Many businesses are exploring how they can create a mobile app that provides value to their customer base and encourages growth.
Designing an app isn’t simple. As with any big project, your team may get so caught up in its own idea of the perfect app that it forgets to put user needs first.
Fortunately, it’s not that difficult to create a user-focused mobile app — so long as you make customer experience your top priority.
Why Small Businesses Are Creating Mobile Apps
The trend toward mobile apps may sound a bit unusual. Most small business owners know websites are central to online marketing and e-commerce. Mobile apps, however, seem more complicated. Also, while everyone has a web browser on their phone, not everyone is as quick to download apps, even those from their favorite brands.
Mobile apps can provide a surprisingly high return on investment, however.
With a mobile app, you can create more loyal customers with data-driven recommendations, streamlined check-out and a personalized experience. You can use your mobile app to offer rewards and discounts, serve push notifications and maintain a 24/7 line of contact with your customers.
Developing an app will help you stand out from the competition and improve your brand’s visibility. Most mobile ones are up against some serious competition — the average user has around 40 apps installed on their phone, according to data from Simform.
Websites, however, face much stiffer competition. Any time a customer is browsing the web, they have access to hundreds or thousands of sites at any moment. Apps, once installed, have a better chance of standing out from the crowd.
Mobile apps can also collect a lot more varied and interesting data than web analytics platforms alone. With this information, you can tailor your marketing strategy and overall business approach to meet your customers’ needs.
The User-Centered Approach to Mobile Design
Apps should be designed to guide the user through the sales funnel as smoothly as possible. At every step of the process, you should try to answer customer questions, provide value and keep the user’s experience top priority.
Relevancy and value of app content will be critical. If you are serving recommendations or offers to your users, you want to use whatever strategy you can to make sure they are relevant to their interests and worth looking at.
For example, most business apps will pull in existing customer information and other relevant data — like phone model and operating system — when users create an account.
Offering personalization and customization options can also go a long way in making your app design more user-centric. For example, streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music track the songs their users listen to. These services then use this listening data to generate recommendations and determine which ones people like and those they don’t. Over time, it uses this data as feedback to further tailor content to individual preferences and interests.
You’ll also be able to leverage existing customer data to help serve the most relevant content or offers. If your users have a preferred order or stored payment info, you can use that information to smooth out the shopping process and streamline check-out.
There are various tools that can help you with mobile app design, pay attention to Crello.
Strategies for Collecting User Feedback
You can make sure your app is tailor-fit to user needs by collecting additional feedback or suggestions — both before and after its launch.
Most strategies that work for designing sites that meet user expectations will also work when building your app. Mobile app analytics — which collects data on behavior and preferences — can go a long way. You can apply the information these platforms gather as you do from web analytics.
You can also ask what people want out of your business’s app. Surveys delivered after a sale or to recurring customers can provide a lot of information — not just on what your company is doing well right now, but also how you can improve in the future. A small text field asking what customers would like in the mobile app may provide some interesting responses you can use to improve app CX.
For example, you may find you’re not using the right menu style, or navigation from certain pages could be made easier.
Remember that the people most likely to be using your app are your long-term, repeat customers. If possible, prioritize their opinions when you’re figuring out how to gather feedback.
The Power of User-Centered App Design
With the right framework, you can build an app that provides serious value for your customers. Over time, this can create a base that is extremely loyal to your brand.
App features like personalized recommendations and customization options will allow users to adjust your app based on their preferences and interests. You can also regularly collect feedback that will help you further tweak your app’s design.
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