app trends

App Trends Set to Stand the Test of Time

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If you’ve read my previous article you’ll know I’ve been taking a deep dive into the world of app marketing following the recent experience with launching a client’s app into the UK market. I’ve been keen to get other marketers’ and developers’ perspectives on the recent predictions and trends, comparing them to the trends of 2016 and 2017 to see which will truly stand the test of time and have come into their own. Following my research focused on customer experience and user interface – the key factors for app success – this is what I’ve found:  

In-app Feedback as a Feature

If you haven’t already added this to your app then you need to. Acting on feedback is the backbone of improvement to user experience. You need to give your users an opportunity to feedback directly to you, rather than forcing them to leave their comments, concerns or complaints on a public forum, such as the Play Store, which could negatively impact your reputation. You need to show that not only are you truly customer-centric in actively inviting that feedback, but you are committed to improving your product based on the experience of your own users.

Retailers need an App

There are many technologies out there that enable us to bring personalised customer experience to shoppers in-store and online, that’s why it’s essential that retailers have their own e-commerce app. This investment is proven to capture customers, prompting them to purchase online or supporting their in-store experience. There are a broad range of approaches to this, that marry together different technologies with the focus on optimising customer experience and converting this into higher sales. It’s a topic that’s so broad that I’ve covered this in full in my article ‘Retail Apps: Leveraging AI and UI to improve customer experience and spending.’

The Freemium/Monetisation Conundrum

All businesses, including apps, need ongoing revenue in order to thrive. Whether you choose upfront monetisation or a freemium model (locking features behind a paywall) you have to get the balance right, giving non-paying customers enough features to enjoy your app, whilst enticing them to buy, yet not bombarding them with so much advertising or pay-walls that they are turned off. If that sounds confusing, throw in the fact that monetisation also brings a range of other GDPR compliance issues, but that’s a whole other discussion for another time!

Dependant on your app’s offering and your business model, deciding between these two, or applying both, needs great consideration throughout the process. As always, don’t put all your eggs in one basket with this approach – you never know what could change!

Trialling Apps on Social Media

When I found out that it was possible for users to trial apps in adverts placed into their mobile newsfeed on Facebook, I excitedly clapped my hands together and, after a moment, wondered…why wasn’t this a thing before? Needless to say, I am very hopeful about the future of this in app marketing. Facebook is becoming a formidable advertising platform with its new and improved Advanced Matching Pixel. We’ve established the importance of a trial in the buyer’s decision making process so I can’t wait to see this feature rolled out in full.

Subscriptions and SaaS Models

As aforementioned, apps need income, and it seems like SaaS models (Software as a Service) will continue to be a popular method of locking content behind a paywall. Free trials, which takes advantage of users’ desireto maintain access to the full app and its features after it’s over, remains an effective method of ensuring a monthly or ongoing income – similarly to monetisation in some respects. This works great for apps offering particular software or content. Personally, I don’t expect this style of billing to diminish in popularity in the coming years. With the offering of something unique or of superior quality this might be an avenue for revenue you want to explore, otherwise consider a one-off payment for your app.

Cross-Platform Apps

While wearables and IoT continue to grow in popularity so is the expectation, at least with some apps, that there is a cross-compatibility across devices. Like with most on-the-go apps there’s a desktop and mobile version which gives its users access anywhere, anytime. This cross-compatibility greatly boosts the utility and usability of the app and I expect this to become the norm, particularly for desktop apps (having a mobile version) or with the full-version of an app. In the development stage it’s easy to get carried away with the cross-compatibility and integration of your app with new and existing technologies. Focus on the core goal of your app and definitely be prepared to develop it further but until you’ve found a demand, just don’t invest all your resources into making an app universal. You have to walk before you can run.

Augmented Reality

A personal favourite of mine, I love the new innovations with apps and augmented reality. In particular the rise of furniture and clothing apps that place items on a person or in a room. Again, being able to give a customer that feeling or taste of owning the item makes them more likely to purchase. Augmented reality assists in allowing a customer to trial a product from the comfort of wherever and not only increases their likelihood of making a purchase, but greatly reduces any costs to the seller associated with dissatisfaction and returns. What used to be an unrefined gimmick is now becoming a profitable technology for the right kind of businesses.

I strongly believe in these trends being the future of app marketing and can’t wait to see how they are integrated and continue to develop in the coming years. I hope that, alongside my review, the dos and don’ts will help you in the evolution of your app and with future updates.

OggaDoon has just launched Scale 90, a package specifically designed for apps in the alpha/beta development stage. Find out more about how we can support your development and comms from testing through to post-launch.

Author: Bobby Marsh

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