discounts, blog and video content, geo-targeted info and more will give your customers a reason to install your app and keep using it.
If your app simply allows them to shop for your products online, that’s great — but you won’t see any amazing returns, especially if you’re a small business. Give your customers a reason to invest in your mobile experience.
Thirty-four percent of mobile users abandon an app because they lose interest, so keeping them engaged should be one of your top priorities.
Do you have any useful tips for mobile apps? Feel free to share them in the comments below!
About The Author
Eleanor Hecks is the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her re-reading the Harry Potter series, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or hanging out with her dog, Bear.