Mobile 101: Avoiding App Atrophy

The world has gone mobile and that’s a fact. As of 2014, there were officially more gadgets in the world than people. It was estimated by analysts that approximately 7.2 billion mobile devices were in circulation, but nearly five years has passed since then. The implications for worldwide business were clear: those without a robust mobile strategy were at a major disadvantage.

Countless organizations decided to jump into the mobile movement to stay competitive. Unfortunately, as some have learned the hard way, implementing a sustainable mobile strategy is much easier said than done.

Essential mobile strategies

We know for certain that it’s the case thanks to analysts who released a survey devoted explicitly to whether or not small businesses should invest in a mobile app. Though there were sample limitations to consider, the findings suggested negligible growth in mobile apps compared to the year beforehand. The industry leaders who commented on the data weren’t necessarily surprised, believing that many small business owners may not understand the full scope of opportunities that a mobile app presents.

Fortunately, startups and small businesses strapped for cash have alternative options available to them. One such example is tapping into a specialized app development agency rather than trying to build and launch something alone. Relying on external groups does more than save time and money — it prevents organizations from dedicating precious focus on the wrong thing. In other words, there is more to a successful mobile strategy than having a functional app with aesthetic flare.

Speed and relevance are two of the most critical ingredients for any memorable mobile experience. That should make intuitive sense for anyone who depends on mobile apps themselves on a daily basis. Authors at Think With Google emphasized speed when they recommended that businesses optimize their mobile experience wherever possible. Why? Because users penalize brands that inconvenience them. Some of them almost immediately switch to another site or app when confronted with a clumsy experience. “In fact, of those who switch, 70% do so because of lagging load times,” wrote the authors. “And 67% will switch if it takes too many steps to purchase or get desired information.” If that doesn’t compel business leaders to take the mobile experience seriously, then what will?

Deciding on the approach

If the first step is recognizing that a mobile strategy is essential, then the second step is deciding which approach would influence the right outcomes. That, too, is no trivial undertaking. There are some businesses that utilize a mobile strategy primarily for marketing purposes. Brands that offer experiential services (restaurants, concert venues, etc.) can very easily exploit a mobile experience for promotional purposes. Organizations that interact almost exclusively with other businesses often utilize mobile apps very differently.

Beyond that, there are also ways that mobile apps can boost productivity. The possibilities are endless, especially for institutions that collect and manipulate data to inform decision-making. Government agencies are the most likely to see immediate benefits. When these agencies start providing mobile access to their online databases, it helps cut down on unnecessary trips to the office. After all, employees can just enter that data into their phone rather than run to work to do it, which sounds like an extraordinary waste of taxpayer dollars.

Suffice it to say that mobile strategies are no simple matter. The modern marketplace demands that businesses revise how they interact with customers. Mobile is an obvious preference but that doesn’t mean any app will be enough. Some businesses have their own employees to consider whereas other have to negotiate the whims of average consumers. Apps are no panacea but they bring businesses a lot closer to success.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.