The 5 mCommerce UX Mistakes You Have to Avoid this Holiday Season| By |Emily Goldring

Mobile app commerce is no longer just a secondary sales strategy for most retailers. Today, providing customers with a clean mCommerce user experience is a top priority that can help your app generate tens of thousands (or millions) of dollars in monthly revenue.

With the holiday season fast approaching, it’s even more important to take preventative measures during the most important business quarter of the year.

By avoiding the following 5 mCommerce UX mistakes in your mobile app, you could save your product from catastrophic losses, and revamp the entire vision for your business.

mCommerce UX Mistake #1. Ignoring neuro design principles

Neuro design principles are a series of ‘rules’ based off of human psychology which ultimately encourage people to engage with and convert on your app.

There are a lot of neuro design principles that should be considered, yet taking into consideration brevity, we’ve assembled a few core neuro design principles that can be especially potent during this holiday season.

Create paths of least resistance which lead users to your ‘order’ screens

The principle of least effort means that most consumers (and humans in general) will do almost anything to avoid expending “unnecessary” effort. By nature, people constantly revert back to a state of comfort and complacency. Amazon has created a billion-dollar business off of this concept, which basically comes down to creating an extremely convenient shopping experience that people become really comfortable with. It’s for this reason that you have to make sure your users can easily purchase your products using as few screens as possible. If you can replicate something similar to Amazon’s ‘Buy now with 1-click’ button, this will give you a major leg-up over competitors.

Give your product social proof

Because it’s in our human nature to resort to the opinions of social groups in order to make purchasing decisions, it’s crucial that your mobile app brand has a social aura surrounding it this holiday season. You can build up your social media accounts and link to them directly inside of your app, get your brand active on Snapchat, or publish fun videos on YouTube to give your app a social edge. When people see commotion around a brand (i.e. they notice influencers tweeting at you) this naturally creates more interest and attraction for your product. Giving your app social proof might seem like an obvious decision, but a lot of mCommerce teams don’t realize just how strongly people react to social activity (it’s ingrained in our DNA)!

Offer an irresistible holiday-themed lead magnet

A “lead magnet” is a free offer that gets people invested in your brand. Lead magnets tend to work because of the rule of reciprocity, which basically means that people feel like they ‘owe’ you if you happen to give them something of value, or do them a favor.

By using a holiday-themed lead magnet in your app like ‘Get a free stocking stuffer with every purchase now through December 31st ($15 retail value)’ – you can really tempt people to purchase an initial product from your brand, if they haven’t done so already. Since people will also experience the notorious Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) if they consider passing up your lead magnet offer, this will usually boost your sales, and/or increase your Average Number of Days to First In-App Purchase (a valuable piece of data to track).

See how great lead magnets can use the rule of reciprocity and FOMO to get people invested in buying products from your app? Offering just one great free lead magnet this holiday season can create a ripple effect that leaves a long-lasting buzz with users.

Amazon mobile app

Amazon uses the best neuro design principles in their app, which combines the principle of least effort, extensive social proof (everyone knows of Amazon), and various promotional offers/lead magnets. Image Source: Amazon app

mCommerce UX Mistake #2. Too passive about “user retention”

Roughly 25% of users are actually willing to abandon your app after just a single use. So, this is exactly why successful mCommerce brands focus on retaining active users, and place less focus on users with fleeting loyalty.

While most people understand the importance of user retention, many mCommerce teams still don’t put forth the effort to…

  • Ensure inventory is always in alignment with user’s true wants and needs
  • Measure the amount of time it takes to respond to customer inquiries, and then improve this number
  • A/B test different marketing strategies like email, push notifications, content marketing and coupons
  • Focus on creating an optimal UX to attract long-term organic usage
  • Offer a loyalty program or rewards system that effectively incentivizes people to continue shopping from your mCommerce app

By putting in the effort to ensure that your product is doing all of these things, you’ll create a mobile app that uses inbound marketing methods to continuously attract greater usage over time. Because when users enjoy the overall experience of using your product, you’ll naturally increase your rate of user retention, and enjoy a more successful mobile app business venture.

In the world of mCommerce, user retention and customer service ultimately go hand-in-hand. So, you have to constantly strive to measure all of your most important mCommerce metrics, and then surpass those numbers every week.

mcommerce apps

Nextdoor is a private social media network that consistently sends out emails and push notifications to bring you back to their app, and their marketing strategies work very well. Image Source: Nextdoor

mCommerce UX Mistake #3. No Advantage Over Retail Giants

“Why should people use your mCommerce app instead of Amazon?” can be one of the most annoying (yet valid) questions that up-and-coming mCommerce teams are forced to respond to. Retail giants like Amazon, eBay and Etsy have already gotten millions of customers habituated to using their apps, thus making it more difficult for mCommerce start-up businesses to stick out and acquire new customers.

But, clever, “smaller” mCommerce apps like iHerb have proven that despite the vertical’s challenges, it’s absolutely possible to differentiate your brand from the big boys, and even own a healthy slice of the mCommerce market share. Retail apps like iHerb differentiate themselves by attacking one niche market, solving unique user pains, and practically gamifying the shopping UX.

For example, iHerb focuses on very few categories of products (vitamins, supplements and health), lists expiration dates on every perishable product listing, and provides loyalty reward credits for every order placed. Amazon doesn’t attack any of these angles, and is probably too large to effectively compete in such a niche market.

In other words, there’s always a way for your mCommerce app to offer unique value, and differentiate from the world’s mCommerce behemoths. Find out what your biggest competitors are doing. Assess what their weaknesses are. Use your mCommerce app to attack a niche angle of your market and solve human pains better than anyone else can.

mCommerce UX Mistake #4. Not tracking usability problems

Even though the mobile app economy has been in full swing for a number of years now, shoppers still face a shocking number of usability problems while using mCommerce apps. For every moment that passes when a user can’t properly zoom in on a product listing, tap a button, or get a screen to load, your odds of making a sale decreases, and your likelihood of losing a user increases.

It has even been shown that mCommerce users are starting to demand millisecond response times. So, it only makes sense that tracking and correcting usability problems can significantly improve your rate of user retention, user acquisition, and amount of revenue earned.

One of the easiest ways to detect and correct usability problems (AKA stop losing revenue) is through using a tool like Appsee’s User Recordings. User Recordings enables you to watch users shop inside of your mCommerce app, so that you can better manage your customer’s shopping experience, and increase the value of your brand. With User Recordings, you’ll get to the root of what’s causing users to exit certain product listings, abandon shopping carts before checkout, and ultimately quitting your app.

User Recordings is ultimately a UX corrective tool just as much as it’s an mCommerce conversion optimizer.

usability analytics

Example of Appsee’s user recordings for analyzing usability.

mCommerce UX Mistake #5. You haven’t established preeminence

Preeminence is the act of always putting your users first, even if this requires going against your app’s self-interest in the short-term. For example, pointing a prospective user towards a competitor’s product is a preeminent decision to make if it’s truly the best decision for that user. That user would be astonished by your willingness to help them make the absolute best decision, even if it technically ‘costs’ you a sale in the short-term. Preeminence works because your customers and prospective customers ultimately tell all of their friends and family about the positive interactions they’ve had with your brand. It’s just a continuous act of selflessness. The rewards always come back to your product tenfold. Just be patient.

This is a concept that’s usually only discussed at the highest levels of doing business. But, if your mCommerce brand has its sight set on dominating retail sales, conducting mass amounts of transactions, or providing utilities in the B2B marketplace, then you have to consider the long-term benefits of developing preeminence right now.

For example, you can prepare your app for the holiday season and beyond by adding preeminence to your mCommerce strategy in the following ways…

  • Make sure there’s a greater mission or value-add associated with your brand, rather than focusing solely on short-term goals (like meeting certain sales goals by a predetermined date) – as having a broader vision for your app will help you remain focused on achieving long-term sales and success
  • Ask yourself if you would point a prospective customer towards a competitor if it was the best decision for that person to make
  • Determine how your app is truly helping users solve problems, and then see if you can do a 40% better job at this (repeat as often as needed)
  • Assess how your brand uses empathy in its UX to drive genuine value and encourage more frequent shopping trips

While preeminence is a high-level mCommerce strategy and philosophy, executing this outlook on business can turn your mobile app into an industry leader, or an ultra-competitive product over time.

mcommerce UX

Zappos is a company that’s recognized for their superior commitment to serving customers and practicing preeminence. Image Source: Zappos App

Conclusion

To succeed in mCommerce, you ultimately have to forget about making short term gains, and focus on the ‘big wins’ in terms of establishing an excellent UX which attracts long term results.

By avoiding these 5 common mCommerce UX mistakes, you’ll not only be left with a unique, professional and preeminent mobile product, but also a heavy stream of cash flow that lasts far beyond the holiday season.

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