Why is there an “app for that”?



We’ve heard this so many times, to the point that it’s now a meme to describe any services out there provided by anyone. But as humorous as it has become, it’s also a reality nowadays, or even a necessity.

As our mobile phones started to become part of our daily lives, and in some instances replace our physical world, websites, which for almost 20 years were the biggest source of our information, slowly felt slow, boring, and inadequate for younger consumers. This was because mobile apps could take advantage of closed API (Application Programming Interface) that was available to app developers. They were closed (rather than publicly available to websites and applications) because they provided that extra sparkle for platforms to advertise their app stores, make them more exclusive and encourage consumers to ultimately purchase their handsets.

Perhaps and arguably as a consequence, developers started to use these APIs to create engaging, responsive applications that were both informative (businesses could bring information about their products and services to consumers in a much quicker way), interactive (because apps were more responsive, they were more exciting to use, and quicker) and productive.

Businesses and individuals can nowadays showcase their products / services / contents in a contained environment, with far less risk of their property (data, content, product etc) being stolen or manipulated. In additions, gathering user intelligence, behaviour and understanding is much easier, because apps can provide focused user journeys, which can easily be measured, timed, and analysed. Through a responsible use of this, businesses can understand why a user acts in a way, and how they can make it easier to provide their contents to their users. They say knowledge is power, an in business, knowing what your customers like, when they like it and how often they like it is definitely power. Done right and responsibly, it’s a power to do great stuff.

But when there are many apps to download, it becomes a difficult thing for businesses to encourage users to download their apps. Storage on devices becomes a sensitive real estate, especially because devices are closer to users nowadays. Additionally, the speed of discovery (how long it takes to download the app, and how long consumers need to spend to register and use the app) has become so important, as the more distractions users are faced with (different apps for different purposes), the shorter their attention span.

That’s where App Clips come in. They are a small snapshot of the services and products an app offers. In other word, through App Clips, businesses can “cherry pick” their most favourite products and bring it to user quicker than installing the complete app. So let’s say I have a store that sells muffins. I could put a number of my most loved muffins in my App Clip (this could be done through selecting the products in your admin section of my app), then I could print a QR code that gives shoppers that come to the street my store is on, which contains my App Clip URL. This way, shoppers that see my QR code can choose from the selection I added, or download the app and fully customise their muffin and pick them up on their way back from their shopping.

The customisation is a pretty standard flow, which gives users a sense of individuality and achievement after they have created their favourite muffin (not to forget a perfect way of showing off their creativity to friends and family, or a heart-felt present to loved ones). But more importantly, it snaps consumers’ attention quickly, easily and profitably.

Another important benefit of App Clips lies in its synchronisation with the main app. Traditionally, websites and apps provided a slightly different flow to their users. The degree of difference differs from company to company, but they always have some differences. But because App Clips are really an extension to a full app, if done right, they can provide a seamless, uninterrupted experience from the moment a user installs the App Clip to when they download its full app and continue on the full app. This way, users won’t really feel the difference, and at the end of the journey, a business have encouraged the user to install the app without any friction.

Also, using App Clips, there’s no need for different implementation of analytics tools, as it would have been between the app and the website. All the analytics available in the main app is also available in the accompanying App Clip. As result, a business will keep the implementation costs down whilst being able to understand its users just as well, which ultimately can improve service and how information is provided to user.

App Clips ultimately act as a bridge between user and an app, without any required learning curve or effort by user. They are easy to use, friendly to interact with, and profitable on their own.

Imagine not needing to download that app you needed when you attended a seminar, and just have to use their App Clip to display your badge? Wouldn’t that make entry to seminars and exhibitions much quicker and less difficult (well, whenever they start again)? What if you could let your customers be aware of your special offers, without having to download the app, or even advertise it?

If you’re interested in building an app or if you’d like to talk to us about our process, get in touch with us.

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