Although users mainly use their mobiles for apps, the number of apps they actually use is very limited. So what risk does this pose for your company? Letting your future client slip through the net.

In 2015, a study conducted by Forrester Research Ltd blasted apps-focused mobile strategies, explaining why neither clients nor employees use the applications that companies develop.

And yet apps have proven widely popular among mobile users, and their popularity is eating into that of the mobile browser. But we still don’t know which ones. According to a retrospective of 2015 conducted by app analytics company App Annie (Source), Messenger, Facebook, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Skype, Instagram, Le Bon Coin, Shazam, Deezer and Waze were the most downloaded apps in France.

Of course, this top 10 values the consumer apps. Another trend gives more details : 30% of employees edit business documents on their mobile or tablet.

Another study confirms what people have already suspected: according to market research firm Millward Brown, 71% of us only use 6 apps per day, and only 8% of us use more than 10 apps per day. Unless your app is a social networking, video or games app, it only stands a relatively low chance of generating enough interest for users to install it on their phones.

So, is your mobile apps-focused mobile strategy doomed to failure?

Red Hat (Source) has taken a look at return on investment for companies’ mobile application development. Polling the views of IT decision-makers from 200 private companies across the US and Europe, the research shows that investing in mobile app development is profitable: 74% of the companies which have measured their KPIs believe that their ROI is positive. Even better: only 4% of them believe that their ROI is negative. The conclusion will obviously provide reassurance: 90% of these companies plan to increase mobile app development investments in 2016.

So no, your apps-focused mobile strategy is not destined to fail – quite the opposite. Provided you opt for the right strategy.

Your app must cater to your users’ needs

Most apps serve a purpose. People use them to let their friends know how they are feeling, find a taxi, book a flight or simply pass the time when they have a free moment. To find out what your users’ requirements are, you can use the knowledge you have about your clients that your data has provided you with. First of all, you have to make some assumptions, identify and assess opportunities and then qualify these requirements.

Your app needs to generate value

It’s by delivering a service to your users that you will create value.

Your app will be even more popular if the service it provides actually meets a need you have qualified. This service-orientated approach constitutes a change in many a business model: when the company offers a service, it is not selling its product.

mobile apps 03

Think “user-centric”- Your app center of gravity should be the user rather than your products.

For example, when L’Oreal creates an app that can test what effect a particular type of make up will have on me, it is no longer selling me its product, but instead is providing me with a “beauty service.” Peugeot has an app that I can use to keep track of and improve the way in which I use my car. Nike+ is having a go at being a sports coach. This strategy of identifying a need and providing a service is a “user-centric” strategy: so the center of gravity of the brand’s business is no longer its product, but instead the user.

Your app needs to be intuitive

According to a study conducted by Sitecore and Vanson Bourne (Source) based on consumers in the US, Europe and Asia, 60% of mobile app users are disappointed by the experience. The user experience is central to your strategy. Obviously the way users experience your application depends on how user-friendly it is. It also depends on the digital pathways that they have taken to get to it.

By ensuring that users are able to interact seamlessly with your company, irrespective of which point of contact they are using, the experience will be pleasant and satisfying. Your app is one of these points of contact. It has to provide a successful user experience. It also has to form part of an overall pathway: if I am able to successfully establish contact with a particular brand via its app, but using it to take things further only results in disappointment, then the experience is frustrating and the feelings I have in relation to the company become negative.

Intuitive app

Your app has to be intuitive

The app is supposed to win clients over and develop their loyalty – it is now the first point of contact with your company: the final phase of your strategy already involves your ability to personalize your service offering and factor in the context in which the app is used: where your user is, what they are in the process of doing, and what they want to do next.