Forrester Consulting recently released a report called Why Good Apps Are Not Good Enough: Measure And Move Your Mobile App To Greatness.
This report was commissioned by IBM in August 2015, to evaluate what turns consumers and other users both off and onto a mobile app.
They focused on the following questions:
- What elevates a good, serviceable, and even profitable app into the realm of great?
- And if a mobile app achieves greatness, what is the impact on a company’s brand, revenue and cost structure?
With user engagement being such a problem for enterprise applications worldwide, these findings were incredibly interesting and relevant to any business building an application in 2016.
In this post I’ll give you a quick break down of the 4 key findings from the Forrester Consulting report.
Good apps perform flawlessly. Great apps create mobile moments.
Unsurprisingly, flawless performance was considered a ‘minimum expectation’ in a good app.
The next level for enterprises looking to create a great app that provides exponentially larger and long term returns is to add a secret ingredient:
The mobile moment.
The mobile moment is defined as that moment where the customer gets anything they want, immediately, and in context.
The reason why mobile moments are so rare in enterprise applications is that they completely transform the commerce and service experience.
They blur the lines between digital and physical so expertly that they challenge the way companies do business and use technology.
Forrester therefore found that to go from good to great, a mobile app must:
- Work flawlessly in terms of uptime, power use, and speed
- Be easy to access and use anytime, anywhere
- Give the user control over the interaction
- Provide relevant contextual experiences – like connection, fun.
2. Great apps outperform good apps in 4 key areas
Opportunity is beating down the door for great apps. There is so much to be gained from going the extra mile when building an application for your business.
- Great apps create direct annual revenue 5 times higher than good apps
- Great apps increase sales to other channels
- Great apps save money and boost productivity
- Great apps generate higher rates of customer engagement, experience, and loyalty
3. Great apps require higher investment
Of course, to build a great app that outperforms a good app in all those previously mentioned areas, an enterprise must commit to greater investment in app development.
Forrester Consulting found that businesses are drastically under-resourcing their development efforts, due to budget constraints and a lack of understanding of how much app development costs.
The figure below shows that although enterprises are on board with adding mobile apps to their digital strategies in the future, the allocation of resources doesn’t reflect this.
58% of respondents planned to spend less than 1% of their total revenue on app development in the next year, despite planning to create several apps in that same period.
4. Firms must measure the things that lead them to create great apps
Year after year, Forrester is finding a disconnect between what customers expect in an enterprise application, and what enterprises are delivering.
The reason for this consistent problem is that mobile app initiatives are starved of information.
Enterprises aren’t measuring, monitoring or analysing the right metrics of mobile app performance.
Enterprises with ‘good’ apps are measuring vanity metrics like:
- Number of downloads
- Number of monthly active users
- Number of daily active users
These metrics aren’t indicative of the overall business performance of an app.
Enterprises measuring user engagement, number of transactions, direct impact on revenue and cost savings enabled were much more likely to have ‘great’ apps.
“Downloads are great, but if they’re not opening, using, and engaging in the app, then I’m not satisfied. We need to know their comments, our ratings, and enhance their in-store experience and drive them there. We have to report the mobile sales up to the C level, but really it’s about engagement and customer satisfaction.” – Ecommerce director at discount retailer
From the Forrester data, it’s clear that enterprises that want to build ‘great’ apps need to:
- Find out what customers want and align with that. Where are your mobile moments?
- Make measurement a religion, and stick to measuring KPIs that are relevant to your company’s strategic focus
- Invest like you mean it. The returns are worth it.
- Don’t try and do everything. Applications that do one thing exceptionally well to improve the customer experience will always outperform an app bloated with features.
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