Nearly 2.6 billion people across the world today have access to a high-powered smartphone, at all times, and seven out of every ten people will have access to a smartphone by 2020. Android phones constitute a bulk of such devices. Businesses are slowly but steadily discovering the merits of rolling out an outstanding Android app to improve branding and customer engagement. A well-designed app allows the brand to communicate the brand message effectively, and develop a sustainable relationship with the customer.
Here are the ways in which a standout business app allows an enterprise in branding and customer engagement.
Delivers a Streamlined Experience
Enterprises need to be able to assess and refine the usability of the app and identify pain-points such as why high volumes of app downloads are not converting into customer registrations or conversions. They need to quantify the impact of the app experience on the customer’s overall brand perception.
Making things simple and easy for the customer is a sure-shot way to raise the value of the brand in the eyes of the customer. Brands need to identify pain points in customer interactions and work to mitigate it in all earnest. Rolling out an app invariably helps the enterprise streamline their engagement with the customer.
The best apps are highly focused, based on delivering a specific or much sought-after functionality for the user. For instance, the app could make it easy for customers to interact with the brand, offering an easy way to search the FAQ, do self-service, get in touch with customer support, and more. Such an app plays into today’s overriding sentiment of instant gratification.
An app could also be used as a single point access to the social media pages and other digital assets of the brand.
The best app encourages active feedback and co-opts such feedback in newer versions of the app, with a central focus on improving customer experience and delivering more value to users. An app not updated frequently creates potential compatibility issues when the mobile operating systems are revised, and moreover, users are reluctant to risk downloading or using something seemingly abandoned.
How Business App Offers Proactive Communications
Unlike a website which the user has access every time by typing in the URL, an app once downloaded remains in the user’s phone, and may be accessed conveniently, even when offline.
When a customer installs an app, the business may send notifications directly to the app, bypassing the often-ignored email inboxes. Such push notifications gain high visibility and also allow the brand to reach out to the customer on a 24×7 basis.
Push notifications are invaluable in grabbing customer’s attention, even when users do not actually use the app. Push notifications boost app engagement by a whopping 88%, with Android users way more receptacle to such notification compared to iOS users. The best push notifications, with the highest click-thru rate, are personalized and contextual, such as being based on the product last viewed by the user, including the user’s name, and co-opting other nuances.
Today’s consumers want information within seconds, and service in double quick time. Very few take the pains of seeking out the brands’ website or social media page. If the customer can be persuaded to download an app as a one-time effort, the brand can easily push the required information and engage with the customer proactively. Customers can get the required information or make the purchase equally easily, creating a win-win situation.
Delivers Deep Customization
The most successful customer-facing apps personalize the user experience. The business co-opts emerging technologies like near field communication (NFC), artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to understand the user’s choices and preferences.
Smart marketers leverage the apps location tracking capabilities, beacon and geofencing technology to send location-specific, contextual, and timely data-driven content to customers. A case in point is leveraging beacons to push location-based offers and promotions, promote loyalty programs, and facilitate mobile-based proximity payments.
The Pew Research Center estimates nine out of ten smartphone users in the USA enable location services on their mobile phones.
Complements Brick and Mortar Buying
Many retail businesses now offer apps to can enhance customers’ in-store experiences. The app could, for instance, allow the user to scan the barcode of the product, to check availability, different variants, price, product reviews, and other information. Some businesses also offer the possibility of adding the item to the cart and even ordering the item online, sparing the hassles of queuing up at the till or even carting the item home by oneself.
Customer facing apps go a long way in delivering a consistent and seamless omnichannel experience for the user and integrate the physical and digital world.
Businesses could take a cue from 2016 Coachella music and arts festival, where fans who downloaded the app received out location-based notifications about artists and vendors to attendees, and offered beacon-enabled mobile payments to attendees, sparing the need for a physical wallet.
Another success story worth benchmarking is Domino’s Pizza’s new mobile app which allowed customers in the UK to order delivery or in-store pickup. The app has been downloaded more than 10 million times and resulted in a 24.4% increasein e-commerce sales.
Brands, however, cannot afford to rest on their laurels of having successfully coaxed customers to install their apps. The app itself needs to be updated regularly, co-opting new content and features. App developers also need to remember users are doing the brand a favor by installing the app on their smartphone. The brand should not misuse the generosity by taking up too much space causing the system to hang, or offering vulnerabilities which allow potential hackers access to the smartphone. It takes the services of a sound a competent developer to create sound and robust apps which offers real value to users.