The age of “there’s an app for that” may have come and gone, but the power of the app continues to live on. Nothing is a better conduit for directing users to exactly what they want than apps are, and yet people are less willing to download apps than ever. Two-thirds of smartphone users don’t download any new apps during the average month — how are brands supposed to reach them as effectively as they could before?
As powerful as apps can be, they can be imitated pretty well too. By taking some of the most consequential parts of the app and deploying them across your brand’s digital presence, you can fine-tune the customer experience without demanding an app download along the way. The elegance of the app no longer needs to be hidden behind the wall of the app store. Here’s how you can harness it for your brand:
1. Focus in on Better Mobile Design
Ultimately, apps just work better than websites. They’re cleaner, more legible, and offer a greater number of opportunities for intuitive design than websites do. Despite the historical clunkiness of mobile design, various platforms are starting to appear that seek to rival the streamlined design of apps on smartphone browsers and other platforms. Chief among them is Genesis’s APP-LESS technology, which has clearly demonstrated the same functionality of a mobile application – all loading in a mobile browser. Brands like Unilever, Coca Cola, and Kraft Heinz use this for digital marketing campaigns to reach their targeted shoppers. With the pay-for-performance model of APP-LESS and its other digital solutions, Genesis guarantees immersive brand experiences at an efficient rate
App-like online experiences are more than aesthetically pleasing: they can inspire customers to engage more heavily with your brand. The easier it is to read and learn about your business’s products and services, the more likely your potential customers are to arrive in your sales pipeline heavily informed. No one benefits from top-quality design like your patrons do, so investing in mobile design that resembles the app experience today will net you a more dedicated, better informed customer base tomorrow.
2. Utilize Chatbots for Better Communication
Many brand apps are designed to facilitate a number of processes, with one being chief above all else: establishing a direct line of communication between company and customer. This process may not be easy to achieve on the web, meaning that companies need to go the extra mile in ensuring that any inquiries asked can get answered seamlessly. There’s no better way to go about this than with chatbots, a technology that has gone from prohibitively complex to shockingly easy to implement in just the last few years.
Whether it’s Hubspot’s Conversational AI or Salesforce’s Einstein Bots, marketing services are tumbling over one another to put the latest, most advanced chatbots on the market. What this means for brands is that it is now easier and cheaper than ever before to integrate a highly functional chatbot service into your website, facilitating meaningful communication with a number of your customers. The best chatbots can even allow real humans to step into conversations as well, ensuring that any questions about site navigation can be answered quickly and fully.
3. Get to the Point by Simplifying Your Site
The best apps are, perhaps counterintuitively, the ones with the fewest bells and whistles: designed to do a small number of things and do them exceptionally well. There’s no reason that your business’s online presence can’t reflect those principles too. Some brands create websites that try to be information hubs, shopping outlets, contact centers, and news organizations all at the same time — an admirable goal, but one destined for muddy waters.
Instead of overextending your brand’s site, whittle it down to the bare essentials. Tell your customers exactly what they need to know and give them the links they need to follow in order to get to where they need to be. Let your website be as myopic as your app — anything less and you risk losing your users’ attention.
4. Personalize Content to Reel People In
One of the reasons users value apps so much is the ownership involved: any website they go to is a company’s website, but every app they open is their app. 96% of marketers agree that content personalization is key to developing customer relationships, and this is particularly true in the absence of the app experience. The more personalized content you can include on your website, the more engagement you will see from your usership.
Accessing web cookies can make a world of difference — even something as simple as including relevant ads or pre-loading personal information can go a long way in making your customers feel catered to online. The more ownership a customer can apply to your website, the thinner the lines in between your site and the app.
No website can ever imitate apps perfectly, but the closer they are the better. If every decision you make ultimately benefits the end user, you’re on the path to developing a customer experience that pays dividends down the line.
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