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Is your business going the 'app' way? Mobile app engagement is more effective than a prime time advertisement on conventional media.

By Vignesh Iyer

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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The smartphone penetration is exponentially increasing and the expected growth of smartphones by 2017 is three billion. According to recent surveys, it takes 90 minutes for an individual to respond to an e-mail and only 90 seconds to respond to a text message. Thus was born the concept of m-commerce. With 34 per cent m-commerce users of all e-commerce users in the first quarter of 2015, m-commerce is expected to be a mainstream means of shopping by 2022 as the number of consumers making impulse purchases directly from mobile phones is increasing day-by-day.

The current mobile trends suggest that two million users across the globe access digital content through smartphones. The number of searches done on a mobile is way higher than the searches done on desktop. Seventy per cent of tablet owners prefer shopping through their user friendly tabs, and of all mobile searches, 70 per cent of them result in action within an hour. Eighty per cent of smartphone owners want more mobile-optimised product information while they are shopping. Within five years, half of the today's smartphone users will be using mobile wallets as their preferred payment method.

Four out five consumers use smartphones to shop. The only means of accessing the Internet for 34 per cent of Indians is only through smartphones and other mobile devices. Isn't this the right time to get an app for your business?

Getting an app for your business will not only increase the brand recall of your product, but also rekindle the excitement among your target segments. Having an app for your business will offer real time updates and information and will also help you in effectively communicating with end users. Through an app, one can get immediate customer feedback, better connectivity and reach through customised deals, offers and push notifications.

The main advantage of an app is that users need not to be physically present on desktops as they can be reached on the go. Apart from providing easy access on the operational front, mobility can be deployed to unlock productivity and reduce the cost of operations while engendering a more collaborative and efficient work environment to satisfy the workforce that increasingly craves for instant access to information and services.

The best part mobile apps offer is being a personal technology media, brands and business can actually implement, "Actual target marketing." Mobile phones are truly personal. One would rarely share his/her mobile phone with anyone else. With the smart analytics being available, brands can actually send the right message to the right target audience (based on age group, gender and city).

Mobile app engagement is more effective than a prime time advertisement on conventional media like television or hoardings. No wonder companies are now dropping websites in favour of apps. Enterprise mobility is no longer an option, but a business requirement.

Winning the future will require your business to embrace mobility platforms that optimize ongoing processes but with a change in operating model. Whether organisations are expanding existing architectures or starting fresh by building or acquiring new IT infrastructure via managed services, they will need to tread carefully by making trade-offs that balance the risks and rewards that co-exist with today's business constraints and tomorrow's demands for anywhere, anytime information access.

Companies like Uber have literally disrupted the market with the mobile first approach. Business models are being redefined with mobile apps. With the increasing movement of businesses towards app, the app generation has opened up a whole new demographic that didn't exist five years ago.

Practically, we may also be in a trend that will not exist in five years. Such is the rate of innovation and changing with the rate seems to be the only mantra. With major e-commerce moving towards app only, we can only imagine the new world that is yet to be explored in apps.

At the end of the day, we are living in a mobile first world where a huge percentage of first time computer or Internet users are accessing the great media through phones. So, companies have no choice but to think mobile app first for their businesses. So app is the way to go. Which way are you going?

Vignesh Iyer

Vice President – International Sales, Winjit Technologies

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