How to Give Customers The Best Mobile App Experience

Mar 9, 2023 10:00:00 AM
13 min read

What’s around the size of a dime, but contributes to hundreds of billions of dollars in sales each year? Here’s a hint: It’s probably on the same device you’re reading this article from right now.

Cartoon SmartphoneMobile apps have exploded over the last few years, and it doesn’t appear they’ll be slowing down any time soon. Shopping in particular has expanded rapidly, becoming the fastest-growing mobile app category with 54% year-over-year growth.

With m-commerce expected to reach over $710 billion in 2025 (Source: Statista), it’s pretty clear that mobile shopping is far more than a trend but rather, a way of life. And in today’s fast-paced world, where both technology and customer demands are advancing every day, delivering an engaging, customer-centric mobile app experience is crucial to keeping shoppers happy—and coming back over and over again.

Below are some helpful tips, so you can give your customers the best mobile app experience possible.

1. Design a user-friendly interface.

Person giving thumbs up to computer, computer giving thumbs up backYour user interface (UI) is the first thing shoppers will experience when they open your e-commerce app. If it’s overly complicated or creates obstacles along the way, you run the risk of losing customers. Even something as seemingly harmless as a link being too small to click on could prevent up to  67% of mobile shoppers from continuing.

Pay attention to spacing.

What can you do to ensure your customers have a positive experience the moment they open your mobile shopping app?

Have a straightforward design.

Your mobile app should be laid out in a way that makes it easy for customers to find what they’re looking for. When designing your interface, choose a path that allows shoppers to navigate intuitively by providing a menu that’s easy to understand. Remember, the fewer clicks users have to make, the better.

Keep the color scheme simple.

Packing in too many colors can make your mobile app look like it’s tipsy rather than well-thought-out. Instead, opt for something that’s less fussy, like a monochromatic or analogous scheme throughout your entire app.  

Use legible fonts.

The screen size of a mobile device is a lot smaller than a computer monitor or tablet. In order to ensure text is readable on mobile devices, choose a clean font that is well-spaced.

Person with curious expression using magnifying glassAdd visual cues.

Buttons, icons, images, and other design elements are great ways to help your shoppers navigate your app effortlessly. Just make sure to add only what’s necessary to avoid clutter.

Include a search bar.

Nothing can feel more frustrating than wanting to look for something, but not having the ability to do so. Adding a search bar or icon eliminates this annoyance and allows your customers to find products quickly and efficiently.

Provide relevant filters.

Offering popular filter options such as price, size, and color will not only help customers narrow down their search results even faster, but lets them feel more in control of their shopping experience.

Make sure it’s compatible.

Having all of the bells and whistles needed for an awesome UI is pointless if your app doesn’t work across mobile operating systems, devices, and screen sizes, so make sure to test this out before you go live.

2. Assess your app for speed and performance.

Man running with laptop and coffee. He has a speech bubble above his head with a lightning bolt. A poorly designed mobile shopping app isn’t the only way to kill conversions. If customers find themselves unable to load screens quickly, they may walk their fingers over to a competitor. In fact, it only takes three seconds before 57% of customers will abandon a page that hasn’t loaded yet.

In order to prevent this mishap from happening on your app and to deliver optimal speed, stability, and responsiveness, monitor app performance regularly and fix issues as they arise. If your pages aren’t loading fast enough, consider adjusting the following pain points for smoother transitions.

Optimize images.

Reducing the size of images and videos is an easy way to speed up load times. Your best bet? Avoid using any large images to begin with, or at minimum, compress them. It’s also helpful to limit the use of animations, as they eat up a lot of data.

Cut down on HTTP requests.

Combining multiple files into a single file is a great way to significantly speed up your app’s load times. 

Tip: CSS sprites can also be used for in-app images.

Use storage data caching.

It may seem like common sense, but double-check your cache settings to ensure you're storing as much data as possible, so you'll then be able to retrieve it at a much faster rate. This can translate to much shorter page transitions and load times.

3. Inject some personalization elements.

By now, it’s evident that personalization is pivotal to your e-commerce brand’s success. Fail to make your customers feel special, and they’ll likely exit without saying goodbye. But give them an experience that makes them feel like you've tailor-made it just for them, and you’ll have more loyalty than Amazon does on Prime Day (okay, that might be a stretch).

Person interacting with a widget that has appeared on his smartphone screen.Like your e-commerce website, customers should be served a tailored shopping experience the moment they arrive on your app. The best way to achieve this is by gathering as much first- and second-party data as they'd like to share, including personal data like age, gender, and location, and shopping habits, such as browser and purchase history, and wish list items.

Don’t worry, this information can all come directly from the user’s on-site and in-app actions, not third-party cookies. And since 73% of shoppers expect brands to understand their unique expectations, having this data is key to giving them what they want.

How you choose to personalize your mobile app is up to you. However, around here, we believe, the more the better, which is why we recommend trying these personalization strategies for the ultimate mobile app experience.

Personalize the search results.

Since you have each customer’s search history, display products at the top of the search results that reflect their interests. It’s an easy way to make them feel like you know their needs immediately.

Personalize the pages.

Happy woman shopperTo really appeal to shoppers, showcase recently viewed items, special offers, and other products that reflect their interest on the home page. On product pages, provide personalized recommendations of items you think they’ll like, based on their browsing and purchase history.

If you’re new to the game and don’t know where to begin, don’t sweat it. There are lots of valuable AI personalization tools out there (like Granify!) that can collect this data for you and then use it to tailor recommendations for you.

Personalize the offers.

Ever get a discount from a store that felt like it was made just for you? There’s a good chance it was. Offering promotions based on shopper preferences is a no-brainer way to incentivize customers to make a purchase on your app.

Personalize the support.

Oh, AI technology, here you go again! Chatbots are a super effective way to incorporate some personalization, by helping provide personalized recommendations based on the customer's shopping history and specific questions. And what’s not cool about that?

Did You Know: You can even send personalized push notifications to customers for new products, sales, or when you have an item you think your customer will love!

4. Make Your Checkout Quick and Safe.

Here’s a not-so-fun fact: More than 80% of mobile carts are still abandoned (Boooo). Fortunately, mobile shoppers still spend twice as much as other customers (yay!).

Now that your emotions are all over the place, what can you do to get more shoppers to complete their purchases during checkout? It all comes down to three things: time, options, and security. Let’s “unbag” this a bit more.

The checkout process should take as little time as possible.

Shopper with Cart - smallerA fast and secure checkout process is a must-have for any mobile app. The faster your customers can buy what they want, the more likely they’ll actually buy it.

For the optimal checkout experience, implement autofill fields for easier customer input of their personal and payment information. Even better, offer one-click checkout, which allows shoppers to bypass the usual checkout requirements by having their transactions processed using the credentials they already have on file.

There should be a variety of payment options.

E-commerce brands have plenty of payment gateways available to them—and your customers know this. That’s why providing different options is important.   

Cartoon credit cardYou’ll likely know which payment options are the most popular among your existing customer base, but when in doubt, try to include other mobile wallets like PayPal, Apple Pay and Google Pay.

If you really want to impress your customers, include Buy Now, Play Later (BNPL), which allows customers to pay for items in instalments—and is currently used by over 360 million shoppers worldwide.

All personal information should be protected to the umpteenth degree.

Any time a customer places an order online, they want to know everything has gone smoothly. Rather than having them second-guess whether their transaction was secure, use payment options that are fully verified and SSL encrypted. Add these safety seals to your checkout page so customers can see you're protected.

Another super-effective way to safeguard your customer’s payment information is through two-factor authentication (2FA). This process requires users to provide an additional form of verification, such as fingerprint scanning or entering an SMS code before they can complete their purchase. Finally, provide order tracking so that shoppers know they’ll be able to track their order after it's made.

Related: The Value of Easy E-Commerce Checkout

5. Offer Prompt Customer Support.

Man frustrated with computerHere’s another fact that’s on the not-great-news side of reality: According to Emplifi, more than 86% of online shoppers leave a brand after only two bad customer experiences. Translate this to your e-commerce app, and that means there’s not a lot of wiggle room to get things right the first time.

But alas, hope isn’t lost, thanks to advances in technology and some well-trained customer support associates. The main objective is to make sure your customers are well taken care of at all times. Deliver this, and you’ll be on your way to building trust and confidence.

Apps can include a wide range of support options. Our recommendation? Include a bit of everything to cater to all of your shoppers’ varying needs. Live chat can be used to get personalized solutions, while live messaging services with customer agents can help with more specific problems. Other options that should be available on your app are a contact number and email address. If you really want to go all out, provide an FAQ section that answers questions to commonly asked questions.

Whatever options you choose, always remember to:

Respond quickly to customer inquiries.

Whether it’s through email or over the app, never keep your customers waiting for a response. The longer they go without any resolution, the less likely they’ll still be there when you finally do respond.  

Treat your customers as people, not numbers.

Two people 'hi-fiving'

Sometimes, providing general answers is ok, especially when done through chatbots or other non-human counterparts. But even then, it’s important to remember that each shopper has unique wants and needs. By personalizing your messaging, you’ll be able to show your customers that you care about them, not just potential sales.

Train your support staff.

Every single employee who connects with your customers should be able to provide information and solutions that are both accurate and efficient in a way that makes your shopper feel valued—which can go a long way in developing brand loyalty.

6. Integrate social media with your app.

Social media is to e-commerce what butter is to bread: It’s slightly indulgent, you don’t necessarily need it, but it sure does make it better.

Many online retailers already rely on social media because of its ability to direct more potential customers to their sites. Right now, 4 out of 10 shoppers have made a purchase after being influenced by social media (Source: Intuit). To appeal to these shoppers (and the rest of your customers), seamless integration of social media is essential, and here’s how you can do it:

Cartoon star with smaller green stars radiating off of itProvide easy logins.

The best way to integrate social media integration into your e-commerce mobile app is by allowing shoppers to log in using their social media accounts. This simplifies the registration process and lets you gather valuable data and insights.

Include social media buttons.

Give your customers a chance to share your products on their platforms by adding social buttons on relevant pages on your app, such as product pages.

Tip: You can reverse this (and leverage social proof) by featuring user-generated content on your app, such as photos of your customers using your products.

Use your platforms to drive traffic to your app.

This can include everything from organic product posts and stories to paid ads to influencer collaborations.

Did You Know: When you include social media in your e-commerce strategy, you’re also giving your customers an omnichannel shopping experience. Shoppers can discover a product on a social media page, browse your website for more info, and then complete their purchase on your mobile app.

7. Add functional features.

Now that you have the necessities for your app, it’s time to dress it up. Think smart handbag and chic earrings, not glitter and nine-inch stilettos.

Two cartoon hands reaching out to shakeFeatures that go above and beyond on e-commerce apps allow customers to make informed decisions about their purchases. And when you make it easier for them to get there, you also increase your chances of a sale. Here are some features we recommend to enhance the mobile app shopping experience:

Convenient registration and login.

First-time app users know how tedious registering can be. After typing in all your personal information and creating a new password you hope not to forget, you end up too tired to actually use the app you just signed up for. Instead of forcing your shoppers to schedule a nap mid-registration, opt to scale down on the steps, wherever possible. You can even offer the option of completing some of the information at a later time. Even better? Link their accounts to their email account or social network for an effortless login or registration process.

Feature product reviews.

Here’s a whopper of a number: Over 99.9% of customers read reviews when they shop online! Clearly, reviews and ratings play a huge role in whether a shopper decides to buy something or not. Adding the best-of-the-best to your app’s product pages is one of the most effective forms of social proof you can use. It also adds a level of credibility to your brand by showcasing real customers' opinions about your products.

Make their wishes come true.

Wish lists are a practical yet fun way for shoppers to keep track of items they are interested in. Just make sure to include updates on inventory levels and changes in price, along with the ability for users to view, edit, and delete list items easily from anywhere on the app.

Rocket Blasting Off - SmallIf the App fits…

Creating an A+ customer experience on your m-commerce app can really take your brand to another level. From offering convenience and function to personalization and swift support, an e-commerce app can provide users with a variety of features that make their shopping experience unbelievably enjoyable.

Use the tips we’ve provided to help you fulfill your customer’s needs and increase sales. At the end of the day, it all comes down to understanding what it is your customers want and then delivering it each and every time. Achieve that, and you’ll create a loyal customer base that will return again and again.

Want actionable insights for your e-commerce mobile app?

Man using crystal ballGranify can help enhance your e-commerce brand's mobile app customer experience by delivering personalized, targeted content to shoppers on the go. Reach out to Granify today to learn more about our innovative technology that maximizes profits and delights customers.

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