Three key mobile app features that drive customer engagement and incremental revenue

By Jonathan Hassell

Over the years, a lot of conversation in the mobile sphere has focused on the web, but it’s clear that apps are really the primary drivers of the mobile experience. As such, it’s critical for enterprises to determine which mobile app features are most useful to their customers. And, perhaps more importantly, brands must figure out which apps will increase user engagement and drive their incremental revenue opportunities.

Three key, high-demand mobile app features are push notifications, geolocation functionality and native experiences. It’s clear that these three functions provide the best opportunities for enterprises to make more effective mobile apps and increase their revenue streams. As such, CIOs must align these features with the services that their organizations provide. They can do so by sending customers alerts regarding their transactions, delivering value to users based on their locations and providing solid experiences through native apps that serve as interfaces to the business services they provide.

Push notifications

In today’s fast-paced world, people depend on their smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices to give them real-time updates on upcoming, nearby events and activities. Users don’t want to have to take the time to look for updates in several different apps.

Push notifications are among mobile users’ most highly requested features, particularly in cases that involve customer-initiated transactions and items that require a customer’s attention or approval in order to continue processing. One of the few key mobile app features that will really drive app usage and engagement is the ability to receive real-time notifications regarding the user’s required payments, transferred money, claims or mortgage. By incorporating these types of notifications, enterprises can increase differentiation in their products and services. In fact, Localytics research found that app engagement increased by an average of 88 percent among users who had enabled push notifications.

Geolocation functionality

Nowadays, apps really don’t have any sort of valid excuse for not knowing where a user’s device is located at a given point in time. After all, GPS technology is readily available, and wifi signals are popping up in more and more places. And, once again, busy users want their mobile devices to prompt them about things while they’re on the go — preferably while they’re out and about and in a position to pick up an item, redeem an offer or stop in for an impulse buy. Businesses can drive revenue and engagement by unlocking this location data.

According to eMarketingBlogger, 69 percent of searches on Google include a keyword that refers to a specific location. As such, geolocation is one of the key mobile app features that provides differentiation for businesses in the market. These services could also possibly open up additional incremental revenue by reminding customers of a brand’s products and services when these customers are physically nearby a business location.

A native experience

Many businesses feel the pressure to rush to get an app out the door at all costs. As such, they often simply wrap up their mobile web experience into an “app” and push it out. This rushed process leaves users feeling like there is no real reason to have the app installed on their device in the first place.

Web apps that are wrapped up in mobile containers do not take advantage of device- and platform-specific features, and they often offer no additional value over just visiting the business’ website on a browser interface.

In 2014, Search Engine Journal found that 85 percent of users prefer native mobile apps over mobile websites. Overall, it’s clear that users want a native app experience so that they can remain engaged.

As a whole, enterprises must strive to align push notifications, geolocation functionality and native experiences with their business services. By incorporating these high-demand features, they can develop efficient mobile app platforms and take their operations to the next level.

Written By

Jonathan Hassell

President, 82 Ventures

Jonathan Hassell runs 82 Ventures, a technical writing and consulting firm based in Charlotte, NC. He centers his focus around network administrator, security, the cloud, and mobile technologies.

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