It is a known fact that the number of smart phone users around the world run into billions. However, there is a certain demographic that practically lives through their mobile devices, connected all the time through various app landscapes.
While the potential audience for mobile app builders is growing at a fast pace, most developers are finding it valuable to focus on a group of users – millennials. Technically speaking, once you create an app and release it on the right stores, about 25% of the world’s population will have access to what you have to offer. However, there is a lot that needs to be done between releasing a product in the market to actually getting them to use it.
Within the US alone, 85% of the smart phones are owned by millennials. Furthermore, even in emerging economies such as India, millennials make for the largest population group. Put these scenarios together and you already know that there is a huge demographic group waiting to be marketed for your digital product.
Here are a few cardinal rules mobile app developers should keep in mind when building an app that effectively targets the millennials
While Smartphone apps are a Must, Real Mobility Comes with Cross-Platform
When developing for millennials you want to take the word “mobile” seriously. You need to make sure your app offers more than just functionality on smart phones. For your product to be well accepted and adopted, you want to make it work well across platforms, across various contexts of a quintessential millennial’s everyday life.
For instance, it is common for users to log on to video streaming websites on their laptops with larger screens, on their tablets while travelling and even on their smart phones. Notes can be taken on laptops while notes are often reviewed in between activities and classes on smart phones.
It is important for this generation of users to access their apps seamlessly across platforms. Since this demographic is comfortable in front of all kinds of screens, you want to make sure your app offers significant cross-device flexibility. Some of the best apps in the market today such as Facebook, Netflix and Amazon have been able to gain significant adoption among the millennials because of their easy accessibility on mobile, tablets as well as desktops.
Help Users Organize Old Habits, Avoid Pushing New ones
Some of the most popular apps targeted towards millennials today work because they have been able to leverage technology to help users streamline something they are already doing. For instance, people were always looking for book reviews or restaurant recommendations even before Goodreads and Yelp came into the picture. However, these apps provided an element of convenience making it easily adoptable without compelling the users to make many adjustments in their lives.
Forcing users to form new habits and stick to them can be a challenge that works against your app. While some users may try to get on to the bandwagon in the initial weeks, chances are that their routine will catch up to them, compelling to first drop the activities in the day they are least used to pursuing on a regular basis.
Millennials Value Transparency and Empathy
The advent of social media has made sure that this generation has grown into becoming a vocal audience that is used to instant communication. It is thus important for app builders to incorporate ways in which the product owners can communicate with the users, empathize with their issues and even admit to mistakes. While working via technology all day long, they need to be assured that there is a human taking care of their needs on the other side of the screen.
Providing a human touch to your app, connecting with users through social media pages and other platforms allows them to instil trust in your product and continue to use to in spite of a one off negative experience.
Don’t Build on Something that Already Exists
Your app that is targeted to millennials will not get high number of downloads if they find another app with similar features but better. Releasing apps with the same set of services again and again are sure to fail among the millennial demographic that is on top of their game when it comes to identifying the best app for a specific functionality. For instance, if you plan on releasing an app that allows users to locate stores nearby, chances are that it will hit the app graveyard soon enough, considering that there is already Google Maps and Apple Apps that does a great job of it.
Starbucks for instance decided to make an app that helps customers locate their stores only. This app showcased shameful downloads. A classic example of how building something common rather than unique to the needs of the millennial audience can result in epic failure. The current inclusion of the “stories” feature on Whatsapp, Instagram as well as Facebook after the success of Snapchat has put off a hoard of millennials around the world, and this is evident by the lack of adoptability of the feature on these platforms.
Remember that Millennials are More than just a Demographic
A common mistake made by builders when targeting the youth is assume that they know all they need to know about the preferences of their audience. For instance, if you are building an app for students to connect on campus, simply assuming that they are constantly plugged in via social media or text may not allow you to offer core features that are more important. Focusing only on online study groups, class forums and other such connectivity related features may not meet the needs of the students. In fact, one many find that passive collaboration features such as asynchronous note sharing may work better than real-time features. This generation may often be hesitant to reach out to other students actively.
Studies show that millennials often rate performance and speed as the single most quality they seek in an app. This may come as a surprise to most app developers who tend to assume that this generation would prefer flashy features over functionality. Other elements they rate high on their priority is cost, security and then design. Remember that data does not predict everything. To be able to create an effective and personalized app the users will love and continue to use, you need to take into account the multiple contexts and identities that millennials today represent.
Finding Effective Ways to Capture their Attention
The youth is already available across various digital platforms. It is up to developers and project leads to find effective ways to grab their attention. Regardless of how niche your app is, you will have to compete with over 1.6 million other apps on the app stores. Furthermore, it is known that the attention span of a typical millennial is extremely low. You will have only one chance to get noticed and get them hooked to your app. Focus on offering the much needed convenience and build on the millennials’ need to stay connected to create a favourable app experience. Get clarity on their everyday habits and needs and build unique features around them. These insights can effectively be turned into an app’s focus.
Top mobile app development companies like Promatics Technologies follow these guidelines rigorously whenever developing an app targeted at youth. You chances of success will increase tremendously if you give them what they like instead of forcing something which is out of sync with their lifestyle.