What characterises the most successful branded mobile apps? There are a few common trends that many of the most popular apps on the market share.
Much of the time, a certain app will find a winning formula and others will follow suit. Not only should apps keep up with current trends in technology, but they should also look to see what works for other successful branded mobile apps.
Common trends at the moment include product alerts, varying apps for the same product and introducing loyalty cards.
The last few years, we’ve seen a lot of apps offer push notifications to give customers instant access to important information. It is the utility and financial services industry that utilises this feature the most, with stats from Kahuna showing around 40% of businesses in this sector using it. Now, successful apps are using these notifications to their advantage to alert customers about products that they may want to purchase. Companies are already integrating social media into their advertising campaigns, and these methods are now adding new dimensions. 36% of businesses are now taking advantage of direct buy buttons, and 60%of marketers plan to use social buttons.
Gazaro is an online shopping app founded in 2007 that assists customers in tracking the prices of their favourite items. You have to select the products that you are interested in, and the app scans the market and informs you with a push notification if the prices have gone up or down. Customers can get the price alerts in the form of emails and tweets as well. All you have to do is sign up for the tracking service.
Another way in which apps can take advantage of this notification system is by using the new notification widgets feature that was released with iOS8. This gives Apple users alerts from a certain app and the option to click on the alerts and read information without actually having to open the app.
A lot of businesses now like to offer more than one app for their customers. Each app can focus on a different service or target audience. In the world of online casinos, for example, PokerStars offers separate apps for PokerStars Mobile Poker, PokerStars TV, Jackpot Poker, and now Duel, which is currently in Beta in the UK and Norway. The TV app appeals to audiences who like to watch coverage of live and online poker events around the world, Jackpot Poker appeals to players who want to play poker tournaments free of charge, and Duel will allow players to play head-to-head games of Texas Hold’em poker for real money.
Businesses that adopt this multi-faceted approach find that providing mobile users with these varying apps is a successful way of attracting different audiences to the brand. LinkedIn had 8% of its users on mobile in 2011, it now has over 50%, due to its multi-app strategy. Branching away from the primary focus of the business can have its benefits. PokerStars achieved this by offering an alternative to just poker games, with their online casino and the wide variety of games that comes with it. Players now have the opportunity to play slots, roulette, and card games, along with video poker and live casino technology. This can offer the user an opportunity for some respite after an intense poker tournament, and also encourages fans of casino games to discover other offerings of the brand.
Another example of just how fruitful branching out to different mobile apps can be is the success of Kim Kardashian’s mobile game – Hollywood. It is free to download but players can splash extra cash downloading add-ons such as private planes, and dressing up their avatars in fancy clothing. This aspect, along with advertising, is why the app has pulled in over $100 million.
A classic business technique to ensure repeat custom is to offer a loyalty card. This can range from a mechanic as simple as drinking five coffees to receive a free one to more complicated models, but it encourages customers to return to that particular coffee shop. According to researchers Dowling and Uncles, “loyalty cards enhance the overall value-proposition of the product or service”. Now, apps can take advantage of this strategy as well.
These are just a few of the popular trends branded mobile apps. It is important for businesses to constantly monitor which trends are successful and try to emulate them in this ever advancing technological world.