It’s been quite a journey so far over the mobile app development landscape. In discussing the various approaches to building apps we learned that the field is immensely complex and that an effective mobile strategy cannot be formulated on the basis of a one-size-fits-all approach. We also confirmed that any approach to mobility has to be relentlessly customer focused. This is critical because while you can have the best technology on the planet, without customers your well established plans are meaningless. Ultimately, your mobile strategy must be holistically designed to ensure that your site visitors are met with a consistent, integrated, seamless experience across all brands, services, and devices. The hope is that this rich user experience will encourage site visitors to return frequently and become faithful customers.
So, with these points in mind, let’s pull together the main takeaways we’ve learned so far throughout this series into a set of best practices that can guide our mobile strategy going forward.
Best Practices for Your Customer-centric Mobile Application Strategy
Recognize that the World is going Mobile: all signs indicate that mobile devices are the new PCs; need any more be said?
Move beyond the HTML5 vs. Native: the “one-size-fits-all” approach is myopic and offers a short-sighted view of the complexities of the market and the needs of the savvy mobile customer.
Adopt HTML5 Standards for a Richer Web Experience: HTML5 is the future of the web and so adoption here is a fairly straightforward but important first step to initiate your mobile strategy.
Create a Mobile-First Responsive Web Design: in today’s competitive mobile market your business minimally requires a mobile optimized website.
Embrace an “all of the above” Approach: formulate your mobile strategy around a hybrid model that balances the reach of HTML5 with the richness of Native; use the mobile website to bring in prospects and then “upsell” the Native features to them.
Ensure that Your Business is Omni-channel: make this an integral part of your mobile strategy to guarantee that your customers receive a consistent, integrated, seamless experience across all brands, services, and devices.
Be Multi-platform and Multi-Device Friendly: this is not the endpoint of mobile application development but rather a first step for developing a seamless, integrated, holistic user experience. Keep the focus on the customer and everything else will fall into place!
Gain a 360 degree View of Your Customer: learn as much as you can about your customer’s online behaviors in order to personalize their shopping experience and bring them back. The ability to track a single customer across your site and across multiple devices will ensure that you can tailor your brand to their needs.
Integrate Big Data into Your Mobile Strategy: the intersection between mobile and Big Data is filled with insights and the potential for large amounts of revenue. By identifying the unique online behaviors of your customers you can create data mash-ups and predict future patterns to better anticipate their needs.
Offer Your Customers a Superior User Experience: there’s simply no substitute for this as it shows that you really care about the needs of your visitors.
Wrapping it All Up!
We’ve covered a lot of territory in our discussion of mobile application approaches, strategies, and best practices. The field is immensely complex and there are a ton of considerations to keep in mind, with everything from HTML5 to Native framework choice, from Omni-channel marketing to cross-platform compatibility, and from discovering consumer behavior to providing a rich UX. Mobile represents an epic transformation in the world of technology. If mobile devices are the new PCs of the digital era, then apps are the software behind this engine of growth. Therefore, in order to drive business, generate revenue, and retain competitive advantage in this marketplace, leaders across the organization need to align together on developing a clear and holistic mobile app development strategy.
Our aim throughout this series has been to avoid academic discussions and to provide clear, real-life, actionable recommendations and strategies for mobile app development. At the end of the day everything really boils down to one overriding theme: keeping the customer happy! Without happy customers technology choice is ultimately meaningless. To ensure true success, become deliberately customer-centric and design your mobile strategy holistically to ensure that new visitors are greeted with a consistent, integrated, seamless experience across all brands, services, and devices. Doing so will also guarantee many happy returns for both you and your organization.