BY SANDRA GUY: Contributing business-technology writer/Chicago Sun-Times
When it comes to enticing customers to return, who wouldn’t want to claim the kind of sequel victory that Pixar scored with Finding Dory, setting a new opening weekend record for an animated film. What’s the magic in getting fans of the original Finding Nemo to return, 13 years later, with such a splash?
The qualities that endear movie-goers to the blue tang fish who overcomes her memory disorder’s challenges speak to essential aspects of keeping customers coming back: Amazing content, high expectations, and a rewarding experience that’s fun and engaging.
How can you use an app to do the same? Brainstorm the ideas that best fit your audience and consider these examples:
- Don’t gum up busy people’s schedules. Every aspect of the app experience, from download to payment systems to geographic-based alerts to customer service to checkout, should be quick and easy to use.
- Give users easy ways to share their photos, insights and opinions on social media.
- Provide essential tools to make users’ lives easier – one-click access for directions, partner websites, real-time sales alerts, sales-tax calculators and easy re-ordering based on a user’s order history.
- Offer expert, exclusive content. One tourist-advice app provides curated opinions from neighborhood chefs, foodies and even workout club entrepreneurs on the best locally owned restaurants and bars nearby. The results will never parrot those of a Google or Yelp search.
- Keep people coming back for more. The tourist-advice app mentioned above aims to entertain Millennials by staying light and fun. Users pick where they’d splurge from options such as “once in a lifetime experience,” “shopping ‘til I drop,” and “Splurge? Get real. I have kids.”
- Use analytics and CRM systems to drill down into customer behavior so any offers are automatically personalized.
- Find out how users prefer mobile loyalty communications before sending them via app.
Retailers who successfully enable their customers to glide swimmingly through their app experiences stand to realize significant revenue growth, since mobile app users generate 55 percent higher gross revenue than those using mobile websites, Shopgate research reveals. Such a revenue splash will continue to grow, to half of all e-commerce spending from 38 percent today, the research shows. Retailers who keep their customers’ loyalty will enjoy the Dory-like joy of fulfilling a long-sought adventure.