While it may not yet be evident to everyone, it is clear to those of us working in the mobile app industry that the mobile app is fast becoming the new website.
The modern website has evolved from the “brochure-ware” sites that we saw in the early 1990’s containing nothing but static information to the dynamic, interactive, service-delivery driven websites we have today that include digital shopfronts and even dynamic, location-based pricing adjustments.
Just as websites evolved over the years, so too are mobile apps and those companies that have already seen the potential of mobile have not only launched their first brand app, but are already making second-generation changes that leverage the power of the platform to maximise return on investment and increase profits.
Users are already spending more time interacting with mobile apps than they do browsing the web and App Analytics company, Flurry, predicts that app engagement may soon overtake even traditional television viewing.
For brand apps to ensure they can grab the users attention, there are a number of features that could be included:
Intelligent Push Notifications – These unique alerts delivered straight to the user can be tailored to take account of the user’s behaviour, preferences and even location to ensure that the notifications received are relevant and that the user can take immediate action if they desire. It is important not to over-use push notifications in apps as you may end up annoying the users who ends up turning them off or deleting the app altogether.
Localisation – For many companies that have physical shopfronts, location is critical to the customers ability to take action. Mobile apps allow you to provide customers with recommendations and offers based around their location in the store. Geo-location features even allow you to identify users who are close to the store where you can present offers to draw them inside
Social Integration – Most apps these days include capabilities for social sharing. Many integrate with Facebook and Twitter however there are also other social networks which may suit particular companies. Social sharing doesn’t happen by itself and there are lots of ways that creative offers can be integrated into a mobile app.
Mobile Payments – There are a variety of ways that mobile payments can be integrated into an app, from simple to complex there is a solution to suit just about every business. In order to generate direct revenue from a mobile app you need to be able to capture the user’s credit card details and provide them with a frictionless path to purchasing. Many of the major brands are developing or have already rolled out mobile payment solutions and users will soon have an expectation that these facilities will be available.
There are certainly a variety of ways that companies and brands can leverage mobile technology and these features are just some of the ways you can develop an innovative mobile app for your business.