Increasing numbers of UK companies are realising that mobile apps are one of the best business growth tools around.
These versatile sources of marketing, customer data and sales opportunities have enormous potential to reach the 53.96 million people in the UK who will be using mobile phones by 2033 (according to the latest estimates).
In a Deloitte survey, 91% of 16 to 75 year-olds said they had used their smartphone in the past 24 hours. For 55% of them, it was one of the first things they did when they woke up.
Which company can afford to miss out on a share of that attention?
But where do you start in mapping an app to meet your business opportunities and needs? Here are five key things to consider:
1. Plan ahead
Though the rate of return on a mobile app can be considerable, it’s not something you should rush into.
If a digital agency promises you a rapid response to your brief, proceed with great caution.
Mobile apps can’t be “off the shelf” to be effective; the delivery needs to take into account fine tuning to be sure your finished software meets your business objectives.
2. Tangible business benefits
The starting point of planning your mobile app is being entirely clear what you want it to achieve.
It’s surprising how many times digital agencies are led by briefs that hinge on creating fun for app users, or producing “flashy” apps of little substance.
Your mobile app can’t be dull and purely functional, of course. However, it is possible for it to be both attractive and aspirational while meeting feasible marketing or sales objectives.
That means working with intuitive software designers who can deliver tangible business benefits in creative packages.
3. Functionality and use
With a feasible timescale and clear business aims in the bag, you need to work with your digital agency to build appropriate functionality for your target market.
For example, if this is a location-based mobile app directing customers to your venue, it needs a reliable GPS function.
Is it a game, that leads to incentives to click through to your website? In that case, it needs to work in conjunction with bespoke web applications to ensure seamless integration and data capture.
4. “Be” your end user
In developing a mobile app that will not only get downloaded, but also used and reviewed positively, much of the planning needs to revolve around customer experience.
That includes such factors as the different screen sizes and resolutions of modern smartphones. You need consistency across devices and scalable graphics and interfaces.
If your mobile app is likely to be used by people on the move, consider configuring touchscreen capabilities where the average thumb would rest.
Also, if you can build in gesture control, such as swiping features and pinch to zoom, research shows that you can greatly increase the popularity and usability of your mobile app.
5. Choose the right software development partner
Lastly and probably most crucially, talk to one of the top London digital agencies to make sure your mobile app can keep you ‘appy and not leave you whistling in the wind.