Consumer apps have shaped the e-commerce landscape, and they’re only growing more popular. In order to keep up, top businesses are choosing custom application development. Custom or not, however, there are some things every consumer app needs.
Before you make a sale, you have to grab customers’ attention. App users are visually motivated, and having an aesthetically pleasing and unique app will draw in users. Unappealing apps don’t feel as fun, no matter how useful they may be. In order to secure regular users, your consumer app needs to appeal to current design preferences and use both color and line to spark viewers’ interest.
If they like what they see, customers will need to actually use the app. New users don’t want to take a tutorial. They’ve used many applications, and they expect certain features and patterns. For instance, app-logic dictates that the company logo at the top of the screen should always lead back to the main menu. First-time users should be able to use your dazzling new app as easily as an app they’ve used for years. Custom application development may bring in new features, but customers should be able to use them without a walk-through.
Excellent Search Functions
Get your customers where they need to go as quickly as possible. This is especially important for businesses with multiple locations or a wide variety of products. A search bar is essential for any app, but the more helpful the search function is, the more at ease customers will feel with your business. Try incorporating auto-complete options, similar product suggestions, and other assist functions. No one wants to feel stupid, and pulling up a search that gets no results is frustrating.
An app is a tool, but the best apps always feel like a game. If a customer wants to order a pizza, let them use drop down menus and tabs to create a virtual pizza. Let them see what they’re making as they order. The more hands-on a customer’s app experience is, the more tangible the memory of your business and product will be. This is a major advantage of custom application development, which gives you an unlimited range of possibilities for interactive menus and screens.
Seamless Shopping Experience
Many businesses today are strictly limited to e-commerce. If you use both a storefront and an e-commerce system, it’s imperative to create a seamless shopping experience. The look of your website should match the décor of your store and vice versa. Options and services available in the physical store should also be available online. This goes beyond selling the same products. If your customers have questions they could get an associate to answer in a store. Online chat or query options should be clearly marked in the application.
This point shouldn’t surprise anyone. Although web apps are still on the rise, mobile applications dominate the market. If you design a web application for your e-commerce site, it absolutely has to be compatible with mobile devices. Customers will expect your web services to work on their phones and tablets. Failing to meet this expectation will result in lost revenue and disappointed customers.
E-commerce sales strategies aren’t very different from storefront techniques. Rather than training employees to use these techniques, however, apps must be coded in advance to push additional sales. Offering a menu bar of suggested products is a simple way to encourage additional sales, but custom software development allows a tremendous range of creative sales strategies.
Customer Retention Features
A sale is great, but a returning customer is better. To keep your shoppers’ attention, you need to offer something beyond a series of menus and a shopping cart. Use your app to invite customers to join newsletters with exclusive sales and discounts. Encourage and reward feedback. Use your app to not just make sales, but to interact with customers.
Without speed and efficiency, all of the other points on this list are useless. Your app must work well with a range of devices, and work quickly, in order to make sales. When a customer comes to your app, they should be able to go from the main screen to the final checkout confirmation effortlessly. E-commerce shoppers want efficiency and ease of use as much or more than they want your actual product.
Support from the Custom Application Development Team
Last but not least, use a custom application development service you can turn to if things go wrong. Services that offer emergency support and regular maintenance can make all the difference. After all, a downed application only costs you money.
Building a consumer application is a lot of work, but if the job is done well, customers will barely notice. That’s how it should be. A consumer needs to move through the app quickly, enjoy the shopping experience, and remember your business for future use.