Features of a Good Consumer Mobile App

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Whether you are a business firm or a marketer, mobile apps are the latest craze when it comes to engaging people (consumers and the potential consumers) at mass level. Recent trend suggests that people will be spending more and more time on consumer mobile apps (mobile apps that are built for the consumers or people at large) than actually browsing the internet on their SmartPhones, tablets or feature phones. No wonder then we find big brands and small firms, both shifting much of their marketing focus towards building superior quality consumer mobile applications that will help them gain an edge over their competitors.

It is important that any mobile app does not try to do too much and is focused around its core offering. It also needs to provide a fulfilling experience to the user with smart features so that he or she will use it again and again. We are sharing a list of features that we think, are essential for any mobile app for the consumers to stand out among the millions of iOS apps or iPhone apps and Android apps that are available in the respective app stores. So, here we go:

Features that are a must for any good consumer mobile app:

1. Push Notifications

Push Notifications or Alerts are very important simply because they can ensure that the user is kept informed of the valuable information. Today, alerts on mobile apps do a lot more; they can understand the user’s behavior and accordingly send relevant alerts such as updates and reminders. However; one needs to be very careful when including this feature into their mobile application since too much of notifications end up spoiling the overall experience.

2. Localization/ Local Context

Providing location-based recommendations, offers and notifications is a feature that any consumer brand or retailer MUST have in their mobile apps.

3. Social Integration

Nowadays, most of the brands consumer mobile apps have this all-important feature. These apps will include various social sharing capabilities along with options to sign in with your favorite social network as well. Needless to say, social integration is a must-have feature for any consumer app, if it has to stand a chance of being downloaded at all. Also make sure that your mobile app has good quality content.

4. User-friendly commerce engine

This feature is more important for mobile applications that allow the user to make purchase or confirm orders. Commerce engine of the app is the actual process that a user will undergo when he or she is making a purchase of any product through their mobile phone. So, it starts right from getting the person fill a form with credit card information, mailing address, etc and then the eventual payment. If this process is not smooth, free of glitches; be sure that the app will not be used for a second time.

5. Fast functioning speed (Responsiveness)

I think, all of us agree on this. Mobile apps are supposed to load immediately, are supposed to utilize less of the phone’s memory and hardware resources, and should respond to our every command. Nobody likes to wait for an app; more so if it is a consumer app.

6. Enhanced user-experience

For a consumer app to be successful, it is important that it provides its users an enhanced user-experience.

A useful tip: Aesthetic designing and development of a mobile app goes a long way in ensuring that the user-experience is enriching in all aspects, whether it is easy download, hassle-free signing in, less clicking for the app to work, usability, etc.

7. Try adding offline capabilities

Well, we said it; a mobile app definitely will win lot of fans if it can include some offline capabilities to its main functionality. Examples: a thesaurus/dictionary app providing option to save basic dictionary on the phone memory for offline referencing or a note-taking app that allows you to save your notes to the phone as well as to a cloud server.

8. Data security

No Phishing around! Mobile apps need not only be secure and safe to download but they also need to avoid collecting unnecessary data from the user’s mobile phone.

9. Feedback options

It is often a good idea to include an option for users to give their feedback; it allows for understanding the shortcomings and the good things about the app.

10. Keep it simple!

Lastly, while developing a mobile app for the consumer, keep things simple! A simple, easy-to-use interface, and easy to understand features will keep the user happily engaged.

Satinder Panesar
Entrepreneur & founder of GWT systems pvt ltd. Satinder's pragmatic approach helped the company not only to survive the worst IT crises but also managed to increase the clientÈle. Satinder is currently working with green companies, around the world, and is promoting Green computing.

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