Consumers today want instant, frictionless Google- and Amazon-like experiences when looking for information, media content and products. They demand intuitive experiences that deliver exactly what they are looking for — regardless of the digital interface — and they want it Now. These are “Now Moments”. Today, this is what determines whether a customer engages, subscribes, or buys from a business. Great mobile experience is how you drive loyalty.
This past July, we announced Algolia Summer ‘19, enabling businesses of all sizes to deliver fast, tailored and personalized experiences across any channel, including Mobile.
Today, as we unveil the General Availability of our latest mobile UI libraries, we’d like to double down on the importance of a great experience within your mobile apps.
Consumers are all about apps
It is not breaking news that mobile is eating the world. Thanks to the wonderful pieces of technology our smartphones have become, consumers are empowered to do everyday tasks on the go, from communicating to checking news to banking to watching their favorite shows to shopping.
However, one nuance is rarely broken out — mobile web vs. mobile applications. As we will cover below, there is actually no debate here — companies should invest in both. But, it is important to stress how important mobile apps have become in the journeys of consumers.
Stats show that 85% of consumers prefer mobile apps to mobile websites. Moreover, conversion rate on mobile apps is 21%, compared to 6% on mobile websites. Focusing on e-commerce, we see that mobile app users spend 20x more time shopping than website users.
It all comes from a combination of which audience is using a specific mobile application and what experiences mobile applications allow businesses to offer to their users.
Mobile apps are the key to loyalty
Each of your digital properties bears a critical and important role in your user’s journey, and the user experience of each one of them should be designed with its role in this journey in mind.
Typically your desktop and mobile websites are where you will acquire new users, thanks to well crafted paid acquisition campaigns, SEO strategies, etc. This is where those users will discover your offers — products, services, videos, podcasts, etc. The experience on those properties should be optimized for conversion, in order to create a first meaningful connection with your users.
If this user experience was engaging and compelling,chances are your users will want to engage more with your company. This is where a state-of-the-art mobile application is critical:
- Direct path to your content: When your users will be looking for your specific content, offering them a mobile app allows them to directly immerse themselves in your offers with one tap from their home screen. They won’t have to open their mobile web browser, remember your URL and type it, or search for your brand, with the risk of losing them to a competitor’s ad.
- More immersive experiences: mobile applications give you the opportunity to create smoother flows, use innovative designs, offer new types of interactions such as voice search, and allow your users to switch from one type of content to another in no time. They give you options that would be extremely difficult, if not impossible to achieve on the web.
- Advanced personalization: mobile app users will most likely stay logged in their applications, and allow geolocation usage. It allows businesses to provide their mobile app users with deeply personalized, frictionless experiences, which will get them even more engaged. Additionally, local search is growing 50% faster than mobile search overall, which drives even more relevance and conversion.
- Notifications: With mobile apps, users can decide to stay informed of your latest deals, breaking news, new season of their favorite series … via notifications. It is an unmatched channel to keep your users engaged.
The world’s leading brands already leverage these advantages to attract their users to their mobile apps, and build brand loyalty. Macy’s for instance, made their app a must have for shoppers, by offering app exclusives ranging from app-only deals to early access to enhanced in-store experiences.
In order to execute well on the promise of mobile, you need to nail all critical components of your application.
Retain and delight your mobile app users with great in-app search and discovery
As we’ve seen, once a user is delighted with your application, they will be highly engaged with your brand. But getting someone to install your application is far from an easy task — it requires much more effort than just clicking on a link. So you will most likely spend significant resources to drive your audience to your mobile application.
If the experience on a mobile app is poor, users will simply uninstall it, and getting them to reinstall your app is more difficult than having them land on your website again. It implies a missed opportunity of course, as well as higher cost of customer acquisition!
As we mentioned in our introduction, consumers are used to and expect instant, frictionless experiences, especially when it comes to search and discovery. It is also true on mobile applications. And when they’re disappointed, they won’t hesitate to express their frustration.
This is the worst app. It doesn’t work without WiFi and whenever I search for anything it just freezes or tells me that ‘something went wrong’ ☹️ It would be great if these issues could be fixed. They’ve been going on for a long time despite updates.
Rating 1 / 5 – 3 months ago”
The UFC app forced me to join ESPN+ to see the latest content & this app makes it impossible to search, navigate, and access the content I am paying for. Please find a new 3rd party app developer. If not, I’m done with trying to follow the UFC!
Rating 1 / 5 – 1 month ago”
The good news is, users also recognize great experiences, and will be equally vocal about them.
Macy’s has truly done a superb job not only revamping this app to make it more navigable, efficient, and user-friendly, but also to create a more seamless search-result process when attempting to find specific products. Hands down great app!
Rating 5 / 5 – 1 month ago”
I’ve come to trust CNET for my technology news for some time now. App has a great format & search features on past articles. Very happy with my CNET experience.
Rating 5 / 5 – 4 months ago”
But building those great mobile application experiences is hard. So how can you exceed your users expectations?
Introducing Algolia’s new InstantSearch Mobile UI libraries
Several years ago, we introduced ground breaking UI components libraries allowing companies to integrate Algolia’s advanced search and discovery capabilities into their mobile apps. While it was a great first step in the right direction, those libraries were not flexible enough to adapt to every use case, or to perfectly fit the look and feel of all ap UIs.
And as we covered above, to make the most out of their potential, mobile applications should be perfect and deliver exceptional user experiences.
That’s why we’re announcing today a brand new version of our InstantSearch Android & iOS libraries, that overcomes the limitations of the previous one.
This version ships numerous new widgets, lets you fully customize the UI, and is easier to integrate into your projects.
We provide you various components by default, while you keep total control of the library thanks to its decoupled architecture.
This new version of InstantSearch focuses on solving the business challenges of search:
- Filter management and network resources optimization
- Automatic updating of UI
- Handling of the interface’s business logic
This allows you to focus on the look and feel of your application to achieve the user experience that will delight your users, as InstantSearch takes care of the cumbersome tasks and of anything Algolia-specific.
Thanks to this new architecture, you can greatly reduce the amount of code necessary to create your search interfaces. To learn more about the technical capabilities of our new InstantSearch libraries, visit our widget showcase.
Great user experiences meet users where they are
You should now be equipped to build best-in-class mobile applications that delight your users and increase their loyalty to your brand. But again, mobile applications are only one part of the journey. If you want to stay ahead of the competition, you have no choice but to carefully design frictionless experiences for every channel.
We have more tips and best practices for your multichannel experiences. Watch our Algolia Summer ‘19 webinar to learn how to create amazing experiences across platforms. If you’d like to speak to a search specialist, click here. Meanwhile, we’d love to hear your mobile UX tips. Leave a comment or tweet to us.