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article | 22 Sep 2022
Mobile app in 2022: Must-have or whim?
Przemysław Pala
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The world after February 24th has not been the same. Russian invasion in Ukraine changed a massive scale of international interdependencies. It forced many unsuspected turns, shifts, and changes. Why do we mention it in the first place? The same happened to the IT business where we operate.

 

In the wake of the economic crisis, companies around the globe were massively changing their financial plans and postponing purchases that are not included in the essentials category. In these conditions, it was imperative for businesses to monitor the quality and density of contact with customers, reduce the distance with them, use methods of promoting goods and services, taking into account the dynamically changing realities of the market.

It has become even more critical for companies to properly build communications with consumers – to unobtrusively be in the field of their constant attention and offer goods and services that are interesting and useful to them personally. A universal intermediary that facilitates contact between a business and a client can be a mobile application. This article will tell you for which business it is vital to transfer customers to a mobile application, how to do it correctly, and how to attract an audience to a new communication channel.

 

Does every business need to transfer its audience to a mobile app?

Not in our opinion. Businesses should justify the decision to develop a mobile application in terms of user requests and potential payback. It is more profitable for a company to provide an adaptive site version for customers or start cooperation with marketplaces. When a business turns to us as experts, we strive to understand whether the company is ready to implement a mobile application.

Mobile Apps

The relevance of mobile application development depends, among other things, on the company's market. For a fertilizer manufacturer that sells its products in bulk, its development looks less promising than, for example, for a seller of cosmetics and perfumes or a pharmacy service.

Development costs pay off when at least 30% of users perform targeted actions on the site from a smartphone. When more than half of users make purchases through the site, this is a reason to start developing a mobile solution.

 

The metrics tree framework and the evaluation of product and marketing metrics will help calculate the unit economics of a mobile application. It is necessary to ensure the profitability of the current IT product, determine the average duration of its use by customers, conversion, cost of promotion, and the effectiveness of audience expansion.

 

You built a mobile app. What now?

It's not enough to develop a new mobile application — the solution must constantly be updated. Actively expand its functionality to avoid losing the interest of a loyal audience and involve a new one.
 

You need to track both product and marketing metrics. For example, if we see that the coefficient of abandoned baskets (CAR) is increasing, we need to find out what this is related to and work on changing the situation.

It is also important to consider a particular company's business processes. For one area, it is necessary to make a separate checkout for processing orders received through the application to improve the CX (customer experience). And another business needs a technical support team of users to interact with the requests of new users.

One of the key stages in the development of a mobile application is the stage of analytics and design. At this stage, it is necessary to determine the application's target audience correctly, why users need it, what problems it should solve, which services to integrate with, and how it will interact with business systems (warehouse, online marketing, cash registers).

 

Also, at this stage, a study of the business for which the product is being developed and the company's key competitors is being conducted. High-quality analytics allows you to create a mobile application that considers all business goals and customer needs, not a product "on the table" that will accumulate virtual dust in stores.

Mobile application developers put about 20% of the time from the entire project into the analytics and design stage.

 

Often clients want the release to take place as soon as possible, so they suggest ignoring the analytics stage and starting design and development as quickly as possible.

Taking into account our experience, we recommend paying attention to the detailed design of the user experience and setting a budget for the research part of the work. Usually, more thoughtful applications are more successful in stores: they get high ratings and bring more profit and fame. But we also do not recommend delaying the application development because competitors are not asleep. The business must be mentally and financially ready not to miss any important stage of development and to cooperate productively with programmers

 

How and when to transfer the business audience to mobile

You and your colleagues are the first people who should understand why your users need a mobile app. Do you understand well why they need it? For example, you have owned a furniture store for many years. Initially, there were enough pages on social networks for doing business, production expanded, and more customers were of magnitude. An online store has been launched. Now customers are asking to develop a mobile application. It will be more convenient for them to pay for orders from a smartphone or start choosing products on a computer and continue flipping through the catalog from their phone.

Find clients or colleagues in a free online service for business networking. There are more and more requests for the appearance of a mobile application, and you just want to update the loyalty program. The appearance of a mobile application is natural. It will be helpful for users and will help you in solving business problems.

The research will help to understand whether the mobile application covers the audience's needs and whether it is necessary for them. It is necessary to segment the user audience and study what requests different client groups have and what opportunities the solution should provide them. So, if a mobile application allows you to get acquainted with goods but not to arrange delivery, it is challenging to attract attention to them.

 

Transferring users from a website to a mobile application is not always easy. Many offers no longer attract sophisticated users. We recommend that you work out a group of such proposals and test their effectiveness, choosing favor of the most effective ones.

For example, you can promise in an e-mail newsletter or advertising on social networks that the first order made through a mobile application will be given to customers with a 15% discount. You can also offer free shipping or a small gift. The offer must be interesting for users, but at the same time, it fits into the initial budget you lay down for developing a mobile application.

Bonuses can be tied to major socio-political events or a season. For example, contactless delivery was in demand at the height of the pandemic. It was profitable to offer it as an offer. Customers were satisfied. Buyers may be attracted by the appearance of functionality in the application that is not available in the online store but will be available to them from a smartphone. For example, the choice of pick-up points of products. Using promo codes and UTM tags will allow you to track how many users came through the offers, what the conversion was, and whether the marketing campaign was successful.

 

How to interact with the mobile app audience

According to eMarketer analysts, on average, people spend at least 4 hours a day on smartphones, and almost 90% of their time is occupied by activity in mobile applications. How do you compete for the audience's attention if hundreds of new services are added to the stores daily, one is better than the other?

Let's tell you some of the standard tools of communication with users.

  1. Send Push notifications
    Pushy allows businesses to share promotions, interesting project news, personal offers, the appearance of functionality, and the status of orders. You need to use notifications carefully – modern users are tired of information noise. If your notifications are annoying and boring, it will scare them away.


  2. Offer online consultations and chatbots
    Since the beginning of the pandemic, the demand for remote consultations with experts has increased in the market. This trend has not disappeared. For example, psychologists who work online are in demand. Users often remotely turn to nutritionists, stylists, and consultants on the choice of household appliances and construction services.

    Depending on the subject, such consultations may be available in your service (for example, some are implemented for free, and some are paid). At a minimum, there should be a Support Service ready to answer customer questions at any time of the day.


  3. Use personal recommendations
    We are sure that it is no secret to you how personal offers can be more effective than general ones prepared for too broad an audience. Using recommendation systems, a business can comprehensively analyze the preferences of its customers, their order history, and user experience in general. On this basis, you can make point offers. Customers will appreciate their attention and respond to you with new orders!

    For example, it works well in clothing stores. The mobile application can offer accessories to order, recommend images that are combined with the purchased item, and take into account which items the user did not like and which were returned.


  4. Use gamification tools
    Another way to warm up users' attention to the new service is gamification. Mechanics can differ – from receiving coins when visiting a mobile application to offering customers to spin the "Wheel of Fortune" for prizes. Some companies introduce casual games in which you can win discounts and gifts. Others earn points for the number of purchases or a certain amount of check-in in branded stores or check-in in offline stores.

    The games in the application should entertain the user and contribute to their targeted actions – for example, encourage them to place an order in an online store.


  5. Communicate with users through interface elements
    The more you will try to attract your client’s attention, the better selling results you may achieve. It has to be done with consciousness and in a delicate matter, but if an app is targeting its notifications, messages, and alerts properly, this may increase customers’ attachment and rise their trust. Your interface elements should be responsive and helpful for users. It’s all about communication and the right message. 

 

Mobile apps. Must-have or whim?

No one will ever be able to announce the only right answer. As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, it very much depends on the area of business and its audience’s profile. For IT or ecommerce, it may be highly profitable and become a strong tool in developing one’s business. For smaller businesses with specific and not so many recipients, it is considerable but not a must. The titular whim is being used deliberately. We found out that sometimes companies are so focused on Saint Graal, a mobile app, that they do not conduct proper research beforehand. Should you ever think of creating your own mobile app, read these materials first:

 

 

 

 

6 min