Whether you’re just stepping into the app marketplace or your app has been launched for years, you should always make conversion optimization a top priority. The online and mobile landscapes are always evolving, meaning that generating conversions can never be a set-it-and-forget-it objective. Optimizing your app for sales conversions will ensure your customers have a seamless experience that makes it easier for them to purchase your products.
A Good First Impression
First impressions are important in every facet of life—so of course that includes your app! When a user opens the app, the first environment they experience is the loading screen. This is a great place to set the tone for your brand.
First, be sure to include your company logo to make sure your customers are confident that they are in the right place. You can keep it classic by having the logo on a crisp plain background, but if you want a more advanced and interesting design, you can have a high resolution image in the background. Make sure this image is something your customer can relate your product to, like an image with your primary demographic, the product being used, or other images you use on your website and social channels.
After the app loads, the first image on the app is typically a Featured Media Area (FMA). This is similar to a website in that it opens with a big image that focuses on driving customers to your latest and greatest product. When you write your copy, take the same approach that you would when writing for your website: use highly captivating messaging and a Call To Action (CTA) to immediately tell customers where to go next. It’s also important to make sure that this image is appropriate for the mobile app experience, so a good size to go by is 1200 x 800 pixels.
You also need to focus on the homepage hierarchy to make sure you’re providing the path through the app that you want your customers to take. Focus more on categories than specific products to cast a wider net and engage with all customers, regardless of their diverse shopping needs. Keep these items as either single images that take up the entire width of the app, or a two column layout. A layout that exceeds this will make the images too small, restricting the ability of the human eye to navigate the app.
The top goal of all design elements is to captivate and engage your customers. Don’t hesitate to add a “Shop Now” button, or some other form of content encouraging them to click on a photo. Without these visual clues, it can appear to the customer that the image isn’t linked to anything and they can’t interact with it.
Another good way to make sure the app is designed for success is something called the “Three-Click Rule.” This means that it should only take three clicks to either access a product page or to place a product in the shopping cart. By reducing the number of actions a user has to take, you make the app user-friendly enough that customers can quickly find what they are looking for without difficulty or confusion. Remember: apps are built for convenience and accessibility, so a difficult journey to purchase increases the likelihood of a customer leaving the app and not completing a purchase.
No matter what, you want to make sure that branding, messaging, tone, and design are all consistent. This is especially important for omnichannel businesses because there are so many different venues where customers can experience your brand, such as your website, social channels, and so on. If you make any major changes to your brand standards, you’ll not only want to update the look of your app, but you’ll also want to update the screenshots and app icon that are submitted to the app stores. Any dated branding will either be unrecognizable or it will give the appearance that the app has been abandoned and isn’t the best place to shop.
On the topic of brand standards, be sure your fonts and buttons are the same visual feel as your website. The screen size from a desktop to a phone differ greatly, so make sure that the design elements fit the intended use. A great starting point is to go with a serif font that is 12pt or higher, and really helps the eye read and navigate throughout the app. Button sizes will vary depending on the elements they are defined within. A good rule of thumb is to begin the design process with a button that is at least 600px width and around 300-400px height. We like to grab the eye of the customer by making the very important CTA buttons like “Start Shopping” or “Buy Now” in a bright, easy to read color. After you have your buttons created, you can scale them to fit where needed.
No matter the business model, industry, and method of shopping, there will never be a 100% conversion rate. But don’t let this fact discourage you! People have many different reasons for shopping that don’t result in direct sales. For example, they are simply browsing, price shopping, looking for inspiration, or even looking for someone else in their life. Although these customers aren’t intending to checkout today, that doesn’t mean you can’t turn them into future purchasers!
After customers visit your app, run remarketing campaigns to continue marketing to these customers after they’ve left the app. This helps reinforce brand awareness and reminds the customer why they were already engaging with your app. Make sure this campaign isn’t invasive by always testing, measuring, and refining the ads. Customers are already loyal because they downloaded your app so simply nudging them back will feel like a highly personalized experience for them.
Of course, if you have more questions, you can always find answers in our Support Center, or by contacting our Marketing & Design Services team! We'd love to help you explore the marketing potential your app can offer.
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Author: Natalie Stambro
Natalie Stambro is a Senior Customer Success Manager, where she focuses on assisting Shopgate clients with marketing strategies, analytics, and conversion optimization. Utilizing her BFA from Texas State University and her nine years of experience, she works with clients to reach their specific goals and fulfill their unique visions. When Natalie isn’t working with merchants you can find her updating her home, going to concerts, and spending time with her husband.