Why Your Business Needs to Make Mobile Marketing a Priority

The age of mobile is here and it is here to stay. Everywhere you look today people are walking around with smartphones in their hands and using them to do everything from texting their friends to checking their emails and playing their favorite games. These devices are no longer just ordinary mobile phones; as a matter of fact they are as powerful as desktop computers with more speed and RAM than most laptops. So whether your business is brick-and-mortar, virtual, or both, you can utilize this marketing tool in some way.

Working with a mobile app development companies is easier and more affordable than you might think.

Working with a mobile app development companies is easier and more affordable than you might think. | Photo: TechStage (Flikr)

Participating in mobile marketing is simple to do as well. Working with a mobile app development company is easier and more affordable than you might think. Participating in mobile advertising programs has been streamlined, it is a snap to sign up for and utilize these programs.

In this post, we look at why mobile marketing is important for your business.

Reach a broader audience

Needless to say; many people are not buying or using desktop and laptop computers anymore. Why is this happening? Well, the truth is that with people doing so much on their smartphones and tablets today, they have no need for their bulky desktop computers anymore. For many people, especially those in developing countries, a mobile device is their only handheld computer and their only internet-connected device.

As more consumers use smartphones for many different purposes, you will have the power to reach a broader audience at the exact time and place they are looking for what you offer. Mobile apps give you a direct connection to these consumers on the device that is in the palm of their hand.

Social media advertising

Social media marketing is quickly evolving. In the earlier days, it was reserved only for cutting-edge brands willing to spend extra money for a marketing advantage over the competition. Today, however, as more social media platforms become available, and the number of loyal users exploding, social media advertising is a must have marketing strategy for every business in the world. And because it is less expensive than traditional advertising strategies, you should be part of it. Facebook, for example, commands a bigger audience than any other platform and has powerful tools to assist you in your campaign.

Mobile opens up virtual reality and other endless possibilities

Many exciting technologies like virtual reality advertising have come to mobile devices. And thanks to the advances in mobile technology and availability of inexpensive devices, it is going to change everything. It offers the opportunity to make deep, more meaningful connections with your audience. So, virtual reality is definitely something that mobile marketers should be excited about right now.

Mobile is more personal

Consumers often use their smartphone or tablet as their primary internet source, despite having a desktop computer nearby. This provides evidence for what we already know — mobile devices are naturally more personal than computers or any other device. Your mobile phone is always in your possession and you alone access it. For this reason, mobile marketing allows you to get closer to your customers and prospects than any other form of marketing. Since a mobile device is always near its owner, it will help your business gain credibility and prevent you from losing loyal customers.

Marketing techniques change with the wind and, as a digital marketer, it is usually a full time job keeping with the new trends. There is not a business out there today that could not benefit from a properly managed mobile marketing strategy to reach and engage customers.

Pic: TechStage (Flikr) http://bit.ly/2aMMbmC

How Mobile Coupons Can Drive Sales

The mobile device has rapidly become the most widely used technology in the world. It has become so key to people’s lives that for the first time in 2015, time spent on mobile phones surpassed time spent on desktop and laptop computers. This evolution of mobile phones and mobile apps has made the lives of consumers and marketers a lot easier and much more convenient. And as retailers, mobile app development companies and marketers are putting effort into finding ways to improve mobile programs; one of the easiest and best ways for them to get the most out of mobile offerings in 2016 is to use mobile coupons.

Mobile is turning out to be a crucial tool in the consumer’s shopping process.

Mobile is turning out to be a crucial tool in the consumer’s shopping process. | Photo: Kārlis Dambrāns (Flikr)

Mobile is turning out to be a crucial tool in the consumer’s shopping process. When a consumer wants a product or service, he or she embarks on a path to purchase. They use mobile devices all along the purchase path – from product discovery to coupon redemption to post purchase engagement.

As we all know, millennials, as a generation, are typically more impatient than previous generations. They want what they want when they want it. In other words, they expect to get nearly anything and everything brought right to their doorstep as fast as logistically possible. And when it comes to coupons their priorities aren’t different. Retailers should never underestimate the need to offer coupons on consumers’ smartphones.

How has mobile changed couponing?

More than 56% of consumers say they research their purchases online before buying in a store, according to a new research by eMarketer. Millennials like to research products, discover deals, find stores and read reviews online. They also use their mobile devices to check and compare prices in real time. And most retailers are now able to insert an offer or price to a shopper whilst they are considering a purchase, which has also proved to be a game changer for their businesses.

How mobile coupons can drive retail sales

Many retailers still rely on their physical stores to drive sales and customer loyalty. With that said, whether online or in-store, consumers expect in-store prices to be the same as online prices and today, consumers expect good deals when they shop. Consumers, particularly millennials, want offers and good deals as long as they do not have the usual hassle of paper coupons. They want their coupons to be easy to redeem. Making mobile coupons easy to redeem is not only beneficial to consumers, but to retailers.

Therefore, if you are running a retail business, it is always a good idea to build a fully functional couponing strategy into your mobile app. The ability to access coupons directly on smartphone can make the process a lot more efficient and improve sales.

Pic:  http://bit.ly/298gcgy

How to Conduct a Usability Test

Usability is key for the success of a mobile app. One of the best ways to determine if you app is usable to your customers is through usability testing. This will help you think about the app from the user’s perspective. Here are the steps to ensure a successful usability test.

1. User goals

Think about the activities users carry out on your mobile app that you would like to test. Which checkout method is more intuitive and user friendly? Which design features does your app need to boost sales and conversations? Setting viable usability objectives will help you to assess the performance of your application throughout development. And when establishing usability test objectives, be sure to discuss them with your team. Making it a team effort will help assure they are measurable, clarify the goals and all the goal questions are answered accurately.

2. Choose the right test

There are many usability test techniques. Choosing the right technique is important to a successful test project. Here are three of the most common types:

4557114137_7cdd321900_z

Choosing the right technique is important to a successful test project. | Photo: City University Interaction Lab (Flikr)

Scripted: A scripted test is one of the most common type of usability testing, and is recommended for analyzing the user’s interaction with the product based on set instructions. Scripted tests tend to target more specific goals and individual features.

De-contextualized: It analyzes in a more generalized way and discussing theoretical topics. It is ideal for targeting broad opinions and idea generation.

Natural: This test is recommended for examining the user’s behavior and identifying their feelings with accuracy – by analyzing him/her in their own environment.

After you identify the type of usability test to run, share this with your team and plan accordingly.

3. Create user tasks

Usability user tasks are meant to give you valuable insight. Regardless of whether you do everything right or wrong, usability testing will always work provided you get your user tasks right. Since users tasks are either open or closed, your test should include both.

Closed: This question is asked to confirm or verify, usually eliciting only simple answers.

Open: This is a question, which cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”. For example, what factors you take into account when buying a car? These questions normally lead to accurate answers.

4. Write a research plan document

It is important to provide your team a small research plan document about a page and encourage them to actually read it. While keeping everything short and precise, be sure to cover the following key sections: background, goals, questions, tactics, participants, timeline, and test script. Consider advice and suggestions from your team members as well.

5. Carry out the test

Once you have gathered all the feedback from your team, you can now carry out the test. This entails writing the actual test documentation, scheduling times and recruiting the right participants.

6. Write a report

To ensure everyone is on the same page, draft up a quick usability report so as to share the results with your team. As you write the report, keep the following in mind: avoid vagueness, prioritize issues and include recommendations.

Conclusion

Mobile app testing is expensive and time consuming, yet critical to ensure users have a positive experience when they use your app. It is important you ensure that the experience is a great one for every user whenever they use your application. Hopefully, you now understand about the procedure associated with mobile app usability test.

Pic: http://bit.ly/1Ugu96M

Why Businesses Need BOTH Mobile Apps and Mobile Friendly Websites

By now it should be widely accepted that businesses need both mobile apps and mobile friendly websites so as to be able to operate in the modern business world. Some people may still be tempted to question the need for a mobile app if they already have in place a mobile friendly website. However, if you just sit back and look at the facts, then you will see the logic in this. The truth of things is that we have gone mobile in a big way. People will rarely sit there mobile gadgets down and this has resulted in an increase the number of online purchase.

The modern day business dynamics dictates that you will need to move beyond a mobile-friendly website to attract and retain a reasonable number of customers to your business.

The modern day business dynamics dictates that you will need to move beyond a mobile-friendly website to attract and retain a reasonable number of customers to your business. | Kārlis Dambrāns (Flikr)

The modern day business dynamics dictates that you will need to move beyond a mobile-friendly website to attract and retain a reasonable number of customers to your business. Your business will have to advance to the level of a mobile dedicated app. A mobile app will let consumers keep in touch with your business though their small screen in the way they are used to keeping in contact with their other favored businesses.

The good news is that many small businesses have already seen light at the end of the tunnel and are therefore developing their mobile apps as the days go by. They have come to realize that app development is a very essential component of their marketing strategy. The rapid development in technology has made things better than before. App developers have an opportunity to come up with apps which have got better features and are easier to use. This has boosted the performance of the mobile apps.

It would however be untrue to claim that mobile apps only benefit small businesses. Large businesses have been able to benefit tremendously from the mobile apps. Research has been done to show the types of small businesses that are making use of the mobile apps. A great percentage of the businesses that make use of mobile apps are in the health and food industry. Hairdressing and automotive industries also take a considerable portion of the circle. Religious organizations, charities, event organizers and legal bodies have equally not been left behind. If you look at almost any industry you can find an example of a business making use of mobile applications to help their business grow.

Given the fact that developing a mobile app is very cost effective, it is within the financial capability of most businesses.

All these should however not lead one to the conclusion that mobile websites should now be forgotten. Mobile web sites are essential to help you be found by new customers. These websites be developed in such a way that they provide more personalized experience, just like a mobile app.

Pic:  http://bit.ly/1SKhU2w

Quick Tips for Mobile Application Development

The world is at our fingertips, thanks to the presence of smartphones and mobile application development companies who keep on coming up with innovative mobile apps that make life easier. There are a multitude of mobile apps available in the Google Play and Apple Stores to cater to different user needs. All this has an impact on the world as a whole. Many companies are looking forward to developing their own mobile applications so that they can better communicate and sell their products to their target audience.

Your app should aim to meet the primary needs of the user or the business you are developing the application for

Your app should aim to meet the primary needs of the user or the business you are developing the application for | Photo: Kārlis Dambrāns (Flikr)

The following are some quick tips that a business or developer embarking on mobile application development efforts should keep in mind.

Ease of use

Even though almost half of the world population now own smartphones, it does not necessarily mean that that everyone is an expert at using them. Your application should be easy to use and created in such a manner that they intuitively serve their assigned objective. Difficult to use applications often puzzle users and are abandoned or deleted.

Create an offline experience

Sure your home and office sure have reliable WI-FI, but away from there the user of your application has a completely different experience. Sometimes, the network is slow; sometimes there is no network at all. Perhaps your app user is on a camping trip in a remote area. Or, maybe, they are on a flight and they don’t want to pay for WI-FI. That is why you need to think ahead about how an application works in the offline mode or when Wi-Fi isn’t available. You should attempt to provide, as much as possible, the same user experience even on spotty network areas.

You should plan on your app being available on as many devices as possible

An increasing number of mobile application development companies recognize that users no longer stick to a single device. Today, devices of all kinds – smartphones, tablets, phablets, wearables, etc. – are pouring into the market. For this reason, developers need to make sure their application is available across multiple devices and platforms.

Don’t pack in too many features

As a developer, your app should only aim to meet the primary needs of the user or the business you are developing the application for. Focus only on your target audience while building your app. Good user experience means doing more with less. Anything that the user will find difficult to use will not sell and this means wasted time, money and effort on your part.

Test your application

The main testing phase in mobile application development comes after the application has been coded and before the launch. Most of negative app reviews are associated with bugs that were not picked up before the launch. So it is important to spend a decent amount of time testing the application throughout the whole process — to ensure its quality.

These tests are absolutely important in order to ensure that you are entering the market with a strong product. The application may not pass your testing the first time but if you run it through the cycle of tests a few times and make the necessary tweaks and improvements, the application will eventually hold strong.

Conclusion

Creating your first mobile application can be a challenging experience. It requires a great deal of technical, designing and development knowledge. However, the above tips can give you a great start. If you start in the right direction, you will definitely be able to create great applications that will serve users and companies better.

Pic: http://bit.ly/1oqHrVN