Your Business, Is There An App For That?

by Simon Salt on Nov 21, 2011
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Apps rule the mobile world.

Now before you start screaming at me about HTML5 or QR codes, take a look at one single stat that might quiet you for a moment.

73% of mobile app users make a purchase from within an app*. That’s almost 3/4 of all app users. They are prepared to and have made purchases from an app. I’d say that was a significant number.

For those making a purchase from an app, operating system seems to be a factor:

  • 81% are Apple users
  • 72% are Android users
  • 63% are Blackberry users

Does Your Business Need A Mobile App?

Now before you rush out to your IT department and demand that they produce a mobile app consider this. 25% of apps are downloaded and only used once.

The primary reason is because the app doesn’t do what the developer claimed it would.

But even that is too blunt an analysis. When consumers say that the app doesn’t do what they thought it would what they really mean is that it doesn’t do what they need it to do.

How To Think About Brand Apps

The reason for that is most brands build their apps (along with the rest of their social presence) from what behavior they want from the consumer. Not from the perspective of the needs of the consumer.

The top two activities amongst smartphone users are sharing photos and checking the weather. Updating statuses on social media sites comes in at number three.

Taking those three data points together you have to ask why more apps do not leverage these activities rather than focusing on the brands needs through their app. Let’s pretend for a moment you are a clothing brand, here are two approaches you could take to building an app:

Approach One – An app that pushes the latest lines that you are selling, with the ability for a consumer to add them to a wish list and share their wish list with their social network.

Approach Two – An app that advises a user, based on their location, what outfits would be best to wear that day based on what the weather forecast is going to be. Allows users to take a picture of the outfit they wore and share that with their network – oh and it also makes suggestions from their latest line.

If you were the user which app are you most likely to use on a regular basis?

Just as with any other effort in the new paradigm in which we operate – that of the social consumer – you have to engineer your campaigns from the perspective of the customer, not your brand.

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Author, Writer, International Speaker on Digital Marketing/Social Media. Entrepreneur. Executive adviser to MomentFeed. Member of the Editorial Board for QUE publications (a Pearson brand). Englishman. Occasional Kilt wearer #5kilts....