Having an app available for consumers to download is popular for many businesses, and can be a successful marketing strategy as well. However, entrepreneurs need to understand the app store for any device is extremely crowded. Recent research by LoyaltyOne found the average smartphone user downloaded 26 apps in 2013, but continued to use only about six of them, Fast Company reports. The leftover apps were either deleted or left to languish.
This gives marketers using apps a 22 percent chance of maintaining consumer engagement, which is a daunting statistic indeed. Consumers want convenience and utility from their apps, according to Fast Company, but how they want those features can vary. There's plenty of room for imagination in app design, but it's important to get to the heart of consumer needs.
Users generally want an app to be either entertaining or useful. Trying to put both functions in one product might overload the capacity of programmers, dilute the app's message and lose consumer attention. Forty-two percent of survey respondents said they would like apps that give discounts and lower prices, and an equal amount want to see apps that help them simplify or organize their lives. This is a difficult space to occupy, as strongly branded content or apps might not be seen as particularly useful. Discounts, however, are easier to provide, as are diversions like videos and games.
Fast Company suggests an awareness of what customers want and when can be helpful in designing an app. The publication gives the example of a coffee shop sending along a coupon or promotion in the early morning, along with weather and traffic updates, as a use of an app that satisfies consumer desires for discounts and convenience all in one. Entrepreneurs can make use of similar strategies to get the most out of their apps.