Today emerging technology, smart devices, wearables and augmented reality, virtual reality gadgets have blurred the obstacle between offline and digital space. Now businesses across the world are embracing the power of emerging and latest technologies to connect with people. In recent years, there has been a huge increase in the use of social networking platforms and mobile applications because these assets provide easy access to information. And, this continuous access to the unremitting information has become crucial especially in shaping the hopes of tech-savvy customer so that they can get better products and services. Being a leading and emerging technology Augmented and Virtual realities are helping companies and brands in taking the customer satisfaction to the next level. Let’s take a look how augmented reality and virtual reality changing various industries:
Augmented reality has spawned its hands. And, it’s changing the way users are purchasing goods, that too in a phenomenal way. Due to Augmented and virtual reality, the differences between both the online and offline store are getting blurred. Today Augmented reality apps provide various ways to try out different variations of products and have eradicated the need to have all sizes on display. By leveraging the power of Augmented reality, retailers are successfully expanding their businesses beyond geographical boundaries. This technology has given freedom to shoppers to walk through virtual aisles.
Training & After-sales Solutions
Augmented reality apps are highly engaging. And, that’s why this technology can be used as a big benefit for training and after-sales training solutions. By using this technology, users can help explain the most intricate technical aspects in a matter of just few seconds. AR technology has helped educating customers easily.
Real estate has become one of the most competitive and client-centric industries. With augmented reality, you can take client engagement to a whole new high level. Now you need to just hold your iPhone and move around the device around your fascinated property, which in turn, enable you to walk around the property and check for the details including colors of walls. By using AR/VR technology, user can easily move around the property and get the real-time updates about price, contact information and enjoying virtual tours.
Here are a few benefits of Augmented Reality for businesses:
Today AR today has become one of the most emerging and latest technologies, worthwhile ways to grow your business and easily overcome the geographical barriers. And, one of the best parts – you don’t to require to earn major costs including real estate or additional manpower. This technology lets shoppers just walk through the virtual aisles and tap on the device screens to shop.
Enhance User Engagement Level:
Augmented reality could be used to trigger imagination and tempt customers to try out new enticing products. By using Augmented Reality, users can simply need to scan catalog pages with using a plus sign on their smart devices. This will let users check how to amass products or place the virtual furniture in their houses to determine if the furniture meets the customer needs.
Improve Brand Loyalty:
Augmented reality is not just all about attention-grabber product or just driving sales. Being one of the most effective ways to simplify and explain the most complex functional aspect of products, Augmented/Virtual Reality has helped several businesses in helping their customers understand how to use, install products or solve glitches at home only.
Benefits of Virtual Reality for Business:
Wikipedia says – “Virtual reality or virtual realities (VR) is a technology that replicates an environment, real or imagined and simulates a user’s physical presence and environment to allow for user interaction. Virtual realities artificially create best user experience, which can include sight, touch, hearing, and smell.” Let’s take a look at a few benefits of Virtual and Augmented Reality:
Virtual Reality also spearheads brands and companies to promote products by a blend of photography and technology, thus leading to interactivity.
Since its inception, VR technology is helpful many e-commerce companies as it could be used for branding and aggressive marketing.
3D vision of the product enhances customer satisfaction and loyalty, thus increasing the profit margin for the companies and brands.
Many of us think that a free app is the best way to earn revenue from mobile apps. When you are advising your clients who intend to earn revenue from mobile app, I recommend they don’t charge for the app. I think the price of an app often becomes a hurdle for people to download it. That’s why people like Free apps. Let’s take a look at a few effective ways to generate revenue from a “free” app:
In-App Purchase: One of the most effective ways to generate revenue from a free app is – In-App purchase. It is also called as the “freemium” model. If a user gets an app for free then there are chances that they could purchase additional services along-with the app. If we talk in terms of generating revenue from the App store, then this is the biggie. The top 20 grossing apps on the Apple’s App Store are free and most of them use Apple’s In-App purchase mechanism. Few examples of In-App purchases are:
- Unlocking “Pro” Version of an App: This model is similar to try it before you buy it model and it includes several variations:
- Unlocking top-notch features of the app
- Allowing the app to work after the trial period
- Prohibiting or Disabling ads
- And, some are the combination of the above
- Purchase of virtual goods: One of the popular places where you can buy virtual goods with hard currency. However, typically it is used for games.
- Content: The app includes additional content like a song, video, story, game level, etc.
- Subscriptions: Subscriptions can typically be used in the content app like Zinio or magazine apps in Apple’s Newsstand. When the user buys an app, usually there’s some sample content and the user gets the option of subscribing additional content for some certain amount of time.
Mobile Advertising: This year only, the Mobile Ad Market is anticipated to reach $31.5 Billion. Consequently, many mobile ad companies have also sprouted with numerous revenue models. Today mobile Advertising can be used in conjunction with mobile apps that include in-app purchase and thus allowing a free app, which help to generate revenue and value even if the user doesn’t make any in-app purchases.
Delivering Service or Product: Apps that are providing services to cater needs of the specific genre:
- Taxi Apps: This category of app helps user in requesting and paying for a ride or car pooling services.
- mhealth Apps: This app allows users to fix an appointments and get a consultation from a licensed physician and doctors through a video conference.
- m-Commerce: This category of app helps users in doing purchasing and selling of the products.
- For purchasing goods and services through Apple’s store, you can’t use Apple’s in-app purchase mechanism. You need to use another mobile commerce vendor like PayPal or Authorized.net.
User Acquisition: Whatsapp is the best example of User acquisition model. Being acquired by Facebook for a staggering $19 Billion, Whatsapp has no revenue model. They really don’t have a subscription revenue model nor do they have mobile ads for marketing. So, you must be thinking what model do they use for their revenue. Basically 500 million users does the 18 billion transactions a day. Even Snapchat is also following the user acquisition model that too with no apparent revenue. They have a reported that 30 million users are available there with a valuation of $10 Billion. Their model seems as if – Get the users, Monetize later; Be it big data, Advertising or something else.
According to the survey done by Zebra – Almost 96% of retailers are aspiring to make the changes that are required to implement Internet of Things in their stores. And, almost 65% of respondents have gone for IoT adoption in Retail Industry and another 26% are already planning to deploy it in the coming 12 months. That’s why leading retailers are planning to invest big dollars and embrace the opportunities offered by IoT in their stores?
Let’s take a look on a few factors that are driving IoT adoption in retail:
Well-versed Customer: Today shoppers and users are more informed than ever. Now, they can easily access the product information, compare prices and look for ratings & reviews before making their buying decision. Conventional retail shops lacked the environment to get access to the real-time information, which IoT offers thus enabling physical retailing much closer to online retailing.
Omnipresence of Smartphones and Tablets: Due to explosion of mobile devices including smartphones and tablets, the opportunity for credit card readers, sales enablement devices, mobile POS solutions and mobile apps has been increasing at a fast pace in retail industry. By leveraging IoT, more unified ecosystem is built, which can be easily controlled by smartphones & tablets, thus integrating various devices and mobile apps to emphasise the numerous possibilities.
Cloud & Big Data: Due to major advancements in key tech enablers to IoT like cloud computing, big data analytics and many others, retailers are enabled to store huge amount of data and share it across the system. Additionally, big
data empowers retailers to process data deriving from various channels, transforming it into useful insights and drive enhanced decision-making thus enabling better shopping experiences.
Drop in the cost of sensors and processors: According to Goldman Sachs report, in last years, the cost of sensors have shrunk from an average 60 cents from $1.30. In a similar way, bandwidth and processing costs have also
reduced in the range of 40X to 60X, thus making it more cost-effective for retailers.
Enables Retailers in Staying ahead of their competitors: Shoppers and retailers cherish the opportunities offered by IoT including instant comparison of products, buying a product and receiving delivery anytime and anywhere. Thus, IoT offers a bundle of opportunities to retailers and shoppers thus offering Omni-channel experience.
The above mentioned factors will help you understand how IoT Internet of things has revolutionized the retail space. And, offering tremendous opportunities to retailers and shoppers. But the wave raised by Internet of Things can be temporary, so retailers are required to keep up with the trends and consistently to find the new ways of making their business successful. This can be done by blending new technologies along-with the conventional shopping charm.
According to statistics, as of July 2015 there are approx. 1.6 million apps available in Google Play, which is followed by 1.5 million apps in Apple App Store. Thus, it became crucial to understand what customers are looking for. And, that is – A/B Testing. There are numerous mobile apps available in both Google Play and Apple Store. But have you ever wondered why there are only a few apps that have earned popularity among users? For example, a huge number of gaming apps are available. But do you know – why games like Angry Birds & Candy crush topped the charts while others fight for getting even a single download? – There is a strong reason behind this, because players were getting what they wanted, which in turn, made these smartphone apps incredible.
However, nowadays App Stores are flooded with apps and it has become important and difficult to come up with something unique to stand out of the crowd. Now, it has become important to create a brand name through an app that people can talk about. And, one of the most important factors for making the list is ‘Customer Retention’. If you are developing a new mobile app, or if you have recently launched an app in the market space, but your app is still lagging behind from the top-rated apps, it’s time for you to revive your app strategy and think of the enhancements you can make to make your app business centric.You need to stand in your customer’s shoes and try to find out the reasons why your mobile app isn’t as prevalent as you like. You will be able to find some great ideas for enhancements. One such approach that can help you – A/B testing. It helps you test your app and figure out which strategy performs better. A/B testing allows you to support your speculation with the data of testing. A/B testing shows results and the ROI of the marketing strategy that you have developed, till date.Today majority of market leaders engross rigorously in A/B testing to earn popularity among customers.Now, when we know that what A/B testing is and what we can earn out of it, let’s move on to figure out few simple, yet important guidelines for your A/B testing strategy:
Rule #1: Plan Accordingly and Appropriately
Nowadays, planning plays a crucial role in a project. And, once you have decided to do A/B testing, decide what you want to test. Your testing strategy could be a series of features and variables that you would like to test that includes text, colour, or button size that has the capability to convert the best. Now, testing will help you in getting the right results you are looking for. However, you are required to be aware of your standard results, especially the results which you are currently seeking for. Because only then, you can understand the difference A/B testing has created for your mobile app.
Rule #2: Start Simple
With mobile interfaces, even minute changes can make noteworthy differences. Getting started with small tweaks, considering one variable at a time, targeting the most simple and crucial elements like the headline, navigation, and colour schemes first is recommended.
If you are a developer, designer, or someone who owns a mobile app development company, ensures to follow this process (whose first part we have described in our previous blog) that you need to check before starting your app development company.
Development -– Let’s create this
Once we have our requirements clearly detailed and have identified our resources in previous phases, the development effort begins. Our project managers assigns specific tasks to each individual and provide them with the necessary documentation of the requirements and designs to move ahead in development phase. However, our process varies from project to project, we usually break the development tasks into release efforts to complete the project in parts and get it reviewed by client along with the development. Breaking up the development effort help us to provide interim results to our clients. And by involving client in every step during the entire process ensures the application is on the right track. Our app development phase includes the following steps:
In this phase, we use certain attributes like the data variables, coding procedures and entities are established that are used during project development.We carry out the back end and frontend development in parallel.Once the development of all the modules is completed and approved by the clients, they are integrated as final system, which is later followed by debugging and testing process.A Step towards improving efficiency and quality.Here’re a few steps which Parangat has taken to improve quality and efficiency:
Coding Standard & Best Practices
Parangat follows standard coding and development practices as per the recommendations of the different platforms like Apple, BlackBerry, Microsoft and Android. Besides this, we have our own standards to improve the comprehension of the application and ensure the successful deliverables. Our team stringently follow all the coding standard to enhance the maintenance of the applications by improving the identicalness of the code.
We encourage process and methodologies that improve company’s and employees’ efficiency. And, one of the step towards improving efficiency is conducting weekly or biweekly audit of the source code. The frequent audit ensures all the best practices are followed stringently and code is well written and accurately managed.
Another step towards improving efficiency is doing rigorous unit testing by the developers to test each and every function after development. The testing is monitored and sometimes carried by the technical leads who ensure that the code is working correctly and shows concrete progress. This process not only helps in improving the quality but, also reduces time and efforts of functional testing.
Centralized Code Revision Control
We use centralized code revision control system “SVN” to securely store code on common network. It helps us in:
Backup and Restore
Track Changes & Ownership
Branching and merging
In this phase, the application is released to the Quality Assurance (QA) team, which rigorously test all the functionalities and features of the applications according to the protocol. After a release has been completed, the development and testing phases are performed iteratively as issues are found, corrected, and retested. The applications are thoroughly tested on different browsers and systems. In order to have a real-world experience, we even check the performance of the applications with Wi-Fi connections and other carriers’ networks.
After completion of QA, the next critical testing activity is User Acceptance Testing (UAT), which is performed by the client. UAT testers often find issues that are not obvious to QC testers, who may not fully understand the application or its data. It’s always best to allow time for UAT testing before approving an application for production implementation.With the help of these dynamic steps and processes, we identify and address all the performance issues that might crop up.
Deployment – Putting it on Live
The full and final phase of the entire web application development methodology is the deployment of the app. In this final stage, we carry out the app installation, integration of the whole system and upload the files to make them live.
We set up the configuration settings on the server as per the requirements of the applications and put them on live. Prior to this step, we do a full and final test of the application to check its performance and stabilization. If any issue crops up during this phase, it is immediately addressed and the QA testing of the whole system is done again and the system’s integrity is kept under supervision.
Maintenance – Let’s keep people using this.
We do provide maintenance of the project as well, as per the requirement. You may ask for extension of our project support after the project is completed. Nevertheless, the charges depend vary from project to project. You may ask for this once the project size and scope is defined.
Parangat is a world-class mobile app development and services company with expertise across all the major mobile platforms including Android, iPhone, iPad, Windows, Blackberry etc. We have an enviable client list comprising of some of the biggest brands. Our compelling technical expertise, apparent methodology, an experienced and dedicated team of more than 300 mobile consultants and a top-notch creative design team has helped us deliver mobile solutions that suits specific business needs, offer critical business benefits, subside transformation, accelerate innovation and bring competitive edge to our clients business. Here at Parangat, we have a perfect blend of understanding of the mobile technology,well-complimented by rich experience across all the major enterprise verticals including wearable technology, augmented reality, enterprise mobility and social networking etc. Our capability to deliver end-to-end business solutions, makes us the mobile consultant of choice across industries. We back up our design focus with a dedication to flawless engineering and an understanding of the unique needs of enterprise organizations. Let’s take a look on our project execution steps:
Strategy – Why are we doing this?
Our first step in the process of application development. Through this step, we discover and refine how your business can benefit from the app and create a stringent roadmap of the process that is required to achieve those goals. The decisions we make while crafting an app strategy have a significant impact on the remaining phases of the project. While making a strategy for app development we keenly observe and consider every aspect of project including whether your app is smartphone or tablet dominant; iOS or Android-centric; and requires single-platform or cross-platform development. And, our thorough and accurate decisions provides our clients’ businesses the best opportunity for success.
Design Phase – How are we doing this?
After establishing the strategic foundation of an app, we move towards design phase. In this phase, the most important point on which we focus on – the user experience that includes the interface, features, functions, look & feel and application performance that our client’s audiences will have in their palms. Whether the app is for Android or iOS and for small screen of a smartphone or a tablet display, we consider each and every point while designing an app. Our process kicks off with the direct interaction between the design team and the client where our team understands the requirements and need of the project in details and considers each and every single design element.In this phase, our next step is plotting the functionality map to provide a better overview of the entire design structure. The plotting is followed by wire-framing and proper documentation that helps clients in understanding the actual design and ways of using the interface.
In the final step, our highly skilled and experienced team works on the visual designs and prototypes that reflects the user interface in a pixel-perfect version and, then the design phase finally ends with the convincing interfaces and captivating graphical designs that our clients appreciate and loves a lot.
The design phase is followed by the system design process, in which development team and project managers’ co-ordinate to figure out certain important questions of development — any specific platform or to a cross-platform framework, which set of tools to use to develop the app etc. This step is very crucial as it helps the development team in crafting the whole system architecture for the overall development process. Once prototyping is done, the solution architects of our company keenly consider each and every minute detail of the system architecture that includes:
Architecture of database enclosing tables, fields and relationships
Specification of web services and security layers
Local data storage
Documentation of business logic for non-obvious logic and business flow
Mapping of services and page layout and navigation with DB
Once all the solution architecture is done, the Business Rule and Test Plan are wisely created to cover all the functionalities and features of the application. However, the programming starts only after the approval of all the solutions architecture including Business Rule and System Plan documents.