According to a study conducted by Google, people are 2x more likely to have a brand experience on a mobile device than they are to interact in person, through the TV or through a computer. – Forbes
Developing a mobile-first strategy requires a deep understanding of mobile consumer habits. Going mobile-first will likely require a new focus on content and a shift from the desktop or printed material. ComScore recently released its statistics on mobile usage trends. Here are 5 reasons to develop a mobile-first strategy today. All graphs and statistics are courtesy of ComScore.
1. Mobile users consume more than 2x minutes vs. desktop users:
When looking at each region’s desktop users and mobile users separately, mobile users universally consume more digital minutes per person – more than double in the majority of countries.
2. Smartphone takes the largest share of global digital minutes:
The smartphone is now the dominant platform in terms of total minutes across every market.
3. Apps account for 80% of mobile time:
When considering mobile (smartphone and tablet) minutes in isolation, they are overwhelmingly dominated by app consumption – over 80% of all mobile time in the markets considered for this report.
4. Size of ‘mobile only’ audience grew almost universally:
‘Mobile only’ audiences are now second only to ‘multi-platform’ users in the majority of markets, and appear to be increasing their reach among the overall population in many markets.
5. Mobile-Only usage within the Retail category has increased across all generations:
The statistics do not lie. Across all countries, age groups, and interests, we are seeing increased mobile usage. However, simply building a mobile app will not be enough to maximize return on investment. A mobile app must do more than “exist” on the app stores, the content will need updating and will require adjusting to reflect feedback and analytics. A mobile-first strategy requires adopting new ways of communicating and generating revenue.
Over the last little while, we have had a lot a folks approaching us with an idea to build an Uber of “Insert Market here”. All of them very good ideas. Now we are not about to share those ideas with you (we sign strict NDAs with our customers) but what we will discuss here are some of the common aspects these ideas have and also some of the common challenges.
The Uber Concept
Well unless you have been living under a rock or living in Vancouver where Uber is still not allowed, Uber needs no introduction. The peer-to-peer ride service has revolutionized the transportation industry (much to the chagrin of taxi companies) and demonstrated the power of the web and crowdsourcing allowing to tie customers with locally sourced providers in a very efficient way. You install the app, create an account, and voila, you have a fleet of drivers ready to drive you anywhere at a fraction of the costs that a normal taxi would charge you. All transactions are handled by the service with no physical money being exchanged by the end users. As you can imagine, this delivery model can be applied to many other industries. For the purpose of this example, let’s imagine a Uber service designed to help you find local dog walkers. Your dog needs to go for a stroll, you fire up an app and find people near you that don’t mind walking an extra dog for a fee. They come and pick up your dog, walk it (and clean the stuff), and bring it back to you. Once the dog is returned to you, you don’t even need to pay them directly. The service handles it. Simple enough right? Unfortunately not so. Let’s dive into why.
All the Uber like services have some very common aspects that need to considered when designing the service:
A Customer App
A Supplier App
Locally Sourced Providers/Customers
Time Sensitive Behaviour
Kind of goes with saying that a service like that would need an app. Now don’t get me wrong, some services such as Craigslist and Kijiji have been very successful as desktop applications but the convenience and ease of use of an app coupled with the ability to use a reliable GPS signal within have really enabled Uber to explode like it did. The key here is that our app needs to be able to easily display the suppliers that are available, their rates, available times, and their details. Maybe they only walk small dogs or big dogs.
The supplier app is for the other side of the fence and is often forgotten. The app allows our dog walkers to see a list of customers that are requesting to have their dogs walked, the type of dogs, how many, and their schedule. The user interface may have some common aspects with the customer app but in general will differ quite a bit. Suppliers will need to have buttons/controls to specify when they are available and when they are not, specify when they are on a job or not, have the ability to view job requests and accept or reject them. All things that a customer would not have to deal with.
Locally Sourced Suppliers/Customers
For both the Customer app and the Supplier app, it is vital for the Suppliers and Customers respectively to be locally sourced. If you live in San Francisco and are looking to have your dog walked, it doesn’t help you if someone from Arkansas sees your request. In fact, it probably hinders you as your request may be buried by hundreds of requests from another more popular location.
Time Sensitive Behaviour
When looking for a supplier to fulfill your request, you typically need to have it done within a certain time frame. Now dog walking may have a more repeatable nature compared to requiring a car ride which tends to be more ephemeral but in general, you are looking for someone to handle your request sooner rather than later or within a very specific window.
Although these type of services are called peer-to-peer since they involve direct connection between customers and suppliers without involvement from a supervisory body, they are (for most) in fact, very much centralized services. If that wasn’t the case, it would be difficult (although not impossible) for the service to collect its fees. Again with Uber, customers and drivers don’t exchange money directly. It all flows through Uber allowing them to take their cut. Moreover, administrators must be able to oversee how the service is running and see logs of requests, services rendered, so on to help with customer service or any refunds or conflict resolutions.
Chicken and the Egg
So, we have a good idea, we will help customers find dog walkers. We put all the pieces in place, the customer app and the supplier app are on the respective app stores, we have our backend services all fired up and we launch our service. What happens day one? Nothing. Why? No customer is willing to download the app because they are no dog walkers and no dog walkers are willing to download the app because they are no customers. As you can see we have a pretty big chicken and the egg problem. Unfortunately this service is not one that can grow organically one customer at a time. We need to start with a critical mass. How can we resolve that? There are a couple of ways.
We can pay to run an ad during the Superbowl to advertise our service which should get a whole bunch of people signed up all at once and we are up and running. All good; however, beside the cost of running the ad (7 figures), we better hope our service is foolproof; otherwise, customers and suppliers will run away very quickly if they find our service to not function properly.
The simpler way (and the way Uber took) is to pick a city that we understand well and only deploy with that city and then do some advance leg work to seed the service with both customers and suppliers. Perhaps we tell dog walkers that we guarantee them some customers within X amount of days or we make the service free to customers for the first X days and advertise heavily. Most scenarios involve an investment in time and money (usually the latter) to get the service up and running. Once we got our first city up and running, we can then look to expand to a second city, so on, so forth, and eventually the cost to capture a new city gets cheaper and cheaper as words gets out about the service and we don’t need to advertise as much or discount our service as much to get people to sign up.
As you probably gathered, launching our dog walking service is not going to be on the cheap side. We need to develop 2 apps, an administrator interface and server infrastructure, and finally we need to make a big investment into securing suppliers and customers day one to get our service up and running. So how much are we talking about here? Well in our experience (we have actually launched such a service called Questogo), we are easily looking at 6 figures. Yes that’s a number with 5 zeros after. There is a reason why there aren’t too many competitors for Uber as the technology itself is not earth shattering. If it was cheap, anyone could replicate the model and enter cities where Uber is not in yet and capture it first. Lyft is Uber’s direct competitor and it is probably a safe bet that Lyft is likely more popular in some cities than others.
Can You Walk the Walk?
Now we are not trying to discourage you in building such service (if you want to build a service to walk dogs, you are more than welcome to use our idea). The services do offer some great benefits and really unlock the power of the web and mobile phones. However, you have to be ready to walk the walk and come with a full wallet.
Wavefront and 14 Oranges partner to jointly deliver innovative mobile app solutions to enterprises looking to digitally transform.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 19, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Wavefront Innovation Society (“Wavefront”), a Centre of Excellence headquartered in Vancouver, BC, announced today a new partnership with 14 Oranges Software Inc. (“14 Oranges”), a premier mobile application development company. 14 Oranges is the latest addition to Wavefront’s trusted partner network, a group of companies dedicated to driving mobile and IoT innovation in Canada.
Wavefront and 14 Oranges will collaborate to deliver mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions into large enterprises. With complementary expertise and resources, the companies are jointly positioned to drive digital transformation across Canada through thought leadership and innovative solutions.
Wavefront works with mobile and IoT companies at all stages of their lifecycle and across multiple industry sectors to launch new business models, change organizational processes and enhance enterprise customers’ experiences. As an innovation intermediary, Wavefront helps large enterprises digitally transform their business by connecting them to innovative Canadian startups and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs).
With extensive experience in product and mobile app development, 14 Oranges brings tremendous value to the Wavefront trusted partner network. Founded in 2009, the company serves a range of organizations including government, retail, entertainment and telecom clients. 14 Oranges has been a member of the Wavefront community for many years, participating in Wavefront’s Accelerator programs in the past to grow their business.
“Wavefront chose to work with 14 Oranges for their expertise in product and mobile app development,” says Christian Magsisi, Vice President of Enterprise Solutions with Wavefront. “We are thrilled to have their team support the delivery of mobile solutions into large enterprises who are looking to increase their digital capacity.”
“We are excited to partner with Wavefront to offer our services to organizations across North America. Since joining the Wavefront Entrepreneurship program in 2011, our company has benefited greatly from the mentorship, resources and connections provided by Wavefront and we couldn’t be prouder to now become a trusted partner,” says Sylvain Marcotte, CEO of 14 Oranges.
Wavefront is actively looking to expand the trusted partner network by onboarding Canadian SMEs to jointly deliver mobile and IoT solutions into large enterprise. By partnering with companies who have graduated from Wavefront’s Accelerator and Global Market Entry Programs, Wavefront continues to strengthen Canada’s innovation ecosystem.
Wavefront is Canada’s leader in transforming business through mobile and IoT innovation. We are a centre for commercialization for companies in the wireless and IoT technologies space. Our vision is to build a globally relevant, nationally connected ecosystem that delivers digital capacity, competitiveness and prosperity for Canadians.
About 14 Oranges
Located in Vancouver, 14 Oranges works with the philosophy of serving our customers by understanding both your business problem and mobile application needs, delivering a complete mobile solution.
For more information, contact: Elise Asanias, Content Manager, Wavefront firstname.lastname@example.org (778) 331-7485
To view the original post from Small Business BC, click here.
In 2017, nearly 70% of all media time was spent on smartphones, on either a mobile app or a website. Just a few years ago, having a website was the bare minimum for a business. In 2018, a mobile-responsive website is now the benchmark for success. As we move towards a mobile-first society, mobile optimization is necessary for customer engagement and retention. At the same time, we also see increased use of mobile apps by the public. So, what is best for your business? A mobile-responsive website or a mobile app?
Mobile Responsive Websites
Going with a mobile responsive website model has the following advantages:
Content is being increasingly consumed on mobile devices over desktop.
It helps site usability by improving the user interface and user experience, making it easier for customers to access your content. It’s important to ensure your content consistent across all platforms, including iPhones, Androids, iPads, tablets, and desktops.
Google values mobile-friendly websites, so it helps search rankings (SEO) while decreasing your bounce rate for mobile traffic.
Ideal for your social media marketing efforts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., especially if you’re driving traffic back to your website.
Improves email marketing campaigns that direct traffic to websites, if the user opens emails on their smartphone.
Not sure when it’s time to take mobile engagement one step further? Here’s why a mobile app is better than a website for brand engagement, and when it’s time to upgrade.
Mobile App Advantages
Apps are faster than websites.
Apps are more convenient and familiar than mobile-websites.
Mobile apps can offer offline support to content without needing wifi or data.
Apps better integrate with social media and help increase organic engagement.
Apps provide improved access to onboard services (i.e. native calendar, GPS, Google Maps, beacons, camera, and targeted push notifications.)
When to Upgrade?
When mobile traffic surpasses desktop traffic.
When you’re ready to adjust to changing demographics (millennials)
When you see a high percentage of returning visitors (via analytics) and want to increase brand loyalty, engagement, and grow returning customers.
When your email open rate is lower than industry standard.
When you want to leverage targeted push notifications (based on age, location, interests, etc.)
Promote two-way communication by having forms, surveys, and polls in the app.
If you want to run mobile campaigns in 2018 by using notifications for promotions, events, and news. Encourage action by the user, such as “share on social to be entered to win!”, “add the event to your native calendar”, or “One-day sale! Stop by today!”
When you want to increase revenue and cut costs by adding banner advertisements in the app and cutting print media.
The first step for any business is to ensure your content is accessible across all devices. It’s important to consider the user interface and user experience as they interact with your mobile website or app. Review your current website analytics and display the primary use cases in easy to spot areas for all devices. For example, items such as contact us and services should be easy to find. Ensuring your website is mobile-responsive is the first step to converting website visitors into leads.
Advocacy associations often have a difficult time connecting with members regarding industry news and events. As email open rates decline, association executives are searching for new ways of reaching members to keep everyone informed. In order to match the changing demographics (millennials), associations are beginning to migrate to mobile apps.
Within the last few years, many advocacy associations have begun developing mobile apps to provide members with a mobile-first approach to engagement. Mobile-first strategies are implemented with the goal of allowing members to access content on the platform of their choice, and not limiting the user to a desktop. If your association is considering a mobile app for member engagement, here are six must-have features to guarantee mobile engagement.
1) Targeted push notifications
Sending a mass push notification is the same as sending a mass email, though useful, segmenting communication will increase engagement and open rates. Mobile apps for associations must be equipped with targeted push notifications so members don’t feel overwhelmed with constant alerts.
Associations should target members based on a variety of factors, such as age, location, personal interests, profession, etc. When members first launch the mobile app, they should be asked a series of questions to personalize their experience with your new app.
The Washington State Pharmacy Association asks users to list their profession (either pharmacist, retired, student, or pharmacist technician). In doing so, the WSPA can send news and information to those who it’s most relevant; meaning students will not be notified for events regarding retired professionals in Washington.
2) Polls, surveys, and forms
When adopting a mobile-first strategy, integrating polls and surveys is critical for two-way communication. Associations are able to collect data and information that help better understand the needs and opinions of members for future development. It’s important to eliminate barriers that members face when attempting to engage with your association – make engagement as easy as possible.
Use polls to ask members about recent legislative initiatives, their favourite parts of the app, or whatever your association finds most important. Coupled with targeted push notifications, quick polls are a powerful tool to receive member insight fast.
It’s important to ensure that the polls you create are linked to a backend data source for collection and organization. If the poll requires immediate attention, such as a live event or political policy action, it would help for association staff to receive the forms via email or text if needed.
3) Event integration
Gone are the days of “one-and-done” event apps. Associations are now realizing the value of a year-round mobile app as a platform for member engagement. As many marketers are aware, the hardest part of marketing your mobile app is getting people to download it to their personal devices. It’s believed that once a user has downloaded the app, you’ve passed the largest hurdle for mobile engagement. Provide the event schedule, speaker lists, sponsor list, etc., for event attendees to make the mobile app a must download.
It’s common for associations to have multiple events per year, whether an annual general conference, a local meeting, or even online webinars. A mobile app should allow your staff to create new pages and content for every event your association hosts.
Event pages in the app should allow users to add events to their native calendars and schedule reminders. To improve engagement, event pages should let users seamlessly share on social media to promote attendance by more members. Further, users should be able to find key information, such as directions, contact info, and links to sign up for the event.
Coupled with targeted push notifications and polls, your mobile app will provide a next-level event engagement strategy and create a new event experience for members.
4) Political contacts
At its foundation, advocacy associations strive to make positive change with respect to political policy and government action. An association mobile app should link users to their local state/provincial/municipal representative to contact via email or phone.
One mobile app integration to consider for political advocacy is KnowWho, a membership engagement service to contact legislature representatives. By adding a third party service like KnowWho, associations can run a mass advocacy campaign in a mobile environment with targeted push notifications. Send call-to-actions to members and ask them to send an email to their state representative through the app or share information on social media.
5) Grassroots Advocacy Campaigns
Mobile apps provide a mobile-first environment for rallying members (Click here to learn about our “Campaigns” feature for Associations!). Grassroots advocacy can be streamlined in a mobile setting when combining targeted push notifications with association campaigns. Unifor runs advocacy campaigns, such as “Support Local 597! Send a letter to Dwight Ball” or “Universal Pharmacare” and plans to use the app to gain public momentum. A series of targeted push notifications, based on union sectors, member status, and geographic location, can be sent to members across the country in seconds. Union members have immediate access to campaign links and can send an advocacy email in minutes.
6) Backend content management system
Mobile apps must make the life of association staff easier, not harder. Many mobile apps developed today are equipped with a backend content management system to allow staff to easily add and edit content. 14 Oranges’ Info Grove platform is easy to learn and offers drag and drop mechanisms along with simple data import capabilities.
A second way to reduce the workload for association staff is to provide unique logins for the backend of the mobile app. Specific staff should have their own login information and authority within the backend, meaning not all staff would have the same power to change content. Association executives should be able to appoint new staff to edit content or send a notification without fear of a mass application error. The backend should require no coding knowledge to make changes and to add content.
7) Member ID Cards
Mobile apps are a great way to provide access to association benefits to members. The Minnesota Education Association allows members to launch their unique ID card to redeem benefits where accepted.
8) Donation Portals
It’s essential for your mobile app to feature donation portals in easy to locate places to help streamline fundraising campaigns on mobile devices. For member donations, it works best to link members to your existing association web page from the app.
The Missouri Education Association uses its mobile app to link members to three separate donation portals: The PAC, the Hope Fund, and the Cheer Fund. By providing a donation portal in your mobile app, you are making the donation process as easy as possible for members.
14 Oranges develops mobile apps for advocacy associations and non-profits across the U.S. and Canada. As mobile media consumption rises, more associations are migrating to mobile apps to engage their members and the general public. From the Arkansas Education Association to the Washington State Pharmacy Association, advocacy groups are turning to mobile to find new ways of informing members about industry news, events, and resources. Several associations are also using mobile apps and push notifications to streamline donation campaigns in a mobile-first environment.
Mobile apps offer a unique opportunity for member-based associations to stand out, attract new members, and improve engagement. Here’s a brief infographic outlining why your association needs a mobile app in 2018!
2017 was a big year for the team at 14 Oranges Software. We are delighted to announce that Clutch.co has listed us as the #1 mobile app development company in Western Canada! Also, 14 Oranges was ranked as the top app development company in Vancouver and #3 in all of Canada. Largely due to the success of our new Info Grove mobile app service, 14 Oranges saw substantial growth over the last year. To date, 14 Oranges has released over 15 mobile apps with Info Grove (with many more in the pipeline for the coming months). Info Grove makes mobile apps easier for governments, associations, and businesses by allowing them to reach their target audience with a mobile-first approach.
Top App Development Companies in Canada
Clutch reviewed mobile app development companies on the following criteria:
Public reviews: 14 Oranges received 19/20
Clients and experience: 14 Oranges received 8.6/10
This article was originally posted on the BC Tech Association blog, to view the original post please click here
The mobile app industry is continuously evolving, and every year offers new trends in mobile engagement and best practices. As the new year is upon us, here are three industry trends to look for in 2018:
1. Increased Mobile Engagement
In 2018, expect companies to find new ways of improving their mobile engagement. Companies will focus on not just getting app downloads, but also making sure the user comes back for more. Content creation will be developed with a mobile audience in mind, not just desktop. Just last month, during Cyber Monday, mobile shopping time and mobile sales set new records. We can expect an increasing emphasis on developing sound user experiences (UX) and user interfaces (UI) that consider the consumer first.
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2. Interconnectivity of Mobile Apps
Increased engagement means finding new ways of connecting mobile apps to other third party tools. An example of this can be seen in the use of active beacons. Beacons, or spacial-based triggers, allow users to be notified with relevant information from the app once they reach a specific geographic landmark. 2018 will likely see museums, cities, and event organizers integrating beacon support into their apps to provide a new mobile experience.
3. Augmented Reality Apps
Augmented reality, or AR, is a relatively new trend. We all remember the Pokemon Go craze over a year ago. Large companies like Amazon are beginning to recognize the mobile value of AR and are beginning to implement it in their apps. The Amazon AR shopping feature (only available for iPhone) allows users to shop for household appliances and preview them with their mobile device. Also, get ready for the release of new Harry Potter and Star Wars AR technology! Expect new industries to leverage this AR technology to find new ways of reaching their target audience.
Only time will tell how other industries decide to better leverage this existing mobile technology. One thing that’s certain is that year after year more people are integrating mobile apps into their daily lives. This past summer, ComScore released its annual mobile app report leveraging a U.S. based audience. The findings are clear. Mobile app usage is on the rise; meaning, those who don’t adopt new mobile practices might find themselves falling behind. The report was relatively long, so here are some of the highlights to help you plan for your mobile future.
We are nearing the final weeks of 2017, which is a perfect time to reflect on recent mobile trends in our society. Mobile app usage continues to rise, with user bases expanding and more apps being developed. Even industries that have traditionally struggled in mobile, such as e-commerce, have experienced increased usage as demonstrated by Cyber Money and Black Friday shopping. This year's statistics show the value of mobile apps heading into 2018. ComScore released their annual mobile app report a few months ago, so we thought we would make the information easy to digest with a handy infographic.