With the overwhelming innovation of the internet over the past ten years, one might think that creating a functional user experience for consumers would be a simple task nowadays. In reality, though, things can be a bit more complicated. This is especially true for all businesses attempting to establish their unique brand—and to sell their products or services online. While there are many ways to browse the internet, the preferred method nowadays is undoubtedly smartphones and tablets. That’s not exactly a surprise: it’s a much more convenient, accessible, and cheaper way to browse the internet compared to laptops or desktops. And with the availability of 4G, many of these devices don’t even require a Wi-Fi connection.
However, things aren’t always as easy as they may seem. For online retailers, this emphasis on mobile devices can spell trouble. The mobile experience and the desktop experience are often vastly different, even when the website in question is the same. That’s because many designs don’t scale well, and aren’t “responsive” enough to present an exceptional mobile user experience. That can be a big problem because the modern consumer expects perfection from online services. In addition, there are a multitude of other options they can choose if they fail to find what they’re looking for in their first-choice app or website. In fact, as many as 16% of mobile users saying they would abandon their purchase attempt altogether if they ran into a problem, and simply try another brand.
The mobile user experience is absolutely crucial because, with a single mistake, hundreds or thousands of sales could be lost. There are several key factors that impact this user experience, and each one plays a part in making sure that the user’s needs are fully met. Hopefully, this can aid you in overhauling the mobile user experience that your business is providing, and help it stand out from the crowd with innovative functionality.
1. Identify Users’ Needs To Contextualize Mobile Experience
Why are users using the app or service in question? This is an important question – one that anyone looking to provide a decent mobile user experience should be asking. In order to provide the most efficient service, after all, it’s necessary to first understand what kind of service is needed in the first place. Context is important, in other words, and providing an excellent mobile user experience relies on leveraging knowledge about consumer behavior and intent.
In order to do this, brands should seek to determine why users are using their smartphones. Do they intend on buying a product right away, or are they simply looking for more information to help influence a future purchasing decision? What are the users expecting to get out of the experience when they use a particular app or visit a particular website? Once this information is determined, it becomes easier to decide how the existing mobile experience for a particular brand should be overhauled to better meet these expectations.
2. Listen To Your Users By Seeking Feedback
This is such an important and logical step that it’s surprising just how often it’s missed. When brands are struggling with their mobile experience or are simply looking to make improvements, one of the best steps to take is to speak to their users. What do they think about the mobile experience? Take their advice and feedback honestly and openly – especially if it’s not exactly positive. Negative feedback is gold when it comes to revising consumer experience.
If the main struggles that consumers are experiencing can be identified, then the businesses in question can begin resolving them. Remember that each of these struggles might be enough to cause a potential user to give up and give their business to a competitor instead, so it’s important that they are taken seriously. Ideally, the mobile experience is a smooth one that is just as seamless as the desktop experience. When users give feedback regarding what works and what doesn’t, take action and address the issues! If they are ignored instead of resolved, users might decide to take their sales to another business permanently, leaving the business in question losing potentially loyal and long-term brand advocates.
3. Place Personalization Strategy On Top To Save Users’ Browsing Time
As mentioned in the introduction, the amount of data available for perusal today is vast. This includes consumer data, which is quite useful for marketers or brands looking to better understand their users. Sometimes it’s possible to access information such as previous orders with the brand in question, historical data, known profile information, and even real-time data like the device being used, the user’s location, and even where they are in the purchase cycle. This, in turn, enabled researchers to create a personalized experience that targets the specific user in question.
By taking the user experience and making it personal rather than a “one size fits all” approach, users will see information and offers that are relevant to them. This can improve user satisfaction as well as even increase conversion rate and encourage more sales. Keep in mind that another part of the mobile user experience includes offering users advertisements or messages that are timely as they browse, whether it be in-store or online. This contact can include information about interesting sales or new arrivals that historical data indicates might be of interest to the user.
For learning more on personalization, read How Personalization Can Deliver a Great Customer Experience.
4. Make Purchases Simple And Uncomplicated
Being unable to complete a purchase is probably one of the more annoying experiences that users today face while using many mobile offerings. It’s incredibly frustrating to commit to buying an item and even do research about it to ensure it’s a good choice, and then run into a problem with their mobile site or app that ends up rendering the completion of the process impossible. This is one of the reasons why particular attention must be paid to the ease of the purchase process.
Remember, as many as 16% of users will abandon their purchases and go to a competitor if they are unable to complete their transaction on a particular app or mobile site. It should be noted that that doesn’t necessarily mean that the users in question ran into a bug that didn’t allow them to finish the transaction. Those figures pertain to any “difficulties” that they might run into over the course of the buying process. This is why it’s important to ensure that there simply aren’t any difficulties that they might encounter. Make the app or mobile site easy and straightforward use.
5. Do Not Offer Too Many Apps, They Leave Users Confused
Not every function needs to have its own app. It’s tempting to attempt to market more than one, especially after the success that Facebook has seen after implementing their Messenger app. The reality, however, is that even Facebook had a somewhat rocky transition from one app to two. Less established and popular companies and services will almost certainly encounter the same, but perhaps with decidedly less success in the long run. Unless there is a clear need for a separate app, keep all functionality – as much as possible, at least – in a single app. More than that creates complications for users, and it’s already been well established that introducing difficulties into the researching or buying process can quickly lead potential users to turn to competing companies without a confusing multitude of applications instead.
6. Focus On Content To Set The Context Right
It might be tempting to invest in a slick user design when contemplating a mobile site or app. It’s important to mention that even the prettiest site will not be able to help if users are not able to find what they need on it. For this reason, it’s important that the emphasis is placed upon the content that is to be put into the app rather than its appearance. While it’s important to ensure that the application is easy to open and to use, it’s more important to make sure the needed functionality and content is present.
7. Fill the Omni-channel Gap For Allowing Users To Flip Channels Seamlessly
There is no single channel that best reaches today’s consumers. Instead, there are a plethora of channels that must be maintained in order to ensure that users have a great user experience all throughout the buying and browsing processes, regardless of the device or channel in question. Luckily, mobile marketing is a great way to help fill the omnichannel gaps. To take advantage of this, ensure that any mobile data or activity syncs across devices. Any purchases made on the mobile app should show up in the desktop version of the website, for example, and vice versa. Create a cohesive experience that makes users want to continue with the brand in question.
8. Enhance Speed To Retain Users’ Loyalty
Even more than difficult navigation or a confusing buying process, a slow app or website will see the company in question losing users left and right. When browsing on a mobile device, it almost seems as though even the slightest of delays is magnified. Keep in mind that today’s users, when browsing from a smartphone or tablet, are usually on the run. They’re attempting to buy things on the fly, perhaps while they wait in line at a drive-thru or the checkout aisle at a grocery store. Users are looking for something quick and easy – something they can add to their routine without the need to wait for additional information or necessary functionality.
Part of this ties back into the importance of understanding what the user wants. Once this is understood, it’s easier to narrow focus on the mobile experience in order to determine where it’s most important to improve speed and efficiency.
9. Seize Mobile Moments To Study Customer Behaviour
Users often turn to their mobile devices when they come across a particular need or desire. They might be researching something, for example, or looking for a quick option to make a purchase. In order to ensure that brands are able to seize these “mobile moments”, it’s important to deliver a user experience and journey that is easy, productive, and useful. These moments can be obtained by ensuring that a brand’s information is presented or available to the consumer at the right time. Attention must be paid to the melding of advertising and the user experience in order to ensure it’s easy for users to lock onto a certain brand on the fly and make a purchase or find the information they need.
10. Leverage Big Data To Understand The Customer Better
Don’t create “just another app”. Instead, take advantage of the data that’s so prolific in today’s society. Leveraging big data can help brands create the kind of mobile experience that is deeply personal and intensely relevant to users and potential users. Use this data to better understand the buying habits, consumer desires, and the demographics of users using a particular app in order to better suit that audience and give individuals the kind of experience they’re looking for. This can be accomplished by using geo-specific advertising or even offering shopping recommendations based on public profile data as well as the purchase history of the user in question. Both of these options are great examples of how companies can use big data to help create a dynamic and personal shopping experience that encourages loyalty and repeats purchases.
When it comes to creating the greatest mobile experience possible, it’s crucial to consider a wide variety of factors: why users are using a particular app, what they’re trying to accomplish, and how an app can help them achieve their goals quickly and easily. The barriers to completing a purchase must be completely removed. Otherwise, users may abandon their carts and take their business to a rival business. The importance of a good mobile experience cannot be overstated. A brand without a comprehensive and seamless mobile identity is a brand that will find themselves losing out on users, and lagging behind the rest of the pack. A brand with an innovative and effective mobile user experience, however, will surely stand out from its competitors.
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