How to make your customers love your app
It is a well known fact, a Mobile App is the 2022 key element for any eCommerce. An app is useful to brands is many ways as it allows to: enhance users’ mobile experience, increase brand credibility and increase sales. Not only that, an important objective that a brand could reach thanks to an app is to strengthen the relationship with customers.
Thanks to the app the brand’s customers will be more loyal, buy more often and spend more compared to customers that only use the website. These users are called EMBED USERS, but to arrive there users must take a path.
A Google research identified the user journey that customers take before and after App use. This course is composed by 4 key steps:
- Discover: thats the phase where users are searching for the perfect app for them.
- Onboard: in this step the user does the first login and completes the signup.
- Engage: the user uses the app regularly.
- Embed: it’s the ideal phase in which all customers of a brand should arrive, but unfortunately only a small percentage reaches it. In this case, the user identifies the App as ‘vital’.
In this article we’re going to analyze some questions that you could have asked yourself if you’re ready to create the mobile app for your brand:
- Why is it important to make EMBED customers more and more important? What advantages do they bring to the brand?
- How can a brand guide users from first to last step?
- When they’re in, how is it possible not to make users abandon your app?
Why a brand wants more EMBED users
We have just seen that thanks to a mobile app, it’s easier to make users arrive to the last step of the path (EMBED) compared to a website. Let’s discover together why it’s convenient for the brand to make the user complete the user journey, creating with him a stable and strong relation thanks to the App.
1. EMBED users will visit the app more
EMBED users are the one that identify the app as ‘vital’, it means that they don’t have and don’t want an alternative.
These users said that they ‘wouldn’t know how to do without the app‘, in fact: they use the app more often during the day, they use it for more time and spend more during purchases.
With the website it will be way harder to create a strong and lasting relation between brand and user. Thanks to the fast access to the app, visits are much more likely to be more frequent.
2. EMBED users are more loyal towards the brand
The loyalty of a user can be measured thanks to the NPS index (Net Promoter Score). NPS also measure the proportion between brand promoters and detractors and can take a value between -100 (all detractors) and +100 (all promoters), of course the goal of a brand is to increase this index as much as possible.
According to the Google research, EMBED users perceive a stronger brand relation and are more loyal to the company. Also they don’t only think more about your brand but don’t do that for brand competitors.
3. EMBED users spend more
The users that use the app of a brand spend more. Why? According to an analysis, users are inclined to increase the average value of their shopping cart as the Mobile App makes shopping easier. Here’s how:
- It allows to save time: with the mobile app navigation is way quicker and it’s easier to compare products, the cart recovery functionality allows to recover pending carts and checkout is quick thanks to the automatic filling of shipping and payment data. All these elements allow the customer to save a lot of time, making shopping easier;
- Make transactions quick and easy: the Mobile App, unlike the web, allows to save users’ payment information on the device, making them quickly available to the user during checkout;
- It allows for a way simpler navigation: navigation on a mobile app eliminates scroll stress that happens on desktop or on a mCommerce. On the web the users find themselves navigating and scrolling pages from left to right and top to bottom, perceiving the sensation to lose time and not find the information that they search. This doesn’t happen on the mobile app.
- It simplifies life: now more and more often users buy products online outside the home or lying on the bed and being able to do it from mobile, instead of desktop, has certainly simplified the purchase process;
- It saves money: very often there are special offers dedicated only to users of the mobile app and not the website.
The perfect journey of a successful app
Thinking about everything we just said, we can define a successful app when it helps to reach the EMBED phase for as many users as possible. In this chapter we’re going to analyze which are the actions that a brand should make and so in which way it could guide the user reach this objective.
1. DISCOVER phase: be on the main touchpoints
- Reach: their goal is to create awareness. They are indicated for less established companies and they may be: Youtube reviews, ADV on social and influencer marketing.
- Impact: they influence the decision-making process of consumers, therefore they have the goal of conversion. They are particularly suitable for established companies and are, for example: reviews on a review site, previews on the App/Play Store, advices on the App/Play Store and advertising on TV
- Priority: they allow both to create awareness and convert. They are suggested to any type of company and they may be: App/Play Store reviews, word of mouth, number of downloads, google search results, App/Play Store search results and download offers/discounts
So, depending on the touchpoint in which a company intends to be found, it must take certain actions to make sure that its app is the one installed:
- Create a strong relation between user and brand: the main factor that drives a user to install an app is the existence of a relationship with the brand. 63% of users declared that they download an app if they know and like the brand. A fundamental role is also played by the brand’s website. In fact, 51% of users said they install an app when it is recommended on their website;
- Increase trust with social proof: social proof is: word of mouth, influence marketing, reviews… More people approve an app, more the trust toward that brand increase. The most influential element was the number of downloads of a certain app. To facilitate the installation of your app it is important to pay attention to all these elements of social proof;
- Amplify through search optimization (both organic and inorganic): the App Store and the Play Store are the main channels used by users through the discovery phase,, for this reason the App Search Optimization (ASO) is the best way to maximize the present on these important channels. This element becomes even more important in recent times given the high competition, only in 2020 were added about 200,000 apps;
- Offer discounts and exclusive offers: a user that receives a discount or an offer for having installed the app is satisfying and it’s considered like a tangible thanks. This action is the sixth element that most affects app downloads.
2. ONBOARD phase: make it enjoyable
This is a very critical phase for the brand, because it is the first moment of contact between the brand and the user, if something should go wrong it is likely that he will not return to use it. Not only that, he is likely to become a detractor, lowering the NPS (Net Promoter Score).
- Making friction-free sign-up and an intuitive first experience: often, signing-up is the most frustrating part of using an app, that may lead to abandonment. However, even who completes the sign-up may find the first experience with the app not pleasant. Among those who do not experience problems during the onboarding phase, 84% say they consider the most modern brand and 80% consider the most reliable brand.
- Reduce the effort required during sign-up: to do that you need to do 4 actions: optimize the User Experience, don’t do many questions and use the precompilation whenever it’s possible, support the user throughout the whole onboarding phase and, at last, provide accurate information;
- Engage users with customized contents: for example send customized notifications or show contents based to user preferences and tastes. This allows to make the experience more enjoyable and decrease the probability that the user could uninstall the app.
- Don’t ask too much: when you request too many information to a user, it’s very likely that he would abandon the app, especially when: too much personal information is required or the access to camera/location/microphone/photo…
3. From ENGAGE to EMBED: making the app necessary
Users have found your app, they installed it and started to use it. Let’s focus on the goal once more: increase EMED users as much as possible, this making the app vital to them. To achieve that your app must solve two needs: one emotional and one functional.
- Functional needs: the apps that achieve this goal allow users to be more efficient, organized and aware.
- Emotional needs: thus entertainment needs. Apps should offer the users fun and inspiration.
As for the first, there are 3 ways that the brand can solve them:
- Keep users informed: this refers to, for example, order tracking or customer care. Users want to be informed about what is happening to their order.
- Optimize search: the brand must ensure that when a user does a search, would find right away the product he searched, this will allow to make a better experience. This is important because about 40% of users search for text and 44% use filters. One of the main causes of frustration is the reset of searches and filters. To improve the user experience, therefore, it would be useful to offer the possibility to customize and save your own search terms and filters;
- Give to the users the opportunity to be efficient and organized: I’m referring to all the functions that allow to reduce difficulty and frustrations to the user in key moments during a purchase, for example: storage of login data, possibility to add products to the wishlist, automatic fields compilation of shipping and payment data… Some brands are already moving in order to improve the organization of the user, just think of Amazon that offers the opportunity to buy a subscription for the periodic supply of basic goods.
Along with functional needs, the App becomes successful when it is able to satisfy also emotional needs, thus, to entertain and amuse users. The main emotional needs for users are: fun, inspiration, distraction/keeping busy, relaxing and feeling better. The brand, therefore, should make the mobile experience fun.
Finally, a research classified the various functionalities, defining the most useful ones for the users:
- Nascent features: those are the functionalities to which all users are unconcerned, thus they don’t improve the User Experience (Customizable profile page, insights on the users’ behavior);
- Basic features: those are the key functionalities for the users, those that must be present (notifications customization, customized advices, filters memorization and customization, localization customization, easy connection with external payment methods…);
- Intermediate features: functionalities that a user reasonably expects, if present they make the user satisfied (relevant/useful notifications, ability to see progress, instant transaction confirmation, promotions/discounts in the app, purchases with 1 click, storage of payment details, rewards in the App, ease of comparing products);
- Advanced features: functionalities that the user does not expect, but if they are present, they make the user very satisfied (chat for customer service, faqs page, search bar, storing login data, wishlist, user reviews in App, search filters, order tracking, detailed description of the product/service, storage of past orders, storage of shipping data, storage of different addresses…);
- Detractor features: functionalities that the user would not want to be present.
Actions to avoid and how not to alienate users from the App
After having poured time and resources to optimize the user journey, it’s important to understand how to limit users’ removal. Some useful actions have been identified:
Stand out and be innovative
The competition is high and the presence of competitors is the main cause (45%) of estrangement from a certain App. It is necessary, therefore, to always try to stand out in some way and always continue to innovate, also because the second major reason that drives a customer to return from your app is the presence of new features.
Fix technical issues
Technical issues make the mobile experience less fluid, creating annoyance and frustration in users, leading them to abandon the App. Some issues to pay attention to are the reset of search terms and filters and slow loading.
Offer new functionalities
A critical element for improving engagement is the ability to offer customized features (such as content or notifications based on user preferences).
Offer a better experience than the website
Users, while using the app, expect to regain at least all the features they have on the website. The brand must engage in the creation of an app without blocks or slowdowns
When making updates or innovations it is important to notify customers.
All these points, in addition to avoiding the abandonment of users, are also useful for reconnecting those who had moved away, in fact, 83% of people said that they would be willing to re-install an app.
... what now?