‘Mobile Apps will decide your product’s success’ proclaimed a Techcrunch article recently. The crux of the argument is that the presence of a useful mobile app, is often a clincher in product purchase decisions.
The author goes on to urge companies to look at mobile apps from this lens:
How can you meaningfully integrate mobile app content and functions with your product, utility, or service? How can you leverage mobile touch points to engage consumers throughout the purchase path? And how can your app extend the usefulness of your product and increase its value and relevance? Aim for apps that perform an integral, delightful, convenience-enhancing service for users.
Any product whose utility can be enhanced by the presence of a mobile app is bound to delight its users. The sheer joy of controlling your television or home theatre system through a mobile app is an experience which is bound to create an ‘expectation threshold’ for consumers. Once a consumer has a taste of such an experience he will look for it in related categories. Suddenly a satellite dish service that cannot be operated through a mobile app then feels archaic. Opportunities to delight consumers through useful mobile apps abound across categories. For example, an automobile is a considered, high involvement purchase which is used every day. A mobile app which acts as a travel companion to the user offering inputs on mileage or any other useful service would be welcome. Fiat Eco Drive was one such effort – providing diagnostic information to improve fuel efficiency.
The advent of connected devices beyond smartphones & tablets opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Alarm.com’s garage door opening app, SPG’s app that unlocks hotel rooms and such like are just the beginning. The lack of such apps may be a deterrent to product purchase in the near future.
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