Mobile devices are increasingly redefining how customers seek information, communicate and go about their daily routines.
Consequently, meeting their growing expectations will require brands to rethink the capabilities of their apps, plus their overall processes and systems.
Most consumers today turn to their mobile gadgets like phones and tablets for any and everything online, including ordering food, banking, and much more. In fact, Statista predicted that by 2019, 67 percent of the world’s population will own a smartphone.
Similarly, in 2016, global internet usage on mobile and tablet exceeded desktop for the first time. It just goes to reinforce other statistics that showed that 82 percent of consumers turn to their mobile devices to help with deciding on product purchases.
Marketers know all too well the critical nature of delivering a rewarding customer experience on mobile, though many companies still struggle to provide functionality for customers that are constantly on the move.
Meanwhile, the rising consumer expectations are being set every other time, not just by competitors, but also by other brands in non-related industries.
Regardless of where it happened, a consumer’s last great experience sets the tone for any other experience that follows.
We’re going to look at how companies can improve the customer experience on mobile platforms and the kind of technologies that’ll transform how consumers use these platforms.
Mobile is the Standard
A few years back, we would talk about mobile being the cutting edge. Today though, it’s the standard, so if your customer experience programs don’t include seamless touchpoints on mobile, you’re lagging behind the curve.
Customers turn to their mobile devices for more and more of their daily tasks from booking doctor’s appointments, to online shopping and more.
For many of them, the mobile experience is the first interaction with brands, from browsing the latest fashion trends from a retailer recommended to them, to finding where to go for lunch next week or even booking a table there.
A June 2017 UserTesting study found that consumers expect seamless shopping experiences on the retail mobile customer experience regardless of the device they’re using.
It then follows that the customer will always have high expectations for the mobile experience as they would in person at your physical store or online on your website.
For retailers and companies, it means a lot of work if you’ve not made the necessary changes to offer an outstanding mobile experience for your customers.
The potential of mobile retail is huge, and your brand shouldn’t miss out on it. We’re going to show you some proven strategies of offering a seamless, frictionless customer experience and purchase path to increase your revenues and keep customers delighted.
1. Use Progressive Web Apps
Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) help developers and merchants build fast ‘app-like’ experiences on the web so as to enhance in-store experiences and boost online conversions.
By doing this, it’s easy to reduce problems that come with poor cart conversion and customer acquisition.
It also redefines your customers’ interactions and the mobile experience with brands via their gadgets by making shopping more engaging, personal and faster.
2. Create Similar Functionality Across Platforms
Many brands have challenges with the mobile experience because of treating it as a separate entity or platform and don’t incorporate it in their core product.
Similarly, having unrealistic goals that mobile will revolutionize the company instead of being an extra channel for your customers to engage with your brand makes things harder.
Customers are having higher expectations than before especially with technological advancements, and competition is getting fiercer.
The antidote to this is to make the mobile experience brief, fast and precise enough to match the customers’ expectations.
For example, if photos on your desktop website zoom fast, the same should be experienced on the mobile app. This might sound small but prove significant when you focus on mobile conversion optimization.
3. Integrate Back-end Systems and Processes
For retail brands, customers should be able to use their mobile gadgets to search inventory for your nearby stores.
Walmart, for example, uses Jetblack – an AI powered concierge service, to provide exclusive personal shopping services to customers at a fee.
The challenge lies in using data and integrating your processes and back-end systems to understand their expectations better. Can they be assured that what they want is in stock, and available in stores close to them?
While adding such functionality can be challenging for brands, it’s more of a process hurdle than a technical or app-related one.
Focus on improving the business process more than the technology and design of your app to improve the experience.
4. A Strong Partnership Between Departments
Teamwork is critical in creating a seamless and amazing customer experience on mobile. Your company’s marketing, IT and sales departments need a strong partnership to break down the barriers.
This will involve balancing any competing goals and objectives for example, the marketing team values innovation and speed, while IT value stability and security.
It’s important to ensure all these objectives work together to improve the customer experience and move the organization forward.
5. Consider Augmented Reality (AR)
AR is one of the innovations that can drive advances in mobile experience in years to come.
A good example is IKEA, whose app uses AR to help customers see how the different furniture will look like in different rooms or if a particular piece will fit well with their spaces.
Similarly, voice technologies will impact the buyer experience on mobile as voice search is growing in preference with many mobile devices having the native voice assistants.
This is especially important when customers are on the go, and it’s becoming useful coupled with machine learning, whether on phones or smartwatches.
The convergence of IoT sensors together with mobile devices also offers limitless possibilities as customers can interact with objects wherever they are.
This redefines the digital-physical integration completely. Brands should seek ways of adopting and integrating it seamlessly in the mobile experience to deliver fulfilling and personalized experiences that will foster customer loyalty going forward.
6. Design Your App for Mobile Platforms
Currently, the major platforms are Android and iOS, which are used globally to design apps.
Both of them work with unique standards and conventions, such that the sizes and resolutions differ, so does the look and feel of the user interface, plus much more.
Apps lose 77 percent of users in the first three days, so it’s important that your app gels well with the mobile platform it’s built for, to set the foundation and tone for amazing experiences.
There are several operating system (OS) differences that have an implication on the customer’s user experience – it can fuel up anger or resentment.
Make sure your developers and designers can marry the app to the OS.
7. Have a Well Thought Out On-Boarding Process
Your on-boarding process can make or break the customer mobile interactions, whether it’s downloading the app or even opening the company website, as these are backed by intention.
Make a good first impression by having a well thought out on-boarding process to bring the customer closer to your business goals like purchasing a product or signing up for your newsletter and more.
The idea here is that the process should be beneficial, seamless and endearing to the customer. You can do some quick improvements like:
- Having a clutter-free first screen by taking out unnecessary information
- Offering a quick tour of the interface to remove uncertainty or ambiguity
- Including design elements that inspire positivity
- Make it easy for customers to skip the onboarding process if they want
8. Create an Interactive Experience
Users engage more where there’s better interaction with the brand, and this not only captures their attention but also gives your brand a stronger thread to develop as you usher the customer towards your business goals.
Your company’s mobile app developers can align the web interface development based on thought out actions and anticipated behaviors of your customers, to deliver great experiences.
You can also leverage good communication principles to design the user journey. For example, MailChimp uses high fives to let their users know they’ve completed a desirable action.
A sense of control impacts on the customer experience with your mobile app or site, and they’ll fall in love with your brand based on how the interaction was, plus the adjustments you’re willing to make based on important attributes.
Impressing today’s customer isn’t as easy as it looks, because of the ever-changing technologies that raise their expectations.
However, by following some simple tried and tested strategies such as those listed above, your company can create a great and unforgettable user experience on mobile.
Remember to keep testing the mobile experience and apply customer feedback to fine-tune your platform and maximize the customer experience quality.
Our guest writer Sam Zaman.
Sam loves to write on technology and related stuff – with e-Commerce, mobile and internet marketing equally driving her interest. An avid reader and absolutely mad about donuts, she’s been associated with Mofluid for a long time.