Mobile strategy: a need to have, not a nice to have!
Michael Allen, VP EMEA APM Solutions, Compuware explains why mobile apps need to be a key part of enterprise strategy and how their performance is critical to their uptake.
The global growth in the use of mobile apps and websites is huge, with smartphone penetration at 50% in the US alone. We are buying more advanced devices than ever before and using them every day to shop; access services; check the weather; catch up on TV, connect with friends and colleagues; and, increasingly, to financial transact though mobile banking and mobile device payments.
The demand for mobile applications is growing as a result. Apple’s app store alone has now reached 60 billion downloads tracking at over 2 billion a month, with Android hitting 2.5 billion. Mobile websites built with mobile-specific features, such as ‘click-to-call’ or location based mapping, are also increasingly popular. Bearing all this in mind, having a clear mobile strategy is a valuable revenue stream that cannot be neglected.
start the buyer journey in the right way
Simply knocking together a mobile app or website does not make a mobile strategy. If you are really looking to deliver value to the end-user and secure a competitive edge, it needs to be the right mobile experience and across the right channels. For example, Compuware recently conducted some research that found that consumers overwhelmingly prefer mobile apps over mobile websites; with 85% of respondents choosing the former. The research showed that people preferred apps because they are more convenient (55%), faster (48%) and easier to navigate (40%).
Today’s technologically advanced consumer is not easily impressed or satisfied: they have high expectations and can be very unforgiving if they do not receive the service they have grown accustomed to. Eighty percent of consumers surveyed expect a mobile app to launch in less than three seconds, and first impressions count: 48% of smartphone users said they would be less likely to use an app again if they are dissatisfied with mobile app performance, and 31% would tell others about a negative experience, meaning app performance can have a direct impact on brand equity.
When you consider that many consumers today start the buyer journey on their mobile, it is dangerous to be leaving them feeling dissatisfied. Eighty-four percent of consumers base their download decisions on app store ratings, meaning it is not just enough to get it right ‘some’ of the time: consistency is key. A poor mobile offering can have a direct impact on a company’s revenues and can result in loss of market share. Thirty-one percent of those surveyed said they would be less likely to purchase from a company at all following a poor experience with a mobile app; and a further 34% said they would be more likely to switch to a competitor’s app following a negative app experience.
However, despite the growing importance of mobile as a revenue channel, many companies still seem to be failing the performance challenge. Our research found that users often experience difficulties with their mobile apps. Sixty-two percent had experienced a crash, freeze or error in the app; 47% complained of slow launch times; and 40% had tried an app that simply wouldn’t launch. As shown above, this is going to cost companies in the long-run.
put yourself in your customer’s shoes
Having the top rating app does not happen by accident, it takes work and investment. To ensure a consistently positive mobile experience, companies need to start looking at performance from the perspective that matters: the consumer’s. This involves ensuring that the design is optimized for high functionality and ease of use. Enterprises must offer a seamless experience between mobile websites, apps and traditional online channels, or risk losing out. Essentially, consumers must be able to access the same service, in the same way, each time they try. If a problem does occur, then it should be resolved swiftly to minimize the impact.
Companies can achieve this continuity of service by monitoring mobile application performance from the perspective of the end user. The IT sector calls this Application Performance Management, which targets technology performance and the impact to your business or your customers. Using solutions from partners like Compuware allows Orange to pinpoint and fix technology performance issues – whether the issue lies in the network, the server tiers, the application layers, in fact anywhere in the IT environment. This allows enterprises to get on with running their business, while keeping mobile customers happy.
top 5 – mobile imperatives
- develop a mobile strategy – think mobile app instead of website….
- consider the power of app store’ recommendations
- put yourself in your customer’s shoes – think and measure from the perspective of the real user
- develop a dispersed synthetic monitoring strategy – test from your users / customers locations – anywhere globally, anytime
- act before it’s too late: reputational damage is costly, customers may be lost for good – don’t let your competition steal a march!
Orange has launched Orange APM as a Service to help companies to deal with these issues. Powered by Compuware’s APM technology, Orange APMaaS is a new managed service supported by Orange technology and consultants. It allows enterprises to ensure quality of experience across mobile, cloud, web and enterprise environments.
Find out more about Orange network solutions: http://www.orange-business.com/en/networks
Read about Orange consulting: http://www.orange-business.com/en/consulting