Mobile apps enable corporations to build their brands, extend their services, generate additional revenues, and create customer stickiness on extremely sophisticated and highly personal devices. But while they have the potential to reach huge numbers of users, building compelling applications is a complicated task, and maintaining that application’s appeal over time is even more daunting. Once the app is built, businesses must find ways to attract attention and drive downloads in app stores teeming with hundreds of thousands of titles. Apps must be updated regularly to continue to appeal to users, and developers must consistently test those apps to make sure they’re performing as well as possible.
These factors apply not just to business-to-consumer (B2C) companies built entirely on the internet — Facebook or eBay, for instance — but also banks, retailers, restaurants, and many others from industries that use apps as extensions of their core businesses. This report will examine how businesses can drive downloads and maintain B2C apps to maximize value for as long as possible. It will also discuss strategies and techniques to get the highest possible return on investment. And it will explore some emerging technologies and trends that are sure to affect how app ecosystems evolve over the next several years.
Key findings include:
- Businesses should never create an app simply for the sake of having an app. They should always be mindful of their goals in mobile, and should design their app from the ground up to meet those goals.
- While mobile apps are often viewed as products to be created and shipped out the door, most of them should be seen as an ever-evolving entity to be developed , tested, measured, and maintained over the long haul.
- A mobile app should be a conduit for a dialogue between the end user and the business or publisher rather than a one-way street. B2C apps should often have a customer-service component that allows users to communicate with the business in a variety of ways, including a simple voice call. And developers should constantly monitor feedback to address any shortcomings.
- Analytics are crucial. Massive amounts of data mean nothing if the business behind the app doesn’t take the time to identify patterns and figure out what they mean and how to leverage them. The better a business understands its customers the better it can help serve them. And nothing can generate valuable, granular, actionable data as well as a mobile app can.
- Priority one: establishing objectives
- Post-launch: getting attention out of the gate
- On the horizon
- Key takeaways
- Colin Gibbs
- About Gigaom Research