OK, my business needs an update. I want to stay current and bring my brand to customers anytime, anywhere through the power of mobile technology. I see all sorts of other businesses taking advantage of tablets and mobile devices, so I am definitely ready to go digital. But where do I begin?
If you find yourself in this situation, a mobile application seems like the perfect solution to your business needs, but the technology seems to be changing at a mile a minute. Knowing where to begin is a difficult task, so today we offer some solutions to the basic questions you have been asking and get you started on your mobile plans.
- Whose side do I take in the OS wars?
- What should my app look like?
- Alright, I get it. So, can I charge for it?
Mobile device users have a wide variety of operating systems to choose from, which means, shorting of developing a great number of apps, businesses have to be strategic and determine which platform(s) will allow them to reach the greatest number in their target audience. While there are many options to choose from, two technological titans stand well above the crowd in the realm of mobile apps: iOS and Android.
Each operating system offers its own advantages, so deciding between the two is difficult (And no, you can’t just copy and paste from one to the other. Read why here.) While the App Store that iOS uses limits publication of apps through a number of restrictions to ensure quality, this can be a double edged sword. Many businesses find dealing with these constrictions burdensome, and so opt instead for the freedom of Android, which doesn’t make you jump through quite so many hoops.
At the same time, there a big concerns with Android software, as a result of these loose restrictions. While it takes more effort to get into the Apple App Store, your date is more secure once there. Android hardware also tends to have a shorter lifespan than iPhone devices, which translates into a potentially shorter lifetime of your app on those systems.
Ideally, you should have a presence on iOS and Android devices. But when that isn’t possible, then you must weigh the pros and cons. The cost of development and time to get your project off the ground is the same for Android and iOS, so neither system wins points in that regard. However, after that initial stage, the cost of support is much higher for Android, because of the different versions, variety of screen types and devices, etc.
iOS (which accounts for much more than half of the mobile device market) can bring your business more ROI, keep your data safer, remain with users for a longer time and save you lots of time, money and effort in support.
Why do users use apps? There’s a lot of psychology behind that question, but setting Freud aside, the basic answer is: they want to perform some function. That can be solving problems, streamlining processes, or just having fun, but the key is that users need to see some utility in their app. Now, if you can give them what they want, then they’ll be ready to learn about your business and see what else you can provide them. You want to push your business, but always make sure you keep a balance that keeps your users coming back for more!
You want to see your ROI quickly, of course. However, everyone loves free stuff, and people are more likely to download your app when they don’t have to pay for it. If you want to get your name out there quickly, this is the way to go. Once people recognize your brand and its value, you can start charging and determine the pricing model that works for you. I recommend the classic “0.99” approach, either for the whole app or for individual add-ons. The next price level ranges from 1 to 4.99 pounds. Users can easily justifying paying that much for an app - it’s as much as, or even less than, a cup of coffee.
Some companies also opt for a blended, “freemium” approach. The app is available for a trial period or with a limited amount of functionality, but users are able to unlock content and features by buying an upgrade. Here the level of utility mentioned above is key.
Some products or services change or are time sensitive. In such cases, you may consider a monthly, automatically or manually renewing, subscription plan, which asks users to pay a regular subscription fee to access features according to the version they have chosen.
If you have a lot to offer, you don’t have to give it all away. Show users how your app adds value and they will respond! Think about which approach works best for you.
Well, now you know the basics and are ready to discuss, envision and plan. If you want to explore this further, read more here.