For the first time, mobile devices outnumber people. This milestone underscores one crucial fact for entrepreneurs: as the number of mobile devices rises, so do their importance.
Eighty-five percent of consumers believe their mobile devices are essential to daily life. Clearly, the mobile interface is crucial for consumers, and the savvy businesses that hope to connect with them increasingly choose to do so via smartphones and tablets. A mobile strategy can help companies of all sizes reach more customers and help maintain a strong industry advantage.
But creating a mobile strategy involves more than building an app. A great strategy ensures that your in-person, mobile and traditional online experiences communicate a cohesive message that motivates customers to interact with your business. Here are seven ways to maximize your mobile efforts:
1. Align your strategies.
You might be tempted to jump on this month’s trend, but if that fad doesn’t align with your growth strategy, it’s worthless. My company, for instance, has developed a mobile strategy to meet our goal to better connect with customers.
Also keep in mind that the average paid app only brings in $500 a month in revenue to a developer. That amount is a waste of time for most businesses, so ensure your app is anything but average to make your mobile strategy worthwhile.
2. Design great experiences.
Focus on delivering a customer experience that enables users to interact with your brand in new and exciting ways. The majority of users expect their apps to load within two seconds, and 85 percent of users prefer an app to a mobile website. You’ve probably experienced the frustrations of viewing a mobile website with a distorted layout and difficult navigation. So develop your app with the goal of alleviating these frustrations.
3. Use application programming interfaces.
APIs allow two systems to communicate with each other, which helps you avoid building features from scratch. Up to 75 percent of Twitter’s traffic is a result of its API, meaning much of its user growth stems from third-party apps. Think about how you can leverage the existing user network of other apps to grow your user base.
4. Make your strategy scalable.
The smartphone market is forecasted to grow by more than 10 percent every year for the next four or five years, and the number of mobile app downloads is projected to double in the next three years. Given these rates, your mobile strategy must be flexible, so allow and plan for rapid growth.
5. Foster a streamlined experience.
Align your mobile experience with your webpage experience so users can switch between devices. Only 16 percent of users will try a buggy app more than twice, so the transition should be smooth. Spotify, for example, has a seamless mobile and desktop component. If users are listening to a song during their commute, they can pick up where they left off when they sit down at their desktop.
6. Build a strong team.
A bare-bones app can cost $10,000 to develop, and developing a graphics-intensive app can cost millions. Having a solid team of developers is critical to building successful apps. An in-house development team is a start. It’ll give you the technical chops to execute your plan, and you won’t have to go back and forth with an outside contractor to get a feature implemented.
7. Secure your customers’ data.
If you handle client data, information security is crucial. Implement data encryption, and address customer privacy when you consult with cloud vendors. With an increase in bring-your-own-device practices, the array of devices and platforms makes you vulnerable, so do everything you can to secure confidential data and give your customers the peace of mind they deserve.
Flipboard is an example of a brand that’s effectively implemented a mobile strategy. The digital magazine is completely mobile. In many ways, it transformed magazine reading into an enjoyable experience for smartphone and tablet users. Its features even allow users to create their own magazines, enabling individuals with similar interests to unite.
A mobile strategy that’s tailored to your startup’s goals and connected to your customers’ needs can help you connect with your target audience on a deeper level. A strong mobile strategy can also accelerate your company’s growth on a promising trajectory.