Injecting life into your digital vision – the importance of a digital strategy for start-ups

Published: 11/02/2021
Author: Vidatec

In today’s world a business doesn’t exist without a digital presence, so creating this is an essential and formative step for any start-up. The evolution of smartphones has led to a seismic shift in consumer behaviour and changed how we research products as well as how we buy and sell them.

Mobile apps have created an opportunity for businesses to establish strong relationships with users, as they are the primary tool that consumers want to interact with. It’s far more than a ‘nice to have’, it’s your storefront, a revenue stream, a brand identity, a customer engagement portal and so much more.

The power of mobile – why it can’t be ignored

The past 12-months has been challenging for everyone and the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted almost every aspect of our lives, including how we work, socialise and behave. The mobile landscape is no different and recent research published by App Annie shows a dramatic increase in how people are using their smartphones. Daily usage grew by 20% Y-o-Y to 4.2 hours, the total number of downloads reached 218 billion, a 7% increase compared to 2019, and investment in mobile technology rose by 27% to $73 billion dollars.

Apps offer a seamless experience for consumers, allowing them to browse a multitude of products or services without leaving their sofa. The impact of COVID-19 has only highlighted the benefits of mobile platforms. Statistics show that the e-commerce industry thrived during H1 in 2020 experiencing growth that would have normally taken between four to six years to achieve.

Digitising your business with a mobile or web app can have a significant impact on revenue and engagement. For example, between November and December 2020 $53.2 billion dollars were spent in the US alone across mobile commerce.

How do you bring your idea to life?

A key part of any mobile-first strategy is how to take your business vision or ideas and transform them into a digital service or product proposition? Whether it’s building a prototype at the investment phase, launching a fully operational enterprise, or expanding a physical business into a digital space, developing your idea so it meets and exceeds your end-users’ needs and expectations is a complex process.

Central to any mobile or web app is the user journey. Why is it so important? Because most businesses work towards three main KPIs, revenue, customer growth and retention. Understanding the user journey is the first step to achieving them.

It is a roadmap for your business and demonstrates how customers will interact with your brand and products. A user journey helps identify customer goals, needs, and struggles, and provides an understanding of what activity leads to certain actions and how it can be replicated to encourage loyalty from consumers.

Group of people planning mobile app development

What does it take to build an app?

It can be difficult to know where to start with the build process but consider consulting with a UX or UI designer to map out your idea. By utilising their bespoke expertise, you will be able to define what the main features of the app should be and flesh out the key touchpoints of the user journey.

Prioritisation exercises are a good way to discover more about the intended use for an app and what differentiates it from others on the market. This allows you to take a step back and ask objective questions such as ‘how much value does this feature deliver compared to the amount of effort it requires to use it?’ If something is too difficult to use people won’t engage with it, which means you’ve immediately limited the appeal of your business.

This process is key in helping your development team get to know your company. By mapping out the user journey they will start to understand your target personas and what their desired outcomes are. It’s also a chance to develop a clear picture of the functionality required, any potential pain points that need to be addressed, and any opportunities that may have been missed.

Once the point has been reached where you have a minimum viable product (MVP) you’re in a position to build a fully functional version of the app or develop a prototype that can be used to secure funding for the project. Either way by spending time consulting with experts you’ll be able to refine your idea and ensure it is fit for purpose.

What does the future hold?

COVID-19 has changed mobile consumer behaviour forever. From shopping to video conferencing, it has taken centre stage in our lives and confirmed a permanent shift to a mobile first approach.

As the reach and influence of mobile platforms continues to grow so will the need for a robust digital strategy. For start-ups it’s an opportunity to raise their profile, interact with a larger target audience and deliver ROI. An app should not be viewed as a creative add-on, it should be at the very core of your business.

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