Apps. Who even uses them these days?

197 Billion*.

Right then.

Not just used for Whatsapping or Snapchatting cute pug pics, mobile apps continue to dominate the mobile phone world in terms of downloads and could be the key to success for many companies, especially those with a focus on e-commerce. A projection by Statistica claims that by 2021 the total app downloads number will jump to a stunning 352 billion – so we’re talking plenty of eyes to focus your business message to.

The goal? Become part of an online routine

Whilst most of us have been working hard to ensure our websites are responsive across all devices (no easy feat) the big boys have made big investments into creating user-friendly mobile apps in an attempt to become part of a user’s daily online routine. Asos is a great example of doing just this, as Rich Jones, Asos’s head of product and UX explains; “We’re designing experiences that are essentially right for the customers’ devices because their entire lives are here. How do we make sure our experience matches that?” “Our number one priority is: We need to build experiences that capitalize on mobile.’ (via DigiDay).

Their approach of allocating the majority of the online budget to mobile conversions is working, and now Asos see over 50% of purchases made through their online app which has been downloaded 10 million times globally.

Utilising push notifications – wisely

One of our Developers (and coding wizard), Joe is a big advocate of mobile apps for many reasons, one being the ability to alert customers directly to their phone when new updates or offers are available,

As mobile apps are always on and available, it is easy to push out custom notifications and get the users attention quickly. This makes it easy to alert all customers with the mobile app that there is a special discount running that they might be interested in – Joe, Creative Blend App Developer

A word of warning, however, it’s a wise move to only use these notifications sparingly, as you risk irritating the user, which could, in turn prompt them to disable all push notifications from the app or even delete the app itself!

Would your audience download a mobile app?

In North America, 44% of e-commerce transactions happen via a mobile app, versus 33% and 23% for desktop and mobile web, respectively (Econsultancy, 2017). With figures like these, we’d bet that business owners are frantically Googling ‘App Developer’ by the second – but it may be wise to sit back and determine the reasoning behind your mobile app first, and decide whether it suits your customer demographic and offering.

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Our tips for a successful mobile app

Many app downfalls come from complicated processes and lack of incentive to sign up and download. By asking your customers to visit the app store, potentially pay for your app and then open and use, is adding multiple hurdles to the usual desktop or mobile browser journey. Our key advice to getting things off the ground:

  • Keep it simple – know your offering and USP
  • Know your audience, and user test 
  • If it’s for an e-commerce of a charitable company, keep it free
  • Offer an incentive to download e.g. price drop with a code

If you’re interested in exploring whether a mobile app could be a good move for your company, please get in touch!

There are plenty of great apps to help you manage your workload and stress levels – here’s a few of our favourites.

*Statistica reported in 2017 that there have been 197 app downloads globally.