Mobile application development is the #1 priority for businesses and enterprises in 2021. Are you well-equipped to plan your requirements and develop a robust business mobile app?
Mobile app development in 2021: Practices you should follow
As consumer behavior continues to evolve, more and more businesses adapt their strategy to earn customer satisfaction. With the increased public usage of smartphones, e-commerce and mobile backing experience a significant boom. A mobile app is essential for running a business successfully, and its significance has been more than ever before.
A mobile app is not just a mobile version of your website but is a crucial engagement and experience-driven environment needed for a cohesive customer journey. A mobile app can help build a strong mobile presence and attract a large audience towards your services or products.
According to a survey, by 2021, there will be around 7 billion mobile users worldwide, and by 2022, it is estimated that the annual mobile app downloads will reach 258 billion.
According to the ContractIQ survey, roughly 62% of businesses already have an app or are in the process of developing one. 50% of these businesses use their apps for support and engagement, 30% for revenue generation, and 20% for branding. Many companies are investing in mobile apps as they help generate new or expand an existing business.
With many countries still under lockdown and others following social distancing, the demand for apps such as digital payments, groceries, and entertainment has increased tremendously. Many enterprises and businesses have resorted to digital platforms and are reaping their benefits.
Here, we have discussed the importance of investing in mobile apps for your business and how it can boost your business growth even during a pandemic.
Why invest in mobile apps?
With more people turning to mobile apps to interact with brands, businesses’ mobile presence has become necessary.
In general, mobile apps help boost sales, provide a better customer experience and become more competitive.
According to a research by Clutch, two main reasons by which mobile apps facilitate business growth are:
- Improving customer service
- Providing a return on investment
Read more: Mobile App Development: 4 Tips To Consider
Five ways mobile apps benefit your business
1. Adds value to your customers
Customer engagement is the most significant aspect of customer relations, interactions, and transactions. When someone looks for your product or service, it’s essential to keep the person engaged.
You will have to increase your interaction with the customers for better promotion of sales.
So how does a mobile app fit in here? Starbucks’ mobile app is the best example of successful digital engagement that’s both innovative and inviting. Its user-friendly mobile experience, engaging loyalty program, mobile pay and ordering, and integration with other platforms and services make the coffee chain a customer experience leader.
To put it simply, a mobile app like Starbucks can offer an outstanding and engaging digital experience to customers.
2. Boosts brand building
In the past, brands used to advertise their services through posters, calendars, refrigerator magnets, billboards, and hoardings. Companies imprint their brand logos on such mementos to increase their visibility.
Today, a mobile app is capable of replacing all these. A mobile application can promote brand awareness and recognition among customers and be an effective communication channel. By regularly interacting with your target audience through the mobile app, you can earn customer trust.
Customized mobile apps help educate your customers about your brand and engage them effectively. The more they listen to you and your sales pitches, the more they will commit to your brand.
Read more: Top Technologies Used to Develop Mobile Apps
3. Increases sales
You can incorporate different loyalty programs into your mobile app. It will make your customers revisit your store (digital/ physical) and spend more time. Offering rewards in tiered layers allow customers to earn better incentives as they move from one level to another. It will help boost brand recognition.
Gamification is another way by which you can reward winning customers and provide discounts and prices to pre-defined activities such as sharing pictures or a notification. Scratch-and-win is another feature that can help raise engagement among users. It can work well for both customers and vendors.
4. Improves efficiency
Integrated shopping carts with food ordering and scheduling allow the business to house these functionalities like a digital footprint within the app. For instance, if an eatery incorporates an online food ordering system within its app, it will more likely see a significant increase in online and in-app ordering. Similarly, if a retail business collaborates with an e-commerce system, it will see a productivity improvement and eventually overall sales. With mobile apps, companies can enhance user engagement with inbuilt scheduling software that notifies users about the schedule.
5. Build a loyal customer base
Having a loyal customer base is very critical for any business. A mobile app is one of the best ways to engage with customers and create a loyal customer base. An app allows customers to interact with your business at their convenience. With referral programs, you can encourage your clients to refer your products or services to others.
If you are not convinced with the above points, here are a few more reasons to consider incorporating mobile apps into your business strategy.
- Notify users about your new offers and products
- Reach out to younger audiences
- Sync email and social media accounts of users
- Stay ahead of the competition
View infographic: All you need to know before selecting a mobile app development method
Consider a few things before getting started
Planning your mobile app
Before developing your mobile app, you must plan. You need to outline details like objectives, budget, specifications, and scope. Get a clear picture of your app before sending it to a mobile app developer so that you can be quoted accurately, reasonably, and realistically.
Choose the right developer
We may sound a little biased here. However, we need to say that we’re helping brands worldwide to realize their visions w.r.t. their mobile apps. We provide consistent, high-quality, and cost-effective results with robust, agile teams and dedicated QA practices. Our experts can help you identify your requirements precisely, select the technology and framework needed to build your app, customize the app according to your requirements, and update and maintain it regularly.
Watch video: Fingent can help you choose the right mobile app development approach by evaluating your requirements.
If you’re not sure how or where to start with your enterprise or business mobile app, we’re here to help. Fingent’s mobile app development team has curated an app specification template that is simple and straightforward. Please fill out this template and share it with us. Our expert will get back to you with the answers.
Alternatively, you can send us your requirements and queries by clicking here.
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Technology is always in a constant state of flux, and 2017 promises to be no different. Successful are those companies who keep an ear to the ground, and discern the latest trends, to gain early mover advantage. Here are the top tech trends unfolding in 2017.
1. The High Demand for Enterprise Mobility Apps
If there is a sure shot winner in 2017, its enterprise app development. As enterprises discover the tremendous potential that mobility brings in terms of productivity improvement, unlocking new possibilities, improving coordination between field staff and the main office, enabling on-the-move executives to remain connected, facilitating real-time decision making, and much more, they are scurrying to develop mobile app solutions for all their critical functions.
Gartner estimates the demand for mobile apps to outstrip supply by a whopping ratio of five to one. The challenge posed by the extremely fluid technology space, where technology changes by the day, is worsened by the severe talent crunch. New app development technologies that promote low-node and no-code options are becoming popular, but there is no short-cut to seasoned expertise to roll out intuitive apps that tick all boxes of customer satisfaction. Here is a list of top enterprise developers.
2. User Experience Becomes All-Supreme
The competition for eyeballs has never been so intense before. With more and more players scrambling to gain the attention of a finite number of customers, enterprises are not just offering multiple points of contact, such as websites, mobile optimized websites, mobile apps, and more, but they also ensure all these channels come fully optimized for the device, to deliver an immersive user experience.
Users able to navigate the website or app easily, finding what they are looking for without putting in much of an effort, are likely to stay long. This raises the stakes of web development and web designing, to offer powerful yet simple user experience, optimized for the device. Web development now becomes a strategic activity, packing in the optimal list of features, in a simple easy-to-navigate design, and ensuring good UX at the same time. This trend of rolling out simple, yet powerful UX will gain further ground in 2017.
3. Collaborative Tools Gain CentreStage
The cloud and mobility are well entrenched, offering executives a world of convenience to work from anywhere, at any time. However, online collaboration still requires supporting infrastructure. Among the various solutions that have come up to facilitate collaboration, Microsoft SharePoint leads the pack, and is likely to continue its domination in 2017. Microsoft SharePoint is basically a collaboration and document management platform, enabling groups to set up a centralized space to share documents.
In 2016, Microsoft launched SharePoint Hybrid, which is in a sense the best of both worlds, an enterprise platform residing partly on-premises and partly within the Cloud. There is now also the provision to link on-premises version of SharePoint with Office365. As the New Year unfolds, further advancements are in the offing, especially in facilitating better content collaboration, mobility, intelligence and trust. As the cloud become even more popular, the cloud version of SharePoint will likely see big improvements.
4. The Return of the ERP
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is in a revival of sorts, after years of lull. ERP may seem as anarchism in today’s fast paced world, considering deployment of ERP required complex rollouts running into years. What pushes the case for ERP is top ERP vendors reinventing themselves and delivering a far faster and smoother rollout. The game changer is cloud based ERP, or a SaaS offering, allowing enterprises the unprecedented flexibility of picking and choosing the modules they like for their ERP implementation. SaaS-based ERP is likely to gain considerable ground in 2017, as a means for enterprises to remain organized on a structured and connected way. Success would depend on the ERP solution that continues to deliver traditional service, and leverage the available big data to the hilt.
Among the many ERP vendors, SAP, the time-tested old warhorse leads the pack, as the most popular ERP suite preferred across sectors and company size.
5. Artificial Intelligence and Augmented Reality Goes Strong
That Artificial Intelligence (AI) has awesome potential is never in doubt. AI powered tools such as Google Translate, Amazon’s Alexa home assistant, and more have already become well entrenched and hugely popular offerings. More and more such apps would go mainstream in the coming year, with the power of Artificial Intelligence tapped for everything from driver-less cars to medical research.
Side by side, virtual reality will continue its golden run, but it eventually stands to be supplanted by Augmented or Mixed Reality. Virtual Reality based products such as Oculus Rift, Sony’s PlayStation VR and HTC Vive are the rage now, but in 2017, AR based products such as Pokémon Go, which allow superimposing information or content of any kind on real world settings will take over.
6. Internet of Things Gets a Reality Check
The Internet of Things received it first big challenge in September 2016, when some malware took control of millions of internet-connected devices and launched what has been the largest-in-class attack to date. The attack left large swathes of internet inaccessible for days. Undoubtedly, 2017 will see several such attacks, much more potent, bringing a reality-check to the hype surrounding the Internet of Things. There will be a major focus on security as well in the IoT scheme of things.
IT stakeholders are still like hares caught in headlights, when it comes to cyber attacks. To counter security threats, encryption has now become mainstream, to the extent the New York Times is now accepting news tips via the encrypted app Signal. However, it would require much more innovation to truly secure networks, and it remains to be seen whether any path-breaking security paradigms emerge in 2017.
7. Convergence Inches Closer to Reality
2017 will also witness a convergence of the internet and television, or live TV, allowing us to see television when we want it, rather than fix our schedule around television shows. YouTube is already putting together a live TV package, and players such as Hulu and Amazon are positioning to enter the fray.
Mere knowledge of the top tech trends is useless unless the enterprise is capable enough to leverage the trends, to roll out cutting edge solutions that confer early-mover status and significant competitive advantage. This is where most enterprises, faced with talent crunch and an already overburdened IT team, falter. We can help you here. Our team of highly experienced and talented developers is always on the top of the game, having successfully executed several mobility and other solutions for enterprises cutting across sectors and industries.
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Mobility is booming. The number of mobile users worldwide touched 4.43 billion in 2015, and the figure is expected to reach 5.07 billion by 2019.
The rise of mobility has corresponded with a surge in demand and acceptance of mobile apps. However, expecting a free ride by conjuring up a namesake app is asking for trouble.
Enterprises have no option these days but to roll out mobile apps for the convenience of their internal users and employees, but success demands such apps be of high quality and have a high degree of user adoption. Here are some tips in the direction.
1. Get the Basics Right
When it comes to mobile apps, the first degree of association is with a responsive design, where the format adjusts automatically, to suit the highly fragmented screen size of mobile devices. However, responsive design is now the basic requirement, as is effective planning on the scope of the app, and creating a prototype.
It requires much more effort that such basics to build a successful mobile app.
2. Never Compromise on the UX
The best apps are well designed, both in terms of visuals and the user experience (UX).
Never underestimate the power of simplicity. A simple, neat and clean interface best suits most mobile devices, with its small form factors. Simplicity is not just in the design, but also in the feature list. Make sure to eliminate any unnecessary feature, and make everything clearly visible. Even subtle changes in design make a big difference in usability.
The best UX design is also relative to the platform. Each platform has a native way of screen layouts, displaying information, and navigation. For instance, iOS tabs have a built-in NavigationController, facilitating multiple levels of navigation inside each tab. Android tabs, on the other hand, are shallow, and have no in-tab navigation. Trying to implement iOS-like functionality in Android, such as in-tab navigation leads to confusion, and is counterintuitive.
3. Focus on a Specific Function
The biggest mistake related to mobile apps is considering the app as a micro version of the website. The most successful apps cater to a specific function or niche. It solves a specific problem or does a limited number of things, but enables doing it well. For instance, a field service app makes the life of a field service technician easier, by allowing her to download the relevant inspection forms, access information related to the plant she is visiting, and connect with external help for real-time troubleshooting. Saddling the app with unnecessary features such as customer care, sales reports and more would only serve to make the app bloated, harder to use, and counter-intuitive.
At the same time, make sure every single enterprise app is part of a wider mobile strategy, and as an opportunity to engage with customers, be it external customers or internal customers, in a better way. Spend time on the purpose of the app, making sure it serves a specific purpose that is needed in the first place. Also, make sure each app is a vital spoke, and all apps added together to complete the comprehensive whole in organizational functionality.
4. Leverage the Features of the Mobile
Unlike websites, a mobile app has the capability to push information to users, leveraging geolocation services to offer improved services, adjust to slow data speeds and overall offer a dynamic and proactive experience for users. Such options unlock new possibilities and go a long way in ensuring the success of the mobile app. Effective Planning is critical in adding such rich functionality to make apps more useful.
5. Get the Development Right
Many a time, apps are rushed into the market, without adequate testing, since the app would be needed desperately. An imperfect or half-baked app is more likely to do more harm than good, by impeding productivity. Follow agile development procedures to develop the app well first time round.
Make sure to test often. Discovering the font positions are off, or the app simply crashing on loading, after spending weeks on development, is a recipe for disaster. Very often the solution at such an advanced stage of development would be ineffective quick-fixes which will lead to the failure of the app. Frequent testing enables identifying the problem and affecting a fix immediately before discovery or fix becomes too difficult.
The coder, the tester, and all other stakeholders connected with the app development process would do well to consider themselves as end users, and see how the apps pan out when using it. It is also a good idea to involve the actual end user in the development process.
6. Enable Platform-Agnostic Development
Android is now the dominant platform with over 50% market share in most markets. The iPhone is popular for enterprise users as well. BYOD, which is prevalent in many enterprises make the mobile screen hopelessly fragmented though, with varying screen size and OS variants. In such a state of affairs, trying to optimize for specific platforms is asking for trouble.The best practice in cross-platform development is to build the code completely abstracted, as if it is a local web service. Make programming modules platform-agnostic by making programming logic independent from the screens and platform in which it will run. Such an approach will also enable code reuse, accelerating the code development process. With the logic decoupled from the platform, only the user interface code need to be built separately for each platform.
7. Track the App Effectively
An app development project is not one-off but a continuous process of evolution. Use tools to track whatever is happening inside the apps, such as what users click and use, traffic sources, and other parameters, to fine tune the app during the next release. Use the first batch of users to test metrics and understand the real value of each user, before continuing with more systematic campaigns.
The mobile space is highly fragmented, and it requires a high degree of expertise to roll out successful apps. A successful app invariably involves a great deal of experimentation and trial-and-error. Partnering with us would allow you to gain from our experience and expertise in developing hundreds of highly successful enterprise apps, cutting across industries. We have done the hard grind, understanding what works and what does not work. When you partner with us, you get things done easily without having to go through the painful trial and error yourself.
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We now live in the midst of what is called the “on-demand” economy, which always gets us pizzas and taxis on time, right at our doorsteps. The same phenomenon also calls for field services to be “on-demand” and “real-time” as well, making it necessary for field service companies to embrace mobility and provide faster turnaround times than before.
As a matter of fact, mobility is something that is slowly becoming mainstream in most business enterprises and industries. Mobile devices are no longer seen as a distraction, instead, they are embraced for their potential to provide better customer satisfaction through faster service delivery while in the field.
However, a good number of field service companies are still hesitant in adopting mobile solutions, due to a number of reasons like lack of in-house IT expertise or a low ROI. Moreover, change, as we know is not always welcome. According to the Aberdeen group, about 48% of field service organizations are resistant to changes.
If you are one of those companies, that still haven’t gone mobile yet, it is high time you did something about those barriers and embraced mobility. Here’s why:
Customers these days, want things installed, fixed or want their problem to be solved immediately. They don’t want to have to wait days and weeks for their issue to be addressed.
For field service agents, access to instruction manuals, troubleshooting guides, and real-time data availability lets them meet ever decreasing SLA times. These help in diagnosing and fixing a problem right the first time. This can be especially useful for trainees or new joinees.
“69% of best-in-class organizations make use of mobile devices to equip their field service team with access to remote experts and their peers.”
Improved customer service
In today’s business environment, it goes without saying how critical customer service is. It is the tools that businesses invest in, that help in improving services to customers.
And that is why going mobile is the right thing to do, to encourage technicians to perform better and differentiate themselves from their competition.
Customers these days expect great customer service on top of completing service calls and fixes on time. Technicians are often seen as customer service agents, and not just engineers. For example, in the event of a customer not being able to be on-site while a technician is fixing a broken machine, mobility can be used to inform the customer on fulfillment of the Service Level Agreement (SLA). Such real-time updates to service delivery provide greater transparency as well.
Apart from these, a well implemented mobile strategy can be beneficial for the entire organization and not just the field service technicians. A proper mobile strategy can be formulated with the IT department as well, and have processes aligned to it so that the overall functioning gets streamlined.
Moreover, mobility leads to not only happier customers but also happier employees or technicians, their work becomes much easier. If you haven’t gone mobile yet, now is the time to switch from paper-based systems, and give a chance for your technicians to deliver better performance.
Source: Field Service News