5 reasons why no one is downloading your business app

Photo: Lakruwan Wanniarachic/AFP/Getty Images

Nowadays, there’s an app for practically anything you set your mind to – whether it’s tracking how many steps you take, personalising your own emoji, or even keeping updated on Donald Trump. With over 15 million Australians now owning a smartphone device, and each spending almost 35 hours a month on them, this boom in mobile apps isn’t surprising.

However, what is a concern is the staggering 80% of business enterprise engagement apps that fail. Businesses are increasingly investing in mobile app development, yet could be throwing away hundreds of thousands of dollars if the app doesn’t ever get used nor deliver its planned outcomes.

Here are 5 reasons that no one is downloading your business app plus some tips on how to turn this around.

1. The design is overcomplicated

Apps designed to squash the functions and features of an enterprise-grade technology onto a smaller screen will fail. The most successful and engaging business apps mimic the user-friendly design of consumer apps. If you’re looking to engage with staff on mobile because it’s easier and more intuitive for employees to use, the design of those apps has to reflect this strategy.

Start from the user’s perspective. If you need an onboarding tutorial to learn how to use the app, you’re doing it wrong. As a benchmark, try to keep all app user flows to less than 1-minute long.

2. You’ve got the wrong platform

Businesses going mobile for the sake of going mobile, will most likely steer their investments in a wasteful direction. Today’s employees have an average of three devices on their desk, and this is predicted to increase to fix or six alongside the growth of wearables and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Consequently, business apps need to address the particular job at hand. Depending on the task, an employee may be best equipped to succeed with a mobile app, wearable device, mobile website, web app or dashboard.

Field workers or sales consultants who travel frequently, for example, may be able to increase sales conversions or customer service levels with accessible resources via a wearable device. Meanwhile, being able to access, adjust, and report from multi-functional systems may be best serviced by a dashboard or web app.

3. There’s no implementation strategy

Releasing an app into a business without any marketing or education planned to clarify the use, benefits and potential impact of that app, only decreases employees’ confidence in the tool and starts a journey towards yet another underutilised investment in the business.

In preparation for launching and implementing the app internally, ensure there are:
• Change management processes, including training
• Integration strategies for any relevant data and back-end infrastructure
• Key ‘go to’ people and teams for questions
• Back-up plans in case of any issues with the app
• Administration tools for easy app management

4. The development is ‘silo’d’

When designing and developing an app, businesses need to consider the potential impact and benefits of integrating its functions with social media, cloud technology, analytics, and other tools that could ensure it becomes as natural and valuable to use for employees as possible.

Once it’s integrated into everyday routines, you can unlock new revenue opportunities, accelerate product time-to-market, explore new markets, and enable rapid responses to customer demands.

5. It hasn’t been updated… ever

As with any product or service, an app needs to be refined and improved over time. Particularly for business apps, there are various ways to get feedback from users, which easily turn into opportunities to improve the app and increase engagement.

Regular reviews and measurement of how the app is being used can clarify the impact it is having and how this can be optimised with iterations over time.

Graham McCorkill is co-founder and director of Buzinga App Development.

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