Let’s skip the usual mantra about how mobile is the new normal. It is now in the same league with “water is wet” and “the Earth is round”. We now use smartphones for almost everything, and this is something to be considered while planning your business strategy.
In 2020, the number of smartphone users is about to reach 3.5 billion. Yes, that’s almost half of the total world population, and this is another thing to take into account. Such popularity of mobile devices screams “Build a mobile app!” True, but how about competing among almost 9 million mobile applications that are now offered via app stores?
The key is to improve the customer mobile experience that you create with your app. Great experience may become the decisive factor that makes the customer choose your product over your competitor’s. Let’s see what steps you can take to improve customer experience and, ultimately, increase your app sales.
Design for mobile-first
The mobile-first approach to software development is exactly what it says – you design and develop your product starting from the mobile platform and then moving on to the desktop. With such an approach, you make sure your app and website perform well on mobile devices with all their restrictions.
What are the main principles of mobile-first development that can help you improve customer experience?
Make your website mobile-friendly
In other words, optimize it for use on a mobile platform. In practice, mobile-friendliness means making content easily readable on mobile devices and navigation manageable with finger gestures that are the typical control method on mobile platforms.
For example, take a look at Phonexa. Headlines are short yet descriptive, the font is readable, and white space helps mobile visitors keep focus on the message. In other words, the website is mobile-friendly which makes it easy for visitors to learn more about services and prices using their smartphones.
To see whether your website is optimized enough for mobile platforms, use the tools that help you check mobile-friendliness. Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test is one of the most popular tools. Just enter your URL and see the result.
Use responsive design
Responsive design is one of the keystones of mobile-friendliness. In short, responsive design means making the website adjustable to various mobile device screen sizes. It includes such techniques as shortening menus, simplifying forms, and implementing mobile-friendly themes.
Match the user experience of your website mobile version and your app
If you are aiming at mobile, you’ll probably launch both a mobile website and an app. Both have their benefits and it is a wise move to offer both, but make sure that the customer experience is the same. Your users should not choose between your website and app looking at which is better but make their choice by other criteria – personalization, offline work, or notifications.
Onboard your app users
A smartly designed onboarding feature is definitely going to add points to user experience. With onboarding, you are showcasing your app highlights and demonstrating its business value. By walking the user through the basic steps, you help them reach success with your app already in the first few minutes of using it.
Let’s take Evernote as an example of an effective onboarding flow. The app shows the user what they can accomplish in a five-step sequence. The user can immediately see the value of the app and the goals they can reach with it. By the way, look at the buttons – they clearly say what will happen when you tap them.
Use mobile-friendly tools
Many mobile apps use third-party tools to implement certain functions. If you want to create a superb user experience, look for mobile-friendly tools.
There are lots of tools on the market that perform various functions. Let’s look at the most common ones:
- Live chat. Many customer-facing businesses will benefit from a live chat widget in their mobile app. Besides its primary purpose – to enable customer support – live chat is a great channel of customer communication and marketing. Check HelpCrunch live chat SDK that you can use to install a live chat in your mobile app.
- Payment tools. For eCommerce businesses, secure and reliable payment gateways are a must. They protect both you and your customers and build their trust toward your brand. The best-known and reputed ones are PayPal, Braintree, and Stripe.
- Checkout plugins. The checkout step is where customers often abandon their purchases and leave. The reason is, most likely, a complicated checkout flow that worsens the experience. Make it smooth and intuitive with special checkout plugins helping customers complete their purchases.
Personalize customer experience
Personalization means delivering content that is relevant to the user. To personalize your mobile app experience, you can use the data that the user provides in their profiles as well as their browsing and shopping history.
How can you personalize customer experience?
- Tailored content. Provide the content that is interesting and engaging for a specific customer – search suggestions, similar items, or texts on certain topics.
- Targeted offers. Based on the user’s personal data, location, or previous purchases, you can make offers aimed at this particular user.
- Push notifications. You can send various notifications through the mobile app – abandoned cart reminders, hot offers, workout or diet schedules, and flight statuses.
Feedback is the sure-fire way to find out how your product is doing. You can ask for feedback right within the app by offering customers to rate how willing they are to recommend your app to their friends.
Alternatively, you can ask for feedback on your social media or in dedicated communities. Also, watch out for app store reviews – this is where users often describe what they like and don’t like about your app. And, of course, make sure to fix any reported bugs and improve features that customers complain about.
Test your mobile apps and websites
To improve mobile customer experience, it’s important to test mobile websites before launching them. Thus, it’s a good idea to ask a quality assurance specialist to ensure it works properly when visitors access it from their smartphones. If you don’t have an in-house QA specialist, you can always turn to freelance marketplaces like Upwork or Freelancer to find a freelance specialist who can help you test your website and mobile app.
Today, building for mobile is like plunging into an ocean of competing apps. Still, with the right approach, attention to details, and willingness to try, test, and discard what does not work, you can achieve success. Keep your eyes open for new tools and technologies, listen to the feedback, and, most importantly, focus on the customer.