With the Apple Watch release still a few weeks out we are seeing the first iPhone application updates coming out that already include support for Apple Watch.
You may have asked yourself if your business can take advantage of Apple’s new device and if you should call an iPhone application developer to build a mobile application that allows you to utilize the Apple Watch.
The first thing you need to understand is that Apple Watch applications are companions to iPhone applications, perhaps they are best thought of as extensions of iPhone apps.
A key area of opportunity with the Apple Watch is with notifications. Smart watches in general will enable users to interact without the need to pull out their smart phone, unlock it and then open the app. With the Apple Watch, there will be no need to take your iPhone out of your pocket as you will be able to read emails or tweets right from your wrist. This makes the Apple Watch the perfect place to create an effective notifications strategy.
Strategy is the key word here as brands that are successful will surely have one. You will not want to simply recreate your current notification strategy if you have one for your brand’s iPhone and Android applications. Consider how your customers will use the Apple Watch differently from how they use your iPhone application and consider how your user base is engaging with your current push notifications while developing your strategy.
With the smart watches you want to make sure notifications are relevant and add value. Breaking news items are a great example of relevant notifications that add value. Another might be a notification that a customer’s order has shipped.
A unique features of the Apple Watch is its Taptic Engine that creates haptic feedback. Which is basically a fancy way of saying the Apple Watch will tap you on the wrist when you receive an alert or notification. Due to the personal nature of this device, it is key that your messages truly matter.
Finally, due to the small size of the screen, it is crucial that you create succinct experiences that guide users. The limited space and newness of the device puts a premium on user experience.
In a recent report, Gartner, looking at patterns in mobile commerce, predicts that by 2017, U.S. consumers’ mobile application and mobile web usage will drive U.S. mobile commerce revenue to 50% of U.S. digital commerce revenue. Currently mobile commerce currently generates about 22% of digital commerce revenue, according to Gartner.
In other interesting findings, by year-end 2016, Gartner predicts that more than $2 billion in online shopping will be performed by mobile digital assistants, such as Google Now or Siri.
While some retailers will update to mobile payments quicker than others, this is actually a perfect time for retailers to make the jump due to new credit card standards and discuss mobile implications with their mobile application developer.
“New credit card standards will cause a shift in liability for fraudulent transactions in 2015, requiring retailers to update their point-of-sale systems for safer credit card transactions. This opens the door for point-of-updates to also accept mobile payment,” states Jennifer Polk, research director, Gartner.
Businesses that create a smooth purchasing path on mobile applications and web sites will appeal to consumers who are increasingly more comfortable and dependent on using mobile devices to not only research but purchase products and services.
As we are in the early months of 2015 one thing is clear in the world of mobile and that is that wearables are going to take off. We are seeing the hardware, software and user interest all coming together right now in a way that will drive growth. Wearables devices such as web-connected watches, fitness trackers and sensors for tracking health aren’t mainstream quite yet, but research firm Gartner projects wearables will be a multi-billion-dollar market by 2016.
One of the keys are the inexpensive sensors now available. These sensors are used in wearables to monitor activities such as health status. Lower component cost is bringing the costs down to an attractive point to users.
Software developers are developing mobile applications that interact with these devices bringing greater and greater functionality to users. Mobile applications developers can help you integrate wearable devices into your marketing program.
Forrester reports that 45 percent of online adults in the U.S. say they are interested in getting a wearable device. Of the respondents already interested in wearables, 44 percent cited numerous apps they would like to use on wearables, such as 66 percent say they would use wearables for access to maps.
Looking specifically at mobile commerce, 53 percent of the adults interested in wearables mentioned they would like to see information about products they are looking at on wearables while shopping. Additionally, 30 percent said they would like to receive proactive promotions from retailers on wearable, according to Forrester. Half of respondents cited they would like to be able to conduct online searches for information with a wearable.
The modern mobile user is sophisticated when it comes to advertising.
The modern mobile application and mobile web user does not respond well to marketing efforts that are forced upon them. In a recent study, AdVid details that 95 percent of the mobile users that they surveyed stated they are annoyed to receive messages from senders they haven’t given permission. It is best to ask for a users’ permission to deliver relevant marketing messages and then not abuse it.
An excellent way to get users to give you permission to market to them is to create incentives. iPhone application developers can help you create mobile programs that reward customers for being open to ads and other messaging on their devices are more likely to be participated in. Develop ways you can reward users who are willing to your receive your marketing efforts.
Understanding your users is easier than ever.
You have the technology to understand what your users are looking at and want, so improve your mobile marketing to fit their wants. Don’t waste time and money creating and delivering marketing that doesn’t speak to your users. Personalize the experience and you will get the best response. Marketing that doesn’t speak to your users will be opted out of or ignored.
Build integrated digital experiences that have consistent messaging.
Successful mobile app creation is aligned with your existing branding and can bring tremendous value to your customers. Effective mobile programs enhance your overall marketing campaign. But remember that key with mobile advertising programs is that you can use analytic data from app use to improve your marketing message and overall marketing response. In doing this you will also be developing marketing that speaks to your customer’s interests within your consistent brand messaging.
New predictions from ABI Research forecast that smartphone shipments will reach 1.25 billion before 2014’s end.
Even more exciting that that is the accelerated growth they forecast over the upcoming 4 years. They predict a compound annual growth rate of global smartphone shipments over the period of 12% leading to smartphone shipments in 2018 of 2 Billion units.
“While smartphone growth is beginning to fall, plenty of growth remains, with smartphone penetration of mobile subscribers under 30% worldwide,” states Nick Spencer, ABI Research.
As the device market continues to expand, mobile application markets continue to show exceptional growth as well. Gartner states in-app purchases are growing at a phenomenal 27.83% compound annual growth rate and predicts paid mobile application downloads will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 14.22% through 2017. Mobile application development is certainly going to be a key component of most businesses’ marketing strategy.
Wearable technology is set to enhance the mobile environment even further.
“When wearable technology reaches a point where it can be integrated into everyday life, companies who take advantage of its ability to interact effortless with consumers will benefit by being prepared to meet customers needs,” says Kimber Johnson, Managing Director of Pacific App Design.