Monthly Archives: June 2015

Increase Retail Sales with High-powered Mobile Applications

Over the past 7 years the way consumers shop has dramatically changed.

With the introduction of the smart phone, consumers found they had a wealth of information right at their fingertips, which opened up a whole new era of retail. Retail shopping is not longer a distinctly different activity from online shopping as customers are now able to integrate the benefits of online shopping into their retail shopping experiences.

Consumers shop with their smart phones in their hands

Consumers shop with their smart phones in their hands | Photo: Kārlis Dambrāns (Flikr)

Consumers shop with their smart phones in their hands while in the store. Utilizing their devices to compare prices and read reviews on products they are interested in. Mobile devices are also used to look for coupons and deals.

Savvy businesses have followed this trend and are providing consumers with the tools they want in their mobile applications. Understanding the needs of your consumer is crucial before beginning a mobile app development project. These needs should be communicated to your iPhone application developer or Android application developer.

In a study created by SessionM, it was shown that when shopping for everyday items, 65 percent of consumers used their smart phones during shopping to search for coupons, compare prices or to access a shopping list.

Clearly with numbers this high, applications built for businesses that have retails outlets should consider that their customers will be looking for prices, reviews and deals while in their stores and provide the appropriate information in an easy to use format.

Look at mobile apps as a way to augment the in-store shopping experience by being able to provide the info customers are looking for all in one place in the palm of their hand. Studies like the above provide a general idea of what consumers are looking for but don’t assume a one-size-fits-all approach works. What information are your businesses’ customers looking for? Great apps begin with the customer.


Start With Your Customers for Powerful Mobile Application Development

The mobile application market’s growth has been tremendous over the past several years and it is only expected to keep right on growing.

While this is good news for businesses that have embraced mobile, other businesses run the risk of slipping even further behind the curve. The fact of the matter is that not all apps are equal.

Developing a mobile strategy is essential to succeeding in the modern application landscape

Developing a mobile strategy is essential to succeeding in the modern application landscape | Photo: Jorge Quinteros (Flikr)

Some businesses have worked out a winning formula, while others are trying to figure out the right strategy, others are simply tossing darts into the dark and others haven’t acted at all. Regardless of where your business sits on that spectrum, it is clear that developing a mobile strategy is essential to succeeding in the modern application landscape.

Consumer’s expectations are changing as they are more fully integrating mobile applications into their lifestyle and businesses need to be able to understand consumer behavior to fulfill their expectations. It is important to develop a strategy before you start your mobile application development, a key ingredient to this is understanding your customers.

Consumers have become proficient with applications and expect apps that not only fulfill a need but that allow them to do so rapidly. Great user experiences are essential, otherwise users become frustrated and delete applications.

To avoid being one of the apps that is used once and deleted you must first start but understanding your customer’s expectations. Beyond that you must also understand the mobile medium and blend together a user experience that addresses the consumer’s needs with a tool that leverages that power of mobile.

Businesses that are not working towards this run the risk of being left behind as apps are becoming increasingly more important to business and are flirting with taking over first screen status. According to Gartner, “by 2017, mobile apps will be downloaded more than 268 billion times, generating revenue of more than $77 billion and making apps one of the most popular computing tools for users across the globe.”

Many businesses site down and develop and agenda of what they want their mobile application to do without ever stopping to consider the customer. If your mobile application does not address the needs of your consumers, it won’t spark their interest and will most likely be deleted quickly.

Key to this is engagement. For years we heard this word with social media and its just as important or maybe more so with mobile applications. Part of this is providing relevant information. Mobile is wonderful in its ability to allow you to personalize messaging and to make it as relevant as possible. Working with a user experience designer can help you provide an intuitive interface that helps increase adoption and loyalty. UI | UX design is more important than ever and crucial to mobile application success.

Try to keep an eye on the future too. If you release an app that was dated before it even made it to the app store you are not doing your business any favors. Consumers are tech savvy and up on the latest trends.


Improve Your Customers’ Shopping Experiences with Mobile Applications

Technology has transformed marketing. Yet, in a world of what seems to be boundless possibilities it is important to to remember that technology is a tool and that it must be used to improve the customer experience if it is going to be useful.

In other words, if you are just using technology for the sake of using technology with no real plan how to improve the customer experience, you run the risk of turning away customers.

Your approach should keep the consumer in mind

Your approach should keep the consumer in mind | Photo: Vincent Lee (Flikr)

In the mobile age, it is more important than ever to take an approach that starts with the consumer. What are your customers’ needs? Work towards addressing those needs with your iPhone application development or Android application development project.

Don’t get so caught up in what you want to accomplish that your app fails to resonate with users, the app stores are full of apps that are rarely used that were created to drive corporate agendas.

Popular applications that engage users understand consumer behavior and fulfill the needs consumers have.

Be customer centric

Make sure you build your application to improve your customers’ shopping experiences, a key component of this is personalization. One of the greatest opportunities with mobile devices is personalization. Consumers are generally more willing than you may expect to give you access to some personal information if it is used to improve their user experience. In fact, these days consumers basically expect that your are tailoring the experience and messaging to them and their preferences. Apps should offer unique personal value, recommendations and in general, improve service to consumers.

Improve the in-store experience

Physical stores have had a similar feel for years, but now you can improve your customers’ in-store experience with mobile. Consumers now expect to be able to find answers instantly and on the showroom floor is no exception. Analyze the in-store experience you offer can compare it to what mobile savvy customers expect to find areas you can improve in-store shopping. Modern consumers use mobile to read reviews, compare prices, check availability and more. Mobile is the perfect medium to deliver personalized content to consumers at just the right time in the right location.

Have a coordinated program

Evaluate how your in-store program relates to you web site and mobile apps and how they all fix together. Remember that the path to purchase has changed and that consumers now follow a path that could be both online and offline. A coordinated effort is needed to makes sure consumers have seamless experiences. Consumers may start shopping on your app or in your store and complete the transaction later. Make sure that you have the systems in place to allow consumers to do this as this is how people shop now.


Is Mobile Messaging the Marketing Answer You Are Looking For?

For years businesses have understood the importance of social media and have developed strategies to market their brands via Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus. But as with everything else, things change.

Often when brands are discussing mobile marketing and social marketing they focus on the big name networks of Facebook and Twitter and don’t realize that that may not be on the right network to reach their audience who may be spending their time somewhere else.

People from the younger generation consume a great deal of information on mobile devices and are essentially digital natives. Taking a mobile-first approach is important with younger demographics, they have been raised using mobile applications and interacting via mobile is a way of life for them.

Don't be afraid to see if mobile messaging apps are right for you

Don’t be afraid to see if mobile messaging apps are right for you | Photo: AdamPrzezdziek (Flikr)

A great way to reach this tech savvy younger demographic is to present something fresh in a new space. To do this many brands are focusing marketing attention to red hot mobile messaging apps like Snapchat and WhatsApp.

People are spending a lot of time on mobile messaging apps, and it can be a challenge (WhatsApp doesn’t accept advertising), but the space is filled with opportunities that are being successfully navigated by many brands. Innovative brands have even found high profile ways to market via the dating app Tinder. During SXSW, Tinder was used to promote the Ex Machina movie, with an AI character named Ava from the movie in the app.

Key to a successful mobile messaging marketing strategy is to be able to respect the consumers’ point of view while they are on these applications.  The brands with the best results from these apps are those that have figured out how to utilize to each platform’s strength. Rather than utilizing one-size-fits all messaging or simply trying to blatantly promote your brand,  you must understand the consumers mindset for each and create messaging that works within the flow of use.

A good example would be to use Snapchat to show behind the scenes operations or previews of upcoming products. These can build excitement for your brand without seeming obtrusive like advertisements.

Remember that you need to be careful about how you utilize messaging apps for marketing. Hard selling will not work. These apps are built for personal communication and users will expect brands to respect that. However, with a little creativity, these apps can be used to deepen relationships with consumers.


4 Quick Tips to Help Format Marketing Emails for Mobile Devices

Mobile is has affected business in many ways over the past 7 years. Your business has most likely added a responsive web site and mobile applications over that past few years to improve how it communicates with its customers.

But have you looked at the way you are sending emails? Have you considered that over half of the email that are opened are viewed on mobile devices?

Optimize your email for improved effectiveness

Optimize your email for improved effectiveness | Photo: Sharon & Nikki McCutcheon (Flikr)

In today’s business world it is important that you consider the effect of smaller screens on your email communications. Savvy mobile age marketers consider how their email will be viewed and optimize for improved effectiveness.

On top of email being read more often on smaller devices now you will also need to consider that your audience is giving less and less time to each piece of digital content, you need to grab their attention quickly or risk being ignored. People now read emails anywhere and everywhere, while they are busy or on-the-go and are selective about what they read. It is more important than ever that you consider these factors to improve the effectiveness of your emails.

Here are 4 quick tips to help you format your marketing emails for mobile devices:

Purposeful Subject

When writing your subject, first consider that only 30-45 characters may be visible prior to someone actually opening their email. On some devices that number can be even lower. Space is a premium so make sure you use it wisely. The goal of your subject line is to entice the recipient to open your email. It should be meaningful and related to key information that invite the consumer to read on.

Engaging Visual Content

Once your recipient has opened your email, it is important that you keep them engaged. Graphics can grab a users attention and hep keep them reading. Visuals should be related to the subject and add to the communication. Make sure that that visuals are optimized for smart phones. However, many email programs block images so make sure your email is effective without it and that you utilize alt tags.

Organize for Scanning

Make your email easy for users to scan with bullet points and bold statements highlighting key information. Assume that your reader will be giving your email a quick glance and make it easy for them to understand the message on a quick review. Don’t opt for small fonts, make it easy for your recipient to read. You will want to use 12 point font size for body copy and 20 point size for the headline to make it easy to read. Avoid fonts much larger to help stay out of your readers’ spam folders.

Make it Obvious What Your Reader Should Do

After taking the effort of sending out a message you want to make sure it is obvious what your reader should do. Your call to action should be noticeable and easy to read.