By Adam Stone, founder and CEO of Rokk
Customer expectations are increasing, this coupled with the fact interactions are becoming more complex at every stage in the purchase cycle presents an issue for retailers in terms of meeting these expectations. Personalisation, speed and ease is crucial in order to deliver a robust consumer experience (CX) across channels and mobile application is where the leverage lies.
The average user spends at least three hours per day browsing on their smartphone and therefore brands need to ensure that their mobile apps deliver tremendous user experience (UX) quality. In fact, user experience quality is so powerful that a faulty user experience can result in a mass exodus.
Ultimately, there are steps that brands can take to ensure that they are delivering the best customer-centric experience.
Appropriate platform design
If applying design to both IOS and Android, both of these operating systems work with unique standards and conventions. Differences include: the variable sizes and resolutions differ, as do the feel and appeal of UI components. Android is designed to support devices with a dedicated back button and offers tabs at the top of the page as does IOS (at the top of the screen).
These are just some of the small differences between the two operating systems, however the impact the they have on the end user experience is huge. Consumers are hugely engaged with their smartphones and the operating system is a massive part of this. Any app that doesn’t sync with the dynamics of the operating platform may be left by the wayside as the average app loses 77 per cent of its users in the first three days. With the stakes so high it is vital for app developers to ensure that the app gels well with the platform it is made for, to lay the foundations for a superior customer-centric experience.
First impressions are important and therefore a well thought out on-boarding process is crucial to make the most out of an initial mobile interaction and bring the customer closer to the business goal, such as signing up for a newsletter or using additional services. On-boarding should be seamless and efficient, making it as easy as possible for the consumer. Information should be clear and concise with a quick interface tour to remove any ambiguity. The on-boarding process should also be easy to skip if the customers so wishes, therefore making the user journey as simple as possible.
It’s all about context
Context should always come first when maximising consumer interactions on mobile apps. Businesses that understand user profiles, such as the way that they interact, are able to deliver far better customer experiences. Understanding target audience, whether customers are experienced mobile users and what triggers their mobile interactions, should give businesses the tools they need to design a high-level customer journey on mobile applications and websites that helps consumers to reach their goal.
Make it interactive
Better mobile interactions that engage users can help to enhance the quality of their experience which is certainly true when a customer feels in control when interacting with a brand’s mobile website or application. Generally speaking people follow brands who actively interact with them and adapt to their needs. Mobile app developers should be looking at building web interfaces that are aligned with anticipated consumer behaviours through leveraging consumer principles and well thought out actions which appeal to the user.
Make it accessible and search-friendly
Customer experience-based designs are the way forward for mobile app designers, coupled with clear and succinct navigation which is over a much smaller surface area compared with desktop. Essentially, the content must remain the same across all platforms as navigation should not hamper the customer experiences on mobile sites versus their desktop counterparts. Beneficial features include: accounting for spelling mistakes that still allow users to find what they are looking for and including intelligent autofill suggestions and alternative search queries. Filters can also help, allowing to users to get to core content far more quickly – this is especially helpful when the product base is vast.
Testing, testing, testing
Lessons learned from analytics and A/B testing can be invaluable in helping businesses to define aspects of the customer experience that matter the most whilst interacting with your brand on a mobile app. Mobile user testing can fine tune mobile websites and apps in order to maximise the customer experience, examine customer bounce rates and highlight which customers use which functionalities, which is integral to the bottom line.
Ultimately, the stakes are high and upping the mobile app game means investing in resources to understand and improve the customer experience in order to meet business objectives.