Computer users accessing the Internet want information at their fingertips, fast. Mobile app users want that, too, plus an emotional and tactile experience. Everyone is not glued to their iPhones and Androids solely for business purposes — the real reason is because the huge variety of mobile apps is its own world of interactive, rewarding fun. They key to creating a mobile app that users find enjoyable enough to interact with regularly is to inject it with experiences they cannot get anywhere else — including your company’s website. Most users are so disappointed when they take the time to download your app and create an account, only to find that it’s a mobile version of your website, and nothing more. They’ve taken the next step with you, so make using your app an insider experience with these must-haves that provide both an emotional and tactile hit:
Offer something in exchange for the time and/or money users spend in-app. Everyone likes to feel like they’re getting something extra. The most common way to do this is to let users accrue spendable points for their purchases. But you can also simply offer recognition in the form of badges or anything users can “collect” for their actions or progress.
Allowing users to interact with their social networking sites via your app actually gives them a plethora of valuable tools. They can share, announce, invite or even brag via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., and advertise for you in the process. You can even combine social media with gamification. For example, hotel and travel sites often give users a sweepstakes entry for reposting the contest on their personal pages.
Most users are getting increasingly comfortable with allowing mobile apps to access their locations in exchange for hyper-relevant information. No one wants spam, useless messages or paltry discounts, so don’t abuse the privilege by notifying users of something they don’t need to know now. They’ll see general information when they log in. But who wouldn’t appreciate getting 25 percent off or a free item just for walking into a place because an app they chose to install knows they’re there?
Combine the power of all three of these app-critical features and users will want to check in often to see what’s available to them.
What users don’t want from your mobile app: Another button on their cell phones taking up space.
What users want from your mobile app: A truly engaging, relevant and rewarding experience that they’ll enjoy accessing again and again.