The challenge of keeping customers engaged has gotten a bit easier for the increasing number of companies using mobile applications. Embracing the full potential of mobile apps means viewing as a means to both attract and retain customers.
"Don't think of mobile as just another channel," said Hilmi Ozguc, founder and CEO of mobile shopping application Swirl. "Recognize that today's consumer is always connected to their mobile device and a mobile presence is a must for any business. That does not mean that every business needs its own mobile app. Mobile apps are great for engaging with existing brand loyalists, but in today's crowded app marketplace, exposure to new users can often be best achieved through presence in third party apps that aggregate and showcase multiple brands."
Ozguc offers the following tips to businesses on how they can began to make mobile apps work for their business.
- New businesses have the opportunity to design seamless consumer experiences across all channels, including web, mobile, and in-store. Today's consumer uses all of the channels, so make sure to build capabilities and information that flow across each of these touch points.
- Today's consumer is more social than ever. Incorporate social and community elements into every touch point and every aspect of the consumer experience. Activities like posting reviews and ratings, inviting and sharing with friends, or exploring the latest community activity and trends have now become common behaviors that businesses need to support.
- Rapid testing and refinement is critical. Don't overinvest in building 'the perfect (fill in the blank),' because chances are, it will never be finished. Instead, focus on rapid design and testing cycles to get actual customer feedback that drives future refinements. The most successful businesses are those that are able to quickly adapt and pivot based on in-market learning.
- The corollary to the tip above is 'measure everything.' Without a clear set of metrics, assessing performance is very difficult and learning will be limited.