Devising Your Mobile Strategy

4 steps to consider when building a dynamic mobile application. 

The Shift Towards Digital-First 

Over the past two decades, companies transitioned from prioritizing brick-and-mortar operations to becoming digital-first. In 2022, mobile retail e-commerce sales in the United States are projected to double to $430 billion following the COVID pandemic, indicating the changing nature of consumer behavior1. In addition, nearly one-third of U.S. internet users bought something online each week via a mobile phone1. As mobile becomes an integral part of the buyer’s journey, businesses are looking to reinvent themselves and benefit from the always-on consumer.

To cater to the growing number of mobile users, companies are swapping their low-functionality apps for platforms that prioritize user experience. A mobile experience that’s accessible and optimized can boost company sales, increase user engagement, and build customer loyalty.

But where should a business start when looking to develop a successful mobile strategy? Concord’s Retail Mobile Solutions expert, Kaustubh Goswami, explains the basics and suggests three tips to get started with a mobile-first plan that’s right for your business. 

Roadblocks to Reaching Your Mobile Goals

While global consumer spending in mobile apps has reached a record high, retailers can be hesitant to implement a mobile strategy2. According to Kaustubh, some businesses are under the impression that apps are costly to develop and support.

“Companies in the past, specifically smaller companies, believed it’s too expensive to build a mobile application or that it may not be worth the investment. But now, users expect brands of all sizes to have their own applications. It’s a necessary step for retailers to take.”

There are a wide range of solutions that address mobile-first adoption, and the complexity of the app development influences cost. Not all companies need to start with an expensive, complex app solution. To design a mobile plan that is reliable and suits your business needs, it’s important to understand the basics of a mobile strategy.

Building a Mobile Strategy

Step 1: Defining Customer Needs

When first developing an application, Kaustubh suggests defining consumer needs. “The way a company approaches their mobile strategy depends on end-user habits. You must keep the customer top of mind. While focusing on the technicalities, you need to remember that you are optimizing an application for your consumers.”

Step 2: Determine Application Goals

Once a business understands consumer needs, the next step is to determine the goals for the application. Kaustubh explains that developing a project scope helps companies establish which functions are essential and which are less imperative. It is common for companies to fixate on small enhancements, causing them to deviate from goals and miss project deadlines. Creating a hierarchy of user and business needs provides developers with a clear view of objectives and can help them successfully launch the application on time.

Step 3: Find a Trusted Partner

Depending on in-house resources and skill level, it may be necessary for retailers to hire a strategic partner with cloud-based application expertise. Software development service providers like Concord can enable infrastructure transformations and provide scalable, secure cloud solutions. With the right tools, businesses can position themselves to develop a successful app while keeping costs manageable.

Step 4: Launch and Refine

The mobile app development journey is paved with constant analysis and testing. Kaustubh highlights that “a mobile solution is never truly complete, it’s always evolving.” It’s important to test app functionality and user experience through soft and hard launches. Companies should leverage these insights and continuously monitor app performance to create a seamless mobile experience.

Putting it All Together

No one is surprised to learn that mobile is an integral part of retailers’ unified commerce strategy. However, many small to mid-size retailers are pleasantly surprised to learn how affordable and valuable a custom mobile app can be for their business. As you work to build your mobile strategy, be sure to keep the customer first, determine the must-haves for your app, find a trusted partner to implement, and continuously refine through a series of soft and hard launches.

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