It’s no shock that a poor mobile app experience can drive customers away, just like a poor in-person experience. No customer likes to feel ignored or confused when trying to conduct a transaction. I firmly feel that your brand should provide the same customer service whether in-person, online or mobile.
So what happens when your business’ mobile app makes my life easier? It encourages me to pick your brand over others. It drives me to your store where I will likely hand over my hard earned dollars.
If you’re going to create a mobile app, make sure that it is easy to use. Ease of use isn’t enough however. There has to be some benefit provided for your customers. One of my favorite mobile apps offers their coupons in mobile form. This way, I always have my coupons with me and don’t have to keep a stuffed envelope of coupons with me. This type of benefit encourages me to use the app while also making me more likely to shop in their store.
Building an app isn’t always cheap. Building an app that has little benefit to your customers or makes their lives harder is – at best – a waste of money. At worst, it can drive customers to work with other brands who have put more thought into their mobile app experience. Before you take the plunge and build an app, consider the following questions:
3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Developing an App
1. What Do I Want to Get from My App? Are you looking to keep customers connected to your brand or drive them to your store? Likely, you want both. A mobile app cannot always be all things to all people. An app that is overly complicated or is trying to achieve multiple goals can become extremely confusing to use. Pick one primary goal (e.g. I want customer to purchase directly through the app) and design the app with that goal in mind.
2. What Do I Want My Customers to Get from My App? While you have your own goals for your app, customers need to have a reason to use it. Just because they CAN buy through your app or view a schedule of upcoming events does not mean they will use the app. If they can store coupons, receive discounts or push notifications, they’ll interact with the app differently than if they are just getting the information that’s already available on your website. Customers need to perceive a benefit to using your mobile app or they won’t do it.
3. Is the App Easy for a Customer to Use? You know your business intimately. Keep in mind that your customers do not know your business as well as you do. Just because the user experience makes sense to you, it does not necessarily make sense to your customers. It’s best to have your app tested by someone who doesn’t know your business as well as you do. When they can navigate the app easily, you’re golden.
Do you have a mobile app for your business? If so, how did you strategize its development?