Building customer loyalty using mobile apps
The mobile strategy has been challenging the conventions of various business ethics and practices for quite some time now. Given all the benefits, it has in a way become indispensable. Developing a mobile app is a worthy investment as app users are more loyal to the brand compared to those visiting the website. But, how does one make the customers loyal? Is making an app enough or is some more effort needed? S0, we are listing some of the pre-requisites to be considered for building mobile apps which in turn contribute to customer loyalty:
Identify the goals of the app
One of the initial priorities that most developers should look into is the need and preferences of the customers. Not doing market analysis before starting, like serving meat to vegan-he/she is not gonna eat it. Application development requires huge investment, and without research and demand analysis, the endeavor can end in smoke. A prior analysis of the target customer is necessary to validate whether the idea is to be pursued or not. This also provides for a road-map to channelize the application idea and provide a better avenue of customer acquisition & retention.
The first thing a person sees while opening an app is its interface. The pre-requisite for app development is the notion that not everyone is tech-savvy, and the customer base has a vague understanding of technology. It should take into account a more simplistic approach while designing the same so that it is user friendly. Outlined augmented interface that challenges the users to navigate from one screen to another, usually discourages them from using the app. The user experience should be served as the top priority. A proper app flowchart with necessary options should be created to improve customer experience. It is also advisable to avoid low resolution.
As the saying goes, ” Too much of anything is bad”, holds in case of application development. Some developers include everything, from their cutlery set to the living room sofas, into their application unfathomable. An essential characteristic of an app has to be to cater to the needs of the customer in an uncomplicated manner, in the shortest period possible. People forget the niche of the app and try to mitigate every problem with it, which must be avoided. At the end of the day, it is just an app, not your mother!
Analyze platform strength
Applications have two platforms at their disposal, to be launched, namely, Android Play Store and IOS Apple Store. So it is a pertinent decision as to which platform to choose for the same. Android has a wider user base across the world while iOS has supremacy and a premium feel to it. So depending on the niche and selling proposition of the app, the platform needs to be selected. Otherwise, it can pose great stress in the future.
After the creation of the mobile app, it is advisable to pace oneself and avoid hasting into launching the same, as it can turn disastrous. The solution to enter with a Market Value Proposition (MVP). It will essentially pertain to limited core features of the app and in a short span, will be able to reap the benefits of the same. But if the app is developed with lots of bugs & errors unchecked, you can surely go the devil’s lane after its launch. So the developers should be perspicacious in this regard.
Ensure Value Proposition
With the influx of innumerable apps in the app stores, leaving a mark of this own has become a real tough job for the newly launched apps. It is important to possess some competitive advantage as the market is saturated anyway. The value proposition should be unique to attract customers. Otherwise, the app will go unnoticed and gain zero returns.
Planned market launch
As mentioned earlier, the present age of digitization has brought in a lot of changes, especially with growing competition and market saturation. Entering the market without a planned launch leads to the doom of most products. Applications also stand no exception here. Apps will go unnoticed if they are not backed by intricate marketing strategies. Choosing a market target segment and thereby positioning the product should be the basic step before putting the app on various platforms. Requisite steps are required to be observed, and a robust pre-launch marketing campaign needs to be devised to create buzz around your app and engage leads.
Patience with ROI
It is noteworthy here that only 1% of the apps on the app stores, make money. This calls for a re-evaluation of the ultimate objective of the endeavor of application development. Patience is the key here. One cannot expect immediate returns to their investment in this type of venture. Again if it is an enterprise app, link the same with the official website so as to increase traffic and enhance profitability.
Ensuring the “3 Click rule”
Most apps tend to defy the thumb rule functionality to limit the clicks to not more than three clicks. Research has proved that it discourages users if the ultimate interfaced isn’t opened with the third click. So it is important to maintain the same.
Compatibility of Content
Consistency and coherence in the content designed, under the digital interface, is very important for the success of the app. Content designed for large web platforms will not be compatible with mob apps, and this is where developers tend to miss the mark. Content needs to be edited or reduced to properly work on the mobile interface, thereby marginalizing the amount of glitch.
Considering app an extension of the website
Last but not least, considering app extension into the website should also be a priority while developing apps. With in-device features, apps do things that the website hardly does. So weighing both the interface on different scales is important to create a consistent revenue-earning application.
Assess potential ROI
The ultimate aim of the creation and launching of applications is to garner money and enjoy returns on investments. Hence, it becomes essential to curate a proper revenue collecting framework for the apps, at the time of its launch. A systematic procedure is required to be initiated from the inception to suffice the punitive gains. Apps can require a fee to use, or they can use an in-app-purchase interface. Appropriate monetization should be of utmost concern for the developers, and this is where they falter.
Building Brand Loyalty through mobile applications
Creation of brand name and goodwill, in turn, helps to have a stronger customer base. In addition to that, brand loyalty is one of the driving factors for increasing sales of a product. The loyalty of customers tends to be directly proportional to sales, which means an increase in loyal customers translates directly to an increase in revenue. In fact, research states that repeat customers spend on average 67% more than new customers.
An average brand’s loyal customers shoot the profits to 80% od the total revenue. Hence it becomes pertinent for a brand to set utmost precedence on developing the brand name in a way to increase customer retention and indulge new customers in purchasing their products. Hence, the most important feature that mobile apps offer is the ability to facilitate engagement, which is essential for captivating customers and encouraging loyalty. The level of app engagement becomes a lucrative source to harness customer loyalty.
Using a mobile app as a tool to encourage customers and build brand loyalty is the need of the hour. Here are a few ways that can be followed in order to achieve the desired results.
Offer Personalized Content
Consumers turn to apps to satisfy specific needs and receive dedicated and personalized services. Consumers find it very discouraging to shop from the website or other web browsers. They want something truly engaging. Apps come in handy. By offering and delivering content that is personalized to the user, one can build a deeper relationship with their customers. Mobile apps help build a strong relationship with the customers, but they also offer insights into customer preferences.
Reward Loyalty and Offer Incentives
Rewards and loyalty incentives programs have been attracting customers & making them stay for a while now. It becomes an easy access to persuade the clients to associate with the brand and thereby increase profitability. There are many strategies involved in this regard. From incentives and special deals and offers to discount coupons, complimentary products or services. Every little thing that we do for our customers, makes them loyal to the brand. Mobile apps in this regard, prove to be very handy. They give brands the leverage to create and customize timely offers.
The elevated app user experience over a website interface brings customers back with an average 4x higher return than mobile and desktop. This results in the more and more users, who have abandoned their shopping cart, adding more items to the cart and /or complete purchase.
Improves Customer Lifetime Value
App users become super users-purchasing more regularly, more often, and oven longer periods of time. This creates a pathway for customers to stay loyal by means of attractive offers and experiences. This can be done for immediate goals as well as for long term benefits.
Valuable data from the application allows retailers to cater to content and to message to the customer. As a result, users are provided with relevant recommendations, messaging, and discounts. It also helps with decreased cart abandonment and increased traffic for purchase completion.
Top Mobile Loyalty Features that keep the customer engaged
This is an excellent way of cultivating the loyalty of the customer by bridging the gap between online and store. As with the user account, all the necessary information pertaining to loyalty information synced with the e-commerce website.
Retailers can drive strong emotions; loyalty by providing programs characterized by experiential perks. Loyalty can be used as a competitive advantage to generate revenues for the business. Personalized experiences such as birthday gifts, exclusive access to pre-launched products etc. contribute to creating loyalty among the customers. This, in turn, helps in expanding the customer based.
Using the power SMS, retailers can send their customers relevant and instantly accessible content. Email-marketing is hugely dependent on a person opening the email. Push notifications serve as a major solution here. Plus, push notifications can be hyper-personalised to the user’s requirement which further improves the experience.
For some retailers, what makes them successful is the ability to offer unique value proposition such as a wedding registry, baby shower registry, social polling and more.
Customers look for niche solutions as they don’t have time to browse a drop-down list of irrelevant items. Apps help is providing a personalized experience in a combo manner. This proves to be cost-efficient for the customers and thereby become coveted among them. When brand resonates to emotions and personal experiences of the customers, powerful brand loyalty is created.