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Business Strategy Trends to Consider in 2017

A new year, a new beginning. For many, a fresh start brings hope and inspiration. You can start your business in the New Year, with a new business strategy 2017, with big dreams in your mind, pursue them and then work to convert them into reality. So, what does the New Year bring us in terms of our corporate strategy? Below are some considerations and trends that will be dominating 2017 that you need to think of for your business growth, whether you’re a small, medium or enterprise sized business.

Dream big, it’s the first step to success…

Inbound Marketing Tactics in your Business Strategy 2017

When it comes to marketing and sales, the most popular trend rising is the tactics of inbound marketing. So think again when optimizing your annual marketing strategy. Do you need to update your personnas? What is your content marketing plan? Have you set a monthly budget for your marketing plan? Whatever the case, and whichever methods and tactics you’ll be using in 2017, make sure you have updated your steps, online tracking and personnas, and embrace the power of inbound marketing and organic SEO.

business strategy 2017

Proactive Lead Capturing

As a method of inbound marketing, capturing leads on the spot is vital for service providing companies. How can you keep up with who comes to your door? Well you can use many tools to capture leads coming to your website, analyze them, and now, even talk to them through their favorite messenger. With a proactive chat system, you can convert leads into your goals and always be prepared to respond to incoming visitors. In this example, a telegram chat bot is used to reply to customers on multiple channels, getting constant updates, with special features, such as multi-channel control, analytics, and use of your favorite messenger apps.

Visualize Your Business Strategy 2017: Visual and Video Content

The year 2017 will mark the expansion of visual and video content and how businesses will use videos for their presentations, intros, education and much more. Videos are popular and can be seen on your mobile on the go, and can “tell the story” you need to tell in a matter of minutes. Videos are effective and will capture the audience watching instantly.
Video content is on demand, and informative to use, and attractive to look at, so think about making one for your corporate strategy today.

Make Use of Social Media

Social Media plays a significant role in our lives today. Businesses use Facebook for transactions, Twitter for twitter cards, and of course LinkedIn to communicate and proceed on projects. So how should you use your social media? In addition to your website as your 24-hour online marketing tool, social media will fulfill advertising your website and services silently while you focus on your techniques and projects. You will need to get familiar with the most popular apps, schedule and program your usage of social media and use social media for its real purpose to expand your business growth.

Still – Is your Website Responsive?

Believe it or not, even though we are in 2017, up to this day, I have found over 5 websites of clients, who still DO NOT have a responsive website. In the age where tablets and mobiles dominate usage of desktop PCs, we need to consider how our website looks on mobile and put the sufficient amount of energy to revive and facilitate our website experience for our clients. So if your website is not responsive, you need to consider this as a priority in your business strategy 2017.

Business Automation

This is one of the most important trends to look out for your business growth in your corporate strategy. These days, with the methods of marketing and business changing, every business needs to be automated to prevent iterative work and double timings spent, manual processes and non-usage of technology in your business. So what is business automation? Very simple, to have your customers, leads and prospects in one database, to be able to rely on one data source, keep track of your sales, projects, accounting and more.

Comelite is supporting Enterprise Solutions and Salesforce solutions as the demand and rise in these two areas are growing and most customers are switching to Salesforce or Odoo as their selection for their business.

Go Digital, Go Mobile

Last but not least, get into the digital era. If you’re a business, small or big, you will need to setup an app to represent your business, to think of how your customers can make payments through mobile, and to see how you can bring your business into the palm of your potential and withstanding clients. With a mobile app you can provide your business for your clients with real-time information, and provide services according to their location, their activities, and their taste. So if you don’t have an app for your business, mark this as something to consider in your business strategy 2017.

Conclusion

These are just a few ideas to think of in your strategic planning for your business strategy 2017. Basically, start planning each month and think of the trends and obstacles ahead, and see how the new technologies will facilitate and lift you up in the path to success.

Follow Nadia Kamil on Twitter 

If Your Customers are Mobile, Why Aren’t You?

“World changes every day. Be part of this change”

While you are readying this, the world is changing. The way we think, act, work, is all changing by the concepts and techniques around us. In the world of business, if you want to survive and triumph through the ever-changing world, then you have to adjust, compete and be part of the change. Who would have thought that people would spend over 80% of their time on a mobile device? So if you have a business, you should have presence in the app market.

mobile-apps

Much of the time of users on the internet is through a mobile device, and much of this time is spent in apps, so you can find various reasons to create a customized app for your business. Here are a few reasons having an app for your business is vital for the survival and advancing of your business:

  • Live in your customers’ pocket: when you have personalized app for your business, you are always present to your clients. This means you can always provide info updates, notifications, discounts, and when your customer is looking for the right info, your app exists and will show the way.
  • See what they think: every person in business knows in order to survive the trends and improve, they need to analyze, summarize, plan and change. So how can you know what to plan and what to change? With an app you can get direct feedback from your customers, through ratings, reviews, surveys and much more. This way you will be feeling and always knowing what your customers want and think about.
  • Go digital: Social media networks are also where users spend a lot of time in these days. It starts from a post, a comment and a hashtag. It gives you leads, sales and your inbound marketing strategy. So look out to create the links to your social media accounts in your app. Create easy sharing, posting, social media logins and much more, to get interactive with digital media networks.
  • Be simple and authentic: many customers are attracted to user friendly UI designs in apps, and even personalization features such as user account info, interface customizations, and seeing their apps in their own native language.
  • Make them loyal: customers love discounts and any ways to save dollars. With an app you can have your own reward system and loyalty program. They can earn points and freebies through your app, and you will guarantee returning customers! You can even provide special coupons for their birthday, when they register and for special occasions.
  • Be remembered: with an app, your brand will find its way into your customer’s hands, mind and they will remember your logo and slogan the time they need it. They will recognize you and as a word of mouth refer you to friends and colleagues.

So these are just a few reasons you can get an app for your business, whether you’re in retail, consulting, transportation, hospitality and any other industry, you need to embrace the change and stand out from your competitors by getting an app. Depending on the type of business you’re in, you can add features and special functions to improve your customer/employee engagement and you can base your business strategy on the performance and feedback you receive.

It’s time to think twice on your business strategy and online presence techniques. Take your business into the change, and see the benefits you will gain.

By Nadia Kamil , Technical & Project Manager at Comelite IT Solutions

The benefits of mobile ecommerce

Ecommerce has already become the de-facto way of doing business for large companies and is fast gaining popularity among small businesses as well thanks to considerable decrease in the development and hosting of web applications.

I already discussed in a recent post the benefits of having an ecommerce website for retail businesses and how it can help improve a company’s reach and availability, which will in turn result in better lead generation, customer support, conversion rates and, ultimately, revenue.
But the future of online business and ecommerce is already here, and it’s mobile ecommerce apps, aka mCommerce. The     ecommerce industry has burgeoned exponentially thanks to mobile innovations and progress, and with mobile app usage and revenue skyrocketing in recent years, a healthy and successful business will be one that will harness and leverage this technology.
Already, many ecommerce-wielding companies are going mobile by investing on mobile web design and introducing mobile apps to their business model. Ecommerce apps are one of the most popular types of apps that are downloaded on handsets and it is a well-known fact that mCommerce apps are used more frequently that its equivalent website.
So if you have an ecommerce website, complementing with an mCommerce app will give you all the advantages of traditional model plus the following added benefits.
Improved access to users through push notifications
While an ecommerce website will enable your customers to reach you any time of the day, an ecommerce app will enable you to reach your customers any time you like. Mobile phones are very personalized devices, and users carry them on their person all the time. After having installed your application, you can use push notifications to improve user engagement or to re-engage inactive users by informing them of special offers or important sales and new products.
Offline availability
In contrast to desktop and laptop computers, mobile devices can be carried and operated anywhere. And not every location can provide an optimal internet connection. This is where mobile apps shine, since they’re tailored to work in environments where users are experiencing spotty internet connections or don’t have an internet connection altogether. Naturally, some of the functionality of the app will be unavailable in such settings, but users will at least have access to previously-visited product pages, purchase history and other profile information that can come in handy when they’re not specifically looking for a purchase.
Improved performance and network usage
The amount of information exchange in apps is very minimal when compared to websites which need to download complete web pages. This functionality provides for quicker load times in app usage and lower networking costs, especially for users that are connected on a limited data plan. This can be a decisive factor in improving user experience and encouraging them to return to your app.
Enhanced usage
Since mobile apps are developed for small screen sizes, they can help improve the user experience dramatically by culling entry forms, improving scrolling and navigability based on mobile usage patterns, and adjust the size and location of user interface elements to improve ease-of-use.
Moreover, mobile apps are compatible with a slew of new APIs and technologies, such as the easy-to-use One Touch Shopping payment technology, which improves and facilitates online payment for goods.
Leveraging mobile features
Smartphones have many features such as camera, gyroscope, GPS and microphone. Each of these features can help improve user experience when integrated with your mobile app. For instance, using the mobile GPS, you can help users locate the nearest franchise of your chain while using your app. Another example would be to use augmented reality technology and allow the user to preview how a cool new furniture will change the look of their living room
Conclusion
The future of retail industry is in the hands and pockets of consumers. The mobile trend will continue to encroach over all aspects of online retail business and shopping as we move forward. Mobile ecommerce is an opportunity to provide increased value very quickly. If you already have an ecommerce platform in place, building a mobile app that integrates with your solution will be an easy task, and you and your customers will have a leg up in getting started on this new model. If you don’t, get one today. It’s better late than never.

A “loyalty app” for your restaurant

For the majority of us, there’s no doubt that smartphone use continues to soar. Recent studies show that more than 75% of all mobile users are smart phone users, and the number of tasks they perform is mind boggling.

Clearly, many in the restaurant industry are struggling with this. Lots of chains only have calorie count apps for all their menu items or a “nearest restaurant” locator or the apps connect to webpages with menus. But customers typically want to do something more meaningful, like earning loyalty points, engage with brands over social media, or get the latest offers.
Rita’s Italian Ice is one of the few restaurant brands offering a very popular mobile app, Rita’s Rewards to engage customers in a fun and rewarding way. Rita’s Ice fans can earn points whenever they visit, share their experiences with friends over social media, submit a review, play a game, and also get “Cool Alerts” when their favorite Ice flavor is available. And Rita’s gets insights about every single fans so they can personalize offers to specific stores or customers. And you can ask them how that approach has increased their customers and customer loyalty.
Here’s a plan you can use for your restaurant marketing:
1- Build your own customized app. Whether you have an in-house IT department or you can let us do it for you. Let your guests know that each one of them will receive the app for free once they’ve visited your restaurant. Put the app on your website and publish it on the main app stores.
2- Hang posters distributed in your restaurant, give menu cards, and hand over brochures containing the information about your loyalty app. Tell everyone that by having this free application, they will receive different incentives and bonuses, which can lead to free services.
3- The app shall have a mechanism that counts for every online order the guests make a specific amount of points (e.g. stars, coins or scores). Once they reach a particular point (e.g. 100 stars) you can announce on your app (via push notification) that they can receive a free ($20 worth) ice cream or extra favorite snack. That gives them the motive to be your permanent guests and trying to gather more stars.
4- You shall consider extra incentive packages designed for families, teenagers, little kids, elders and different groups of people. So that every guest thinks they have a special place by you and all groups can have a special page on the app.
5- You shall have a special Coupon Feature to offer discounts during “Happy Hours”. Imagine you announce the special “free coffee offer” for a specific range of returning customers at Christmas Eve. This makes everyone in the neighborhood of your branch getting noticed and you even make a party of it. And these activities are the best reputation builders for startups.
6- Place a Reservation Feature and Appointment Feature on your app and give people a tool to make rendezvous and meetings in your restaurant.
7- You can benefit from placing Add-ons like Opentable & GrubHub in your app.
8- Give customers directions via GPS to your restaurant.
9- Use Event Calendar showcasing Special evenings with Google Calendar.
10- Promote Offers & Event via Push Notifications.
11- Have a Restaurant Showcase using Photo Gallery with Picasa, Flickr
12- And the list just goes on and on…
In conclusion, building a mobile app is really about your marketing strategy and automation, and customer engagement. As soon as you’ve invested and paid for a loyalty app and you can enjoy the privilege of marketing forever. Let people stay in touch with you 24/7/365. These guidelines target to fulfill a simple human behavior: once you find a place that keeps caring for you, financial interest gets replaced by trust and the latter brings positive reputation. And good reputation cares for the stream. In the modern logic of marketing, you can’t gain if you’re not prepared to give first.

5 Dev Trends That Will Impact Mobile App Success in 2016

New article written by Ben Dickson, published by AppsZoom about apps in 2016.

Read the whole article here …

2015 was sensational for mobile apps, as mobile technology continued to expand into every aspect of our lives.

Surveys by Pew Research Center show that in the U.S. alone, 64% of the population owns a smartphone, and of those, 46% say they can’t imagine life without their handset.A study by Smart Insights proved that, with a 51% share of users’ time, mobile digital media has taken the lead from its desktop counterpart, which accounts for 42% of time.

All these statistics show just how much mobile has become ingrained in our lives. Users expect more from their experience with mobile devices, and, as we all know, the best medium to deliverpersonalized experience on mobile devices are apps. This means that the success of mobile apps is becoming more and more critical in the year to come.

Let’s forget about a restaurant app

Smart phones and tablets have become an integral part of our lives for several reasons: they bring our personal data, contacts, messages, personal photos, bank account numbers, and a variety of mobile applications that users are used to facilitate their daily life.

We are so obsessed that we even cannot imagine a day without them. It is known that lots of people do not let off smartphones from their hands until they fall in a sleep. These are facts that no one can argue or withstand. So… why don’t you have a mobile app for your business?

Let’s take an example: restaurant marketing.

You’ve started your own business in the hospitality industry and opened a restaurant or bar that you have been always dreamed of. Having invested a lot of money and effort prefiguring construction and editing, you hired a pleasant and valuable staff, and every detail in the house is exactly how you imagined. Having finished the first step, you reach a point where you want to present your business in the best light, and as such, present it to potential guests.

What else can I do and how to stand out and act authentically addition to all other restaurants?

You must realize that your potential customers become increasingly mobile, and every tourist walking around the town or visiting your city looks for information about restaurants and bars when they want to have lunch or a drink. People want to save time, and in the simplest and quickest way possible to get to the information they are interested in. Mobile applications provide them exactly that luxury. With the right strategy, you could target the customers from their pockets. As a restaurant owner, every hungry or thirsty person is a target. Possessing the right technology, you target literally everyone, everywhere.

 What does the app give you?

  • Basic data catering facility (the owner’s name, phone numbers, e-mail)
  • Mobile menu: Let the guests choose the menu before they even arrive at your doorstep.
  • Possibility of booking
  • Working hours: no more need of extra staff and hours’ long waiting for loyal guests. They’ll inform you in advance via your app.
  • Location or exact address of the catering facility: people know how to find you.
  • Showing catering facility’s position on map
  • Connection with social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google + …)
  • Photo and video gallery
  • Calendar of exclusive events
  • Possibility to vote for photo, meal, drink …
  • Pushing notifications: announcing special offers, giving discounts etc.
  • And finally connection with POS system and even paying via mobile applications is possible

What mobile applications can bring to your business?

In brief: A restaurant app means more profit. It is a great tool for restaurant promotion.

 

Did you know that?

  • More than 1.5 million of the available applications are found only in Apple’s App Store and Google Play-in.
  • Average number of applications installed on the smartphone’s is 41!
  • The average person who use mobile internet spends 127 minutes per day by browsing it!
  • People checking their cell phone 150 times per day.
  • Smartphone has often used by young people aged 25-34, 33% from all users.
  • According to Nielsen Study Travelers search place to eat predominantly via apps.
  • By the year 2020 half of all invoices will be paid through the mobile devices.Mobile App-Chart

Mobile applications as Restaurant’s guide

  1. If you already have an app, it is important that the profile of your catering facility can be found on the popular social internet sites that people visit when they want to visit a new place to dine, drink a glass of wine, cocktail or just a good cup of coffee.
  2. People love to read comments about the restaurant which they want to visit, and check that comments of guests who were there. At these internet sites your guests can make a comment about your offer, service, location, hygiene in the restaurant … and even you personally. All these comments are very interesting to potential customer, who will make a choice and choose one restaurant after read the reviews of other similar hospitality facilities in the area.
  3. Find out what your customers think about your food and customers service, and who your competitors are. Be on the list of offered restaurants to plenty of tourists and business people who still do not know about your hospitality business.

Examples of mobile apps for restaurants and bars

It is understood that a large hospitality chains have their own mobile applications. Starbucks, McDonalds, Pizza Hut , Subway … they all have a large number of users, which offer certain privileges or discounts when they install their applications on mobile smartphones .

This could be an interesting way to reach new guests for you too. If you have or you are planning to create your own restaurant mobile application, then you should offer to your guests 10% discount on the entire bill or two drinks for free, if they download your restaurant apps on their mobile devices or tablets.

Conclusion: If you have reached this far, do you know why the title was put that way?

Combine this with a promo like these and you bet this will take effect:

I welcome any kind of critic and feedback. Write me at rodney.goedhart@comelite.net

 

 

The Necessity of Mobile Apps for Restaurants [Infographic]

The quest for entertainment is a part of life not to be forsaken. Among all the relaxing pastimes and recreational activities that soothe the burden of work, 50% of humankind still say that going to a restaurant, helping themselves to tasty food and relishing the time there with family and friends top their list for entertainment.

Restaurants play a great role in our lives (it’s called a people-connected industry). Hence arises the need for constant outreach to customers. That explains why restaurants are the thirstiest for the fast-moving technology of mobile apps.
Mobile apps for restaurants are the next frontier of restaurant marketing. Restaurants have been very quick to come up with innovative mobile apps that foster brand loyalty, increase stickiness and help boost sales. Here, we explore how a restaurant owner can leverage mobile to boost their top line.

 

Mobile App for restaurants

What Kind Of App Should You Develop In 2016?

New article written by Ben Dickson, published by AppsZoom about apps in 2016.

Everyone dreams of building the next multi-million-user app that will bring fame (and money) for the team and the company.

If you’re making plans to develop a new app in 2016, and you have no clue what kind of app will appeal to users, the best place to start from is looking at the statistics of the mobile app industry in 2015. This will give you insights on where the trends are heading, what will users be looking for, and which app categories are the most likely to take the lead in download and usage in the year to come.

A report released by the Yahoo-owned mobile analytic firm Flurry found a 58% increase in mobile app usage in 2015. Usage is defined by the number and duration of sessions in apps. Although the number shows a slight ebb in comparison to 2014 (with 76% app growth), it is stunning nonetheless. And what’s more important is that 40% of the 58% came from existing users, which means mobile users are spending more and more time with their apps.

Which app categories are leading the market?

It’s no use developing an app that is going to have no audience – so you must know in advance what users are looking for. The following graph, which comes from the Flurry report, shows that most app categories – with the strange exception of games – have enjoyed improved usage in the past year.

Mobile App_Comelite

How to create engaging app UX

Read the new article written by Ben Dickson published by AppsZom:

Read the whole article here …

Smartphones have become intensely personal devices and an inseparable part of our daily lives. As such, our apps must be created in a highly user-centric fashion.

Personalized User Experience (UX) is what every user looks for and expects from a great app. With new trends and technologies constantly surfacing, you need innovative ways to keep your users interested, plus the means to gauge their interaction and engagement in order to obtain desirable results from your app.

If you have experience designing for other mediums, do consider that designing for mobile isn’t just about designing for a smaller screen. It’s also about the context and environment in which these devices are used, the difference that a touchscreen makes to interactions, and even the different relationship that people have with their phone in comparison to laptop and desktop workstations.

With that in mind, here are a few tips that will help you ensure UX success in your app.

Be a user-centered designer

The best UX designers are those who really understand users. This includes everything from understanding their basic requirements, getting and understanding their feedback in each phase of design and development, and iterating and adapting their design based on their interaction with the users. UX designers need to anticipate the sort of design challenges they’ll face in respect with their users and demographics, and they have to be able to research the tools they need for every task, instead of just sticking to old methods and tools for each application they design.

User feedback mechanisms might change over time, but the core user-centered design process will remain the same: A good user-centered UX designer will have to know how every decision made will impact the end user, ensuring that said impact is positive.

 

5 Tips To Improve Your App’s UI Design

In the new article from Ben Dickson, recently published by AppsZoom, 5 good tips are given to improve your App’s UI Design.

Read the whole article here …

When developing mobile apps, two very important factors that you have to take into consideration are user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). A well-done user interface can help you overcome other design flaws that your app might be suffering from. Meanwhile, even the most brilliant and innovative app idea can fail if it cannot be manifested in a user interface that meets the preferences and needs of its target audience.

The following tips will help you avoid the common pitfalls that are associated with mobile app UI.

 

Start with the basics

Before getting into specific tips, there are basic patterns and guidelines that you must follow in order to make good UIs for your apps. The following principles will help you assess your work at the design and implementation stage:

  • Clarity: The user interface must leave no doubt as to what each element is intended for. Users should never have to guess their way through your app.
  • Consistency: There must be a uniformity to the layout, shapes, colors and sizes of widgets across your app’s views. This will make sure the user has a seamless experience while using your app.
  • Feedback: Whether it’s a view change, a dialog or something as simple as changing the color of an element on the screen, every button or UI element must provide some sort of feedback to the user. Not doing so will leave users confused. They’ll end up repeatedly tapping buttons or even abandoning your app altogether.

Design for different levels of expertise

When designing the UI of your app, always take into consideration that your users have different intentions and expertise in using your app.

Novice users tend to be slower in learning the flow of the app and will quickly get confused if the UI is cluttered with too many, badly placed elements. They will expect your app to have an intuitive and simple interface. They are prone to making touch errors and can have difficulty in memorizing the steps to complete processes within the app.

Veterans, however, will quickly learn every nook and cranny of your app and will move quickly through the app. They might be more inclined to complete more on each view and be less confused by screens that contain more elements and features.

You have to find the right balance between the two. Better yet, offer simple and advanced views or multistep wizards in order to allow members of each audience to customize the interface based on their needs.

Choose convenient button sizes

This might sound trivial, but you’d be surprised to find out how many developers get it wrong. Button sizes are limited by the size of the user’s finger. If they’re too small, users can’t tap them correctly, and they’ll have to struggle to use your app correctly.

As a general rule, never use buttons that are less than 1 cm in width – they’re very hard to tap. Keep in mind that some of your users might have fatter fingers. It would be a shame if they couldn’t benefit from your app simply because they’re frustrated by tapping two buttons at the same time.

You can also use non-uniform button sizes to give an indication of the importance of buttons on your screen. For instance, in an mCommerce app, a “Purchase” button should be larger than other buttons on a screen, because it – obviously – contains the most important functionality of the page.

Also – and this is something I always remind developers – never forget that while you might be developing your app from the comfort of your desk, the end user will want to be able to use it in different settings. This includes while walking, while sitting on the train, or while holding a mug of coffee in their left hand. If users can’t tap the buttons of your app with ease while being in a relatively uncomfortable situation, they’ll be limited to using your app in solely stable settings. That’s way too limited for a mobile app.