Bigcommerce Launches New Integrated App Store

Bigcommerce App Store

 

We are excited to announce that our partners at Bigcommerce have launched their new integrated app store! Bigcommerce customers will have unprecedented access to apps that will assist ecommerce merchants in all of their marketing and selling efforts. Apptive is proud to be amongst the first group of integrated apps for Bigcommerce merchants!

From the Bigcommerce announcement:

“Part of being a true platform means having a seamless and delightful experience for your clients, regardless of what they’re trying to do. While our app store was great, the experience of finding, installing and managing apps was less than ideal. By bringing the app store right into the Bigcommerce experience, we’ve made it easy to browse, search, install and manage all of the apps you use with Bigcommerce.”

Check out the full story here!

The Internet of Things and Your Online Store

The Internet of Things for Ecommerce

Mobile apps, wearable tech, and innovative takes on seemingly mundane home products like the Nest Thermostat and Hue Lightbulbs are all harbingers of a breakthrough that analysts have been discussing for some time now: the Internet of Things.

To quickly catch up anyone who isn’t familiar, the Internet of Things refers to a trend towards having items outside of the world wide web exist as always on, intelligently connected and accessible from nearly anywhere. Ever seen those old cartoons about “the home of tomorrow” where the guy walks in and the house turns on the lights, starts making dinner, and asks how his day was? We’re basically there.

Obviously, the ramifications for this are potentially huge. Right now we have scales that will allow you to step on, read weight and body fat percentage, send that information to a mobile app that also reads activity data from an activity tracker, which will then propose and monitor fitness goals for you throughout the day.

Ecommerce (well, all commerce really) stands to benefit from this trend. From a basic level, administrative duties will become much more efficient if suppliers adopt technologies such as smart inventory management systems and gps-enables shipping containers that let you pinpoint exactly where (and when) your shipments are.

From a slightly more interesting perspective, the Internet of Things allows for much more engaging customer interaction through their smartphones and through whatever wearable tech they might be…wearing. Right now you have the ability to send immediate messages and deals through your app with push notifications. As the Internet of Things becomes further integrated into the lives of your customers, app developers and app creation platforms (that’s us!) will be able to allow for conditional and immediate messages to be sent. For example, you could set up an event that immediately sends a deal on sun screen and goggles if customers are detected to be near the coast.

The Internet of Things is here now, though it is still in it’s infancy. We’re all extremely excited to see all the possibilities it opens up.

Who is building mobile apps?

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With all of the materials facing ecommerce merchants about the effectiveness of mobile commerce apps, it has become apparent that these apps are quickly becoming an indispensable addition to a marketers tool kit.

However, it may not be as readily apparent exactly who is creating these apps for merchants. Surely, all of these ecommerce sites cannot have a dedicated iOS and Android developer on staff programming these apps? Also, it should be obvious that the $10,000+ development fee that private shops charge for custom app development is out of reach for all but the largest ecommerce merchants.

In fact, both of these thoughts are correct. It turns out that the majority of mobile apps are not owned by the IT department in most organizations, but rather by marketing departments or scattered throughout multiple departments. Even at higher levels, it is rare that an app is owned or managed by developers or IT professionals.

For ecommerce merchants, that means that the playing field is far more level than might have been previously thought. You are competing not with professional developers and coders, but rather with other marketing professionals and small business owners. Apptive was built specifically to appeal to precisely this demographic: forward-thinking ecommerce merchants who do not necessarily have advanced coding capabilities or technical knowledge.

Our focus on simplification allows ecommerce merchants to quickly build an attractive app for their business without overcomplicating the process.

2013 Year in Review: Five Key Mobile Mentality Posts

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2013 was a year of incredible growth, not just for Apptive, but for the mobile ecosystem as a whole. 2014 is set to continue the trend as advanced mobile strategy sets the divide for ecommerce merchants worldwide.

In order to make sure you get 2014 kicked off on the right foot, we curated some of the most useful posts from the Apptive blog up to this point. Check these out to get caught up on mobile strategy for the new year!

Think Mobile, Act Local

Have a physical presence but want to engage with your users on mobile devices? This post will give you insight into a mobile customer’s mindset and strategies to effectively engage them.

Infographic: Email Marketing vs. Facebook Page vs. Mobile App

How do you market to an online audience? This infographic will give you a quick (and dare we say, attractive?) visual guide to three primary methods of digital marketing.

The Smartphone Impulse

Impulse buying has a bad rep. This blog post will show you how to trigger impulse purchases the right way in order to increase customer satisfaction as quickly as you increase your sales.

How to Match App Design to iOS7

2013 also marked the release of Apple’s most significant update of their iOS operating system. This post will help you match the style of your app to the iOS7 standard.

Infographic: M-commerce and You!

Mobile ecommerce is the most rapidly growing trend for online store owners. This infographic will give you a good idea of the current state of m-commerce and how to use it for your online store.

We appreciate all of our readers and hope that these posts have proved and will continue to prove helpful. Check back often for more insights in 2014 and beyond!

Apps in Wearable Tech

Chris Belew discusses the role apps will play in the growing field of wearable technology.

 

Wearable Tech

eCommerce Mobile Apps

eCommerce is going mobile! Enjoy this short promotional video and please share with anyone who has an ecommerce site. Going mobile allows online store owners to drastically extend their reach to engage customers no matter where they are!

 

The Highly Targeted Mobile App

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Mobile apps have mass appeal. Regardless of business type or size, a mobile app can also have an incredible ROI. The key word there of course, is can. While the marketing aficionados and business book gurus out there preach a certain lesson all the time, it is difficult to apply it to your own business when, quite frankly, you want all the customers you can get.

As it stands, the gurus and aficionados are right. The best way generate a positive ROI for your app is focus.

Now, there is obviously some built-in targeting for your app. The individuals most likely to download a mobile app are tech savvy. They are likely on Twitter and Facebook. They play Angry Birds and have a positive attitude towards businesses that go mobile. You can definitely cater to that audience.

But even then, the focus is not tight enough. Putting aside the fact that all of the above behaviors can be just as easily applied to both a hip college kid and his parents, the fact is that the “tech nerd” is dying. We are all tech nerds now to some extent, and so the term is increasingly ineffective as a differentiator.

So how do you focus your mobile app? Get ready for a frustrating answer.

It really depends on you.

Truthfully, mobile apps provide a framework for you to pursue your existing targeted marketing efforts (and you do have a target consumer, right?). Certain modules work well for certain businesses, but the effectiveness of those modules relies on the power of the business itself to identify and speak to a certain audience.

Identify your target audience, demonstrate the fact that you know what they want and are able to give it to them, and your mobile app will let you cut through the clutter of a customer’s inbox and Facebook feed. Mobile apps are highly flexible. They are as remarkable as you.

Role of Apps in Customer Acquisition and Retention

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Consumers will download more than 66 billion mobile applications per year by 2016, more than double the 31 billion apps installed in 2011, according to a new forecast issued by Juniper Research.

The Juniper report contends mobile apps will play an increasingly crucial role in brands’ customer acquisition and retention strategies. “Consumers are now demanding 24/7 access to services–retail, financial, information, entertainment–wherever they are,” said report author Windsor Holden. “As a result, brands that wish to remain competitive have turned to apps as part of a integrated multichannel distribution system: they have become a critical mechanism to increase engagement and reduce churn.”

This notion expressed by the Juniper analyst is as relevant for local and small to medium size businesses as it is for large national and global brands. This thesis is at the heart of the Apptive EasyApp platform and is why we developed it for digital service providers. Enabling clients with mobile apps is strategically important to them remaining competitive, but currently it’s expensive and complex to get them there. We’ve developed an easy, fun way to achieve this goal while still providing the flexibility to create a totally custom app.

For clients, getting an app these days is equal parts a defensive and offensive consideration. It’s defensive in so much as, if a potential customer is doing a search on mobile and a competitor has an optimized mobile presence that is easy to interact with and you don’t – who do you think the customer is going to choose to do business with? They will choose the path of least resistance. An app can be an offensive play because smartphones offer such unique and powerful functionality that apps can take advantage of to create real time business opportunities, increase customer loyalty and so much more.

Ok, that’s all I’ve got for now – check back soon!

The Post-PC Era

post-pc

There have been a flood of stats in recent weeks about the dominant role smartphones and apps are beginning to take in the tech industry at large and in our daily lives. I decided to compile a few of the most interesting and entertaining ones here for your reading pleasure, with links to the original source articles. As a small business or organization the main take away is that smartphones and tablets are proliferating and having an optimized presence on this new leading edge channel becomes more important with each passing month. Most relevant of all is that these devices offer powerful new ways to connect with customers while increasing loyalty, accessibility and revenue. Now on to the stats…

Why Your Business Needs an App

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Obviously we’re passionate about mobile apps here at Apptive and believe it is absolutely essential for businesses to utilize these nifty little gems to gain an optimized presence on smartphones. I thought it would be useful to share a few data points and thoughts on this topic to help give a clearer picture of just why a native mobile app is so important for your business.

The first area I’d like to touch on is the rapid shift away from run of the mill feature phones to smartphones. Anecdotally you’ve surely noticed this trend, everyone you know and everyone you see seems to have an iPhone or an Android device. Well, studies backup what you’re seeing. Nielsen recently released a study with some very interesting but hardly surprisingly results. They found that:

  • 62% of 25-34 year olds reported owning a smartphone.
  • 18-24 year olds had the next highest smartphone usage rate at 54%.
  • 35-44 year olds come in right behind that with 53% reporting smartphone ownership.

Other interesting data points we’ve taken notice of lately include…

According to Google:

  • mobile searches have exploded by 4x since 2010, to over 100 billion mobile searches in 2011. (people are looking for a lot of information directly from their smartphones)
  • 30% of all restaurant searches are done on the mobile phone.
  • 70% of smartphone users use their device while shopping in-store
  • 53% of searchers purchase as a result of a smartphone search
  • 95% of smartphone users have searched for local information
  • By 2013, more people will use their mobile phones than PCs to get online

A study was just released by eMarketer looking at time spent by people each day with the major media types. They found that people are now spending more time on their smartphones each day (1hr 5mins) than they are with newspapers or magazines.

The last stat I’ll mention today comes from a study Flurry Analytics conducted over the Summer. They found people are now spending more time in Native Apps vs. the mobile Web (81 minutes per day in apps vs. 74 minutes per day for mobile Web).

Looking at these numbers from a purely defensive standpoint you may think having a mobile app is becoming table stakes for doing business – that is, a de facto necessary thing for doing business in today’s on-the-go, hyper-connected marketplace. I would agree with you there for sure. But I also see great opportunity looking at it from a slightly different viewpoint. And that is, these devices offer truly unique functionality you can use to proactively grow your business. A specific example is utilizing push notifications to drive loyal customers into your business with specials and deals. Ok, so those were just a few of the things on my mind this last week, I hope they were helpful and maybe even a bit interesting! Contact us here at Apptive today to learn more about how an app can optimize you for mobile and help grow your business.