Today’s mobile market is booming with over one million apps available at App stores. They are not all for games and social networking either. Businesses have come to realize the power of apps for connecting with customers and boosting profit. In fact, 91 percent of top brands now have an app, and small businesses are beginning to tap into the mobile market and reap the benefits too.
However, let’s go back to that first number. Over one million apps. That represents some fierce competition! To get users to download and use your app, small business owners must work hard to stand out from the crowd. To do that, here are six things to keep in mind as you are creating your next app.
6 Keys to Developing a Stand-Out App
1. Focus on a Problem
The most successful apps on the market focus on consumer needs and aim to solve their pain points. For example, the Domino’s Pizza app allows you to order from the convenience of your phone, and you will never have to call to ask where your pizza is again because their Tracker follows your order and updates you until it is delivered.
2. Make It Intuitive
Your customers should not need an instruction book to use your app! Make sure it is easy to navigate and provides a good user experience. For example, FastCoDesign named Airbnb’s app one of the most innovative apps of 2016 because of its new simplified interface and search filters that make it easy to find the right accommodations.
3. Don’t Forget Marketing
Make a plan to promote your app before and after launch to get new downloads and encourage usage. For example, Staples promotes its app (and new app features) through videos, press releases, and working with bloggers and reviewers who help spread the message.
4. Make the Most of Distribution
There are dozens of app stores available for distributing your app; choose the channels that will help you reach the right audience. For example, Facebook has certainly made the most of distribution. Their app is available globally except in the ten countries where it is banned.
5. Customer Service Is Important
Offering excellent customer service includes having a FAQ section in your app, and a way for users to contact you with feedback or questions. For example, it is no surprise that the king of customer service, Amazon, built these features into their app, with a Menu tab that includes help topics and a means for contacting the company.
6. Form a Retention Strategy
Once people download your app, you need to keep them coming back for more. Push notifications, regular updates, and offering perks are three things that work. For example, AppMakr named Starbucks’ marketing campaign one of the most successful app campaigns of all time because their clever use of promotions (digital coupons, personalized rewards, etc.) keep users coming back regularly.
Knowing how to create and market a successful app is a valuable skill, taught by schools such as Philadelphia University, which offers an online Innovation MBA that prepares students for the modern business world. With over one million apps on the market, specialized knowledge is the key to creating an app that stands out. While app creation is the norm for big business, soon it will become commonplace for small businesses too.
This post was written in partnership with Philadelphia University, which offers a world-class education at your fingertips through online undergraduate and graduate degree programs.