How Will Mobile Apps Change in 2016?

The number of mobile app users in the UK is estimated to go over 43.2 million in 2016. It has become customary for most people to check their email, the weather and the news, to have fun and to keep up with their friends via apps. But can you expect to get more and better mobile experiences this year? Will the importance of apps for marketing and sales increase? As a mobile app development consultant, let me take you through the major trends predicted for this year and beyond.

Growing Shift from Websites to Apps
This trend has been around for some time and although it may not have reversed the situation completely, it is growing strong. It is much easier for users to just tap on the app icon than to use a browser to find essential information and services which they need. As brands realise the necessity of having an app (49% of UK businesses participating in a recent survey plan investing in one this year), the competition for finding a permanent place on the smartphones and tablets of consumers becomes more severe. This will drive innovation in mobile technology further.

Increased Visibility
Google is already offering opportunities for using APIs to enable the showing of app content in the results from mobile searches. This allows apps to reach more people more quickly. They key to success is high-quality content matching user’s interests. Mobile applications will also enable direct access to the websites of businesses. This results in shortening of the sales funnel and leads to higher revenues.

Greater Personalisation
Innovative tools allow apps to collect data about the activity, preferences and location of users. With advanced and accurate analytics and well-developed functionalities, personalisation is easily achievable and highly effective. Each user receives unique content and recommendations, which are tailored especially to his/her needs. This makes all marketing strategies more effective and helps to bring sales up.

Well-Rounded Functionalities
Do you have one hundred or more apps on your phone? Are you using all of them fully? As the market for iOS and especially for Android apps becomes ever more competitive, businesses will benefit from integrating a larger array of functionalities to win customers. A weather app, for instance, can help the users with scheduling or vice versa.

Retail Apps Growing Bigger
More and more apps will take the mobile shopping experience one step further. Instead of just marketing products with content and engagement-based programs, applications can offer consumers the opportunity to go over complete catalogues and compare products based on features and prices. This is a successful strategy for increasing sales, especially when the functionalities can be used offline.

Basic Services Going Mobile
More and more traditional services such as utility bill payment and health insurance management will go mobile. This will make the life of consumers easier and increase mobile usage. The level of cross-platform integration will go up. Important information and services will be available across all devices of the user.

What’s the conclusion? Mobile apps become fundamental for marketing and sales in more and more industries. They are still fairly new tools for promotion, lead generation and building loyalty, but they offer fantastic new opportunities which businesses can exploit.

Want a high-quality mobile app for your business? Let’s talk.

Mobile App Development: Planning Is Key

With more than half of Google searches being made via smartphones and tablets and mobile sales experiencing double-digit growth, it becomes essential for businesses of all types and sizes to have their own mobile app. The big question is how to go about this project. You will need a clear strategy and a precise plan for action. As a mobile app consultant with solid experience, let me tell you more about the preparation and the development process.

Native Is Fundamental
What’s all the hype about native mobile apps? It’s true that they require a greater investment compared to their hybrid counterparts, but they have several major advantages. This is because they are developed in the native language of the platform which they are for, be it Android or iOS. This gives them direct access to the mobile device’s hardware for seamless interaction. All graphic features including multimedia are flawless. Easy navigation, attractive and functional interface and fast and hassle-free performance are other major benefits. Simply put, if you want to engage your customers and to have effective marketing, you need to go native.

Features and Functionalities
These are the factors which planning is primarily focused on. The first step of the process is to outline your goals clearly. What do you want to achieve with the mobile app for your business? The more specific you are about your marketing objectives, the better. The app can be a fantastic tool for engagement-based programs and building loyalty as well as for product promotion.
The next question to ask is: what should your app give to your customers? The age, gender, interests and habits of your target audience will help you find the answer. The user interaction patterns on your website are also helpful. When my team and I work on building a mobile app for a business, we research and analyse the behaviour of the target audience and their expectations in detail. The research on competitors enables us to come up with features and functionalities that will make your app stand out.
Once the plan for action is in place, our job is to create a prototype for structuring the app’s content and interface. The development of the beta version is followed by strict quality control for perfecting every feature. This is how we create the final version, which is ready for publishing.

Launch and Marketing
The mobile app’s promotion is also something that you need to plan in advance. In order to use it as a powerful marketing tool and for delivering better services to your customers, you have to ensure that they will have it on their smartphones and tablets in the first place. My team will create an attractive icon and provide a set of graphics for capturing the interest of mobile users.
It pays off to develop a complete strategy for promoting your app with the use of all fundamental digital marketing tools. Optimising the application’s presentation for app store searches, creating special blog articles and social network posts about it and creating buttons which take visitors to your website to the app’s page in the store are among the fundamental and most effective ways to grab the attention of your target audience.

Since mobile competition is rising quickly and mobile app building isn’t an overnight project, it’s time for you to take action.

Want a native mobile app for your business? Share your vision with me.