03/10/2017

The 7 Features Your Business App Needs

Technology is advancing faster and evolving in ways that many of us would never have thought possible. Today there are numerous ways that you can use the improvements in technology, together with the trends in mobile application development, to make your mobile app better than ever. The best improvements are ones that are able to create a frictionless user experience that encourages regular use. If you’re going to be improving your app this year, then here are the 7 features that need to be up for consideration.

Augmented Reality
Augmented reality has been a topic that’s been discussed for years now, but the technology wasn’t available to allow the benefits of augmented reality to be fully experienced. This has changed today, as augmented reality capabilities have now been built into the core operating system of many mobile devices, allowing for far better use of AR capabilities than ever before. For businesses, this can mean adding features that project a piece of furniture into your home to check sizing, or allowing users to interact with virtual items and entire lands in familiar surroundings.

Video Calling
There is going to be a time when a customer will want to speak with someone, whether that’s to explain a feature or to discuss terms. Having the ability to make an instant, person-to-person video connection with a team member will drive customer engagement through the roof, and video chat companies like Agora.io makes that as easy as using a simple API integration. If you’ve been turned off by the seeming complexity of adding video calling to your app in the past, tools like Agora.io now make that process extremely simple.

Push Notifications
The trend toward using push notifications has been a rocky one, and understandably so. Many users are turned off by apps that display too many push notifications, but the appropriate use of push notifications is an excellent user engagement tool. If you’re considering adding push notifications to your app however, you should make sure to introduce them slowly, so that you don’t turn off your broader user base.

Loyalty Cards
The loyalty program has long been a way of improving customer retention, and you can use a loyalty program just as well on an app as you can in real life. There are platforms like LoyalZoo which make it easier than ever to incorporate a digital loyalty program into your app, and to leverage the profitability-increase benefits that loyalty programs provide.

Playable/Interactive Ads
The trend toward interactivity is one that you can get behind, and many companies have through their advertising. If you are trying to reach new customers, particularly on a mobile platform, making your ads interactive is a must for your business. You should be focused on delivering an ad experience that makes users feel like they’re not looking at an ad at all, and if you do it right then it will show up in better ROI on your ad spend.

QR/Barcode Scanners
The camera on a mobile device is incredibly powerful, capable of taking pictures that rival that of many dedicated cameras, even on the professional level. While your app might not need a professional-grade camera, it can utilize that camera as a barcode or QR code scanner. You can place a barcode or QR code anywhere, and users of your app can scan it to get access to special features, discounts, and other benefits right away. This is a great way to foster user engagement and take your app to the next level.

GPS/Location Based Coupons
If you’re concerned about the difficulty of using QR codes to offer items like discounts, you can also experiment with location based coupons. For any business that regularly has customers coming to their location (or locations), offering location based coupons through the app can give customers another reason to check in, and offering coupons to your business when customers are within a certain range of one of your stores is a great way to drive nearby business into your store immediately. The best part is that there is no cost to the coupon, unless you get a customer from it.

While the decisions related to the development of your app are up to you, not having at least some of the features listed above is going to be a negative for any business that’s looking to project a modern image among their customer base. What features are you considering? Let us know in the comments.
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