Mobile apps are now a key part of the mobile marketing armory.
And as Facebook has become an increasingly mobile company it has invested in developing its mobile app ad format which is designed to drive app downloads from Apple’s App Store and Google Play.
Apps are an important part of many multichannel marketing strategies, whether it be for a big retailer, a travel company or a not-for-profit.
Although users are more and more accustomed to smartphones and tablets, that brings with it hundreds of hours of learning that shouldn't be contradicted. Designing an app that just works is a difficult task and aside from determining the way to platform your app, perfecting the user experience (UX) is the next priority.
There are many UX companies out there. Appsee is a new player in the market, providing software to put an app through its paces. They're the latest company to feature in this, our Start Me Up feature.
2013 saw a year-on-year increase of 30% in global digital spend on online movies, games and mobile apps combined, topping $57bn (£34bn) in 2013 compared with $44bn (£26bn) in 2012.
It’s the rise of the mobile gaming market that is driving the biggest growth year-on year though.
These figures come from IHS Technology & App Annie’s recently published Digital Content Report 2013.
As King, the UK based creator of Candy Crush Saga, has just announced its intention to join the Stock Exchange after its profits grew 7,000% last year, and with game apps now driving overall games growth, now is a great time to take a look at the key takeaways from this report, concentrating particularly on the games category.
The travel industry has experienced a great deal of upheaval in years characterised by swift change in customer habits and the impressive unwillingness of many companies to adapt.
To be fair, travel companies have come a long way in the past three to four years. Apps are now common place for airlines and some airports and travel websites are starting to adopt responsively designed websites.
In this post I’ll be taking a look at some recent studies into the mobile strategies of travel companies and airlines.
I’ll be pondering what the best approach is for these companies and whether in fact there’s no sense in avoiding apps or responsive websites, given their respective parts to play in the customer journey.
Alongside record earnings figures, one of the big pieces of news to come out of Facebook’s recent Q4 earnings call was the launch of Paper, a new publishing app from its creative labs division.
Paper itself is a fairly straightforward news-curation/publishing app, but its launch and recent comments from Mark Zuckerberg about further releases in the near future paint a fascinating picture of Facebook’s possible future, one which may be quite different from the ubiquitous social platform we’re all so familiar with.
When a good idea comes along in retail and digital there are soon many, many start-ups getting in on the action.
Take loyalty apps for example. Loyalty is a big beast. Many types of company may consider it part of their remit, from digital payment solutions, to social-style check-ins, to group buying sites, or indeed a retailer’s own app.
I’ve previously looked at the state of apps in retail and found that using loyalty schemes is pretty much the major rationale for customers using a retail app.
Whether customers will settle on retailers’ own apps or on a generic loyalty scheme provider (perhaps lumped with payment) remains to be seen.
But of those tens of consolidated loyalty apps, which are the best? Here’s the list of five I think are most interesting. Whether mobile wallets such as PayPal and Google Wallet will buy them up remains to be seen but the space seems set to get richer before it gets poorer.
Last year, the Econsultancy blog featured several articles about Google Glass, as did most digital and business blogs, cognisant of the technology's hold on the public's imagination.
I rounded up a collection of apps and postulated as to what affect they might have on society. A few of our Editorial team got to try Glass, too (courtesy of Somo).
This year, Glass still has us rapt. CES unveiled some third parties' intentions for Glass and a wide variety of wearables were debuted, showing the trend is not abating. Elsewhere, most national news outlets' covered the failed citation against a Californian woman caught driving whilst wearing Glass (there was no evidence the device was switched on).
As the internet has become widely used globally and consumers are now very comfortable using the web for a variety of functions, the idea of connected devices has started to feel less alien, too. The internet of things, particularly the connected home also made more noise at CES this year.
So I thought it was time for a 'where are we at?' style post, to look at the latest iterations of third party Google Glass apps, new developments from Google itself and even perhaps to predict when we'll actually see people using Glass, outside of Silicon Valley.
I’ve been thinking a lot about mobile apps in retail recently. I’ve been thinking about which retailers need an app and whether in fact we’re seeing a bit of a backlash against the app, fuelled by mobile optimised and responsive websites.
Retail apps still have their place in a mobile optimised world, but they’re increasingly characterised as devices for customer retention. Loyalty programmes and coupons keep regular customers feeling loved.
Of course, there are still some successful shopping apps, too, often for retailers big or pervasive enough to demand smartphone real estate (supermarkets, Amazon and the like).
So, here you go, here are 10 apps that I think have made a difference for customers in retail.
Agree? Disagree? Tell me in the comments.
The lack of guidelines or general wisdom as to which retailers should actually have a mobile app and which shouldn’t can be confusing.
In this post I’m going to start writing those guidelines myself, if you’ll stick with me.
There is definitely a burgeoning anti-app movement, fuelled in part by the move to adaptive or responsive websites. On top of this, the growth in app downloads is in sharp decline and we seem to be reaching market maturation for apps, in those countries that have highest smartphone adoption.
But what should retailers do? Should some still be entertaining the idea of a new app? There are certainly some great success stories out there.
Some feel that the consumer has no interest in using many different retail apps, whereas others think the goal of consolidation is often unrealistic, with consumers happier using a range of options.
Where should apps lie in a priority list of ecommerce to-dos? Which apps are succeeding and which aren’t? How do customer base, product range, internationalisation and other factors affect the decision whether to build an app?
Well, these are the questions I’ve been attempting to answer. Read on to see what I dug up. If you make it to the end of my investigation, you’ll find my own criteria for apps in retail.
Since it is nearly Christmas, I do hope that everyone is getting into the festive spririt. For those that are there already, welcome!
For those that are not, I hope that by reading this blog and possibly downloading some of the suggested apps you will be nudged slowly into the spirit.
A wise man once said that "Creating a successful app is an incredibly difficult task, whichever platform you are using".
So with that in mind, I have diligently researched, trialled and tested Christmas apps suitable not only for children, but for people of all ages.