Most games that go viral are not complex. They are easy to use with no training required. Think about that when considering an app for your business. Don't cram in lots of user registration data. Don't ask them to spend 10 minutes working out how to use the app (you have about 30 seconds). The complex stuff should be built in the background and automated. Ask for an email address and password. A simple search with GO! written next to it will delight users.
2. Competition and Rewards
Competitions, and particularly leader boards, can drive users to engage with your app. Give your app a leader board of user visits, or purchases, or shares on Twitter or whatever drives a desire to be in the top 10 from your users. Offer rewards to your loyal users in the form of discounts or new product information. Ask them to become testers, or reviewers for you. You can genuinely harness peer to peer marketing in this way and steal a march on your competitors.
All games that go viral are inherently social. You must allow users to share their purchases on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or email to a friend directly. Users want to show what they've looked at. Or what they've found out. Or the aspirational products they have on their wish list. This is real permission marketing, and most people trust their mates not your marketing spiel. You also need a mechanism for capturing new customers from your customer shares and just an email address to sign up will be enough, trust us (and see point 1.).
Make your app available everywhere. Android, iOS, Windows Phone. Make sure it's optimised for tablets and that your website shouts about it. Great apps go viral in schools, pubs and offices because they are instantly available. Allow users to send a link to download to their friends. Just make it easy, your customers don't do difficult.
Can you handle thousands of transactions from your app? Are your systems robust enough to cope and do your customer services team know how to respond on Twitter or Facebook, quickly, to customer questions. They need to if your app takes off. Clearly, this is a good problem to have but be prepared for success. Finally, make sure you review and analyse the data available (including feedback on app stores) and modify, amend or remove your app if it is not performing to expectation.
Digital technology and the rise of smartphones, tablets and smart TVs presents a huge opportunity to grow your business, increase brand equity and engender loyalty from your customers. If you get it right. If you don't, it could damage your business. This is not a zero sum game.