A guest article by NexusMedia team. Nexusmedia is a small team of professionals with a main passion of developing Shopify apps and eCommerce mobile applicatio
Mobile apps are no longer considered to be a privilege that only large businesses can afford. Wisely approaching the undeniable benefits of apps - from simplifying online shopping to allowing easy access to information, business owners understand that mobile apps will help them to stay competitive. Current data about mobile purchases among various age groups gives a strong signal that in less than a decade everyone is going to be a mobile shopper. It is expected that mobile app store downloads double between 2015 and 2020, and non-game app downloads will exceed $182 billion in 2020. However, does any mobile app developed for a business provide true value? In fact it is not enough to just build a mobile application to tick a box and expect that it will double your revenue the next day.
As a Shopify Partner and a provider of various Shopify applications for online businesses, NexusMedia shares below the habits of truly effective mobile apps that matter and applicable to a mobile application in any business domain.
If you have an ecommerce website, do not put all of your website content into the mobile application. You should determine the most essential information your customers need on-the-go, and make it available in a minimal number of intuitively clear steps.
Assuming that they might want to use the application on-the-go, you should consider various conditions under which the users may want to access your application data. Make sure you allow an offline mode so that unstable Internet connection or no connectivity at all does not interrupt their shopping experience.
Also have your contact details available at a prominent place so that customers can contact you easily via the contact form or call over the phone in case of any questions. Needless to say that excellent customer support service is a must to help you grow the loyal customer base.
Having customers to download your app is an important step, but not the one that determines your success, if they drop using it the very first day they installed it. Therefore, you have to properly think over the communication plan you will use to deliver the information to your users that they really need.
Push notifications is the perfect way not only to remind users about your app and increase the app engagement, but also is a perfect way to deliver the information they are interested in. Give them an incentive to use the app by sending special offers available on mobile only, and letting them know about new arrivals and discounts. Be timely and relevant. Make sure you use push notifications at the right dose: too many irrelevant notifications may easily irritate users, while not enough notifications may fail to engage them.
In order to use the most out of push notifications you should not just blindly send notifications from time to time, but develop an end-to-end strategy of user engagement via notifications. The strategy may evolve with time, based on the metrics you should measure to make the notifications truly work for your business. Therefore consider measuring the impact and success of such campaigns, paying close attention to open rate, conversions and other metrics. Make sure you are able to track this with your mobile app dashboard to give the push-notifications strategy more sense.
Effectiveness of push-notifications strategy is not the only thing you should measure. You never know if your app is a success or a failure if you have no metrics to measure its success by. Compile the set of metrics and KPI`s as early as possible to see how the results change depending on the strategy adjustments.
While it is important to pay attention to number of downloads, notifications open rate, sales and other metrics, still it only gives you a full picture when you look at it as a whole. If you have a Shopify store, make sure your mobile app uses the Shopify Mobile SDK which integrates completely with Shopify as a Sales Channel. This allows flexible configurations of your products or services display for each sales channel, along with the detailed stats breakdown of the channels you use.
In any case, you should find a way to be able to easily measure the effectiveness of all your sales channels and have a deep insight into each one to understand what works best for you and your users.
Remember that both your website and mobile app is the face of your business. If you offer to your customers a mobile app full of bugs, that uses interfaces not intuitively clear for them, you just make an impression that the quality of your services is of the same level. Understand who your target audience is, what devices they use and make the app function like clockwork on them.
We recommend using native mobile applications, that are built to suit a specific platform such as iOS or Android. The native apps are able to leverage the operating system features, software installed and integrated hardware, while HTML5 apps operate through a website accessed via a browser, and there is no way it gives the same user experience mobile users got used to.
If you are a Shopify user, there is plenty of mobile solutions available in Shopify App Store for you to try with your website and compare which one you like most. Some vendors, such as NexusMedia, offer a free trial period or/and free preview of your mobile app so that you make sure it looks good and works smoothly.
With all that said, mobile application is a crucial component of your business that makes it complete, provided that it gives your audience a value and comfort of use, and provides you with the right tools to reach your customers and measure your effectiveness.