Omega Mobile: Mobile Experience Design Blog
We’re Passionate about Mobile User Interfaces, Experiences, Interactivity, and more!

Archive for June, 2011

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A recent report by RSR Research showed 87% of retailers find mobile apps are valuable for driving traffic to their physical store. That’s up from 67% last year. Mobile sites can enhance the in-store shopping experience by offering consumers a number of incentives for interacting with a product and making a purchase decision.

Mobile Retail Strategies

Getting value from your store’s mobile marketing site or app requires smart mobile design and strategy that fulfills consumer’s needs while shopping. Here are some ways to maximize your mobile site or app design so that it results in greater retail sales.

Create easy access to reviews.

Customers want to know how others liked or disliked a product. Posting reviews on your mobile site or appis one of the top things you can do to expedite consumer decision-making.

Allow consumers to lookup product availability and shelf location.

Consumers don’t like wasting time searching your store for a particular item. If your mobile design incorporates features that enable them to look up if your store carries a product and where it’s located, you’ll be more likely to make that sale. For example, I was in Target looking to buy a toy. The clerk didn’t know if the store carried the particular toy I was looking for.

I checked the mobile site and verified that the toy was in stock. The site even showed me what aisle to find the toy—highly convenient. Essentially, you want to think of your mobile site or app as a virtual retail assistant with all the answers.

Allow login and interaction with digital accounts.

When consumers login to your mobile site or mobile while at your physical retail locations, you can suggest additional items based on what they are purchasing as well as their user profile. Think batteries and accessories. You can also give these consumers specific incentives to drive other purchases. Mobile sites and apps designed for an integrated retail experience help you increase the size of your baskets.

Aid their memory.

Sometimes consumers want to save product information so they can purchase that product later. Design your mobile site or app so that it allows them to sign up for research later or create a wishlist.

Facilitate feedback.

Your mobile retail website should make it easy for consumers to forward product information to a friend and request an opinion. The simpler this process is, the more likely you are to make a sale.

Maximize QR codes.

QR codes bridge the physical good at the retail point-of-purchase to the digital. I scanned a plant’s QR code while in Home Depot. I was taken to a mobile web page with supplemental information that couldn’t have been shown on the plant. The site provided the info I needed to make a purchase—which I did. QR codes simplify the ability to get information about a product instantly.

Essentially, a good mobile site or app supplements the in-store shopping experience in ways that drive more sales. Instead of digital store versus physical store, you get a blending of the two for the ultimate retail experience.

One of the questions I get asked most frequently is what are the best ways to promote a mobile app. In my last post, Good Mobile User Interface Design Leads to App Love, I cited a recent statistic regarding user recommendations. The article stated that 53% of app users discover their apps through recommendations from friends. Because the percentage is so high, I couldn’t stop thinking about ways companies might take advantage of word-of-mouth marketing by making it possible to recommend apps from within an app.

blog post user recomendations

Ways to attract user recommendations:

Tell a Friend

Tell a Friend functionality allows a user to spread information about your mobile branded app via email. App stores frequently make use of this functionality to promote mobile apps, but you rarely see it integrated into an app itself. Doing so is advantageous because you make it easy for app users to recommend your app and deliver your crafted marketing messages to their friends.

Tell a friend works by initiating a pre-populated email on a user’s mobile device. Plus when you incorporate Tell A Friend into an app’s home or about screen, or as infrequent popups, users enjoying an app can share it instantly. This increases the chances that users will recommend your app, and with 53% of app users getting their apps from recommendations, Tell a Friend may be the only marketing program you need.

blog post promoting apps sharing facebook

Just Ask

A simple request to share an app can go a long way toward meeting your marketing goals. For it to be a success, the request should be direct, polite and give the user the ability to opt out forever or be reminded later. The last thing you want to do when advertising a mobile app is to annoy the user. Note the screenshot I took of a desktop app that does this very well. The app makes a request, explains why it’s making a request, and then thanks the user. At no point does the request feel like a sales pitch. Just Asking works especially well with freemium versions of mobile apps.

Use Social Networks

Leverage your app users’ existing relationships by allowing them to forward info about your app to a social network like Facebook or Twitter. You can specify the exact message you want spread along with a graphic. That message could be about the app, a hi-score with the user’s name, a coupon or discount, etc.

The great advantage here is that rather than recommend your app to one friend at a time, social network sharing functionalities let users recommend your app or messaging to all their friends at the same time. With each user who forwards to Facebook or Twitter, you reach hundreds of potential users with messages about the value of your app.

Reward Users

Don’t forget to reward users for spreading information about your app or message. When you give users a reason to share, they will. If your app is a game, offer extra levels, special characters or additional graphics they can’t get elsewhere. If you’re a retail store, provide them with a discount. Your reward for offering a reward will be worthwhile.

Make Recommendations Part of Your Mobile Strategy

Ensure your apps success by making recommendations a part of your marketing mobile app strategy. During planning, require the integration of promotions. When designing the mobile user interface, create a user-friendly flow with integrated sharing functions.

Lastly, create the best user experience possible. No one shares a bad app, so make yours the best possible and watch the word spread. With built-in features for recommendations, sharing a mobile app with friends becomes infinitely easier—which makes marketing mobile apps easier as well.

A recent post from Mobile Insider, called The Path to App-iness, discusses the various factors that affect an app’s success. Incorporating the findings into your mobile user interface can really boost your app’s popularity. Basically, if your app isn’t easy to use and doesn’t offer valuable content, then users are likely to abandon it.

blog post app love 011 Good Mobile User Interface Design Leads to App Love

The statistics come from a study conducted by MTV Networks and presented this month at the OMMA Mobile Show in New York City. When designing an app, you’ll want to consider the following:

  • 79% of users stick with an app because of its ease
  • 53% find apps through recommendations
  • 55% say having fresh content is still important in making an app among a user’s favorites
  • 38% dump deleted apps within 3 weeks
  • 55% of those who deleted an app did so because they found a better alternative

What these numbers mean is that when you’re designing a branded app or creating one for advertising purposes, you have a few slim chances to make your app memorable enough so people use it, keep it and recommend it to their friends. When designing your app feature set and mobile user interface, pay close attention to your app’s core functionality and core uses during the design phase. Good mobile design is not an after-thought. It’s as integral to the success of your app as your content and the features. Create easy and intuitive mobile user interfaces. Know the competition and make your app better.

A second criteria for creating a popular app is fresh content. More than half of app users say updated, relevant content is what leads them to keep an app. When you’re designing mobile user interfaces, make sure you can quickly change and add content, and incorporate a way to notify users when new content is posted. You’ll also want to let users know how you’ll be updating content and when. This way they’ll be more receptive to your app and less likely to delete it.

There are hundreds of thousands of apps out there. Most are not worth the free download. People are less forgiving on mobile and, as the above stats show, are willing to delete your app within three weeks. Yet if you invest time and thought into your mobile app design, you’ll have satisfied mobile app users who will remain loyal to your brand, recommend your app, and spread your message