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Why Your Brand’s App is Anything But Vogue

When it comes to our wardrobes, stylists know that no matter how many trends we follow, we only wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. In other words, we naturally gravitate towards our favorite, tried and tested outfits time and time again. We may pack our wardrobes with options, but most of those never see the light of day. It’s the same principle at work when it comes to the mobile apps on our smartphones; over half of installed apps remain unused.  

An average person has 40 apps installed on their phone. However, of those 40, only 18 apps dominate 89% of users’ time. Just like those loud printed trousers we were convinced we would one day wear, our smartphones are a digital wardrobe in need of a clear-out.  

However, when the time comes to press the ‘uninstall’ button, we cannot help but think about the time, effort, and investment each brand has made in creating that dedicated app. While branded apps may have been de rigueur five years ago, the fad has proven to be a flash in the pan. As Gartner predicts, by 2025, 80% of customer service organizations will have abandoned native mobile apps in favor of omnichannel messaging to deliver a better customer experience.

A capsule approach to apps

Consumers appear to be suffering choice fatigue and are reducing the time spent across different apps. As a capsule wardrobe sees wearers favor a small selection of quality items, they are taking the same approach with apps.  

With one in every two apps being uninstalled within just 30 days after download, losing about $57,000 per month as a result, it is a costly business to try to convert customers away from their preferred channels. Add in the investment required to maintain apps, and the allure of a brand app wanes further.  

Now more than ever, delivering customer communications through already used and loved channels is a must. Rather than trying to tempt users away from their favored apps, it’s time to meet them where they are – be the perfect accessory, rather than reinvent their wardrobe.  

While the most sought-after real estate is on customers’ smartphones, companies must consider what is most engaging and convenient through the lens of each customer. And just like fashion, what suits one customer may not suit another.

For example, research shows that the majority of users prefer using WhatsApp and chat apps as their preferred channel of communication, compared to social media or in-app messaging. For Xennials (35-44) and Gen Xers (45-54), whilst they are gradually getting comfortable with mobile-first communications, email remains a preferred choice.

This move towards more digitally-led communications will continue gaining speed, and brands must prioritize an omnichannel strategy that incorporates every applicable channel, allowing them to build a lasting connection. 

The future of commerce

Moving away from apps doesn’t mean abandoning innovation or giving up on digital transformation. Quite the opposite.

After all, no two customers are exactly alike, and to match heightened expectations, we cannot adopt a one-size-fits-all approach. To craft great experiences, you need a clear picture of your customers; who they are, how they’ve engaged with you in the past, and what they are interested in right now.  

It is our belief that the future of commerce lies in the heart of conversation. 

We are now moving into an environment called conversational commerce where you can do anything with a brand just with a conversation. Armed with the memory of every interaction that is fully scalable and the ability to utilize artificial intelligence to learn over time, conversational commerce can help businesses create the best personalized customer experience.   

We are only on the cusp of the conversational commerce movement that could evolve in two ways – vertically and horizontally.

The recent launch of a Dior WhatsApp chatbot is one example where a vertical – in this case, the luxury beauty sector – has leveraged technology and conversational commerce to deliver innovative experiences across channels.

Horizontally, the next wave would be to create memorable experiences throughout the customer journey from authentication and activation through to purchase, providing a seamless end-to-end experience for the end customer all in one journey, that could also be rolled out across different verticals.  

Meet customers where they are

Creating loyal, long-term customers means capturing consumers’ attention and serving them in places convenient to them.

Apps may have been the fashionable choice five years ago, but a simple conversation today is far more attractive to customers and far more sustainable for brands in the long run.

Companies keen to start this journey have the first-mover advantage on their side. By starting the experimentation process now, they can take the time to learn and adapt along the way to what works best for their business.

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