Geeks Chicago Technology News
With smartphone adoption out pacing PCs, going mobile moves to the top of many business goals. Mobile connections help improve performance for brick-and-mortar stores and eCommerce sites, so there should be no downside to the decision. And there is no downside to going mobile, only in how the move is implemented. A little pre-planning can help new entrants to the mobile category avoid the most common, and largest, mistakes.
Mistake #1–Missing the Marketing Window
When developing an app, many companies ignore the fact that they need to notify their customer base. However, customers that don't know about an app can't download it. That idea may seem self-evident, but many new apps miss out on downloads due to the publish and forget it method of marketing. Simply adding a link to the different supported app stores can help leverage an existing customer base.
Mistake #2–Dropping the Ball on Retention
High download numbers don't automatically translate into high usage numbers. In fact, 90 percent of people who download an app stop using it within six months. Why? Because the app doesn't offer ongoing value for the user. During the mobile app development process, be sure to identify why and how the app will continue to add value. It might deliver special offers or discounts, or it might push notifications to remind customers to check for changes. Whatever method is used, the crucial part of the equation is the ability to understand the customer's needs.
Mistake #3–Forgetting to Consider the Customer Base
The customer may or may not always be right, but they should always be first. When planning an app, it is important to keep in mind that the biggest benefit of mobile device usage is the personal nature of the communication. Users expect a high level of customer service and communication, and through multiple communication lines it is possible to meet those expectations. The app store offers very little in the way of customer engagement, limiting things to just a rating and review. Building in-app communication modules allows customers to directly communicate their problems, questions and concerns, creating a two-way dialogue that will benefit both sides.
Mistake #4–Applying PC Strategies to Mobile Devices
Although a smartphone could be described as a pocket PC, the user experience is very different. The beauty of an app, versus a mobile website, is the ability to access data, regardless of Internet connectivity. An app that works more like a mobile website advertises ignorance in the mobile sector. Designing a responsive app that works across multiple devices doesn't have to be a major undertaking with platforms like Magento. By building the functionality and letting you personalize the final product, you get a native app that has all the features you and your customer are looking for, without the expense of custom development.
Mistake #5–Succumbing too early to Shiny, New Technologies
Just because there is a new style of app on the market, doesn't mean you need to jump on board. Wait for verifiable proof of concept. More technologies fail than succeed, so getting in too early could leave you with an app that quickly becomes obsolete or never gains any respectable market share. Take a look at what happened with multimedia and software platform Flash. While this format offered some interesting features for web design, ultimately, it was not a success. Glitchy loading and incompatibility issues pushed it out of the market.
If you avoid these big problem areas, you have the opportunity to break into the world of eCommerce via a mobile platform. The keys to success are careful planning, native app design and a solid platform.