Why do we need an app? You’ve heard this question time and time again. You’ve probably even asked it yourself. Mobile should be an essential part of your business plan. Whether you’re looking to connect with your customers, engage your employees or improve your business performance.

So, in this article, we break down why you need to focus on mobile in 2018. As well as what you need to focus on: your users, their expectations and, more importantly, what they want from your mobile app.

Why Mobile?

The answer is easy. Mobile is now the go-to device for everything we do. Whether we’re asking questions, carrying out tasks or contacting people. Because of this, the average UK adult now spends almost two hours a day on their smartphone. A number that’s only going to rise, expecting to reach two hours and fourteen minutes by 2019.

Mobile’s rapid growth since the release of the iPhone ten years ago offers a huge opportunity to your business. An app isn’t just something that solves you, your customers’ or employees’ problems. It’s the chance for highly personalised interactions directly between you and your users. Mobile helps you enhance your customer experience (CX), engage your employees and improve your business processes.

And with a well-designed mobile app, you can create a tailored user experience (UX) that drives engagement across the board. Which is why native apps have a 1.5x higher conversion rate than desktop. As well as 3x more conversions than mobile websites.

Even still, it can be hard to know what’s best for you between mobile apps vs web. But once you’re sure an application is the answer, you need to think about what your users expect. And more importantly, how your business app or consumer app is going to meet those expectations.

What Will Your Mobile App Users Expect?

The most important thing you need to know is that your users’ expectations are rising rapidly. Just having an app is no longer enough. Intuitive user interfaces (UI), seamless UX and innovative features are no longer a competitive advantage. In today’s mobile space, they’re expected.

As a result, nearly one in four people will abandon your app after just one use. So, this means that for 25% of your audience, you only get one shot at impressing them. Which is why we recommend ignoring the old-fashioned minimum viable product approach to app development. It’s old-fashioned, outdated and often leads to a sub-par UX.

But what else is there? Well, there’s a groundbreaking new approach to app development called the minimum desirable product (MDP). And with it, you can make sure your first in-app impression counts. It does this by delighting your users, not just ticking your business goal boxes.

This is the secret to making sure your users don’t abandon your mobile app. It may sound simple but it’s where so many businesses miss the mark. Because they make the mistake of looking at mobile from a business perspective, not a user-centric one. Focus too much on bringing value to your business and you’ll end up with an app that brings value to no-one.

The key to getting a return on your mobile investment and delighting your users is going beyond what they expect. So, in 2018, what do users actually want from your mobile app? How can you smash expectations and encourage long-time loyalty among your app users? Read on to find out.

What Do Your App Users Want?

Ultimately, your users want something that fits into their lives seamlessly. A mobile solution that enhances their experiences and solves their problems. But more importantly, all this in a way that’s engaging, a joy to use and just easy.

Sometimes, this may even mean spending less time in your app. That sounds strange at first but the more your app can do with less input, then the more valuable it is to your users. Which may mean revisiting how you measure its success. Because looking forward, these more proactive Post App Era experiences are exactly what your users will be looking for.

These proactive app experiences require an in-depth understanding of your users. But the good news is that mobile provides this! Thanks to artificial intelligence and machine learning, mobile gives you both the data and the tools to wow your users. Smashing their expectations and giving them exactly what they want on a user-by-user basis.

But these wants won’t stay the same. In the mobile app space, we find that bonus features become expected very quickly. And you need to keep at least two steps ahead of your users if you want to keep them engaged. This means investing in mobile today, so you’re not playing catch up with your user base.

What’s Next?

Mobile is the obvious answer if you’re looking to connect with customers, employees or other audiences. Quick, convenient and tailored to your users’ every need, it’s changing the way we all interact with businesses and brands. By this point, you should have a good idea of why mobile is the right choice for your business. And the opportunities it could bring.

This means you’ve already started the app development process. So, what’s the next step? The next article in our app development series explores outcome-driven innovation for mobile apps. Read it now so you can start defining what your app will be.