Mobile apps continue to carve out larger spaces in consumers’ lives, and brands are looking to gain and retain consumer attention by focusing efforts on developing helpful and engaging mobile software.
Serial Entrepreneur Scott O Hirsch recognizes the value in making consumers’ lives easier through mobile app development and hopes other entrepreneurs can share in the success of building a practical mobile application.
“In 2020, apps are a must-have tech accessory for consumers, and an integral marketing component for brands,” says Hirsch. “Individuals and small businesses are still playing catch-up with the big guys, but the tools are out there for everyone to leverage the playing field.”
Scott Hirsch: Can’t Over Stress the Importance of Listening to Your Audience for App Success
Hirsch stresses that businesses need a direct channel to their stakeholders, whether it’s through customers or business partners. “It has never been easier for a business to have an open dialogue with the world, and every business should be a part of starting conversations.”
Starting that conversation begins with market research, and the most successful apps are conceived from a need to solve a problem. As Hirsch notes, getting off the ground can be as simple as drawing on personal experience, identifying a problem, and recognizing it.
“At the beginning, it is necessary to clarify your niche. You may think you have the next big thing, but the number of newly launched apps continues to grow at an exponential rate every day. To stand out, developers must define potential users, uncover their points, then determine the existence of competitive products. The key to converting potential users into longtime users is through listening.”
Scott O Hirsch: A Flashy App Is Not Enough – Content is Still King
Once the idea is pinpointed and developmental work has begun, content is still king, and extensive user-testing is essential for ensuring a good UI/UX. Scott Hirsch encourages developers to “imagine the desired interaction between the app and the user, understand potential on boarding customers and the welcoming messaging with which they are met, and design this content in advance.”
Looking towards launch, Hirsch elaborates that there are five key points that developers need to take into account for a successful launch and growth period:
- Collect profile data from user history to deliver useful content
- Build in-app messaging for both user-to-brand and user-to-user
- Develop the app for both iOS and Android platforms to allow for cross-platform solutions
- Offer the app for free
- Have social media integration within the app
Scott O Hirsch stresses the last two points, in particular, saying that “there is a difference between a free user and a $0.99 user. If users adopt a free app, and it becomes valuable to them, they are more willing to pay. The free option can help immensely with getting them in the door.”
Hirsch elaborates by saying that social media integration, “in addition to being critical for promotional success, can expedite user registration, a process that will turn off potential users if too complex.”
As smartphones and other mobile devices continue to surpass PCs as the preferred consumer communication method to find businesses and events, apps help brands discover new customer bases with which to engage. Scott Hirsch continues to stress to entrepreneurs and established brands that there is no competition for making consumers’ lives easier.