6 reflections on the optimization of mobile applications within the framework of a unified customer journey

As mobile applications become an increasingly important means of involving customers with brands, companies need to understand their customers' journey on this channel.

Indeed, record numbers of downloads lose their meaning when the problems of using a tourism site prevent hotel bookings from succeeding or a complex registration process, on a betting site online, discourages customers from registering and betting.
Mobile applications have matured and this channel becomes strategic; providing a relevant user experience becomes of paramount importance. If, for a brand, the use of an application is aimed at targeting a specific aspect of the customer experience or its journey - from product research to after-sales service - on the client side, this application is just an additional way to choose the brand. Thus, a bad customer experience via a mobile application can undoubtedly have repercussions on the customer's perception of the brand on all sales channels.
Mobile applications have become an essential channel of the sales path and companies must therefore implement an optimization strategy that takes into account all aspects of the customer experience in order to improve their business performance.
Reflection n ° 1: The Apps are progressively at the heart of the commitment and the customer journey
A recent study by ComScore found that access by mobile applications accounted for 47% of Internet traffic and surpassed traditional Internet access, which now accounted for only 45% of traffic in the United States. For the first time, Gartner predicts that purchases made via mobile applications will increase from 4.589 in 2013 to 36.881 billion in 2017, an increase of more than 700%. These forecasts show the growing importance of mobile applications in the development of e-commerce.
But how do these applications integrate into a global strategy of commitment and improvement of the customer experience?
To date, it is difficult to genuinely assess the value of applications on a company's turnover. Most companies have developed a single client application and are generally limited to measuring the volume of downloads. The development of an application is often carried out in silos and under the responsibility of the ISD rather than the Marketing Department.
This development is rarely the subject of a strategic and multi-channel reflection on the customer experience.
Reflection n ° 2: companies must optimize their mobile applications in the same way as web and mobile websites
Mobile applications, however, are on the way to becoming a critical element of the customer journey. Their rapid emergence, as a full-fledged marketing tool to attract and target customers, requires a much more strategic approach. Organizations need to be able to evaluate and refine the ease of use of their applications to determine why high volumes of application downloads do not translate into customer accounts or conversions; and therefore understand the impact of this channel on the overall perception of the brand by the consumer.
Quite simply, companies must apply the same rigor to the optimization of their mobile applications as they do for the internet channel and mobile sites if they want to obtain convincing results.
Reflection n ° 3: mobile applications are no longer limited to a purely marketing role
Currently, the role of mobile applications in the customer's lifecycle is split equally between online search, transaction and after-sales service. They are used to enhance loyalty, improve communications and service, and therefore increasingly support everyday operations. Some sectors are more advanced in this area.
In some areas applications offer customers another way to manage their accounts and their main goal is not to allow marketing to win new customers; conversely, companies in the tourism and gaming sector are actively exploring all the possibilities of this channel to attract new customers, develop their activities and improve the customer journey.
Reflection n ° 4: poorly optimized application = poorly engaged clients
Nevertheless, users have a high reactivity to the applications and forgive less and less a bad experience. This figure is highly significant for companies seeking to use applications in order to improve customer engagement: only 16% of users connect more than twice to a failing application. Another interesting feature is that users expect mobile applications to be much faster, with an average loading time of 2 seconds *.
For businesses that want to exploit mobile applications - clearly preferred to the mobile site by the consumer - to improve engagement and enhance brand value, applications that are poorly performing or that have dream.
Reflection 5: Improving the customer experience on mobile applications is possible and even recommended
To date, very few optimization tests have been performed on mobile applications because they are too difficult to perform. Now that tests can be integrated directly into application development, an increasing number of companies are using optimization techniques such as A / B tests to understand and improve this type of experience.
This is the case, for example, of a company in the tourism sector that has a booking application to improve user-friendliness and boost its download-to-sales ratio. The question is not simply to reposition the "search" button above the waterline to prevent the client from scrolling through the screen. No. This is done by performing A / B tests on the color, size and location of the "Search" button in order to facilitate the customer journey and the achievement of the primary goal of increasing 'hotel.
Another significant example in the online gaming industry where registration is mandatory before a customer can bet or play the casino; in this case, A / B testing of the submission of the registration form (eg one, two, three pages) is essential to create a favorable environment for transforming visitors who upload, application, in active clients.
In the future, as companies build more and more sophisticated applications on this channel, it will become essential to test new content variants and new functionalities before they launch to understand the client ' application and impact on its journey.
Reflection n ° 6: mobile applications do not replace websites, they are a key and measurable process of the client's journey
The role of mobile applications has changed. it simply boils down to reproducing the content of a website; applications are an essential part of key business processes such as booking and payment; and may contain proprietary brand loyalty content. In fact, better understanding of application performance becomes mandatory: analysis and reporting must be much more sophisticated and linked to "global strategic objectives".
Focusing solely on downloads and content consultations as key performance indicators does not make sense. On the contrary, performance must be measured by registrations, bookings or increase in turnover. What becomes decisive is the ability to take these indicators into account, not only within the "mobile application" channel, but also globally. In summary, assess how the performance of this channel affects the rest of the business activity.
This point is fundamental, as this channel is becoming an essential component for marketing, while remaining one channel among others. Organizations need a clear business-to-business strategy that covers all aspects of the customer's journey, including mobile internet and mobile applications to achieve improved business results, and offer a consistent and efficient customer experience.