Mobile commerce is something that we discussed some time ago. The newer the mobile versions are, the more features there are. A single small palm-sized phone consumes more than half a day of a person's life every day. Everyone is glued to their mobile screens most of the time. One can't deny the fact that every beep, every sound they receive increases their curiosity to take a look at the screen to know who the message is from and what the message is. Interest builds up every minute until one opens the inbox. Such is the situation, and more additional features and applications are coming in ready to sit on the mobile screens of the users. All sizes of businesses are launching their mobile commerce apps nowadays.
I am curious, how long? How long an application is going to stay on a screen. If every brand thinks of building a killer app to reserve a particular place on a mobile screen of their customers, I am surprised to know about the super-extensive memory capacity of a gadget the customers use.
It's so common.
Moreover, if a brand or website insisted on me downloading their app some time in the past, I was under an impression that they are some superior type online store who own an App and they must be so good in all terms of their business. Such Wowing-awing moments lasted for a very short time. Things are changing. Everything we saw as an exception is so common now. Everything we considered extraordinary is so ordinary now. A Mobile app is so common as well. Having an app is an added advantage if a customer wants to have it on their screen for easy access, but it is not the only benefit, in my opinion.
Insistence is annoying
I recently tried to access one of the famous fashion stores of India. I was shocked to see them being so rude to take me to a page where I was literally ordered to download their app. Download-our-app-or-get-lost type of treatment, WOW! And my reaction after that was as- if-visiting-their-Webstore-is-a-big-deal-to-me. If something gives me no choice but to download, I leave. Customers love to explore on their own. Shopping is intuitive for the majority. If their natural way of exploration is disturbed by such annoying insistence of a Webstore, they won't visit the store again. Period.
Unused Mobile apps
I discussed this topic with a few of my friends in a social group. I asked them about the list of mobile commerce apps they use. The most familiar names and a few new names popped up and it was not much of a surprise to me. I asked them to spend a few seconds to check how frequent they use those apps. As I expected, they haven't opened those most popular apps for several months. Of course, there were exceptions, but not with considerable frequency. A customer downloading a mobile commerce app to his gadget is not the end of the marketing success. It depends on how frequent the app is used. We buy a product in an online store, we are so impressed by their service, and we download their app just as a token of appreciation. It doesn't mean that we will be using it frequently. And that's how it works for me. I am a shopaholic, in fact.
A Responsive Website
In my experience, I felt better being on a mobile website than on a mobile app. A better mobile website gives the shopping experience an app could give me. Why should I reserve a special space for a mobile app when there is a perfectly working mobile website that doesn't consume my mobile space? The best responsive websites that could adapt to screens of any sizes and any gadgets is all businesses want. The technology that topped the must-have lists of the customers is not on the top anymore. Needs of the customers change. The craze for things slackens in the course of time. It's good to treat mobile commerce apps as an additional business tools. The shopping behaviour of customers tends to change every now and then and it's highly impossible to predict them. Being a smart player in the industry gives an edge over others who are running on the same track.
How to make it Work?
The mobile commerce app is not dying. In fact, apps are built in large numbers than before. Hold your horses! It means mobile commerce apps are not only for big businesses but also for small businesses. Now everyone is into it. So it's high time to think about how to make your mobile commerce app work as it did some time ago.
- Stop forcing the customers to download the app. Show them on your landing page that you do have a mobile app option that gives a better browsing experience and rewards. Advertise about the app option with a tone slightly below the normal. The louder and overwhelming advertisement about your mobile App may intimidate some customers. At the same time don't make the customers who come to download your app search for it at the end of some page with a smaller font. Put your mind into it and work out how to display it in a manner to convince the visitors of all types in the best way.
- There is a tool to optimize your app to get discovered on App store searches. Get discovered in app stores to earn the trust of the visitors. Play an honest game about it. That works better always.
- Don't forget to add a feedback form. Let the happy customers review the app registering their personal shopping experience and thoughts. The more the positive reviews are, the better the new customers they bring in.
- Tweak them gently about the special features and offers available for app users. Simply explain to them about the benefits of having the app on their mobile phone.
We built an app assuming that customers would use them forever. The dreams and hopes are always better when they are inside our head. Once we put them out into action, reality has a different lesson to teach us. Starting a game is far easier, but as the game gains momentum, everyone has to play harder to reach success. Now the game is on. Play the tricks smartly to keep the scores high. Good Luck!