The most decorated Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps, once said, “I think goals should never be easy. They should force you to work, even if they are uncomfortable at the time.”
Well, it is now that “uncomfortable” time of year when we evaluate 2016, think about what worked and what needs to be improved on, and write down our goals for 2017. Whatever business you are in and regardless of your company size, mobile marketing and employee mobilization should definitely have a couple of lines in your business strategy for the New Year.
If you need some motivation to comply with the changing times, consider these statistics:
- 71% of marketers believe mobile marketing is core to their business.
- 79% of people surveyed use their smartphone for reading email -- a higher percentage than those who used it for making calls.
- 88% of consumers who search for a type of local business on a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours.
- By 2018, 8 in 10 email users will likely access their email accounts exclusively from their mobile devices.
- 40% of mobile searches have local intent.
- 61% of respondents in a recent Adobe survey said that if a company isn't deploying enterprise mobile apps, they're at a competitive disadvantage. (see chart below).
Mobilization is altering the way people shop, interact, and manage companies. Your customers are accessing apps and changing the way they find products and services. Are you keeping up with them? Here are some specific innovations to consider for 2017 and beyond:
One buzzword that I’ve heard a lot of in the software space is “intuitive.” Software developers are programming devices to note consumer habits and then cater to those needs. In much the same vein, apps are on the cusp of learning user schedules and patterns to predict how to solve the next need. “Intelligent apps such as VPAs perform some of the functions of a human assistant making everyday tasks easier (by prioritizing emails, for example), and its users more effective (by highlighting the most important content and interactions),” explains David Cearley of Gartner Research. “Over the next 10 years, virtually every app, application and service will incorporate some level of AI. This will form a long-term trend that will continually evolve and expand the application of AI and machine learning for apps and services.”
Currently, you don’t have to wait for an app to guess what you need. With mobile app makers, you can customize your app based on your day-to-day activities. You know what forms you access frequently, which tools make your job easier (like a GPS function) and the checklists you access to mark the job as complete. The change in 2017 is that more and more businesses will be making their own apps. “As more companies take enterprise solutions to smartphones, tablets and even wearables, the demand for mobile developers will outstrip the available capacity by 500%. Ways out? Using no-code and low-code dev tools… will become one of the hottest trends in mobile app development,” shares Andrei Klubnikin, Senior Content Manager at R-Style Lab.
App builders continue to increase in popularity as micro-apps allow those without a software development background to customize apps to their specific needs. As 2017 is just beginning and time is devoted to re-evaluating processes and operations, mobile apps can help you to monitor monthly budgetary goals, ensure that increased sales projections are on target, and create side-by-side charts reporting 2016 to 2017 to visualize specific areas that need to improve or require special attention.
Customer App Usage
“Three years ago, a small business might see 10 percent of its total traffic coming from mobile, but right now it’s closer to 70 percent. Within the next couple of years, a shift to a mobile app or a mobile-friendly site will become obvious,” says Viktor Marohnic, CEO of the app builder Shoutem.“A good mobile app can facilitate quick checkout for a purchase, leading to an increase in sales. Customer experience amounts to simply browsing through an inventory, seeing what’s available. An app can definitely improve that experience, compared to a mobile website, where the user has to login again every time they use it, provide payment details, and so on.”
As life becomes busier, customers are relying more on mobile devices and less on laptops and desktops. The previous statistics clearly show that reading emails on smartphones, researching customer reviews, and even shopping locally are three ways that consumers are increasing their use of apps. Marhonic also shares that consumer-facing industries such as restaurants, churches, small event organizers, car dealers, and stores are the obvious adopters of mobile apps for small business since these businesses want to build loyalty programs and keep their customers involved.
As you create your business resolutions and goals for 2017, be sure to consider the countless ways that apps can improve the efficiency of your employees, ensure that you are on track for growth, and improve your customer loyalty.
Our newest white paper, Mobile App Trends: What You Need to Know in 2017 will help prepare you for launching successful business apps this yar.