Remember when your website was so blah (you know, the one you made yourself) and then finally you hired an expert? Or how about the time you caught on to social media and decided to set up a Facebook page? Well, you’re not done yet. As long as your business is making online connections, it’s highly recommended that you follow digital trends and learn about creating an app for your business.
According to Sam Costello from About.com, in January 2008 there were 800 apps in the iPhone App Store and in October 2013, Apple reported it had 1,000,000 apps (with 475,000 native to iPad). Back then, Apple CEO Tim Cook shared that more than 60 billion total apps had been downloaded. Imagine what that number is now? If this is news to you, alarm bells should be going off…
Ingrid Lunden of Tech Crunch reported that “By 2017, Gartner projects that there will be 268 billion downloads annually, amounting to $77 billion in revenue. If accurate, this means that in general, app revenue growth is actually going to overtake that of download growth. Downloads will grow 2.6 times in the next four years, while revenues are increasing 2.9-fold.”
Don’t Feed the Whales
Let’s assume you have a smartphone and know about apps. So when was the last time you used an app? As app users go, are you a:
- Regular user (you use apps 16 times or less per day)
- Super user (you use apps more than 16 times per day but less than 60) or
- Addict (termed a “whale”)?
According to Mobile Advertising platform Flurry, “a ‘whale’ is a mobile app power user who launches a particular app 60 or more times a day. The average app user only launches a particular app 10 times a day.” Flurry also reported that as of March of this year, there were 176 million “whales” in the U.S. (See usage statistic here).
There’s An App for That
Whatever type of app user you might be, app usage is up among your fellow Americans and International friends, and it will continue to climb. People are using apps to buy millions of different items, to be entertained, to keep track of their weight, and even to help them sleep at night. As a business owner selling goods or services, this information should matter to you. Here is some information by the Pew Research Internet Project to back up our point:
As of January 2014,
- 90% of American adults had a cell phone
- 58% of American adults had a smartphone
As of May 2013
- 63% of adult cell owners used their phones to go online.
- 34% of cell internet users went online mostly using their phones, and not using some other device such as a desktop or laptop computer
We look forward to Pew’s updated stats on how many users solely use their phone to go online – we know that percentage has climbed! Knowing so many people are accessing the internet via their phones, are also on the run, and using apps for everyday life, means you may very well have the opportunity to provide an additional service to them through your app.
Here are our tips on how to get started with your new app.
- Think about your app as a promotional tool for your products and services. How can you showcase them differently than what is shown on your website? How can you make buying easier? What type of experience can your app provide that your website cannot? How can you provide value to your users, even if it does not directly equate to a sale, but it keeps them coming back? How can you look to update your app regularly with special app-only sales and promotions or even event invites?
- Take a look at the top iPhone apps. The best apps keep the user experience simple, customizable, with a single sign on technology like Facebook Connect, and with an added in feedback system to report bugs or suggestions.
- When designing, don’t go all out. Settle with a basic app so you can test the waters to see what works.
- Hire a professional app developer with the required expertise
- See if there are other apps in the app store that are close to what you want. Share that with the developer and tell them what you like/don’t like. Make sure they are very clear about your end goal and what you want your users to gain.
- Create a confidentiality agreement between you and the possible developer and consider an NDA or non-disclosure agreement if you think its necessary.
Good luck with your app! As always, feel free to reach out to us at MySMN for a quote for app design services, as well as website design, social media, local search optimization, SEO, email marketing and PPC. Contact email: firstname.lastname@example.org (619) 344-8906.