The last 9 years have witnessed a Big Bang in the smartphone industry. You can now have the smartest of phones in your pocket without burning a hole in it. In the last 3 years, the explosion of smartphones with the most sophisticated technology combined with easy-to-use interface has led to the developments of many different kinds of Apps. This is a worldwide phenomenon. The power of Apps to capture diverse markets and widen the scope of business cannot be underestimated.

Industry pundits hold that the iOS App Store will hold on to its premium spot in the App store market and will stay entrenched: projected gross consumer spend generated is estimated at more than $60 billion by 2021.

As the Earth keeps spinning and the iOS App Store continues to rule the roost, the importance of localization of Apps to make them an effective business tool cannot be underestimated.

What is the APPle of your eye? Identify your App category.

There are 24 categories of Apps on the iOS App Store, but they can be fit into 7 broad categories:
1. Lifestyle
2. Productivity
3. Games
4. News
5. Entertainment
6. Utilities
7. Social Networking

An App developer needs to understand that the style of programming is particular to the App category. Some apps may work best with off-app storage and dig up data from a web-service when necessary; a different category may necessitate the use of 3D modelling software.

Global audience means skillful localisation
The iOS App store takes care of distribution and payment to help drive your App’s global journey. Developers need to localise Apps and marketing materials to smoothen their path.

1. User-visible content like texts, icons, nib files, and graphics, especially cult-specific ones, audio and video files will need to be translated to the target language as part of the localisation process. Keeping these files separate from the source code makes it easier to work with either in-house translations or external localisation services and to integrate content back into the App.

2. Apple’s application programming interface (APIs) can be used to express user visible values like dates, times, measurements like lengths and weights, prices, currencies and currency symbols accurately.

3. Successful iOS App localisation ensures that the App works with user-generated text in any language or multiple languages.

4. Localise App Store metadata like App name, description, keywords, screenshots and images. Remember: App descriptions must be short, sweet and to-the-point, listing the most relevant features and functionality. Beyond these bare necessities, an App developer would be wise to research what users of other Apps in the same category value.

5. Enhanced localisation needs sensitized culturalization. It is of paramount importance that if an app is to be well received, localisation incorporates culture-specific content. This needs a deep understanding of local customs and trends including regional seasons, holidays, taboos, etc.

6. Providing local sharing options such as messaging, mailing or social networking can do a lot for publicizing Apps and products in new markets. Researching what media are best advised to specific markets will trim localisation endeavours and help App developers to hit the marketing bullseye.

7. Goad your audience into action. A simple way to shine the light on an App is to use the ‘Download on the App Store’ badge as a call to convert the casual surfer into a user.

What’s not measured, can’t be improved: Mastering App Analytics
App analytics is of the absolute essence to understand customer behavior and to retain existing customers as well as to acquire new ones. Adding analytics to the App is, however, only half the game. A developer needs to know what to do with the data thus mined.

Here are a few points to ponder about App analytics:

App analytics must be set up from the word ‘Go!’ Studies show that, on an average, an App loses 77% of its users within the first 3 days after installation. This number rises to 90% within the first 30 days. Incorporate analytics from the start for your app and not after 90% of your initial users have left the shores.

No data is better than bad data. If you base your future decisions regarding app features, promotion budgets and app economics on an incorrect metric, you can wave success goodbye. As a simple example, the assessment of purchases by measuring clicks on the BUY button can be misleading.

The accurate measurement would be to consider the payment acknowledgement receipts as these are the true proof of a complete and successful transaction.

More data can be a useless flood which drowns out what is important. It bloats your App and adversely affects the number of downloads. Resourceful developers know how to trim the use of resources. Channel your analytics towards target users, target service, and user interface.

Business- sense
Analytics must be able to deliver the answers to the following:

Who is the user?
How do they find your App?
How many users download your App?
How long do users use your App?
How often do they use it?
How much does each user cost you?
How much is a user worth to you?

The magic formula is that the Lifetime Value (LTV) of a customer must be at least 3 times the Cost of Customer Acquisition (CoCA). This makes an App sustainable and profitable.

At Mayflower Language Services, we hold that the fast-moving pace of global markets and trends leaves no space for trial and error. As businesses increasingly use Apps to grow and go global, the complexities of localisation and marketing a successful product require professional, experienced, and skillful services. This is not the playing field of amateurs.