Mobile Apps Development Trends: Voice-Enabled Apps

Businesses develop mobile apps for different reasons. The main objective is to improve their interactions and relationships with potential customers with higher sales in mind.

Today, every leading brand has a mobile app. Small businesses have also joined in and developed apps to keep up with the trends.

While businesses try to catch up with functional apps, the trends are already changing. Brands have moved from the usual type and swipe interfaces to voice search.

The latest trends in mobile apps development now include voice-enable apps. Some brands like Pandora and SnapChat have already shifted to this trend.

Here is the challenge with many brands. Technology changes every other day as brands try to give their users the best experience possible. Unfortunately, most brands are slow to implement new trends.

Do you remember the response when mobile friendly websites were introduced? Many companies continued with their old website designs until it began to affect their traffic and sales.

Voice search has been here for a while with the likes of Google Assistant, Siri, and Amazon Alexa.  You must have tried these searches by now. The trend is now infiltrating mobile apps development.

Should you consider the trend or “wait and see”? Before you brush off the idea, let us look at some of the benefits of voice-enabled apps

Stay ahead of your competitors

Very few brands have voice-enabled apps at this time. In fact, some brands are still trying to fix bugs in their apps while the world is moving to voice search.

Your brand can be the first in your industry to add voice commands to your mobile app. Do not sit back and wait to see how the trend goes. Many phone users are already using voice search daily instead of typing.

You have an opportunity as a business or brand owner to stand out before the next trend comes. Voice capabilities can be a marketing tool on app stores and other platforms before your competitors catch up with the trend.

Hands-free operation

Why do users speak into their devices instead of typing? In most cases, they have no time to sit and type every letter. Phone users are looking for capabilities that minimise distractions from their work or activities.

Phone manufacturers identified this need and introduced voice recognition capabilities. Now, phone users can open their devices, call or send a message and exit without touching the screen.

The capabilities enabled phone users to multitask. They can confirm a meeting while on the move. They can order a product while working out.

Voice enabled apps provide the same convenience. Your target customers can search for a product or request for information about your brand while on the go.

Once users know they can give such commands easily and fast, they will interact with your app more every day. Increased interactions will lead to higher sales, especially from returning customers.

Quick search results and insights

Voice capabilities enable customers to find the information to make a purchase decision fast. Customers can easily find out if an item is in stock.

The search results are fast in comparison to a whole page of results that an app gives when a user types in a query.

Your business benefits further from quick insights based on the customers’ queries. You can tell the kind of products that your customers are looking for from their voice commands.

In addition, your app can recommend related or complementary products to the customer while they interact with the app.

All the customer has to do is answer yes or no to the queries and the items are added to their carts.

Low development costs

You might be thinking that voice capabilities will cost you an arm and a leg to implement. No, the trend is affordable. You can redesign your current app to include the capabilities.

When speech algorithm was first introduced, app developers would take years to fully implement it. It is now an easy and fast process with a speech SDK.

Your part is to identify the right mobile app developers that know how to embed speech recognition capabilities to apps.

If you are considering redesigning your mobile app or developing a new app, voice capabilities should be part of your list of features.

User friendliness

A simple task like checking the price of a product will take many taps or clicks to complete. Even if you try to minimise the number of clicks, the customer will still spend more time locating a product.

Voice search makes an app more user friendly because we naturally speak faster than we type. Some devices are also slow in responding to commands.

Speech recognition capabilities enable customers to bypass many steps, which improves their experience with your brand.

Users will begin to associate your brand with speed, convenience, and improved customer satisfaction. In addition to loyalty, you will get more recommendations to potential customers from your satisfied customers.

Remember that e-commerce is only getting better and more competitive. You need every opportunity to market and differentiate your brand.

Customers will expect it

Enabling voice search is not just a matter of keeping up with mobile apps development trends. Mobile phone users have already shifted to voice commands on search engines.

Speaking into devices instead of typing or swiping is the new norm. In the near future, customers will not consider the new technology as an advantage.

Instead, customers will expect competitive brands to have voice enabled apps. Customers expect that businesses follow and implement trends.

If you lag behind, you may lose some customers and opportunities to market your brand as a leader in the industry. Your competitors should not set the pace for your brand to follow.

Final thoughts

Mobile apps owners must wake up to the reality that the voice-enabled apps are now a trend. Voice search is becoming the most preferred way of interacting with brands, especially when searching for products or services online. As the technology advances, customers will prefer brands that keep up with trends to give the best experience possible. If you seek to maximise e-commerce sales and increase brand competitiveness, consider embedding voice capabilities to your app.

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Kenyan Logistics Gains Huge as Sendy Closes $20 Million


The on-demand logistics space in Kenya is about to scale to a new height following Sendy’s announcement. The logistics start-up announced the successful series B round that raised $20 million. Atlantica Ventures led this round backed by Toyota Tsusho Corporation.

Atlantica Ventures is a venture capital fund with a focus on tech start-ups in Africa. The fund started in 2019 and is still new in the African logistics space. The Japanese automotive firm, Toyota provides capital funding to start-ups through its investment arm, Toyota Tsusho Corporation.

Other participants in the Series B round included Sunu Capital, Kepple Capital, Asia Africa Investment, and Vested World.  Sendy was officially in 2015 and has since expanded its operations from Kenya to Tanzania and Uganda.

Evanson Biwott, Meshack Alloys, Don Okoth, and Malaika Judd co-founded Sendy. Over 5,000 vehicles are already registered on its platform. Some of the major clients that Sendy serves include Safaricom, Unilever, and Maersk.

Business model

Sendy operates under an asset-free model that allows it to invest most of its capital funds in technology. Clients in need of delivery services connect with drivers via a mobile app or web platform. The rates vary depending on the type of courier and distance.

The logistics start-up focuses on helping entrepreneurs grow their business by offering fast, reliable, and affordable delivery services. With the rise of online businesses in Kenya, minimising delivery expenses is important to business owners. Kenyans have embraced e-commerce but delivery costs increase prices significantly.

With less than Ksh. 100, a business owner can deliver a product within Nairobi’s CBD via a runner courier. Sendy offers the alternative of express bikes for small packages at a base price of Ksh.280. Pickups and vans are available for medium loads and trucks in different sizes for big loads.

Sendy has tried to cover all types and sizes of businesses in the market. Another selling point is its insurance cover on products in transit. African business owners know the risks involved in transporting goods, especially across borders.

The first step for new clients is to create an account on the Sendy app or web solution. The client will then choose a pickup and destination for the item(s) that needs delivery. The app automatically gives an estimated cost based on the chosen courier services.

Clients can track the designated driver in real-time until the goods arrive at the destination. Sendy boasts of an efficient customer service that is ready to serve clients in case of issues with delivery. The company delivery anything from farm produce to furniture, clothes, parcels, and food.

Competition

Sendy’s major competitors in the Kenyan market are Nigeria-based Kobo360 and Lori systems. Both companies have raised significant amounts through venture capital to expand their operations. In 2019, Kobo360 raised $20 million in its Series A round. Goldman Sachs was the major investor in that round.

Lori systems closed $30 million in the same year. Kobo officially launched its operations in Kenya in 2019, having established a strong presence in Nigeria and Ghana. Sendy has already established its presence in the Kenyan market.

The major challenge now is to keep its client base in the presence of the new entrants. The logistics space is huge but risky. Expansion to different markets, optimizing safety, and fast deliveries are necessary to win.

Sendy plans to stay ahead of its competitors by upgrading its technology. The current technology is already a step ahead but further investments in better technology will boost its competitiveness. Sendy faces other established competitors such as Glovo and small logistics firms, especially public transport companies.

Growth and expansion plans

Sendy remains committed to efficient deliveries and helping business owners to reduce their costs. The logistics company intends to deploy new talent to improve its services further. The talent includes engineering and data teams that will help in improving operational efficiency.

Sendy intends to optimize its trucks and set up service centers for its vehicles. The speed of delivery depends on the trucks, especially for heavy loads. Packed trucks are a common site on Kenyan roads majorly because of breakdowns.

The start-up may solve this issue for business owners with efficient trucks. The move is an opportunity for drivers who intend to join the network to invest in the best truck models.

Opportunities for Kenyans

$20 million is a good deal for a Kenyan company that has already established its brand in the market. What does it mean to Kenyans at a time when economic projections show tough times ahead? Let us break it down to you. How can you benefit from such an investment?

The obvious path that most Kenyans would follow is to apply for a job at Sendy. You may be lucky to get a good job as a data scientist or engineer if the company follows through its expansion plan. However, such opportunities are limited. You need to think beyond getting a job.

Some Kenyans are already ahead of the curve. We have witnessed foreign companies like Kobo360 and Glovo succeed in our market. Kenyans are establishing their own logistics solutions or apps that operate the same way as Sendy and its competitors.

Muva Technologies helps clients develop such mobile apps ideas further into income-earning ventures. Learn from Sendy. Four investors came together to establish a business that can raise $20 million from international venture capital funds.

If you start today, your business could be the next in line for such huge investments in the coming years. The initial investment is huge. You may need to work in partnership with like-minded people but start. Think beyond Kenya to other parts of Africa where business owners face the same challenges in delivering products.

Final remarks

The logistics space in Africa presents multiple opportunities for Kenyans to create solutions. E-commerce is expanding fast in the country. Kenyans need to wake up to these opportunities before foreign companies dominate all major markets.

Even with companies like Sendy in the market, the space is large enough for new entrants to provide better solutions. The successes of established logistics companies should act as pointers to entrepreneurs to existing business opportunities.

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Everything You Need To Know About Mobile App Analytics

Creating a mobile app is not enough! You need mobile app analytics. Many app owners think that as long as they come up with an outstanding idea, everything will be great. The reality hits after the launch when they do not get as many downloads as they expect.

If you are in this journey of creating a new app or considering it, you must have realistic expectations. You also need to track the performance of your app consistently. Mobile app analytics enable you to make quick decisions about your product.

Analytics tell you if your target users agree with your thought that the new app is useful or great. Before you invest more money in updates or even launch another app, track the performance of your app. Compare data at different times and seasons. What kind of data do you need?

Key performance indicators for a mobile app

Understanding the need for mobile app analytics is a good starting point. Your next step is to identify the type of data that you should be looking at every day. The performance indicators will also help you choose the right tools to use for analytics. The key indicators include:

1. Number of downloads

The basic metric tells you if your target market is interested in your mobile app. With the right marketing tactics, the number of downloads should be high after a launch. Mobile phone users are always excited to try a new product if it meets a pressing need. However, the app downloads after the excitement of the launch is over paint a better picture.

2. Active users

How many active users do you have every day, week, and month? Downloading an app from the app store is not good enough. You need users to interact with your app almost every day or several days a week. The analytics tool that you choose should give you real-time reports of the number of active users.

3. Retention rate

The expectation of every app owner is that users will find an app enough useful enough to use in the long-term. Mobile app analytics will tell you if you are achieving this dream. Check the number of uninstalls and the duration between installing and uninstalling. Low retention rates do not necessarily mean your app is not useful. You just need to change your retention strategy.

Related article: 5 Proven Strategies for Mobile Application User Retention

4. Conversion

The most likely reason why you created the app is to make money. Whether you are selling a product or service directly, charging a subscription or earning from ads, conversion rates are critical. Check the trend of revenues, ad clicks, downloads or whichever metric applies to your app.

You can determine if you need to review your prices, products, or marketing agencies based on the conversion rates. The rate will also help you predict and improve future earnings from the app.

5. Open rates

Here is another metric that will give you a clear picture of user engagement. How many times do active users open your app in a day or week? How can you increase the open rates? The data will help you design marketing tactics such as subtle notifications to remind users about the app.

6. User sessions

How long do users take on the app? Which functions or pages do they visit the most? You cannot do without such numbers. Otherwise, you will not know the updates required on the app apart from increasing its responsiveness and performance.

7. Referrals

App developers will always advise you to include the social media sharing function on your app. If users are impressed with the app, they will share it on their social media platform. The app should automatically prompt users to share or refer others to use the app. Tracking the number of shares or referrals including the comments will tell you what users think about your solution.

The best mobile app analytics tools

We have listed the best indicators to follow when analysing the performance of your apps. You can use the list to determine the best analytics tools to use for your app. There is no harm in choosing more than one tool. The good thing about these tools is that they give more than the metrics we shared.

1. Google Analytics

You can use this free tool for both iOS and Android apps. The tool shows in-apps activities including session duration, location of users, revenues, number of users, and number of sessions among other events. You may need a little time to read and understand the analytics but the tool is great for all types of apps.

2. App Analytics (Apple Analytics)

The tool is great but limited to the iOS platform. It gives you useful information on how to make your app attract more users and improve its position in the app store. Some of the metrics you can get with this tool include user sessions, app crashes, sources of downloads and impressions, sales, and active devices.

3. Appsflyer

The tool is tailor-made for marketing analytics. It is compatible with both iOS and Android platforms. The developers have partnered with Google, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. The tool is recommended for app attribution and fraud detection.

4. Amplitude

The tool helps you analyse how users interact with the app. You can tell which features or functions bring users back to the app. The tool designs and sends smart alerts to potential loyal users using machine learning technology. Consider this tool if you are interested in improving your user retention and conversion rates.

5. Crashlytics

The tool works in both Android and iOS platforms. Crashlytics is probably the best tool you will come across for crash solutions. The tool gives comprehensive reports including the trends and factors contributing to app crashes. You will also get a report of unresolved

6. Mixpanel

The analytics tool gives automatic insights using machine learning including user loyalty, engagement, and retention. You can also predict conversion and user behavior with the tool. Mixpanel has inbuilt tools that improve user engagement such as in-app push notifications, messages, and emails.

7. Kumulos

The tool stands out among other tools because of its wide range of functions. Some of the services you can get on the platform include performance reports, funnel analysis, campaign analysis, engagement analysis, and bug tracking. You can also generate cohort analysis, clicks, and visual analytics among other reports.

Conclusion

You will come across tens of mobile app analytics tools in the market with different features. It is advisable to get one or two tools with a wide range of reports that you can generate. Follow the data consistently for weeks or months before making any major changes on the app. 

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5 Proven Strategies For Mobile Application User Retention

What happens after the big launch? You chose the best mobile apps development company in Kenya and they did their part. The launch is a huge success and you have a significant number of users that download your app. Many appreneurs get it right up to this point.

A study by Statista between 2012 and 2018 revealed that 38% of app users visit an app at least 11 times or more after downloading the app. About 40% of the app downloads you get after a launch is likely to become active users. Since the study involved popular apps, it is likely that the respectively developers applied some retention strategies.

Before we can recommend any retention strategies, understand that phone users will only keep an app if it solves a problem. The user will visit the app several times if it delivers the expected value. Do not oversell your app because the impact will hit after the launch. Give users the right information about the features of the app. Redesign it if you must but avoid giving promises that the app will not deliver.

A good reputation is important from the start if you want to remain relevant in this field. If the app is successful, you will develop more apps and users need to know that you or your business delivers great value. If you are sure the app meets the users’ expectations, the following strategies will boost the user retention rate:

1. Define the best retention rate for the app

You can only measure the effectiveness of your retention strategy if you define user retention correctly for your app. The definition varies from one app to another. For instance, some apps require users to access just once or twice in a week. It is unlikely that users will use an app to make payments every day. Hence, any user that transacts with the app once in a week is part of the retained users.

For a social app, daily engagement is important when measuring user retention. You want users to log in or stay logged in, share photos and videos, chat, and meet new friends. Determine the kind of behavior that shows that a user is retained for your app. You can then estimate the percentage of retained users after a launch or marketing campaign.

2. Observe your users’ habits

Having defined the metrics for user retention for your app, observe how users behave after downloading the app. For instance, how often do users open the app? What features do they visit or use? How long do they take on your app? If users rarely open some features or take the action you need, you need to redesign your marketing strategies.

You need to prompt users to take certain actions and reward them for the same. For business app, you can introduce discounts for in-app purchases and notify all users after rolling out the discounts. Notifications of new updates may prompt users to revisit the app. Use a persuasive language to announce such updates.

3. Give a seamless experience

One of the reasons why you need to be careful when choosing a mobile apps development company in Kenya is the user experience. If the developer gets it wrong, it will be almost impossible to keep the target users engaged. You understand all the features of the app clearly but the users do not have that knowledge.

Users should start learning how to use the app right from the installation stage. The app should prompt their next action and give a seamless experience. The prompts should lead them to explore all the features of the app and highlight the problems that the app can solve.

If your retention rate is low, it may be time to test the user experience on your app. Constant updates are necessary to keep improving the user experience. Keep testing the app even if the number of downloads is high to ensure that users are satisfied. Always notify users of new updates and the benefits of the updates.

4. Be creative with notifications

Notifications can be either useful or disruptive depending on the strategy used. Some users will delete an app if notifications are annoying or irrelevant. The best strategy is to test the best pattern with current users. For instance, you can send notifications thrice in a week and measure the response. You will then retain the number or reduce depending on the reaction.

The content or purpose for sending notifications matters. Always ask, is this notification necessary? The right notifications should trigger a positive action in users. For instance, for a social app, a notification of a new update from a friend may prompt users to log into the app and check the app. Ensure that the update is worth their time and effort.

5. Ask for feedback

Avoid making assumptions of why users do not open your app or delete it after days after installing it. Keep your users engaged as soon as they install and start using the app. Ask users about their experience with the app. Expect and accept both positive and negative feedback. The users are likely to be brutally honest about the shortcomings of your app.

Collecting feedback is not enough. You need to act on the feedback as long as it is true and important to users. Could you be ignoring important tips from your previous users? Be willing to include or excludes some features that matter to users even if they do not necessarily seem important to you. Do not be obsessed with your original idea to the extent that you ignore or disregard useful feedback from users.

Final remarks

The next big step after coming up with a new app idea is to choose the right mobile apps development company in Kenya. With the right developers on board, you are assured of a functional app that will interest users. Do not be impressed by the number of downloads after the launch. Be prepared for some users to uninstall your app even if your idea is unique. Focus on delivering value to users, keeping them engaged, and acting on their feedback.

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Mobile App Ideas: 5 Ways To Generate The Next Big Idea In Mobile App Development

Have you ever come across or used an app and wondered how the developer came up with such an idea? Sometimes it seems like developers just stumble into a great idea and become successful. The truth is that idea generation is a process. It takes time but the good news is that you can learn and be part of the move of custom mobile app development in Kenya.

The 80-20 rule applies in all sectors including mobile solutions. The rule means that 80% of mobile device users are consumers; they are not involved in the development of mobile solutions. The group is simply looking forward to the next big thing. That is your target market while the remaining 20% consists of your competitors.

The good thing about learning idea generation is that you can apply the skill to any sector or type of business. How do you come up with the next big thing? Let us learn together.

1. Start with existing ideas

The idea here is not to copy from what others are doing but to get inspiration from successful products. The truth is that consumers like to buy what is selling or trending at a particular time. If an app is doing well in the market, it means smartphone users accept and like the idea. You can then find gaps in that niche and fill it.

Even the most successful apps have flaws. Check the reviews from users consistently and identify the weaknesses. It is advisable to analyze reviews of apps in the same category, especially the top five apps. Your idea should have similar features but additional features that eliminate the weaknesses of existing products.

Here is another source of a great idea that you probably have never considered. Failed or abandoned app ideas can become the next big thing. Some people come up with great ideas but fail in the execution bit. Some lack the funds and support necessary to actualize their idea. If you can find the right strategy, you can revive a failed idea and turn it into a great success.

2. Train your mind to find solutions to problems

Great products solve problems or meet needs in the market. The same applies to the world of custom mobile app development in Kenya. In this case, you need to identify the problems that an app can solve. It does not start there. Begin with simple problems around you and think of a viable solution.

How do you identify problems that need mobile solutions? Social media is a great source of information. People vent their frustrations on social media from household issues to poor services from companies. What are people complaining about on your platform? It could be a service that other companies are ignoring or doing poorly. How many people face the same problem?

Sometimes we over-think about idea generation. Your current challenges can also be a source of a new idea. What do you wish your mobile device could do for you? Do you have an unmet need that all business owners are ignoring? Chances are that thousands of other people are looking for a solution to the same challenge.

3. Brainstorming

The traditional way of generating ideas and solutions still works. Get a group of friends or even family members to meet for a brainstorming session. All ideas are welcome in such sessions. Some people are great at identifying opportunities but lack the zeal to pursue the opportunities. Get such people in a room or even a social setting and introduce the topic of mobile app development.

You do not need to organize a formal meeting or even inform the people that you are looking for an idea. Just ask them what they think about mobile app development and their take on the best big thing. You may get an idea or identify a niche, which takes you ten steps ahead of other developers.

4. Think

One of the common habits of successful people is allocating time every day to sit and think. Whether you know it or not, the human mind is a genius. You just need to get it in the right environment and it will generate ideas you never thought possible. Practice sitting in a quiet place for a half or a full hour every day and just think.

Pin the ideas that come to mind or the problems you have identified on a board or just jot them down. As you sit there for several sessions in a week, an idea will begin to develop and take shape in your mind. Do not worry if it does not look or sound great from the start. You are already training your mind to think of new ideas.

5. Create the future

It is acceptable to improve on any existing mobile solution or pick a failed idea and turn it around. Meeting the current needs in the market is also great. However, you can think of the future where none of your competitors has been. What needs or gaps do you anticipate in your area of interest?

Predicting the future is not as hard as it sounds. Observe the past trends. History has a way of repeating itself. You can also predict what users will need next based on their experience with their current mobile solutions. What kind of problems are your competitors likely to face down the line? Start solving those problems now.

Here is another great tip. Do not always wait for your target market to determine what you can develop or provide. If you have an idea, you can convince them to buy into it. You just need to package it in a way that makes the users think they need your solution or cannot do without it.

Concluding remarks

Generating a new idea is easier than you think. In fact, some of the ideas you have right now could the next big thing that the world has been waiting to see. Do not remain at the level of generating ideas but actualize even what you think is a small idea. Let top developers that offer custom mobile app development in Kenya actualize your idea. You will never know if you have a great idea until your share it with others.

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