Everywhere you look, mobile apps are the new frontier for the shopping experience. The stats don’t lie: a new survey reveals that smartphone users spend seven times more on apps than mobile websites, and Adobe predicts that mobile holiday sales will finally surpass desktop holiday sales. It’s becoming abundantly clear that mobile commerce is the way to go for online retailers.
However, since it’s such a new form of eCommerce, retailers are finding themselves falling into traps that make their apps either fail or underperform. Building, supporting, and marketing an app can be a tricky process to navigate when mobile commerce is a new venture for you. Have no fear, though: here’s a list of common mistakes that make brands blow their mobile opportunities—and tips on how you can avoid them.
Mistake #1: Assuming only young people use retail apps
This is an easy assumption to make, as teenagers and millennials are notoriously addicted to their smartphones. However, older generations are wising up to the benefits of mobile technology—in fact, 25% of all mobile shoppers are over age 55. If you market to an older audience, don’t shy away from a mobile app—everyone uses a smartphone now! Likewise, if your customers span generations, just make sure your app is clear and intuitive for all ages.
Mistake #2: Neglecting an email campaign
Think that push notifications and tempting discounts are enough to keep your mobile customers engaged? Think again—and stop associating email marketing with desktop. 51% of emails are now opened on mobile devices. While an app is a great way to retain customers simply by keeping your brand on their homescreens, emails on their smartphones are a great way to continuously communicate to your customers and remind them to open your app.
Remember: since web browsers now use smartphones for email, keep your email marketing mobile-friendly. Keep your message clean and concise—exactly what smartphone users want to see as they flip between emails, texts, social media, and apps.
Mistake #3: Dropping customer service
Email isn’t the only way to take an extra step in reaching out to your mobile customers. Online customers still crave an essential feature of brick-and-mortar stores: customer service. Communicating with app surfers is easy: add a “give feedback” button to your app, use the latest in-app Intercom Chat feature, and maintain a steady social media presence on the platforms your audience is most likely to use. Facebook Messenger is a particularly popular communication tool, as customers can directly contact you and receive a very quick response. Your app shouldn’t be an island standing on its own: connect it to other aspects of your brand, including customer service.
Mistake #4: Not marketing your app
You can have the coolest, most modern app in the world, but what good is it if your customers don’t know it exists? Advertise on your website (especially your mobile site!), social media accounts, and take advantage of ad services on platforms like Google and Facebook.
Mistake #5: Not using App Store Optimization (ASO)
There are over 2 million apps available in the App Store—so it’s not surprising that so many apps get buried and remain undiscovered. ASO is easy—just make your app stand out with some simple tweaks. Examples include using keywords that will be used in a lot of App Store searches, updating your app description to make it look fresh against your competition, and encouraging your users to leave reviews and ratings that will make your app stand out.
Mistake #6: Complicating the payment process
Apps should be simple, quick, and compact. You shouldn’t derail your sales at the last minute by having a long, cumbersome payment process. Smartphone users are especially impatient with shops that require them to fill out multiple pages of contact information and credit card information. You can cut down on steps by utilizing payment options like PayPal, Apple Wallet, and Visa Checkout. These digital features save contact and credit card info so users can simply tap a button and go st
sraight to confirming their orders.
Navigating the brave new world of apps can be confusing and overwhelming, so we want to provide guides and maps for you. Contact an mCommerce expert today to learn what an app can do for your retail brand and how to make it as easy as possible.
Author: Casey Gannon
Vice President of Marketing | Casey is an experienced tech marketer, driven to develop marketing strategies that blend traditional techniques with emerging technology. With over ten years of experience in mobile, she believes that mobile apps are the modern solution in helping retailers directly connect with and impact consumers. When she's not looking ahead to the next opportunity, Casey is a busy mom, soccer player and adjunct professor at her alma mater, St. Edward's University.