These days, having a company website is considered a necessity in a company’s marketing arsenal. Having that website be responsive to display appropriately on various devices is also crucial. I believe it is becoming increasingly important for companies to additionally provide their customers with a mobile App. I am saying additionally as this is a tool that can augment their existing digital presence.
Consumers are more likely to use an App then view your website on their tablets and phones
Compuware conducted a recent survey of 3500 consumers to collect information on mobile app usage, and to pose the question as to whether these consumers would prefer to use a mobile website or a mobile app on devices. Key findings showed that 85% of those surveyed would prefer to use mobile Apps. “Apps are perceived as more convenient (55 percent), faster (48 percent) and easier to browse (40 percent)”.
Whether perception or reality, consumers are more likely to associate the tablet and phone experience to be one where they use apps then one where they view websites.
Extend the user experience with the App
Apps are an opportunity to dazzle and engage a repeat customer. Someone who had taken the time to download and install the app has the potential to be a consistent returning customer if provided with something of value.
Mobile apps often have features that make use of location information and interact with device features such as the camera, among others. For example, an App may have the ability to provide directions to store locations from where the customer is at the moment or provide content that is localized and relevant to the location. A customer support interface may allow for users to take a picture of a damaged product and send it.
Whether the information is stored in backend systems or in the App itself, the user’s experience of the app should be tailored based on past behaviour and preferences. For example, a mobile -commerce site might present a favorite category of goods up front, so that it is easier to access when the app is started.
Make it social and interactive
Customers want to receive up-to-date notifications on things like sales and promotions. They want to be able to share with their social networks. The app should be designed to make these interactions easy for the customer.
This will not only help with the individual user experience, but it is a way to be promoted to other potential customers. In the m-commerce example, interacting with social networks may provide a function for consumers to post info on a product they are considering buying to ask friends their opinion, or to post that they have completed a purchase.
Make sure it works
Whether the App is HTML5 or native, custom development or made with App development tools, it’s important that the features work and the app has good performance.
Other statistics in the Compuware survey indicated that, “Slightly more than half of users have experienced a problem with a mobile app “, “Users will not tolerate a problematic mobile app, and will abandon it after only one or two failed attempts” and “Dissatisfied users are driven to competitive apps and will spread unfavorable reviews in person and online”.
Make sure that the App provided is giving the customer something of value, a good user experience and they will come back again and again.