07-18-2017, Mobile Development
by Antoni Zolciak

5 Reasons Why Your Startup Needs a Mobile App in 2017

Antoni Zolciak
VP OF MARKETING
More by this author

Have you ever wondered how much time we spend staring at our phones? Do you find yourself drawn more and more towards a smaller screen instead of your desktop? People love their mobile apps, and they use them for both pleasure and business, especially in 2017.

Hackernoon created an excellent research summary of how much time (like, actual time) people have been spending on their mobile phones in 2017. The company based their research on a variety of sources such as comScore, Nielsen, SmartInsights, and others, and they managed to figure out the average time a person interacts with his or her smartphone.

Long story short, it’s more than four hours a day.

That’s about 120 hours per month.

That leads us to 1440 hours per year.

See the opportunity? Society shifts more and more towards mobile, and that trend has been around for quite some time.

average time spent per day with mobile internet among us mobile users in app vs mobile web 2012-2018

Here’s where we get to the good part. Since 2012, in-app usage has been growing steadily. As you can see in the above figure, we’re spending significantly more time in our apps than in our mobile browsers (yes, they are apps as well, but you get the point).

What that effectively means is that we prefer to have a dedicated solution for the task at hand. Even if we’re multitasking and switching between the apps, we’re still using them; just a variety of different ones.

According to different reports (Mobile Hierarchy, Flurry Analytics), apps account for about 90 percent of our mobile time.

Of the primary buying demographic, 85 percent owns a smartphone

Here’s another interesting fact: when we take the primary buying “force” into consideration, 85 percent of them use a smartphone on a daily basis. By the way, this data comes from 2015, and smartphone sales have been growing steadily year after year.

But wait, there’s more! 93 percent of people who use mobile for research go on to make a purchase afterward.

THIS IS HUGE.

Mobile app cat. We called him that!

Taking all of the above into consideration, it’s no wonder more and more companies are focused on developing the best mobile app possible. Whether you’re aiming towards the enterprise market or just consider creating a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), an app may be the way to go – provided you know what you want to achieve.

Without further ado, here are the five main reasons why your business needs a mobile app.

1. Your brand in your customer’s pocket

It all depends on the kind of business you’re running but in general user engagement within an app skyrockets when compared to the “old way” of doing things – an app is launched instantly. You don’t have to wait for a web page to load.

What’s crucial here is how the app behaves, how it works, and how it looks. Think of it as your business card AND as the follow-up phone call AND as a go-to repository of the most important information about your company, too.

By the way, this concept is enhanced by…

2. You can take advantage of push notifications

Whether used to inform the users about an added functionality or a new offering, push notifications are a great way to spread the news. You can be sure you’ll reach your preferred target audience in a way that no other solution can.

However, remember that push notifications may be considered aggressive if the content within them is not relevant to your users. This is a bit similar to what forum marketing can be: as long as you act like a true member of a discussion board, it’s all good. The moment you start pushing your sales is the moment that you lose everything. I know, it sounds over the top, but it actually isn’t.

3. You don’t need to be an overnight success

You can create a great app about anything. If you’re an advertising agency, go and do something that’s creative and as value-driven as possible. Don’t just make it pretty. Make it awesomely useful for your possible target group: people driven by ROI, aesthetics, and originality.

If In’saneLab was to publish a “company” app, we would probably call it as something like In’saneNews, or In’spiration, or one of a million other names. The principle here would be about making it associated with our brand – and making it purposeful. Since we are mostly a B2B company, we’d focus on providing branded content aimed at our potential customers.

This kind of app wouldn’t be an overnight success. It would take us some time to promote it properly, to try to make it better than other apps currently on the market, and to make it interesting enough to have a chance of people downloading it.

We could also try a bit different approach – viral-oriented. This is even harder to do. Remember Flappy Bird? In 2013, this game was released with little-to-no advertising. Toward the end of the year, it was one of the most massive successes ever in the mobile industry.

Imagine if it was branded with some company logo.

4. You can track your users for their benefit

With websites you can use heat mapping and data recording, time on site analytics, measure bounce rate, check out how your registration funnel is doing… And more.

You can do the same thing with mobile apps, too. A lot of solutions are available such as Google products, Appsee, Localytics, AppAnalytics, FlightRecorder, Mixpanel, Heap Analytics, and much more.

Seeing which sections within your app are visited more often, you can adjust your message to meet your users’ expectations.

5. You want to be considered innovative

Mobile app innovation

It doesn’t mean that without an app you’re not cutting-edge. The thing is, in a mobile world companies that go mobile-first are seen as more innovative than others – especially when there’s an idea behind the software.

You surely can use an app as a simple way of saying “Hey, we know it’s possible!” but you won’t notice much interest that way. Take it easy. You don’t have to make it perfect from the get go.

Get used to your new channel, figure out what to do with it, and then show it off as a perfect use case.

Next steps? Figure out how to actually create your app.

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