App Business

What makes a successful mobile app? What factors increase conversion on mobile?

There are a lot of little factors that build up to a really successful mobile app, but the most important aspect to focus on is the user. The app stores have done a great job of creating transparency between the users and the brands, communicating the customer’s wants and needs to app developers. At SurveyStud, Inc, we may represent the brands when we are creating their app, but it’s ultimately the brand’s responsibility to understand their customer and determine how they can provide value to that customer. More than any other platform, mobile is a highly consumable channel, so brands are missing out if they are not giving their user the best mobile experience.

Creating a native experience that is separate from the mobile site is one of the best ways to ensure conversion. Among the brands that embrace native mobile, we consistently see their apps having 2–5x the per-user conversion rate compared to the accompanying mobile sites. However, this is not to say that apps are superior in importance. They don’t work against each other, but rather serve a different audience. Mobile sites are for the casual or unfamiliar customer, while apps are for the most loyal customers and those looking for a more convenient or personal way to interact with a brand. Brands that mimic or frame the mobile site and call it an app are not satisfying the desire of those key users.

Conversion factors for customers

Additionally, it’s important to use what the device and software gives you. A common misconception in the mobile world is that you have to create these crazy features and do something that’s never been done before, but the success truly comes from the actual products. If you understand that your products are your bread and butter, this platform will offer the best and fastest way for your customer to consume your products. In the end, don’t dilute the content in any way, stick to the basics, give the customers what they need and create a beautiful native experience.

In order for a mobile app to truly succeed, you must have a customer engagement strategy in place. Be sure that every new user fully understand the value of your app with a comprehensive onboarding strategy. Focus on keeping your users engaged with your app with personalized push notifications. When users truly enjoy engaging with your app, it will be successful.

At SurveyStud, we are always trying to gather user feedback and improve the app experience, but at the same time, we want to be exploring new variations and better ways of doing things. This is where our growth team comes in. The team will gather feedback from user interviews, the app store, and feedback forms on the app, as well as track press reports and compile analytics on what people tend to use the most. Every week, they take all of that information and turn it into real features and functionalities that users are demanding. The road to validation is much faster this way because we are following a user need, and the risk of failure is much lower. Additionally, by following the guidelines that Apple and Android provide to us, we can give the users something they understand and are familiar with, rather than trying to be too unique and creating an experience they won’t like.

Push notifications are one great way to personally communicate with customers in a manner that can’t be duplicated on a desktop. Push is therefore one of the best ways to retain customers and increase loyalty, and brands who aren’t using push will notice their app usage declining over time. With m-commerce, we always have to continue to personalize and communicate with the user.

What advice do you have for companies thinking about creating a mobile app?

My advice for companies is to give their app the time it really deserves and to never treat it as something that can be launched and then forgotten. This is a tool that is going to build relationships and engagement with customers in a deeper way than ever before, and it’s the most important tool you have to show how much you care about your customers. A mobile or desktop site can pass as being a generic, identical experience for every user, but when the app is not personalized to them, they take notice and stop coming back. Take your app seriously and be ready to learn how to improve every day.

It’s an extremely exciting time to be a part of the mobile space. The app market is growing rapidly, new tools and innovations are being created every day, and more and more users are discovering the brilliance of today’s smartphones. If your company has ever considered developing a mobile app in order to grow your brand and engage with your loyal customers, now is certainly the time to start. You won’t regret it.