Avoid these Errors in Your Mobile Retail App

Suzi Shopper: Thoughts on business from a consumer’s perspective

Your company has decided to go omnichannel by developing an app for your customers. They’ll be able to earn loyalty points, get personalized offers, shop 24/7, and engage with your brand better than ever. And you’ll get all that insight into your customers’ behaviors and add new dimensions to your analytics.

But, this is a project that will not only require some up-front investment in research and development, but will be ongoing if you do it right.

Here’s how to do it WRONG, based on my experience with an app I’ve been using to eat healthier.

Don’t think about the user experience when you’re designing your app

Have your best customers take it for a test drive before you get too deep in the design stages. In my example, I’m tracking how much water I drink every day. This app tracks by cups consumed, but the guidelines provided by the company are provided in ounces. Great, now I have to do math, and I have to tap for each cup consumed instead of just entering the number.

Additionally, I’m eating at regular intervals and tracking what I’m eating—protein, veggies, fruit, complex carbs. The advice I’ve gotten includes having some protein at every meal and snack; however, the app makes me enter proteins as a custom food for snacks.

Lastly, the app just stops working several times a day. It shuts down completely.

This app was definitely not tested by actual users.

After the first release, don’t worry about improving your app

If you’ve got an app, get feedback. Consistently – constantly! Never not at all. Since I’ve been using this app, for about 2 months now, I’ve not seen any updates, nor is there a mechanism to provide feedback. How can this be?

The bottom line is that this is not a “develop, deploy, and leave it alone” project. Your app will need to provide a way for users to easily give feedback, and you need to respond to these requests. Who will be responsible for vetting, responding and improving upon your app?

The good news (for users, that is)

Guess what? There are many health/eating habits/intake tracking apps out there, so I am trying out some others that will suit me better. This means that if you’re app isn’t working right, consumers can simply search for another that does. With the data showing that retail apps provide a higher ROI than just your mobile responsive website, it’s important that your business gets its mobile app right.

For your app endeavor, you may decide to go with an app program built right into your POS and ERP systems, like LS Retail’s LS Nav.

When you’re ready to make the omnichannel move to your own app, turn to the experts at ArcherPoint Retail.