The app ecosystem is filled with those who offer unsolicited advice; urging you to make certain changes, cater to a certain audience or follow a certain app monetization path, for instance. Most of the time, this advice comes from people with very little experience, and even less success. Our unsolicited advice for you: Take their advice with a grain of salt.
Instead, we suggest to listen to your users, as well as the proven experts – many of whom were on hand for the annual MobileBeat conference that took place earlier this month. With guests like Google’s Global Head of Performance Media, L’Oreal’s Vice President of Ecommerce and Multichannel Business, and Walmart’s Senior Vice President of Digital and Mobile, there was no shortage of unique insight.
Here were four key themes/takeaways that caught our attention:
#1. Customer retention first, new users second
Getting consumers to notice and download your app is only half the battle with mobile app success. As Google’s Global Head of Performance Media Jason Spero said, “Use the foothold of the app install as the starting point of the conversation with the consumer, not the end.”
In other words, success comes from retaining and engaging your customer after they’ve already downloaded the app – not from the download itself.
One of the many ways to do this is by creating an app with features that can be integrated into someone’s daily life. Spero uses the example of GrubHub, which simplifies the user’s experience with a click-to-call functionality, and saves his payment credentials and remembers his food preferences. It doesn’t have to be life-changing; it just needs to make their lives better in some regard.
#2. Stop being so app crazy
To expand on his point about customer engagement, Spero made an interesting point about mobile apps— maybe they’re not necessary. He said that 50 to 75% of companies would benefit from a well-designed mobile website to cater to customer needs.
“Does everything need to be an app?” he asked. “We need to invest in the experience on the mobile web, not just apps.”