What to keep in mind before making an app for your brand?

 

Smart business owners understand the power and importance of mobile marketing to their bottom line. They use mobile apps to connect with customers, share relevant news, offer great deals, increase foot traffic, take reservations, and boost their revenues. Whether they deliver a service, sell products in a store, or run a successful restaurant, they know that having a mobile app is one of the most effective ways to reach customers on the go.

But not all apps are made equal — scroll through the iOS App Store and you’ll find countless offerings that are useless to users and a waste of money from companies. In fact, some apps actually make the businesses that produce them look worse to potential consumers than if they never put that app on virtual shelves.

There are few features an app must have to become a hit among the consumers:

•The importance of having some way for users to provide feedback on your app is critical. Whether it is a button or a link to open an email doesn’t matter; the important part is that you give your users a quick way to report bugs, and provide suggestions or criticisms. Users will appreciate knowing that you are open to their feedback and that their input can shape the future of your app.

•For many brands, especially retailers, what matters most is location. The ability to provide customers with recommendations and offers based on their whereabouts is a killer feature for many marketers. Small Luxury Hotels of the World, a network of premium independent inns, published an app that suggests to travelers nearby points of interest based on their phone's GPS coordinates, accelerometer and compass.

•Start the user experience out right! Use Facebook Connect or another single sign on technology solution to allow your customers to use their social media logins to sign into the mobile app (and keep them signed in). And always give them a way to retrieve their user name/password or remind them which social network they used when setting up the app.

•A compelling mobile application must feature an interface that focuses on usability. The best way to do this is to follow the general application hierarchy of widely used apps like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

•If you must ask users to register, sign up, or fill out forms, be zealous about eliminating every possible click, or tap, from the design. Ask for less information. Conversion rates fall sharply when extra work is required to sign up.

•The content in it must be something that is impossible to gain from your website. Stop building apps that are just big web browsers, and focus on pushing relevant information and delivering a richer experience that is beyond what your mobile website can do.

•It’s very important to make sure the app isn’t slow. People used to despise Facebook because of how slow the mobile app is. It is crucial that your app doesn’t make people wait around while it loads.

With an increasing mobile app demand, the app download is going to reach 180 billion by 2015, predicts IDC and the industry will reach $25 billion by 2015 reports MarketsandMarkets. The penetration of mobile and internet in the Middle East is on the rise and there is a huge scope for mobile app startups. 

  By 15 May 2013

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