App Development | Anurag Gupta | Last Updated: 2016-12-02
Research published by Forrester last summer shows that smartphone users spend 85 percent of their screen time using mobile apps, not accessing mobile websites. Smartphone users then spend 84 percent of in-app time using their five favorite mobile apps.
Although these favorites vary between users, top choices include social media, messaging and search apps. A major shopping app like Amazon's gets about 3 percent of a user's time.
So where does that leave your mobile app project? Let's face it: you've got some serious competition. That's why according to TechCrunch, Forrester recommends designing your apps for loyal customers, not for marketing.
Focusing on loyal customers instead of beating the bushes for new customers can deliver big ROI on your mobile app dollar.
When you build your mobile apps, build them for the customers you already have. These components can make your mobile app irresistible to your best customers.
Whatever type of loyalty program you use points-based, flat discount, intermittent rewards, etc. your app should make it easy for customers to ditch their plastic loyalty cards. A barcode or QR code that cashiers can easily scan, or a simple code for online purchases, means no more carrying around a wallet full of plastic.
Additionally, your rewards program should be transparent on your mobile app, making it easy for customers to track accumulated rewards, spending and redemptions. Adding gamification elements, such as badges for hitting spending or savings milestones, can keep mobile app users coming back.
By integrating your mobile app with GPS, you can deliver deals that will encourage customers to visit more often. Emerging tools like Apple's iBeacon technology can push personalized deals to customer smartphones when they go near certain displays or favorite shopping categories within your store.
You can also utilize push notifications to win back customers who haven't spent money with you in a while. If loyalty point accumulation slows, or mobile app usage ceases, a push notification sweetened with a discount can get customers back on track. Just make sure you're offering deals exclusive to mobile customers deals they can't get through other channels if you want them to continue using your app.
Launching an app is never a one-and-done deal. You need a long-term partnership with your app development team. All the data you collect should inform how you update the features and functions of your app.
The bottom line: when you create your mobile app, build it for the people who will actually download it, configure it and use it. You can't compete with Facebook, WhatsApp or Google for the world's off-hours browsing time. You can make your app a can't-miss destination for your most loyal customers.
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