In the highly competitive business environment that exists in America today, any advantage is a prudent investment. With technology improving every day, more often than not those advantages are determined by how quick companies are to accept change and incorporate new tech into their world. One example of this is that more and more companies are developing their own mobile apps, and those that aren’t are beginning to feel the heat
Sharing information over potentially millions of smartphones can benefit your marketing, sales, and productivity immediately. The right app can not only improve your branding and your bottom line, but can also increase customer satisfaction just by existing. For modern businesses, the mobile app is becoming less of a luxury, and more of a necessity. Here are some ways that a custom mobile app can streamline your operations.
In the US, more than 64 percent of adults use smartphones. This means that 64 percent of the population could potentially become customers of a mobile app – which is much better odds than what you’ll get by spending money sending out individual mailers. One of the advantages of mobile technology is that they let consumers access the internet and research products and prices from wherever they happen to be. Many people have a commute to work and take public transportation. Having a mobile app can turn the average person’s commute into time they can spend shopping for your products.
If you provide your customers with an app that gives quick access to the latest information on your products and services, they’ll be more likely to think of your company, use your app, and make repeat purchases from you. Additionally, push notifications let you send them special offers as soon as their available. Instead of waiting for your customers to check their mail or email, you can essentially text them directly and tell them to check it out. This gives you a distinct advantage over all the unfamiliar companies scrambling for customers online.
Better communication contributes to more knowledge, more accurate decisions, and less wasted time and effort. Customer-facing apps can also ease pressures on your customer service, marketing, and sales teams. Access to schedules, files, and digital tools can improve the output and reliability of field teams such as sales agents, job estimators, or service technicians. It helps managers coordinate more easily with home-based or remote employees. Using mobile technology in the office helps to streamline efforts and improve results.
Due to the wide availability of high-quality mobile apps, most users today are pretty picky about which apps they choose to use. With this in mind, it’s important to acquire the right design skills to produce the best app for your needs. Good designs have to provide ease of use, speed, availability of additional features or upgrades, and visual appeal. If your app isn’t consistently engaging, intuitive, and providing real benefit, it will get removed.
Today’s apps should also be responsive, or able to adjust to a variety of devices and screen sizes. This way images, data tables, and plain text will be readable no matter who’s viewing them. Consider taking a crash course from someone like Color Grading Central to make sure you’re up to the task before you begin designing your app.
When thinking of developing a business app, most people think of creating one for the customers. What many don’t consider is the potential benefits to creating an app to be used by your employees as well. Inefficient communication sucks up far more of your company’s time than most business owners realize. Wasted time listening to voicemails, reading and writing long emails, and repeating yourself in multiple small in-person meetings adds up quickly. Most of your employees, however, keep their mobile devices close at hand.
An app that centralizes and manages texts and emails across multiple devices can ensure that everyone is in sync at all times, even after hours or on weekends. By including access to file sharing services, reports can be produced, tasks assigned, data updated, and approvals given whether you’re at your desk or on vacation. It’s essentially like having a virtual office right in the pockets of your team members. Connecting the mobile app to apps on your computer workstations is a simple process and can even further increase the efficiency this would provide you.
Whether your app is used internally, for marketing, or both is up to you. No matter what its purpose, your new mobile app should be something that people will want to use.
If you open up your smartphone and check out the app store, you’ll find hundreds of apps to buy, download, and install. It’s become a norm of today’s society to check one’s phone for anything and everything under the sun, whether it’s ordering a pizza or asking for directions to get from point A to point B. As a business owner, the importance of having your own app cannot be overemphasized. But before you start hiring developers and looking into app creation, you should know what to look for in a successful business app. Here are four ideas to make the process easier.
Consumers prefer to use and stick with apps that have an easy navigation system. They don’t want tabs and pages covering the screen and branching with new sub-tabs and sub-pages. A clean and minimalistic app looks less overwhelming and is more user-friendly to consumers. Have your interface divided into two or three areas – the header, the navigation panel, and the footer. Invest in crafting a user interface that even toddlers can understand and use.
Don’t get a one and done mobile solution from just anywhere. Be sure it’s something you can customize and update as needed. This way you can be sure your products are viewable, look good, and don’t feel out of place. You also have more control to size and refit screens to a mobile layout. Be sure you update as need so the app matches the website, coupons, and other features your customers might come to expect. This way you get a mobile version of your site that doesn’t match or that looks outdated in comparison. This is also where having a third party manage your mobile can come in handy, as they can keep up to date while you manage the products or overall website design.
An app that looks official and not a rip-off page of your brand is bound to attract downloads. Take doTERRA’s app as an example. The brand is active in social media and uses their content as a technique to boost the app’s value. They use real information and tidbits about doTERRA products to make it an interactive experience. Strive to make your app’s interface look and feel professional by using a solid combination of colors and background images. Make sure your app looks like your other brand material and has a very visible, professional look and feel to it. This way you can keep your brand attracting new customers, and keep things uniform across your outlets.
Your app needs to havespecific and necessary features that can get tasks done. Identify a problem that your customers will have, and then solve it by adding the necessary elements and features. For instance, add a shopping cart feature and a way for customers to input discount codes before checkout. Without a way for your customers to input those codes and get their discounts, they’ll most likely stick with your business’ webpage or, worse, go to a competitor. Be sure to add on any things you already incorporate into your online sales or even in-store sales. Uniformity here can keep your customers happy, rather than annoyed each check out process is different.
While no app or software program is completely free of bugs, you should invest in a good developer team and tools to build and design an application that runs with minimal errors. Aim to keep your app online and running as much as possible. If your app is going offline for repairs and maintenance frequently, it can lead to a drop in user downloads. Be sure you have it assessed every month for bugs or hacks and correct problems as they arise. Having your company in charge of IT problems like these will keep you in charge of your app.
A successful business app isn’t born overnight. Take the time to build a clear idea of what your business app should look like and do, and then consult experts to help you turn that idea into a good product. Be sure to use these tips and more as you get started and don’t forget to listen to valuable advice from the experts. Making apps isn’t as easy as it may seem. Really customizing and putting out a good product your customers use is all about keeping on top of what you have and updating as your store does.
As the landscape of digital content continues to evolve, apps will undoubtedly remain the mainstream mode of communication between electronic devices. Apps work because they are mobile code that is easily deployed to a vast number of people in a short amount of time. As electronic device storage capacity increases, the ability to download and utilize more apps from a single device will cement app development by default mode of the future of the ever advancing digital evolution. Consequently, app developers should continue to see major growth in their sector of the digital marketplace. With an endless sea of new apps coming out, app developers will have to up their game to compete with other players in the app development arena. This means app developers will have to determine which aspects of app development are critical for making their apps successful. Here are three such aspects to focus on as you plan your next app development project.
When it comes to developing apps, time is of the essence. The faster you can get from the initial idea phase of the project to the finished product, ensuring clean code along the way, the better. For this reason, it is best to consider working with a web and app development team, like Digital Creative Agency, that can help ensure that your project is coded correctly and finished in a timely fashion. Trying to do this all on your own is a real mistake. If anything goes wrong, it helps to have a team of developers with real world app development experience to help you overcome any problems you may face along the way. This way the burden of fixing mistakes with your app development project does not fall solely on your shoulders: slowing you down even more from bringing the finished product to market. Remember, if you have an app project idea, it is likely the case that ten other app developers have the same idea. It truly is a race to see who will get their idea to the public first and take all the glory for doing so.
According toInc, an app that does not engage and retain users ends up being both a waste of time and a costly marketing endeavor. From on-boarding new users to keeping them using your app, you must make sure that your app is not simply a hyped product. Rather, it must be oriented around a concept people get immediately, see the value in having from their first use and there must be fabulous customer support to ensure a high retention volume complementing your app development efforts. If any of these key strategies are missing, then your app will die fast in the marketplace; consequently, user retention is truly everything in the app development market, because it identifies the true duration of the longevity your app will have with its users.
Where UX development is a key aspect to any app development project, making sure the UX considerations behind your app design forces some degree of integration into the users daily routine is a must. If an app does not demonstrate itself as a part of a user’s daily routine, then such an app becomes relegated secondary in importance to those apps that the user depends on to play a significant role throughout their daily routine. Remember, successful apps become part of a user’s lifestyle, not merely something they might access when they are bored. The more integrated the user experience tends to be and the more of a positive impact that app has on the user’s daily routine, the more the user will be hooked on needing your app to actually complete their daily routine.
With more than a million apps competing for user acceptance, a new app hitting the marketplace must truly have something to offer users to become a major player in the app arena. Such an app must also be able to keep users engaged for the long term with a high volume of retention to be considered genuinely successful. It is only when an app completes, in some satisfactory way, a key part of a user’s daily routine that such an app has truly found its way into the hearts and minds of its users. When your app can boast such a lofty achievement, then you will know your app has reached the benchmark of true success.
Operating a small business requires devoting your time to many different tasks, from sales and accounting to daily administration. Keeping up with the workload can be a huge burden for entrepreneurs with limited staff. Fortunately there are many software tools available to streamline, organize, and even integrate different business roles and processes. Here are four that every growing company should consider essential.
CRM solutions allow you to store, track, and organize your customer information. Details such as contact information, service histories, transactions records, and even notations or advise can be added or edited for every customer you have on record. Centralizing this data provides an in-depth profile so that customer-facing employees such as sales or customer service can call up the information and see at a glance who they’re dealing with. This includes what the customer’s preferences are and other insights to create a smoother, more rewarding experience for both parties.
The information can also be used for reporting or integrated into business intelligence to provide analytic insights for marketing, customer acquisition, and customer retention.
POS systems are important for any retailers, but also for companies who have sales people, service agents or consultants in the field authorized to accept payments. POS technology is basically a high-tech, convenient cash register, but benefits your company in many ways. POS systems are designed to upload transaction data directly to computer systems, so that you can monitor sales activity in real time, or later analyze sales histories down to specific products, locations, timeframes, or sales people with little effort.
With the rise of smart phones, mobile payment apps allow your field staff to utilize the same activity. This saves your company time and money over traditional manual sales data collection. Automated receipts and expedited payments are also conveniences the customer will appreciate.
ERP solutions allow you to do material and equipment management reliably. Many systems include a range of functions, such as inventory control, automated materials ordering, reporting, analysis, allocation, and scheduling. ERP systems can be used to manage a single warehouse and production system, or multiple locations over the cloud. They can also integrate with mobile apps so that your sales people, delivery drivers, or job estimators working in the field can utilize ERP over the cloud. They can also work with vendors to monitor pricing and lead times.
ERP, in effect, lets you monitor every aspect of your logistics to save costs, shorten lead times, support collaboration, adhere to regulatory compliance, forecast material usage, and other benefits that improve efficiency and increase your competitive edge.
In today’s technologically advanced world, no business is complete without a mobile app. Having an app instantly increases your customer base to those consumers who prefer to complete all their transactions on their mobile device. It also provides instant advertising when you make your app available for download. If you’ve never had an app before, it would definitely be a good idea to work with a professional to make sure it is well-designed and intuitive. The consumers who will be most attracted to being able to access your business on mobile will also be the ones who will be most concerned with ease of use, so it’s imperative that the two go hand in hand.
If you are thinking that your business would not benefit from a mobile app, remember that today even banks and credit unions have mobile applications. Nearly every business imaginable will benefit from getting on mobile, and it’s very likely that yours is no exception.
Growing business are bound to be engaged in many projects, such as installing new machinery, improving layouts for greater efficiency, or developing new software systems or projects. All of these, and essentially any business function or changes, are managed more efficiently with project management software. Usually, project management solutions are handled by a project manager, or PM. The PM is responsible for developing time tables, providing labor, tools, and materials in the right time and place, and meeting stated requirement while coming in on time and under budget.
You can make this complex and demanding role easier for your company with software. PM programs allow different aspects of the project to be designed and monitored from one central solution. The data that results can also be used to suggest improvements and insights into later projects. Choosing the software packages for your business needs creates a work environment that’s more productive and coordinated. They help to reduce errors and improve productivity. While cost and training requirements are also considerations, integrating powerful software tools into your activities is a smart investment.
Mobile marketing currently represents one of the newest forms of digital marketing present on the market. For those who do not know, it provides customers with personalised information, promoting services, goods and ideas. The technique has been regarded as any marketing activity that is conducted through a network that mobile users are constantly connected to.
Some of the main benefits associated with mobile marketing include the possibility to send location and time-sensitive pieces of information, via a wide variety of channels, including push notifications, app-based marketing, QR codes, SMS, MMS, Bluetooth, in-game mobile advertising, voice email and even through automated calls. As we live in the era of smartphones, mobile marketing carried out via push notifications is essential to promoting services, establishing brand loyalty, encouraging people to purchase products or services, but also making sure that existing customers return to buy more.
In this particular infographic compiled by the team behind Website Builder, you will be able to find 104 interesting facts that you don’t know about mobile marketing, including desktop vs. mobile comparisons, niches that work best, great mobile marketing techniques, but also usage, user friendliness, adoption, commerce, search and conversion stats.
The millennial generation may find it hard to believe that there was once a time when people survived without smartphones and apps. Today, there are over two billion smartphones across the globe. These devices have dramatically revolutionized things in the mobile phone industry and have presented unique opportunities for app developers, designers, and other stakeholders associated with the industry. Mobile applications have become an ingrained and essential part of today’s lifestyle, improving the efficiency of processes, and making many daily tasks easier.
Of course, mobile app development has been in continuous growth since the introduction of the technology around two decades ago. The best is yet to come as developers integrate new technologies in the development of smartphones and mobile applications. These are some of the changes that have occurred in app development over the years.
After the initial development of mobile apps, users had to visit a technician’s shop and pay to have the app installed on their device. While the process seemed meaningful at the time, now it is viewed as cumbersome and time-consuming. The installation process for apps has revolutionized over the years. All you have to do is visit the Google Play Store or Apple iTunes, find the app you need, and install it. These platforms have even made it easy for users to pay for premium apps through credit and debit cards and other digital modes of payment.
Research indicates that as at July 2015, there were 3.1 million apps in iTunes and Google Play app stores. The iTunes store alone receives around 1,600 new app submissions every day. With so many applications to choose from across the various categories and genres, it would be difficult to get the best ones without a review system. However, developers have made it possible for users to rate apps on a 5-star tier, and even provide useful feedback on their experiences. The info makes it easy to identify the best apps with high ratings and reviews without going through the pain of installing and testing them out on your smartphone.
Initially, apps were primarily designed to run mobile phone tasks only, including accessing the Internet, communication, entertainment, and the like. However, today, apps have been integrated with other technologies to increase their capabilities and functions. For instance, apps have been developed to control televisions, computers, door locks, vehicles, and other gadgets and appliances. Once the app is integrated with the device, you can send remote commands to the gadget and monitor its activity.
Applications like AtHome Camera have taken home security to another level by allowing you to keep an eye on your home when you are away through remote monitoring with cloud video recording. Upgrading your home security is easy with mobile apps like Pulse and are gaining traction with home owners and business owners. These apps come with advanced features such as motion sensors, alarm recording, remote capture, split video viewing, and two-way talk. With these, you can monitor the safety of your home and even communicate with individuals in the home in real-time.
A decade ago, it would take months or even years before the launching of a new app. The negotiations and processes involved were lengthy and complicated. However, today the process of digitally downloading software has led to the emergence of a new type of mobile web developer. The ability to design, develop, and launch an app has been made easier, and developers can take even minutes to get one in the market.
App development has and is still evolving as the world goes through continuous tech advancements. This comes as good news to developers who will be able to get something out there without spending months behind a computer. As for consumers, these changes are providing access to millions of apps that will improve their lifestyle and increase efficiency in their daily operations.
Having a mobile app for your business is not any more impossible. You may think that this is a privilege, which only big companies can afford to have, and years ago this was probably true. Nowadays, virtually anyone can make an app not only for business but also for personal use. If you are an entrepreneur with a small business, you can take advantage of this chance in order to increase business growth.
Some techie entrepreneurs can develop their own mobile app for which they need special hosting for their apps, for example a specialized ASP.NET hosting to keep their mobile app up and running.
Nevertheless, you don’t have to be techie to launch your own mobile app. There are also some websites and platforms that offer great information and insights, which can help you better understand the process of creating a mobile app without any knowledge of coding.
The benefits of having your own mobile apps for business are endless, and today we will cover a few of them.
A company that has its own mobile app is more likely to build a base of loyal customers than a company that depends solely on advertising.
This is because advertising formats today are beginning to annoy users and consumers, so they are less effective in terms of building customer loyalty. Mobile apps can be a form of advertising that engages customers until they become used to such engagement.
More and more businesses today are beginning to have their own mobile apps, and pretty soon every business will want one.
If this scenario happens, then the competition may be focusing on who offers the best mobile app. This means that having a mobile app is your first step to beat the competition, and your goal is to have the best app available.
You don’t need to conduct a massive survey and a complex marketing intelligence study to understand your customers and your market.
Since a mobile app can promote customer engagement, the data you need is right at your fingertips. All you have to do is to design your mobile app to be able to collect data, feedback, and user behavior.
These days, customers are less likely to visit a company’s website to chat with a customer service agent using a traditional web chat platform or messenger. Since most people spend much longer time with their mobile device, they would likely connect to a customer service support either through social media app like Facebook or through a company’s mobile app.
To provide convenience to your customers, you should connect to them easily through their smart phones simply by having a use-friendly mobile app. In this way, you can easily address their concerns and establish good customer service.
Mobile users are more likely to visit a company’s mobile app than a company’s mobile-friendly website because it is more convenient to navigate a mobile app than a mobile version of a site.
Do not rely on your website alone to improve your online presence. Having a mobile app is another effective way to improve your online presence.
Why your business needs a mobile app, It’s not a business requirement to launch a corresponding mobile app, but it’s a smarter choice you can make, especially today that more and more entrepreneurs and digital marketers are creating their own mobile apps.
While it’s not too late, you can try a mobile app for your business, and see whether or not it works for you as most businesses find this concept favorable as mobile apps are trending.
If you are thinking about creating a mobile app for your business, you are certainly not alone. Studies show that mobile apps offer new and established businesses opportunities for exponential growth. While giving customers the ability to access your business on their smartphone may be a brilliant business idea, it does come with certain legal issues that must be addressed during the development process.
The best case scenario is that your app will find a wide audience of consumer users. The best way to protect yourself from potential litigation is to thoroughly address the following legalities during the development process.
Today there are more kids using free gaming apps on mobile devices than most of us ever imagined possible. This explosion in business has led to an equally unexpected number of refused and contested charges on in-app purchases. Popular gaming apps are full of in-game purchases that are often facilitated without the child’s clear knowledge. When parents see hundreds of dollars worth of in-app purchases charged to their accounts, they naturally contest the charges.
The best way to avoid a problem connected with these in-app purchases is to only include potential in-app charges that are necessary to the game and always in a way that is transparent to the user. Discuss this with your app developer and your company’s legal representatives to ensure that the legal ramifications are clear.
It is an unavoidable reality that your app will be able to collect consumer data. That is the nature of running an app business. However, there are ways that you can avoid legal problems connected with improper data collection. The way to do this is to assess what kind of data the app is collecting and why it is collecting it. If your app is collecting data that is not essential, that is data serving no purpose in the app’s function, then you should have your developers modify the app to conform with proper data collection standards.
If you want to start an app business most of the time you will try to avoid potential legal issues by hiding behind torrents of legalese in the form of lengthy ‘Terms and Conditions’ statements. The truth is that these statements will not truly protect you from litigation if an app user’s rights have been violated. It is therefore imperative to discuss all of the above points and more with a lawyer, like those at Carter West, while it is still in the development phase.
There are always legal issues that arise anytime new technology comes into the limelight. The development of app businesses is no exception. Thankfully, there are useful solutions to many of the potential legal issues that can arise when starting an app business. If you are mindful of the above legal points during the development of your app, and discuss other potential app related legal issues with a corporate attorney, you are sure to protect yourself and the success of your app business in the future.
App development is the latest successful business trend and for good reason.
Businesses are creating powerful apps for numerous platforms, providing tremendous value to their customer base, and ultimately making a lot of money in the process.
The only problem is that many startups have a tough time affording the app development process. If you attempt to do this as savvy as possible, you could possibly get away with spending around $10,000-$50,000 on the first development phase of your app. But if you really want your offering to be as professional as possible, you should enlist the help of an expert agency that specializes in app development. With that said, we’ll take a look at some of the factors that go into pricing app development, we’ll discuss monitoring for errors and we’ll even briefly touch on a money raising method to get your finances off the ground.
Sound good? Let’s get to it.
As you have probably discovered on your own already, there are many different things that factor into app development costs. The more complex the application, the more it’s going to cost. And the more platforms you develop it for, the more your app is going to cost. In fact, let’s take a look at a simple price breakdown to help you get a better understanding of the overall pricing structure and what you can expect to pay for professional development.
As you can see, the development process is no simple walk in the park. It’s quite costly upfront, but if you develop a valuable app that your customers will use and appreciate, it will eventually pay for itself and all whole lot more.
Unfortunately, many would-be developers often forget about error monitoring during the development process.
It’s so easy to potentially make a huge mistake during the development phase that could accidentally get overlooked.
If this were ever to happen to you and your team, you could end up spending countless hours, time, and money developing an app that will not work correctly.
So, to prevent this from happening, you must institute a system for error monitoring that will catch any potential costly mistakes before they turn into huge financial problems that really end up hurting you in the wallet.
When all’s said and done, it’s going to cost a great deal of upfront money to complete a successful and professional development process for your latest application.
Many people aren’t comfortable shelling out hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund the project themselves. They’d rather use easy no cost fundraising to gauge interest and raise enough money to complete the project.
By going the crowdsourcing route, not only will you bring in enough money to develop your app, but you’ll also start building your customer base by giving funders the app itself and other interesting perks that your audience will find useful.
At the end of the day, the app development process is very expensive. Make no bones about it. But if you have a great idea that will provide tremendous value to your audience, it’s worth it to take a chance and see how it goes.
Title: Super-Connector at OutreachMamaWendy is a super-connector with OutreachMama and Youth Noise NJ who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, and networking. She frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing and focuses her efforts on developing customized blogger outreach plans depending on the industry and competition. You can contact her on Twitter.