There's much to be Learned from This Year's Successful Holiday Shopping Apps

Oren Ariel, CTO and Co-Founder, Capriza
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Oren Ariel, CTO and Co-Founder, Capriza

While workplace mobility has been a buzzword for a long time, 2016 may be the year when mobile devices became the central part of the workplace. Earlier this year, mobile internet traffic surpassed traffic from traditional desktops for the first time, and during the recent Black Friday sales the number of purchases made on mobile devices climbed by an astonishing 33 percent. If there’s a simple takeaway from the past year, it’s that mobility is here to stay.

However, a deeper look at mobile use during the Black Friday sales period also highlights some important elements critical in any successful mobile app. Obviously, retailers depend on mobile friendly experiences to not only entice shoppers to their website, but to ensure those eyeballs are converted into sales. While enterprises can learn from these tactics, there’s another critical impact the continued evolution of consumer mobile experiences is having on businesses. The movement toward high-quality consumer mobile experiences has shifted expectations on mobile use, meaning employees now expect these well thought out experiences to also be available in the corporate world. This is becoming even more of a prerogative, as the recent Gartner Predicts 2017: Mobile Apps and Their Development report forecasts that by 2022, 70 percent of interactions with enterprise software will happen on mobile devices.

 Mobility is becoming the new reality for all businesses, and the most successful companies will continue to improve their enterprise mobile apps 

This means that not only is there a prerogative for businesses to quickly become mobile ready, but that today’s workers have less patience for enterprise apps which are impersonal or overly complex. This will be further accelerated by the increasing number of mobile-native employees entering the workforce over the coming years. These millennial workers have grown up with intuitive consumer mobile apps, and will not find it acceptable to be tied to a desktop only experience or clunky mobile app. In fact, employers who don’t prioritize mobility may not only be turning away potential recruits, they may be actively undermining employee engagement or even losing members of their existing workforce.

This means it’s important for companies wanting to capitalize on mobility to look at successful consumer apps for inspiration. Many of the leading consumer apps have mastered the development of a simple and single task-oriented mobile experience. Beyond that, the apps also take into account current usage trends by allowing for and embracing cross-device compatibility, and have an eye toward the future by incorporating new technologies like artificial intelligence, chatbots and voice to improve the user experience.

As employees begin to expect more from their enterprise mobile experience, there are lessons which businesses can learn from today’s most popular consumer apps.  

Employees don’t just use one mobile device

It may seem obvious, but it’s important to remember that most employees don’t only own one mobile device. In fact, according to data from Verto Analytics, the average U.S. adult consumer owns five devices, and almost 40 percent of these consumers use smartphones and tablets concurrently. This means that mobile applications – whether they are for corporate or personal use – need to embrace a multi-device reality. This means providing a unified and compatible experience across all mobile devices. As the most successful holiday shopping apps show, this compatibility can have a significant impact on the overall success of your mobile strategy.

Creating an enterprise app that delivers a common user experience across all mobile devices is vital when it comes to mobile app adoption. The mobile experience is only productive for employees if it replicates their individual needs, and for a large workplace this can encompass a wide range of user scenarios.

Streamlined apps are vital to ensure users don’t disengage

This year, sports gear e-retailer Fanatics Inc. saw a significant increase in mobile sales on Black Friday. To help draw shoppers and convert passive viewers into active purchasers, Fanatics provided an optimized app experience to make this journey as simple as possible.

Importantly, this also differs from the strategy Fanatics uses on the primary website developed for desktop viewing. Where the website has a significant number of options – sales promotions and dropdowns – designed for more engaged viewing, the mobile app has a far more simplistic checkout process. This is because in their mobile experiences, consumers crave simplicity and speed. By creating an effortless “one-minute experience” for the shopper, the company was able to not only entice customers to use the app, but also to easily convert these views into sales.

Chatbots and voice may be your near future

From chatbots to voice control, some of the most innovative retailers are starting to take advantage of the latest technologies to further satisfy customer’s desire for integration and simplicity. From Facebook’s eCommerce Messenger bot to the H&M Kik bot, some of the world’s largest companies are looking for ways to further simplify the conversion process by allowing customers to order through their favorite messaging platform. This integration not only further connects all elements of a consumer’s mobile experience, but it also greatly reduces complexity and makes the social media tools hubs for apps and services.

While it seems as if the consumer world is taking the lead, there is no reason why enterprises can’t begin contemplating how to further integrate some of the latest technologies into their corporate mobile experience to make them even more user-friendly.

In fact, some corporate facing platforms have already started incorporating these technologies to improve employee experience and enable further productivity. Enterprise collaboration platform Slack has started integrating chatbots into its real-time messaging features, and the company’s user base continues to grow. The recent Black Friday shopping period shows that consumers are becoming more open to new types of integrated technologies to expedite their interactions, and there’s huge opportunity for the enterprise as well when it comes to developing their own mobile apps.

This year’s start to the holiday shopping season has demonstrated what people are coming to expect from their mobile experiences, and enterprises can learn a lot from these successful consumer mobile apps in how to best engage and enable their employees. Mobility is becoming the new reality for all businesses, and the most successful companies will continue to improve their enterprise mobile apps to allow for a seamless and productive experience for their employees. By looking at some of the mobile trends which consumers are already embracing, innovative companies can create a more engaging and satisfying experience for employees, and ultimately boost their productivity and revenue.

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