Savvy retailers today understand the personal connection people have with their mobile devices, smartphones and tablets. Having a mobile presence is one of the best ways to reach prospects and customers immediately with the information they need to make buying decisions. The following three tips will help guide you through the mobile development process, pointing out strategies for success and common pitfalls to avoid.
1. Focus on the customer, NOT the technology. Push, location and touch are some of the game-changing technology levers in mobile that have great potential. Touch technology, for example, offers consumers an interactive way to explore products by swiping through 360° views. When a mobile platform helps a retailer connect to its customers, the company gains a powerful tool to differentiate itself from its competitors, positively impacting its business.
Gain insights from others in your marketing organization since they're closest to your customers and have unique perspectives based on their specialization — e.g., merchandising, e-commerce and brand marketing. Consider adding the ability for marketing to execute promotions and drive campaigns via mobile. A platform that provides easy-to-use tools for marketers can significantly impact the return on investment of mobile projects. Marketing teams can use such tools to build time-sensitive mobile sites for promotions or events.
2. Connect to SoMoLo (Social Mobile Local). Consumers demand a lot from mobile apps. They expect them to seamlessly integrate with their favorite social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Linkedin, foursquare and Pinterest. Build these SoMoLo features into your app to help your marketing efforts. Sales, coupons and other promotions will become easily sharable and more viral as a result.
3. Think tomorrow … today. Your mobile platform needs to reach the broadest number of consumers possible. In other words, it needs to run seamlessly on a variety of operating systems. Not only must it run that way today, but in the future too. Therefore, choose a platform that enables innovation over time and won't be obsolete in a few months, let alone years. A flexible solution that can scale up and down without any interruption of service is critical to meet the demands of today's mobile consumers. Consider a cloud-based platform to ensure the newest features, devices, and OS updates and innovations are pushed out as quickly as they become available.
The "behind the scenes" of building mobile applications may not be as glamorous as the superstar app itself, but it's a necessity for optimal performance, innovation and a competitive edge.