Why Mobile Apps are the Latest Customer Experience Battleground

Lauren Burgess
Written by Lauren Burgess
April 09, 2019

How much time do you spend on your cell phone in a single day? Two hours? Five? More? Mobile devices have become part of the fabric of our daily lives. We use them to manage our time, run our businesses, navigate the world, make purchases and more. The 2018 edition of the Global Mobile Consumer Survey from Deloitte found that we now check our smartphones an average of 52 times per day. It’s likely to be even higher for millennials and Gen Z. With 87% of the U.S. population now owning smartphones (an estimated 270 million Americans), it’s safe to say that mobile devices are officially taking over the world.

The Rise of the Mobile App

When mobile devices were first introduced, what we now consider apps were marketed simply as features. It wasn’t until 2008 when Apple introduced the AppStore that developers from all over the world could begin offering software downloads that didn’t come as standard with the device. It was Steve Jobs himself in 1983, six months prior to the launch of the first Apple Macintosh, who said that it, “would be like a record store, where software could be downloaded over phone lines.” By 2021, almost 40 years later, it’s predicted that there will be 352.9 billion app downloads.

“90% of all our time spent on mobile devices is within apps”

Apps dominate the time we spend on our cell phones. Studies indicate that as much as 90% of all our time on mobile devices is spent within apps. Looking at app usage by category, we can see significant growth in many key business sectors.

Retailers in particular should be encouraged to see an incredible 54% year-over-year session growth in shopping apps between 2016 and 2017. Financial services companies are also seeing huge opportunities when it comes to mobile app usage.

Why Your Business Needs a Mobile App

It’s been common knowledge for a while now that any website not properly optimized for mobile devices is seriously missing out on conversion opportunities. After all, it’s estimated that around 57% of all internet traffic comes from smartphones and tablets.

What businesses have been slower to wake up to is the huge revenue opportunities locked in apps. The fact is, mobile apps go a long way towards closing the deal with consumers:

  • Shoppers view 4.2x more products per session within apps, compared to mobile sites
  • Mobile apps have a conversion rate 3x higher than mobile websites
  • Compared to desktop sessions, sessions in apps achieve 1.5x the number of conversions

Millennials especially have embraced in-app shopping with open arms. 61% of them say they download retail apps and 58% stated that they prefer shopping through apps than on the web. Soon, we can expect to see website traffic shrink even further as e-commerce businesses and beyond shift towards apps to accommodate changing consumer expectations.

So, what is it that makes apps so great? Here’s a few of the biggest reasons:

1. Apps provide engagement opportunities that aren’t available elsewhere

Emails have become easy to ignore. It’s not uncommon to see inboxes with tens of thousands of unread messages. Much harder to ignore, however, are push notifications on mobile devices. For many people, the allure of an unread cell phone notification is all but irresistible.

Using push notifications gives you the opportunity to re-engage customers and provide exclusive app offers. You can also personalize them to further entice people back to your app.

2. Brand awareness is increased

Wouldn’t it be great if you could get your brand’s name and logo in front of your target customers every day? How about 52 times per day? That’s exactly what you get when a customer has downloaded your app. Every time they open their phone and browse through their apps, they’re being exposed to your brand.

If you’ve been in business for a while, you will have likely heard about the Rule of 7 – the idea that a prospect needs to “hear” an advertiser’s message at least seven times before they’ll commit to purchase. With apps, you can reach your customer far more than that every single day.

3. Smooth, personalized check-outs and reduced load times

Mobile apps retain user data far more effectively than websites. Because of this, you can enable one-click checkouts, auto-filled forms and more. Loading times are also greatly reduced, and as we all know, customers do not have a reputation for their patience.

A Mobile App Your Customers Will Love

Enterprises without a mobile app are missing out on huge amounts of potential revenue and leaving themselves at risk of being surpassed by the competition. Unfortunately, just having an app won’t grant you access to all the benefits above. You need an app that provides a brilliant customer experience. To deliver this, you need to have insight into how customers are engaging with your app and where they’re experiencing frustration.

With the introduction of Decibel for Apps, this is easier than ever. Decibel for Apps allows you to monitor, benchmark and improve customer experience on your apps. It includes our propriety Digital Experience Score (DXS®), which quantifies every customer experience, an end-to-end view of customer journeys, and the automatic surfacing of the experience issues having the greatest impact on customers.

Decibel for Apps helps you:

  • Measure experiences across every digital touchpoint
  • Quickly identify errors, pain-points and opportunities for improvement
  • Quantify and benchmark customer experience
  • Empower UX designers to perfect the app interface
  • Boost conversions, increase revenue and win your customers’ loyalty

Negative digital experiences of any kind are a huge turn-off for customers, but with apps it can seriously damage the perception of your brand. While most customers won’t come directly to you with complaints about their experience, many will have no qualms with giving your app an abysmal rating on the App Store. Get ahead of it now and commit to designing a brilliant app that will turn fickle shoppers into loyal fanatics.

Topics: Apps, Digital Experience, Product
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