According to Cheng and Meszaros (2015), it is predicted that there will be almost 278 billion apps will be downloaded in 2017, reaching $63.5 billion in revenue. Therefore it is important for different businesses to use mobile app technology in order to enter into a new economic landscape created by different business apps. Current momentum of this trend is behind the apps of social media, online shopping. Primary reasons behind these trends are
1. These apps attract a huge number of customers to meet the first criteria.
2. Specific apps meet the needs and requirements of its targeted audience.
3. Apps help the businesses to achieve sales and other business objectives.
Therefore for Kids-heaven shop owner John has decided to develop a mobile app that will help his business in reaching much more number of customers (Sin,Lawson and Kannoorpatti 2012). Moreover this app will help to increase the revenue from business. In order to develop a successful mobile app it is important to follow some specific steps. So that the developed app can help the business in achieve its different objectives ((Jobe 2013)). Next section comprises of different stages that are important in developing a mobile app for Kids heaven to shop.
It is important to successfully identify and understand each and every stage of development in order to increase the likelihood that, developed app will succeed in achieving its business objectives.
There are mainly five stages included in the whole development process which are as follows, determining strategy, designing phase, development phase, marketing of the app and at last the periodical maintenance of developed app.
In order to develop a mobile app for the Kids heaven, at first John needs to know what his primary objectives are, by introducing an app for customers. Therefore, at first John has to be clear about the requirements of his business. Even though Kids heaven has its website, John wants to develop an app for his shop (Jobe 2013). Due to overwhelming use and success of mobile devices (like smart phones, tablets etc), the customers of the shop have the convenience to order toys online and pay the price same way.
Therefore, defining requirements for the app and addressing the issues faced by the use of the website for Kids heaven are done in the first step.
In the next step, john needs to identify the need of the required app in context of current business scenario (Sin, Lawson and Kannoorpatti 2012). In this step John can validate his idea of introducing a new app. For this John can search with key words on Google to find out the number of people seeking for the app or idea.
After defining and validating the needs of the app, next step is about lay out the details of specifications and features of the app. Specifications and features of the app should be detailed and noted down (Holzinger, Treitler and Slany 2012). The details should include the flow of the data, how the users should navigate the app and different features of it.
In the next phase, non-core features are clearly pointed out from the specifications list. Features that can be provided as updates can be removed from list (Li and Powell 2013). Only with core functionalities or specifications the first version of the app will be released.
When all the core functionalities for the app are determined then designing process of app is started (Jin et al. 2014). Designing of the app should be in a manner that the user should easily navigate to different sections of app.
After releasing the app, it is important to track downloads of the app, user engagement and retention of customers through the app (Sin,Lawson and Kannoorpatti 2012). To do this owner John should think about using any of the analytics technology (like Google analytics).
Getting the feedback is also important for John. Since the users can provide the feedback about amendments to the developed app (Selvarajah et al. 2013). Therefore getting the feedbacks from the users is important for enhancement of functionality of the app and better experience of user.
Lastly, john should think about introducing new features to the app which are left initially (Jobe 2013). Hence introduction of new features contribute in attracting new consumers to the shops app.
Before making any choice between the native, hybrid and mobile app, it’s important to know the declinations of these techniques.
The natives apps are written in a language that is supported by a specific platform (like iOS, android), the most popular languages are Objective-C or Swift for Apple devices and Java for Android (Li and Powell 2013).
These kinds of apps are web apps that are translated to native language on another platform like iPhone or Android (Jobe 2013). This type of app uses a browser view. Hybrid apps can access features of different mobile device like Contacts, Push Notifications or Offline Data Storage. Most of the hybrid apps are developed using the Rubymotion and PhoneGap.
The web apps are written in web codes that are similar to a website. In addition to the website this apps are more interactive.
Web app requires minimal native gestures and does not require access to features of the devices (like Push Notifications). As the shop has its web presence by a website, therefore it is recommended to use the web app for Kids-heaven shop. Moreover, development of the web app is much more economical than of other apps (Malavolta et al. 2015 ). However, these apps cannot provide the feel of a native app and also they cannot be distributed through the different app stores (like Google play store). Since, the app developed for Kids heaven is interactive in manner due to its requirements. Like the administrator John needs to upload the pictures, prices, quantities to help the customer (Selvarajah et al. 2013). At customers end, it is important that they can select or search products, provide reviews, check out the features, directly contact with john using app.
Both the native and hybrid apps typically provide better product experiences on different mobile devices. They also can be distributed in different app stores (like play store and apple store) (Li and Powell 2013). However, the native apps are more expensive than the hybrid apps. This cost includes both development and maintenance cost of the app. Based on performance of apps; the native apps are mostly preferred (Joorabchi, Mesbah and Kruchten 2013). Native apps are faster and reliable according to its design. But due to higher expenses in the development of native app it cannot be used as the development methodology for Kids-heaven’ app.
As web apps can be used in different platforms, development is cost effective and fast hence it is beneficial for John to develop his shops app in Web app methodology.
Before diving into the aspects of the app, it is important to describe the user experience related to use of it. Based on different researches it is seen that none of the users want to install an app twice on their devices (Cheng and Meszaros 2015). Therefore it is important for Kids heaven to provide a user friendly experience .Mobile Phones are very personal devices. Therefore it is important to retain the customer or users whenever they install the app for first time. The web apps are developed using PouchDB which syncs with the users device and stores data locally (Selvarajah et al. 2013). Therefore, each and every time users opens the app it takes minimum time to load on the device. In addition to this, the locally stored UI logic helps it to be more interactive than hybrid and native apps.
In addition to this, this mobile app needs to be responsive and reliable. It helps the users to easily interact with the interface of app .It should respond quickly and give appropriate responses according to users need as soon as possible (Li and Powell 2013). Furthermore being functional, users can check out the products of shop without the data charges of service provider.
Figure: Login page for the users
(Source: Created by author)
Figure2: Selection of Toys in the app
(Source: created by author)
Figure: Review page of the app
(Source: Created by author)
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