With more than 90% of all consumers now using smartphones, it’s safe to say most of us have also accumulated a stash of our favorite go-to apps. As consumers, we tend to download apps that we use frequently – whether for a service or social activity.
Some, like Uber, take the need for phone or desktop completely off the table. Their app makes it so easy to get what you need, why would you use a different platform? And retailers are in the game, too. Like Amazon: I can check the status of current orders, look up my purchase history… It’s even easier, in some cases, than the web experience.
What does all this mean for marketers? It means we need to watch our apps. Not all brands are going to pursue this channel – for some, a mobile website will suffice – but for those who do enter the appisphere, there are some key considerations that will set you up for success.
When a person downloads your app, you have them truly engaging – they’re ready to spend some time, and possibly money, with your brand. So their experience has to be meaningful and relevant.
While your website may do many of the same things, the feature-rich capability of apps is so much better. Unlike mobile websites, apps can deliver a robust experience. The customer knows, and has come to expect that.
Considering frequency, it’s important to think about what your app is meant to do for the customer. What tools does it include? Can I browse, make a purchase, track a purchase, contact customer service? Are there special offers available to me?
It’s equally important to remember what not to do.
Apps involve an exchange – a unique and purposeful customer experience for them, data and ROI for you. So don’t overwhelm users with push notifications and irrelevant messaging. If you have their information, use it to inform your content.
Think about where service and revenue diverge. How do you balance revenue and utility?
Don’t put your app in a silo. Just because your app is more concise than your website doesn’t mean you file it as a different animal altogether. The customer journey has to continue seamlessly across the two. Your customers have to be able to browse on the web, then make or modify a transaction on the go (mobile).
And finally, make it easy for the consumer to know what the app is doing. Background updating and the like are fine, but the choice and configuration have to be clear to the consumer. Pop up notifications, when unexpected, lead to app deletion and the loss of an engaged customer in the end.