If someone had told me two years ago that everything that I was doing back then would shift to apps, I would have laughed. Who would have thought that each and every activity that we were doing back then would seamlessly migrate to the mobile platform—it wasn’t entirely impossible, but at the same time it wasn’t very plausible.

But, here we are. Be it booking tickets to any concert/movie/event, or shopping, or booking a doctor’s appointment, or relying on internet of things to do daily mundane tasks, buying/selling/renting real estate properties or even going out on a date is possible via apps! You think of a task and you would see there is an app for it. Welcome to the omni-channel world!

So what exactly does this mean?

Apps are no longer a luxury that a business—be it big, medium or small—requires, they are a necessity. The present world is getting faster with each passing minute—people don’t have time to turn on their computers, connect to the internet and browse for things anymore—they are always looking for something that makes their life easy and decreases the number of steps required to finish a task. Apps enable them to do everything that they want to, wherever they want to and whenever they want to.

So what’s next?

Omni-channel presence—once a business has launched their app, they need to ensure that their app has presence on every platform and device for they do not want to lose out on customers in any which way possible. Let’s study some facts:

  • We spend roughly 3 hours on our mobile devices everyday
  • As of today, there are almost 3 billion smartphones being owned globally and the number is expected to get doubled by 2020
  • Time spent on apps has significantly risen as compared to time spent on laptops and computers
  • 62% of the business that participated in a recent survey already had gone digital or were in the process of developing omni-channel apps
  • Roughly 2/3rd of smartphone owners prefer buying stuff on their smartphones
  • Non-gaming app downloads are expected to grow 23% in the next five years

What do these statistics indicate?

Clearly, we are moving to times where we will be dependent on our mobile devices more than ever. User expectation will keep rising and businesses will have to keep up with their demands. This is where personalized user engagement comes in. If any business has an app integrated with actionable analytics, it will become easier to target users based on their activity and behavior. Everyone likes to be treated special and everyone wants attention and omni-channel apps are the best way to engage and convert these users into customers.

What’s in it for the businesses?

You may think if you are just starting up, it will cost you a fortune to develop an app. It won’t. There are quite a few solutions out there, such as App42, that will help you get started with your first app sooner that you set up your business. The affordable price and quick support many of these solutions provide have had a huge impact on the digital growth and this has encouraged more and more business to develop their own apps.

With everything and everyone being readily accessible on social media, it has become imperative for the brands and businesses to open up to their customers and focus more on engagement and retention than on branding themselves. By customizing the user experience for everyone, they are developing a habit in their users to use their apps regularly to check out new features, updates and releases.

How should businesses use their apps effectively?

Well, the key metrics that they need to track and focus on are:

  • User Experience: Your app can convert a user into customer or can forever break it. You are communicating with your users every time they log on your app to do any kind of activity so the experience they have is your top most priority. Starting from onboarding to each and every screen your users view should be highly personalized based on their activities and behavior. Smart way is to integrate advanced analytics in your app’s first release so that you are able to track each and every activity to take further planned actions. Analytics will actually give you useful insights to prepare content accordingly, infuse deep linking and provide CTAs to direct to desired screens wherever necessary.
  • Marketing Campaigns: Now that you are aware what your users are doing and how active they are, you should deploy campaigns accordingly. Push Notification is the most effective way of engaging and re-engaging users in your app. In any business, there is a need to notify their customers of updates, releases or any important information, there is no better way than push notification to alert users about them. There are a lot of best practices to master push notifications floating around, feel free to follow them. There are many other methods such as in-app messages, surveys, coupon campaigns to lure users and convert them into customers, push remains the best of them all. Use wisely.
  • Gamification: Most business are already present on the web, whenever an app is made, importance must be given to the treatment so that it does not look a mobile version of the website.  User flow must be simplified that their tasks are completed with minimum number of steps. Any business should also show some creativity in their apps by including gaming modules like Avatar,RewardSocialBuddyGiftLeaderboard to boost user engagement. For example, any weight loss product company could include leaderboard to show top users who lost the most every week, or, any camera manufacturing company could reward photographers posting best pictures taken from any particular camera. The possibilities are endless if imagination is allowed to run wild.

Getting into the mobile space may sound expensive or tiring but is not—get started with ShepHertz App42 Platform to reduce the cost and time to market by upto 60%. Once your business has an app, there is a whole new world to be explored out there via gamification and user acquisition, engagement, retention and conversion. Omni-channel presence is what will decide who gets to survive and who gets to flourish in the near future and the above statistics are the testament to this fact. Start now. Go mobile.

Published with permission from Author.

Image Courtesy ShepHertz.
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