Checklist Item #4: Match Possible Features to Objectives
Once you’ve considered how an app would serve your target market, it’s time to start matching up goals with potential features. It can be very tempting to throw every bell and whistle into an app, but doing so can be distracting to your audience. Instead, focus on key elements that meet the specific objectives of your app.
The first step is to outline the most-used features from your website. While mobile users are different from web users, your customers won’t want to have to go from app to web to find key features that they’re used to having, so replicate your most important and most frequently used features in your app.
For example, if you’re looking to meet customer service objectives, you may want to consider in-app chat, allowing users easy access to assistance. You can also incorporate one-click contact forms for customers to reach out and get help.
If your list of objectives includes marketing (and it probably should), you’ll want to include push notifications to alert customers of special deals, offers, or coupons. Recent research shows that push notifications improve engagement, retention, and ROI. For example, A&E experienced a 200% surge in user engagement by using push notifications. Push notifications can reduce churn rates by multiplying your retention rate by up to three times.
Geolocation-based push notifications will let your customers know there’s a deal or offer when they walk by your store or location. Remember to go back to your target market on this one. Whereas an older audience will be more likely to find location-based push notifications disturbing, millennials are less likely to be bothered by the “creep” factor of geolocation marketing.
Making your app social will drive word-of-mouth endorsements and user engagement – essentially, free marketing. When users can share a purchase or post an item asking for feedback from friends and family, you’ll gain an instant boost in visibility.
Do you want your app to act as an ecommerce engine, allowing customers to buy straight from the app? Think of creative, outside-the-box ways to encourage interactivity with your products. The IKEA app allows users to use 3D and “augmented reality” to place furniture items in their own rooms.
Don’t forget analytics – making sure your app delivers intelligence to your doorstep is a critical piece for assessing future steps. In fact, gathering data for future decision-making should be one of your primary objectives.
Having a wish list of features and ideas that are driven by specific goals before you start talking with app designers will help you to avoid the temptation toward overkill and focus the conversation on your objectives. Once you get into the dialogue with designers, it’s easy to get swept away with possibility.
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