If you want to stay ahead of your competition, whether you’re a small business or a large company, you’ve got to get to your customers through mobile devices. Accessibility is the only way a product can be sold and here are the features you need to make sure your mobile app works to its full potential.
Make your app easy to use. I cannot say this enough. We’ve all been to a terrible mobile site or application with off-screen formatting and long loading times. This leaves a bad taste in your customer’s mouth. Build an app that reflects your brand’s staying power by maintaining a simple design that works well on all mobile devices. Reducing features may seem like a step backwards but something concise and quick is much more user-friendly for customers on the go. A special add-on to this: try as much as possible to keep your mobile app fast. A key failure of apps and mobile sites is when they crash or take an inordinate amount of time to loud they quickly lose a customer’s interest.
Allow customers opportunities to provide feedback. You can provide survey links on certain pages or as a small (easy to use) pop up window to give customers a chance to tell you what they think of your application and what they think of your product. This also lets them report any bugs that you may not have found or tested for. In a world with so many types of mobile devices it’s important to know that your content is displaying correctly for all platforms.
Utilize Social Media and Sharing Capabilities. If your customer is excited about your product and wants to send it to someone to check out, you need to make it incredibly easy for them to post your information on all social media platforms. Include tags for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Google Plus, Youtube, and any other sharing or mobile site you can think of. You should also consider letting customers use social media logins to create accounts in your application. It’s easier for them and you build up a customer database with current contact information. Remember, the longer it takes a customer to sign up for something the less likely they are to subscribe to your company or create an account.
Your mobile app needs to have the same features as your desktop site. Your customer needs to trust that you are not omitting information or discriminating against mobile users in any way. If a customer is used to your desktop site and is on the move but needs to check something from their tablet the content they’re looking for should still be available otherwise you’re wasting everyone’s time and you may just lose a customer.
Encourage your customers to come back. Invite special promotions for mobile users like a coupon or discount of some kind. Encourage them to bookmark or save your website into their favorites so it’s easy to navigate back to in the future. Another great feature about mobile devices is the push notification! If something is about to go on sale, offer your mobile device customers a sneak peek through your application with a push notification letting them know about their exclusivity. Give them a push anytime you have major update to your site or a feature change within the app.
Collect data. The major plus to having an application is the ability to really dive into analytics. How many users downloaded your app today? How many purchases were made through the app? How many new customer subscriptions? Key performance indicators (KPIs) should include a count of the day’s users, average length of time spent using your app, and the daily cash flow. Get creative with the kind of data you mine from your app because it may lead to some new feature ideas or updates. For instance, if you realize that right after you publish a new feature user traffic spikes to an all-time high, it’s safe to assume that you got some visibility from the implementation.
Add helpful and fluid search abilities. If you’re providing a lot of information on your mobile app you need a healthy way for your customers to search for relevant information and even sift through archived data. It may also be important to have a “top searches” section if you really see a lot of traffic. Over time you should be able to formulate a new design. Let’s say you notice a lot of people searching for something specific like “Payment Options”, you may want to make that a hot button on your front page.
Lastly, be generous with your customers. Offer points for filling out surveys that they can use in your “reward center”, a sweepstakes entry for gift card or money in their app wallet to give feedback on the application and a rating, email coupons or thank you notes to customers who regularly share your information or features with others. These sorts of rewards will help drive your customer-focused business further up the ranks of social visibility which is a key component of the apps market. Remember that the best advertisements come not just from you but happy customers who keep coming back and who tell their friends about their experiences with your business. When you open up the app store on any mobile device there will hundreds of apps all vying for attention and doing something similar but with word-of-mouth advertisement people will start seeking out your app.