The importance of mobile applications to your customers

2nd October 2013

This year, the number of mobile phones in the UK overtook the number of people. The majority of these are internet-ready and thanks to the likes of Apple and Android, they are customised with the millions of applications that are on offer.

Shopping, social media, banking, games, news, cooking. The list of applications available seems endless. And with 31% of UK web traffic now coming from the 30 million smart phones and 20 million tablets, it’s easy to see why businesses are scrambling to get their own app on to as many devices as possible.

The trend tends to be that consumer-facing businesses first develop an iPhone app, followed by an Android phone app, an iPad app and then finally an Android app. With just 62% of UK retailers having an iPhone app and 42% with an Android equivalent, it would suggest that there are many businesses out there failing to recognise the importance of going mobile and satisfying the needs of the information-hungry customers

E-Commerce

For e-commerce sites, the effect of not giving these consumers a platform on which to shop could prove to be even more costly. In Q2 2013, 23.2% of online sales came from smartphones and tablets, more than double the figure from the same period in 2012. A recent Monetate survey suggested $38.8 billion dollars will be spent worldwide this year via mobile devices, with that number predicted to treble in the next four years.

What better way to showcase your brand than having a permanent advert and potential shopping channel in your customer’s pocket? An app will also remove the problem of slow-loading and un-mobile friendly websites. Many businesses, especially retailers, have made the most of the app revolution by offering special offers and discounts to those making a purchase through an app, creating brand loyalty.

Bookmakers have also recognised it’s potentially by creating powerful apps that make betting on the go easy. In an industry where customers tend to stay loyal, this has proved extremely beneficial for the businesses that have invested in mobile applications for the new generation of tech-savvy gamblers.

Features

However, for an app to appeal to the mass market, it must have some truly unique and engaging features. New apps are released every day hoping to have that one killer feature that will keep it in use for longer than the average of just 20 days. But the reality is that just 20% of branded apps are downloaded more than 1,000 times, while 66% of all apps never even make it onto a device.

For an app to be successful, it needs to solve a problem for a large number of users – not knowing the weather forecast, wanting to find the fastest route home, the desire to order a pizza on the way home from work – with minimum fuss and maximum speed.

It will also need to be simple to use, with intuitive controls. If your app has managed to avoid being one of the 25% that is never used after download, the best way to get it deleted is to make it hard to use, with poor UX design. The app has to be built with the user in mind; something 3Squared’s design team does by mapping out every possible path the user could take and make the whole experience as smooth as possible.

3Squared have designed and built award-winning apps for some of the UK’s biggest brands, helping them to be downloaded onto some of the UK’s 50 million mobile devices. Whatever your business offers the customer, contact us today to find out how we can take you mobile.

 

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