Looking at how quickly mCommerce is growing around the world, you can come to the conclusion that anyone who wants to be successful should invest not only in the development of an online store, but also in a mobile application.
However, a poorly made mobile app can cause more harm than good. How, then, can you create an application that eCommerce users will love?
There is no simple answer to that question. There is, however, a number of things that needs to be taken care of first, so that the developed solution brings you closer to success.
First of all, if you want to build an app, you need to remember that it’s part of a larger ecosystem. The objective is to provide a positive experience to customers who come into contact with your brand. So, you can’t choose a solution that will only copy your online store.
Remember that an application has the ability to use native phone functions, which gives you a lot of options both in terms of offered functionalities and in communicating with customers. What should you do to make it appealing?
Nowadays, the most important element is the user, not the device they use. Everything depends on you. What will you offer and how personalized will it be? According to a Google/Ipsos report, one in four installed applications is never used, and 38% of users uninstall the application immediately after the purchase.
At the moment, the struggle between companies is about how to best personalize the message, that is targeted toward the client. A mobile app should be a part of a larger omnichannel strategy. When personalizing a message, it’s very important to analyze the data that can be collected not only by applications, but also by retail and online stores. That’s the basis for creating the best content and preparing an appropriate message for your users. You’re able to reach consumers only with properly selected messages. When you understand that a mobile application should be a part of a larger system for collecting data about customers and providing them with personalized and interesting content – you’re one step closer to achieving success.
Since we’re at the topic of multi-channel sales, you should remember that the path to purchasing leads through multiple devices and a physical store. The application you offer the user should be refined primarily in terms of its usefulness. You definitely shouldn’t try to economize on it. Very often features that are ideal for desktop solutions can effectively discourage users to use the application. Analyzing consumer behavior is equally important, as it is able to show you what will be expected from the application itself and what it should contain. 24% of users decide not to use the application if they consider it useless and 18% stop using it if they find a better and more useful application.
Figure 1. Source: Google/Ipsos, Mobile App Marketing Insights: How Consumers Really Find and Use Your Apps (U.S.), May 2015.
However, from the perspective of an application that has to have mCommerce features, remember that it should represent a specific value for the customer. In order to build an app like that, get to know and understand your customer as well as possible. Try to entice the consumer by well-prepared push communication, personalize the offer and give them benefits for using your app, like special discounts for purchasing through it, or the relevant discount codes for purchasing again (as reported by Google/Ipsos, 30% of users will return to an application if they get a discount on another purchase).
In addition, if users can find the extension of content and product information through the application that they can obtain only through this channel, it will definitely get you closer to succeeding (as reported by Google/Ipsos, nearly 25% of users return to an application if they get bonus content available only through this channel). Your solution should be updated at least once a quarter. Not updated applications are unreliable; the same is true for their performance. Before you put an application in the store, test it thoroughly – it will pay off as it won’t irritate the potential users with its bugs.
According to the Forrester report, 85% of the time spent on using a smartphone is devoted to applications, but only 5 of them are used frequently. Therefore, application development needs to be well thought out, as according to the same report, many customers will rather use well-made mobile websites than native mobile apps – keep that in mind.
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