Special Report: Keys to mobile app success

March 27, 2015 05:58 AM

52% of the time U.S. consumers spend digitally occurs within a mobile app, according to online measurement firm comScore Inc. Mind you, that’s not more than half of just mobile time, that’s more than half of all digital time—web sites, apps, desktop computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, smartwatches, smartglasses, smartwhatever.

“Why are we among the highest-rated apps in the app stores? Why do people love Shazam and associate it with magic? Because the app is incredibly convenient and fast—you open Shazam, push the large button, no typing, and in seconds it does precisely what you want it to do,” Rich Riley, CEO of Shazam, tells Internet Retailer in the new 17-page special report, “App Map: Keys to Highly Successful Mobile Apps,” which can be downloaded for free by clicking here.

Shazam, which recognizes and identifies songs, TV shows and more just from hearing short audio clips, has been downloaded more than 600 million times, the company says. (If every download represented a single person, that would account for almost 10% of humanity.) The Shazam app, built in-house, is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars in the Apple App Store and 4.4 out of 5 stars in the Google Play store. Further, Shazam—an Apple Inc. launch partner for the original iPhone in 2007—racks up several hundred million dollars in annual revenues from sales of digital music within the app, the company reports.

“There is no room for confusion—you just push the button and here come the results,” Riley says. “And we’ve been making the results richer and richer, adding to a song title and artist, for example, song lyrics, the ability to stream or buy the song, tour dates for the artist, and more.”

Getting a mobile customer to exactly what they need—precision—in the fastest possible manner—speed—is of utmost importance to Shazam and to any company with a mobile app today, Riley says. Executives at other businesses with some of the top apps in their markets agree, including chain retailer Target Corp., web-only retailer Rent The Runway, travel & hospitality giant Airbnb, and health care app iTriage. These businesses’ popular apps are profiled by Internet Retailer in “App Map: Keys to Highly Successful Mobile Apps” (click here).

Precision and speed are fundamentals when creating a mobile app to serve today’s extremely mobile consumers—be they shoppers, moviegoers, travelers, patients, game players, anyone. There are a number of features and functions that are key to successful apps—one-touch login or checkout, judicious push notifications, incredible imagery—that, in the end, all directly relate to precision and speed.

And businesses from differing markets can learn from one another, and find mobile inspiration in each other’s apps. A health care insurance company, for example, might see entertainment and retail company Shazam’s jumbo touch-me button on the app home screen and be inspired to add a jumbo home screen button of its own that when pressed immediately finds via GPS in-network physicians in the immediate vicinity.

“A shift to mobile apps has been trending for awhile, and today it indeed is hitting epic heights,” says R.J. Pittman, chief product officer at eBay, who is responsible for the online marketplace’s customer experience on all screens. 282 million consumers worldwide have downloaded eBay’s smartphone, tablet and wearables apps, eBay says. “The technology that powers apps today has become far more powerful than just a few years ago. Today you can build much better experiences in apps than on any other platform, hands down—including the desktop.”

To download a copy of the complimentary special report, “App Map: Keys to Highly Successful Mobile Apps,” click here.

Follow Bill Siwicki, editor of the Internet Retailer 2015 Mobile 500 and editor, mobile, of Internet Retailer, on Twitter at @IRmcommerce and @MobileStrat360B.




Top Solution Providers