While brands have spent energy and resources on social media and web-based marketing, for brands to truly innovate and engage, they must have a compelling custom smartphone app.
The question, though, is what makes an app top-notch and sticky enough to get that coveted home screen real estate? The answer to that question is one that requires significant effort from brands’ app designers: the simple answer is the apps must provide a bit of everything. It’s no longer enough to merely be an extension of your website. That’s JV and low-end. In the new digital age, your app needs to make your members say WOW and provide a value that makes sense in a mobile experience.
With the advent of the iPhone, Apple did the unimaginable: they put the computer in our hands. These days, Americans are using their smartphones more than computers to interact with their families, friends and brands. Did you know Americans check their social media accounts on their smartphones an average of 17 times per day. For the first time in history, people are spending more time in front of their smartphones than televisions. The tide is changing.
As our dependence on smartphones increase, the number of apps we download will increase. In 2015, Nielsen found that the average smartphone user accesses 26.7 apps per month. Yet a comScore study reveals, we only use about 3 of them consistently. Facebook, YouTube and Facebook Messenger garner 80% of our attention collectively. So how do you get a piece of that discretionary 20%?
Simple: Just like in any hospitality setting, you need to deliver an experience that has tangible value with your app.
Your members appreciate quality and more than ever, they value their time. If you can deliver time savings in a beautiful way, you nailed it. No one finds viewing their monthly statement engaging, but if you can tap your phone and watch the staff jump to your service, everyone will see instant value. Here’s an example. Valet Parking. Waiting to hand the valet a ticket, plus waiting more for them to retrieve your car turns a perceived service into a rain delay. On the other hand, pressing a button while you finish your drink and walking out to your running car…that’s engaging, unique and addicting.
In building your app, strive to enrich it with content and functionality that isn’t found anywhere else in the marketplace. Seek to be the provider of an experience. Beyond that, make your app the place where key information is efficiently and seamlessly accessed by your membership.
When Apple launched the App Store, there were a mere 500 apps on the platform. Today, users can select from millions of apps now spread across two platforms, Apple’s App Store and Google’s Android Apps. In a flooded market, it’s no longer enough for your app to merely inform…that’s way below average.