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This is a guest post from digital marketing specialist Ankit Thakor.
What are consumers are always worried about when they think of shopping? First of all, is the quality is good or not? What about other common issues, like whether or not this will look good on me, if the color goes well with skin tone, is it a good match to my wall colors? Tons of questions arise in shoppers’ minds when they seek out products.
To answer all such questions, consumers generally head over to brick-and-mortar stores instead of online shopping. After all, traditional shopping is the place where they can clear their doubts. But isn’t it time consuming? Trying each and every thing, spending some good amount of time in checking the quality of products, etc. I call it the best way to waste a couple of hours. But this state will not last too long as augmented reality (AR) has arrived to save shoppers time.
As consumers have grown frustrated from wasting hours in checking out each and every thing, Augmented Reality is nothing less than a godsend for them, and for retailers as well. Do you know why?
As I said, consumers try everything to confirm whether the item is suitable for them or not, which generally consumes their hours. AR technology releases them from such issues as they can try everything virtually within a span of minutes.
TopShop, a clothes retailer for women and men, partnered with Microsoft Kinect to create a virtual fitting dressing room where customers are allowed to try everything virtually. The following video explains how it exactly works and how it can save shopping time.
Many customers don’t have much idea of which fashion trend is made for them. They spend their whole day in malls to search out a suitable outfit. What if they got recommendations as soon as their feet touch the store’s floor, so that they don’t need to search out each thing separately? And those recommendations will be based on their own personality. Yes, AR can make things this much easier.
Shisedio, a personal care multinational company, developed an AR-based makeup mirror that takes an image of shoppers and recommends the most suitable makeup as per their skin type and color. Additionally, it recommends the latest cosmetics arrivals and which ones are good matches for the customer.
Not only brick-and-mortar stores, but online shops can also take advantage of AR. The IKEA AR Catalogue proves it very well. Furniture retailer IKEA launched an AR app enabling shoppers to visualise furniture in their homes, selecting ones that match with existing floors, walls, and decor.
58% of consumers would like to check out information first before they purchase a product in store. Things like ingredients lists, price, expiration dates, etc. are all important to consider during purchases.
To save time, consumers need a technology that can give them information on their mobile as soon as they put the device on the product. AR is the technology that can provide this much accessibility. IBM’s app is proof.
More and more retailers are partnering with top mobile app development companies to develop AR technology that can save give their customers a more convenient shopping experience. Online shop owners are also on their way to create AR apps to enrich the experience of app users. The day is near when shopping will be done in minutes instead of hours.
This is a guest post by Ryan Stevens, Business Manager at Clutch.co.
At Clutch we work to connect business service providers with business service buyers, Zco was an early member to join our site. Over the last couple of years we’ve been really working to grow our content and increase the number of companies we cover across the technology sector. I think it is now fair to say that we are the leading provider of B2B ratings and reviews for the app development vertical.
With that being said, this blog is not about Clutch but rather about the great work Zco does. We are excited to announce Zco as a Top Mobile App Developer. Our team uses a unique methodology to create what we term the “Leaders Matrix”, which combines an evaluation of a company’s previous app development work with verified feedback from their clients.
Despite our evaluation criteria what differentiates Clutch is that we put the largest emphasis on validated client feedback. Zco has 12 glowing reviews all of which Clutch conducted or validated with Zco’s clients. One of the most outstanding reviews is below:
We are excited to see our business-to-business coverage grow and happy to have Zco recognized not only as a leader in the Boston market, but also recognized for their work on iOS and mobile app games.
One review snapshot of what clients say about Zco’s iOS apps is below:
To learn more about how we evaluate companies on our site check out Clutch and be sure to read all of Zco’s Reviews.
This is a guest post by Sophorn Chhay of Trumpia, a mobile marketing automation company.
The mobile lifestyle is taking over. People are spending more time on their smartphones than they are on their desktop computers, and they're spending money as they're doing it. For businesses to get to the top of the heap – or stay there, as the case may be – they need to step up their mobile marketing strategy big time. Along with the reasons why it all matters, here are the 7 steps towards achieving mobile marketing success in 2016.
The first step to mobile marketing success is to be out there. Have a presence! You have to play to win. One example: while 64 percent of consumers reported making a purchase on their smartphones that was inspired by a mobile ad, a disheartening 74 percent of respondents from the same survey had never seen mobile ads touting their favorite brands. That 74 percent never had a chance to be enticed by the brands they already favored, and they never got to conveniently click on an ad and buy a product they may already have been thinking about for ages. Don't lose out before you even have a chance to succeed.
Optimizing your digital network for mobile use is a hot topic these days, and that optimization can take many forms. Having a search-engine friendly blog will improve your rankings, but after you attract the traffic you're after you need to make sure that the website they encounter will load and read appropriately on whatever device they use. There are a lot of ways to achieve optimization; the important thing is that you make the effort to try and that you deliver the product your consumers want to whichever device they're currently wanting it on.
17th-century English poet John Donne one said, "no man is an island," but rather a piece of a continent, a part of a larger whole, and your marketing strategy needs to be similarly integrated. To achieve success with any advertising campaign it needs to multi-faceted and well organized, and when you have a brick-and-mortar store that means making sure your in-store and mobile ads are in line with each other.
You know what's more fun than clipping coupons out of the Sunday paper? Well, pretty much anything, but, in particular, we're talking about the convenience consumers experience when they get coupons for the products they love delivered right to their phone. Shoppers have spoken, and 76 percent of moms and 64 percent of dads are saying that they are more likely to purchase a product using a deal coupon they get on their smartphone.
In a rundown of content marketing predictions for 2016, Jay Baer (President of Convince & Convert) said, "Whether it’s Facebook Live, video on Twitter, Periscope, Blab, Instagram, Vine, or the old standby YouTube, 2016 will be the year when video becomes a primary content marketing consideration for all brands – even B2B." Video offers businesses another way to frame and deliver their message, and it gives visually motivated consumers another way to absorb messages and be inspired by them.
Mobile ads really do have an awful lot going for them, but as much as they're already inspiring sales they also have some drawbacks. When 72 percent of mobile users say they don't click on mobile ads simply because their phone's screen is too small, that's worrying. When 54 percent say they don't click on mobile ads that pop-up during smartphone use because they get frustrated that their mobile activity is being interrupted, that's something to take into consideration, too. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater and ditch mobile altogether, just diversify. It's worth it.
One of the most amazing things about mobile marketing is that you don't have to be hands-on to make it work. Mobile marketing automation allows your business to give consumers what they need when they need it instead of when you're around to take care of it. It's a win-win, and that's what the future of marketing is all about.
Sophorn Chhay is an inbound marketer specializing in attracting targeted visitors and generating sales qualified leads. Through Trumpia’s SMS marketing automation solution he helps businesses and organizations communicate effectively with their customers or members. Watch Trumpia's 5-Minute Demo on how to execute an effective mobile marketing strategy.
This is a guest post by Dave Bell, Co-Founder and CEO of Gummicube, a company specializing in app store optimization.
With the massive migration from the web to apps, even startups that are not “mobile-first” recognize the importance of having a mobile app for their business.
Not only is there more time spent in devices than on desktops, but the majority of that time is spent within apps. If publishing a mobile app is part of your startup strategy, then app store optimization (or ASO) will be an important part of your overall startup marketing plan.
One of the first validation points for many startups is confirming market demand and identifying cost-effective methods of acquiring users.
Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares’ book Traction identifies 18 channels for testing and ultimately building traction, including “SEO, SEM, social media, content marketing, press and PR, affiliates, traditional business development and sales.”
Developing a single channel for your business often requires testing and optimizing multiple channels, moving on from those that don't work and reinvesting in those that do. The payoff is that after performing tests and ruling out or optimizing a channel further, your business has created an asset - a proven and repeatable path to users and revenue.
For mobile apps, or startups where user experience and acquisition is aided by a mobile app, the most popular channel is the app store. That’s where app store optimization comes in.
Many of the channels used for acquiring users for services and physical and digital products are also available to mobile apps. You may have seen ads for Game of War during the last Super Bowl, or ads for Candy Crush Saga on billboards. Almost everyone has seen an ad for a mobile app appear in their Facebook feed.
However, most mobile apps are not discovered and installed from TV ads, print ads, or even Facebook ads. The majority of app installs are a result of app store search.
So ask yourself: how can I test the app stores’ organic search traffic as a viable channel for my mobile app?
App store search indexing, rankings, and results work much like other digital marketplaces. The two largest app stores are Apple’s iTunes and Android’s Google Play, and each has its own algorithms, app listing elements, and regulations.
Since the algorithms are private and there are so many variables with apps, no one can realistically claim they know the specific weight a component of the algorithm has on search rankings. The algorithms are also dynamic, changing over time.
Analysis of app store data has revealed some secrets of the search and ranking algorithms. Reviews and retention have an impact on where an app ranks, but a great app is not enough on its own. There is an increasing significance placed on conversion rates (from search result to install) and in-app usage metrics.
Much of app store optimization is the execution of a strategy for creating an app listing that:
Collecting app store data and working with clients over the last five years has taught us at Gummicube that the vast majority of app store searches are 2+ word phrases about features, such as “photo filters”, “twitter videos”, and “dog walking”.
The very best way to tap into organic app store traffic that is relevant to your app, then, is to create an app listing that focuses on your app’s best features.
Your app’s best features can be defined as the most essential and differentiating features of your app relevant to your target audience.
Once you have identified the top 3 or 4 features, aim for coverage of the variations of how your target market may search for those features.
Working with app store intelligence software and/or a mobile app marketing agency can help you build an app listing that provides relevant phrase coverage. It is not unheard of for developers to see download increases of 100% (or even 775%), while adjusting the listing for suggested incremental improvements.
For mobile apps, it is the organic search traffic of the app stores themselves that represent the most cost-effective avenue for connecting to market demand. And app store optimization is how you tap into that organic traffic.
Dave Bell is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Gummicube. In this role, Dave is responsible for overseeing the business strategy for the company, driving growth and market development. Dave is a pioneer of the mobile entertainment industry with more than 15 years of experience publishing, marketing and distributing mobile applications and games across carrier, direct to consumer and app store channels.
A guest post shared with us by Sara Carter of Mac Reviews
BlackBerry is getting a lot of negative press worldwide, especially since its share value plunged to a depth of $6.31 per share during the third quarter of 2012. It has since recovered to over $11 a share. Certainly, Yacktman Asset Management sees value in the 80 million BlackBerry users worldwide but does this mean mobile marketing teams can as well?
Why Use BlackBerry For Mobile Marketing
It is estimated that by 2014, smartphones will be readily available for less than $200 making them even more accessible than ever before. One potential issue faced by companies looking to use BlackBerry for mobile marketing is the fact that its US market share is now estimated to be at just 1.6%. Yet this still equates to millions of users and potentially millions of dollars of revenue just waiting to be gained.
Although there are fewer BlackBerry devices on the market, the amount of money spent by users far surpasses that of Android and iPhone users. They are more likely to have a high level of disposable income, which can be spent on downloading BlackBerry apps. By July 2012, more than 3 billon apps had been downloaded since the launch of BlackBerry App World.
Government employees in the United States in particular are given BlackBerries because of the platform’s security credentials. Since these individuals are often high ranking employees, they have tremendous purchasing power and it could be a case of benefiting from a small yet lucrative market rather than relying on the general public. Best mobile marketing practice means finding customers in a specific niche, targeting them and catering to all their needs. By looking at BlackBerry users, you’ve found a readymade target market. All you have to do is find out what they need and give it to them.
Is BlackBerry Better Than Other Smartphones For Mobile Marketing?
The advantages of a BlackBerry over other smartphones are substantial: it is easier to type on the BlackBerry keyboard; it has instant messaging, is suitable for business use and has a long battery life. However, much of the advantage of having a good keyboard is negated by the small screen, and the BlackBerry has far fewer apps than its rivals. This is why iPhone and Android leave BlackBerry trailing in their respective wakes when it comes to market share.
If you are going to use BlackBerry for your marketing campaign and target BlackBerry users, your ability to sell must be first class. While BlackBerry users may have more disposable income than iPhone or Android users in general, there are far fewer of them. If you can sell a product or offer a service that will benefit wealthy professionals bereft of free time, mobile marketing via BlackBerry could be very lucrative.
Zco Corporation is a custom software company with headquarters in Nashua, New Hampshire, USA specializing in mobile app development, enterprise software, and 3D animation.
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