Category: - RightClick Media Inc
 
Mobile Apps
Mobile optimization for websites is arguably becoming one of the most important things for a company to implement in order to increase customer engagements and sales. Having an app presence in an app store or marketplace is a big deal. Unlike the Internet, an app store is used for one specific purpose—to sell. With mobile-optimized websites and mobile marketing, having a mobile application is easily finding a place on the list of company must-haves.  Before companies become too concerned with mobile application competition, consider this: standing out among 500,000 apps is actually easier than maintaining an online presence among millions. Perhaps there is still a long way to go before every company learns the benefits of having a mobile application, but it won’t be long until it becomes a standard business practice.
According to Forbes magazine, a seismic shift is taking place in the mobile app world. Out of the top 25 grossing apps in the Apple app store, 14 are ad-supported, free versions. Developers are no longer monetizing apps only by selling them.  They are now increasingly focused on monetizing app engagement.  This shift maps directly to consumer preference.  According to a 2010 study by Harris Interactive, 95% of the U.S. adult population who own smartphones prefers free apps. Even affluent consumers share this preference – 96% of people that have a HHI of $75K plus prefer free apps.
As developers continue to adopt ad-supported models for their apps, they will increasingly value engagement metrics. They can measure app engagement in a variety of ways:  by the number of minutes per session, how often users update their app, and how many times an app has been referred to a friend. Each of these can directly affect monetization which ultimately determines whether or not a developer can keep a free version of their app on the market.
According to analytics firm Localytics, 26% of all apps downloaded in 2010 were only used once. It sounds simple, but an app should do what it is supposed to do and do it well. Keep in mind, the new user is judging whether this app is engaging right off the bat. You must also build a good relationship by providing the best possible user experience.  A great app keeps in mind that in most cases, the user is operating a device that has a small touchscreen. The user interface needs to be as unobtrusive as it can be.  The focus on good user experience also extends to the advertising shown to support the app. Understanding how a user interacts with an app will determine the best placement for an ad. Ultimately, the aim is to delight. That is, to understand what your users want and exceed their expectations. Even the smallest detail can be unexpectedly delightful and improve engagement.  More engagement means more advertising dollars. More revenue means developers can keep their apps free and increase downloads. And, in this economy, saving a buck or two courtesy of your favorite mobile app can be downright delightful.