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Mobile devices have established themselves as strategically important in the relationship between a brand and its customers, and the purchasing route that they take. A mobile app that provides a disappointing user experience can have an extremely negative impact on your brand. The converse does not necessarily hold true: we tend to think that a mobile app’s ergonomic design and user interface absolutely have to be intuitive. But the brand will be judged on the value of the service it provides and of its offering. This change in trend warrants a few comments.

 

A successful app forms a coherent part of the purchasing journey

A company must have a clear vision about the role its app plays in their overall system: whether it serves as a sales channel, or a tool for promoting the company or building relationships with customers, the mobile app must provide a continuous and coherent experience. For example, if a customer starts adding items to their shopping cart on their PC, they must be able to pick up where they left off on their phone. When they go to a store, the salesperson needs to have the right information about the products they are browsing or want to buy. And then when the customer is off-line, the contents of their shopping cart should still be intact on their smartphone.

 

The mobile app needs to be perfectly optimized and upgradable. There are two reasons to optimize it. On the one hand, doing so means that the company has the information it needs to understand how customers behave, assess conversion rates, and improve the overall user perception of the app. And on the other hand, the company can maintain the app’s high profile among users, and improve its ergonomic design and its functions and features, as well as the service it provides or its product offering. This benefits customers, but that is not all: a perfectly optimized app will more effectively win over your customer right from your first contact with them.

 

Making the most of the smartphone’s functions

A mobile app is not intended as a replacement for other channels – like the Web. It is meant to supplement them. The customer experience is not exclusively digital: it also depends on every other point of contact. It is an essential link in the chain… but it is just one link that should be leveraged to its full extent and in the right way: geo-locating products or stores, accessing specific services, sending notifications by SMS, using QR codes, providing secure payment options, using the camera to take photos or film video, converting a customer by SMS or a chat facility, etc. By using all the features and functions of smartphones, companies can create even more intimate bonds between brands and their customers.

 

Collecting data or supporting customers

Mobile technologies have become key, and can be used in a number of different ways. The first involves focusing on data. We discussed the value of data in a previous post. A brand can use mobile devices to form a better understanding of its customers, understand their purchasing routes, and improve the relationships they have with them. Another approach involves using mobile devices to serve up content which customers will find useful. How? By contextualizing the product. The app becomes “inspirational” and the brand becomes a travel companion for its customers. There is no shortage of examples – everything from Club Med to L’Oréal. With this approach to content, customers are not pushed into purchasing the product. Instead, it is presented quite simply as something that they need, through the depiction of it being used in context.

 

Whatever approach you decide to adopt, the Wakanda platform provides you with the flexibility you need to develop your mobile app. You can prototype an app so that it precisely meets your requirements, you get to choose which development and back-end technologies you use and you can upgrade it, optimizing it based on user behavior.

 

 

 

© Petar Chernaev / istock