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App Development Strategies for 2019

The average smartphone conversion rate is up 64% as compared to desktop applications - making it clear that a digital strategy is altogether more important for businesses than just a desktop website. With over 80% of internet users using smartphones, it is more important than ever for businesses to start looking at mobile strategies and applications as a must have for operational growth.

Developing a mobile strategy can be time-consuming - so proper research and processes will result in optimum results. A proper strategy should align with your organisation's vision by initiating the buyer into action, distinguishing your brand from competitors, fitting your budget requirements and most importantly - Engaging users!

What is your strategy?

Your company’s overall strategy should include your vision, goals, target market and organisational mission. This strategy is your long-term approach - you need a proper digital strategy to bring clients to your business and an app can be the perfect tool for long-term success and growth. To add value for your customer make sure that your company’s end goal reaches out to the target demographic (Users) of your app.

Who are your users?

A mobile touchpoint has the power to enhance the user experience (UX), providing many benefits such as strengthening company reputation with positive brand interactions, improving customer satisfaction, as well as increasing sales and conversion rates.

With the number of smartphone users currently exceeding 2.5 billion worldwide, mobile UX is an essential part of product development. Every decision made during product development should revolve around your users’ needs and motivations. Once you have identified the audience segment (who you want to target), you need to identify their pain points. It’s important to remember when developing a product or service to tailor it to meet the needs of a particular set of users, rather than a generic group.

Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT)

Identifying the environment that your business acts in provides significant insights for your organisation. The best way to analyse the business environment of your organisation is a SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat. Strength and weakness are internal factors like cash flows, resource pool, the expertise of developers etc. While opportunity and threat are external factors like competition, demand etc. Analyse the resources at your disposal - money, time, people and how you can utilise them effectively.

Who are your competitors?

Once you have determined whom you are going to target, it’s time to analyse your competition to identify what your product is up against in the app market. Competitive research is about discovering your competition’s strengths and weaknesses.

Building a product that offers the same features as the competition won’t help you win over many users. A unique value proposition (UVP) is the core of your competitive advantage and is arguably one of the most important conversion factors for your product. A UVP is the first step you need to consider to optimize user loyalty and overall business success. Ask yourself a few questions to best understand your competitive advantages: What my competitor is doing well? What are the shortcomings of my competitors? What are my competitors not doing at all?

Define your pitch!

Along with a PROTOTYPE, you should include a pitch deck to accompany your presentation. A pitch deck is an abbreviated rendition of your business plan that is intended to be more digestible to a group of potential investors. A lot of people refer to the elevator pitch and the need to keep it short and sweet - if you can't explain your idea and its value in a few minutes then you haven’t properly defined your idea. We recommend that you use no more than ten slides.

A great example of an effective pitch deck can be seen by looking at Uber’s pitch deck. While Uber has gone on to become an international sensation and raised subsequent rounds to grow the business, their initial pitch deck disregards design and focuses solely on the data and pain points in the market.

Once you have developed a solid pitch deck, an equally important factor in getting your idea sold is honing in on your presentation skills. The initial pitch is an opportunity to showcase your sales capabilities and win over a room of sharks. Most investors are just as interested in investing in the person as the idea. The confidence that you portray in yourself will be reflected in the confidence that the investors will have in you. It shows that not only can you create a great product but that you have the ability to close deals and build your business.

What type of App are you developing?

Now that you have made your idea clear and concise it is time to plan the development. Based on your target audience you can choose between a native or hybrid app. A native app supports only one platform so you will need a separate app for each platform. On the other hand, hybrid apps work on different platforms alike. But hybrid apps involve a little more cost and reduce the quality of user experience. Moreover, if your target audience is largely using a single platform then it is advisable to go for the native app as they are faster and less prone to bugs.

What is your App Development strategy?

The next thing that comes in development methodology is development practice. You can get your app developed using either Agile or Waterfall methodology. In Waterfall development, you decide the parameters for development and start development in the form of a step by step process. While in Agile methodology work is performed simultaneously on different sections of the app. All sections work together and support each other. They benefit of Agile over Waterfall is that in case of a change, developers need not go back to a stage and return again thereby not repeating the entire process.

Look at your options - Who should develop your app and Why?

If you have an IT team ready or have the experience and resources to build your own team from scratch then you can opt to develop your app in-house. But if not then it makes more sense to outsource app development. A considerable amount of time and resources go into designing a good app and building a team will only cost you more overheads. You can always develop your in-house team once you are ready to scale your business. For first-time entrepreneurs, it is easier to outsource development than to do everything on their own.

Develop a go-to-market Strategy

You need to decide your market strategy before you launch your app. Questions like What platforms to target? How to convey your USP and How to gain traction are all important considerations. To make your app visible, you can leverage app advertisements and banner ads. Using coupons and app specific offers can also help if applicable to your business. Your market strategy is incomplete without a target and means to measure it. Your tools here include app analytics and target can be the number of downloads, user interaction, sales etc.

Test, Test, Test!

No matter how hard we try, there is always that one bug that trolls us in the end. That one bug steals all the traction. While not much can be done to completely eradicate the chance of this happening, we can manage this circumstance with the most efficiency we can. The roles and responsibilities of the testing team need to be clearly defined. The structure of the test plan and operating systems, and versions that need to be tested will always stay the same. What changes from one release to another will be the test cases and the criteria for what constitutes a ‘pass’ or a ‘fail’ for a specific scenario.


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