tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:/topics/native-apps Latest Native Apps content from Econsultancy 2016-05-20T11:51:44+01:00 tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67866 2016-05-20T11:51:44+01:00 2016-05-20T11:51:44+01:00 Five implications of Android Instant Apps for marketers Ben Davis <h3>A game changer for NFC?</h3> <p>The whole debate around customer experience with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67705-what-s-now-next-for-digital-technology-in-retail-stores/">iBeacons</a> comes down to the app. Marketers can only target those with their app installed and the challenge is providing genuinely useful functionality that also happens to be interruptive.</p> <p>So far, iBeacons haven't been a success. But in the world of Android, neither has <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65307-five-retailers-using-nfc-and-rfid-to-enhance-shopping-but-do-they-work">NFC</a>.</p> <p>Yes, NFC has different use cases, downloading an app or launching a web page with customer intent (they need to tap). But problems still exist - the user has to trust the web experience will be seamless.</p> <p>Implementations of NFC thus far haven't always been successful.</p> <p>But one of the demonstrations of Instant Apps from Google is the parking meter shown below. The experience is started by NFC, which launches the Instant App, and allows a customer to pay for parking within a slick 'native' environment.</p> <p>The implications for NFC could be dramatic, providing implementation is as smart as this example.</p> <p><img src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-mVhKMMzhxms/VzyKg25ihBI/AAAAAAAADEM/dJN6_8H7qkwRyulCF7Yr2234-GGUXzC6ACLcB/s800/Park%2Band%2BPay%2B-%2BDevice%2Bwith%2BMeter%2B%2528Final%2529.gif" alt="nfc launch app" width="360" height="728">  </p> <h3>A gamechanger for payment?</h3> <p>One of the beauties of launching an Instant App is the ability for customers to pay via Android Pay.</p> <p>This is part of what makes the example above (the parking meter) even more compelling. Payment details are already stored and checkout occurs quickly.</p> <p>Allowing Android users to pay within apps they have never installed opens up a world of services. Think of the convenience in mobile commerce.</p> <h3>A gamechanger for app discovery?</h3> <p>No navigating the app store. No waiting for download then cancelling.</p> <p>Metrics such as the percentage of downloaders still using the app after a set time period should improve because the user can preview the app and have more of an idea of whether they like it or not.</p> <p>Most importantly though, the GIF below shows what a boon this will be to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66977-eight-reasons-to-kill-your-native-mobile-app">app discovery.</a> The users will potentially do the job for you, sharing an Instant App link with friends via a social network or messaging app.</p> <p>And, of course, the app creator can also promote in this way, sharing the link through <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/email-census/">email marketing</a>, brand messaging, SMS etc.</p> <p><img src="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-q5ApCzECuNA/VzyKa9l0t2I/AAAAAAAADEI/nYhhMClDl5Y3qL5-wiOb2J2QjtGWwbF2wCLcB/s800/BuzzFeed-Device-Install%2B%2528Final%2529.gif" alt="messaging android app" width="360" height="728"> </p> <h3>A gamechanger for UX? </h3> <p>Apps are more immersive, use more smartphone functionality and are often more beautiful. The problem is that we can't be bothered with them.</p> <p>According to <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67783-five-key-findings-for-marketers-from-ofcom-s-media-report/">Ofcom's recent media usage study</a>, 42% never download new apps (see below).</p> <p>Now that we might be bothered, using Instant Apps to access modular functionality, will the days of poor mobile experiences be forgotten.</p> <p>And what will Tim Berners Lee think? Is this open web or not?</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/4277/Screen_Shot_2016-04-25_at_13.06.11.png" alt="ofcom stats" width="615"></p> <h3>A gamechanger for customer service?</h3> <p style="font-weight: normal;">I'm not entirely sure about this, but I needed a fifth point.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">The messaging GIF above, what if that was an interaction with a brand (e.g. through <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67864-vr-messaging-or-assistant-which-is-the-best-bet-for-google/">Allo</a> or Facebook Messenger)? The brand could use Instant App links to better serve customers.</p> <p>For instance, a bank could offer a link to a loan calculator in-app. I can't think of too many examples of this, but it does seem like a possible improvement to cross-channel service, above and beyond deep linking. </p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67614 2016-03-07T11:58:30+00:00 2016-03-07T11:58:30+00:00 Start Me Up! Tunsy is the 'Tinder' marketplace app for fashion Ben Davis <h3>In one sentence, what is your product/service?</h3> <p>Tunsy is the ultimate shopping app. It learns from your choices to push you more and more products you may love thanks to our machine learning algorithm.</p> <h3>What problem(s) does it solve?</h3> <p><strong>1. Learning what you like and don't like:</strong></p> <p>Emmanuel &amp; I are not what we may call fashionistas but the fact is we want to look great.</p> <p>The problem is that we do not have the time and patience for shopping, whether we still know what we like or not.</p> <p>That’s where Tunsy arrives. The more we swipe, the more the app learns about what we like and don’t like.</p> <p>So, the more you use the app, the less you have to search for something you may like.</p> <p><strong>2. Multi-retailer shopping:</strong></p> <p>We are a marketplace working now with big brands but we want to be accessible to every retailer.</p> <p>If you have three products in your cart (one from Macy’s, one from ASOS and the last one from Topshop), you won’t have to pay three times.</p> <p>You just pay once without leaving the app (ever) and receive all your products from these retailers. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/2673/02_onboarding_01-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="tunsy" width="300"></p> <h3>What were the biggest challenges involved in building the tech or growing your team?</h3> <p>The biggest challenge is all about making the app as easy as possible even if the tech side is really complicated. That’s what we love: making things look simple.</p> <p>I find myself really lucky with the team we have.</p> <p>We've come through good and bad times together and I wouldn't change this team for anything in the world.</p> <h3>How will the company make money?</h3> <p>That’s the best part of Tunsy.</p> <p>Since we focus all our efforts on making the app user-centric, our business model is going this way too.</p> <p>We want no commission and no margin on the products we sell. We’re aiming to build a perfect retail platform focused on data.</p> <p>To explain that in an easy way, we want to be the Facebook ads of retailing by selling visibility and allowing retailers to target their products to the audience who might like it (again using machine learning).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0007/2674/04_homepage_02-blog-flyer.jpg" alt="tunsy app" width="300"></p> <h3>Where would you like to be in one, three and five years' time?</h3> <p>In a year we want to start promoting the app with a dedicated budget and making it more social by updating and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67249-a-beginner-s-guide-to-a-b-testing/">A/B testing</a> the features we have already designed.</p> <p>In three years, we want to be able to plug in any retailer who wants to join Tunsy, allowing smaller retailers to gain online visibility, to test their products and to sell them. </p> <p>In five years comes the interesting part. One of our board members (CEO of one of the biggest clothing brands in the world) has got a problem. He needs to drive people from digital to physical stores, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67038-11-ways-to-track-online-to-offline-conversions-and-vice-versa">connecting online and offline</a>.</p> <p><strong>Storytelling time again:</strong></p> <p>You swiped a Lacoste shirt to your wishlist and maybe forgot about it or maybe your size was out of stock online.</p> <p>You’re walking along the high street and arrive in range of a Lacoste store (300 metres). You get notified - <em>The Lacoste Shirt you liked is available in your size at the Lacoste store 300 metres away</em>. </p> <p>The Lacoste store gets notified too and is able to prepare everything for your arrival - <em>Ben is on his way to the store for the Lacoste Shirt size X, please show him some love, Tunsy.</em></p> <h3>Who is in your team?</h3> <p><a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/emmanueldurancampana">Emmanuel Duran Campana</a>, co-founder and CEO. <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/mehdiboumendjel">Mehdi Boumendjel</a>, co-founder and CCO.</p> <h3>Other than your own, what are your favourite websites/apps/tools?</h3> <p>I’ll make this one quick, there's one app that I really love (and it took me some time to fully appreciate it). <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67257-15-reasons-your-brand-should-be-on-snapchat">Snapchat</a>.</p> <p>What I love is not just the communication system but how they made it look so simple. It's easy to use and addictive.</p> <p>I have lots more to say about it, probably too much, you should just follow me on Snapchat (@madouche) if you want to know more. :)</p> <p><em>For more on Tinder UIs in ecommerce read <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67563-how-tinder-has-changed-ecommerce">How Tinder has changed ecommerce</a>.</em></p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67600 2016-03-03T11:26:00+00:00 2016-03-03T11:26:00+00:00 Missguided launches Tinder-inspired app experience: review Ben Davis <h3>Tinderisation is lots of fun (but sometimes 'interesting')</h3> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Let's start with the headline-worthy feature. Missguided has included a tab called 'swipe to hype', allowing users to 'nah' or 'love' products.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Loved products are then added to my wishlist within the app.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">It's not immediately clear if there's a sophisticated algorithm behind this. Does the feature learn from my loves?</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Even if it doesn't, the feature is compelling but I found strangely when I started using it that I was presented with at least 15 plus-sized products in a row.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">I've given the app no indication as to my body shape, indeed at this point I hadn't even visited any product pages, so I'm unsure exactly why this happened.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">We recently ran an article about <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67563-how-tinder-has-changed-ecommerce/">the Tinderisation of ecommerce</a>, and it's rapidly becoming an expected part of fashion apps. Not only is it fun, but it provides a whole host of data should the retailer wish to use it.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2583/IMG_2661.PNG" alt="missguided app" width="300">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2584/IMG_2663.PNG" alt="missguided app" width="300"> </p> <h3>No need to register (but a tiny UX gripe)</h3> <p>The app doesn't force users to sign in or register, which is a great move, allowing customers to 'skip' and quickly browse without presenting any upfront barriers.</p> <p>However, I did have the smallest of gripes when I tried to register via the app.</p> <p>As you may be able to see from the screenshots below, once I had filled in all the fields on screen, the 'next' button on the keyboard did not change to a 'done' or 'enter' button, but back to the traditional 'return'.</p> <p>Although I eventually found that this 'return' button did remove the keyboard and allow me to hit 'submit', I spent a while unsuccessfully trying to scroll down and wondering how to complete.</p> <p>This might seem an inconsequential detail, but it's the type of thing that can be thrown up in <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65276-10-insightful-gov-uk-blog-posts-on-service-design">user testing</a>.</p> <p><strong>Update 08/03/2016:</strong></p> <p>Poq has been in touch and this has been amended, ready for the next app release.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2570/IMG_2651.PNG" alt="missguided app" width="200"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2587/IMG_2671.PNG" alt="missguided app" width="200"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2586/IMG_2670.PNG" alt="missguided app" width="200"></p> <h3>Filters</h3> <p>The <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/62864-nine-tips-to-help-improve-your-product-filtering-options/">product filters</a> offer a very clean UX, with a full screen UI including colour and size, as well as a price slider.</p> <p>Perhaps a slight improvement could be sought by indicating which filters have been selected, once the user returns to the results page.</p> <p>However, this can be difficult to do with little screen real estate, and is something that not all desktop sites do, let alone apps.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2576/IMG_2653.PNG" alt="missguided app" width="300">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2577/IMG_2654.PNG" alt="missguided app" width="300"> </p> <h3>Shoppable features</h3> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65982-three-best-practice-tips-for-fashion-ecommerce-editorial">Shoppable editorial</a> is now a mainstay of ecommerce, becoming fairly common over the past two to three years.</p> <p>The Missguided app has a simple and usable take on this feature, with a sort of lookbook of different styles, often accompanied by 'shop the look' calls to action.</p> <p>Featured products slide up from the bottom of the screen when a user clicks. These can be favourited or the user can visit the product page.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2579/IMG_2656.PNG" alt="missguided app" width="300">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2581/IMG_2658.PNG" alt="missguided app" width="300"></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2580/IMG_2657.PNG" alt="missguided app" width="300">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2582/IMG_2659.PNG" alt="missguided app" width="300"></p> <h3>Checkout</h3> <p>The checkout is fairly functional. I like the 'pay securely' call to action and it's nice that you can select a billing/delivery address from your contacts.</p> <p>I saw no evidence of 'fingerprint' checkout, which the Poq CEO has mentioned at launch, but this could be a feature on compatible phones only (my iPhone 5C doesn't have fingerprint unlock).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2593/IMG_2672.PNG" alt="missguided app" width="300">  <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2594/IMG_2674.PNG" alt="missguided app" width="300"> </p> <h3>Summing up</h3> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Overall this is a solid entry to the app marketplace. Despite the talk of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67056-facebook-and-the-battle-for-mobile-discovery/">app content being unbundled</a> into search and the OS, apps are proving popular in ecommerce at the moment.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Missguided's loyal customers have long called for an app, which seems like a must for an online-only retailer.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">The editorial and Tinder-style features are compelling and I can foresee high engagement. If Missguided is able to feed data from this activity intelligently into its <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64545-what-is-crm-and-why-do-you-need-it/">CRM</a> and contact strategy, it could pay dividends.</p> <p><strong>Update 03.05.16:</strong> Missguided's Head of Ecommerce got in touch to clarify that the slight bug in the 'swipe to hype' feature has been fixed. </p> <p>He said, "We had an issue with the algorithm which displayed products to the user, which wasn’t present during pre-deployment testing. It’s now fixed, and you should see a much better selection of products if you reload the app today :)"</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67539 2016-02-17T15:18:04+00:00 2016-02-17T15:18:04+00:00 Six trends the new Quartz app has joyfully piggybacked Ben Davis <h3>Messaging</h3> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger are widely expected <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67056-facebook-and-the-battle-for-mobile-discovery">to be increasingly utilised by third parties</a>, such as retailers and media outlets, to serve customers.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">This may reduce current problems of app adoption, provide a familiar (and pleasing) user interaction and allow for more regular communication.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Quartz's app uses a messaging style to update its users on the latest news stories. As you can see below, it quite obviously apes a familiar format.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2012/IMG_2593.PNG" alt="quartz app" width="300"></p> <p>Here's what Kevin Delaney, editor in chief of Quartz, <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/media-network/2016/feb/11/quartz-kevin-j-delaney-editor-in-chief-iphone-app">told the Guardian</a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>It’s a format that readers are familiar with. It’s also relatively unexplored from the perspective of: how do you turn a newsroom towards publishing directly on to this interface? So that’s part of it.</p> <p>We think about this in the context of messaging platforms as well and while we’re not doing anything along these lines we’re creating content that clearly could also live on other messaging platforms. The team is learning to interact with readers through messaging to see the extent that there are opportunities for media organisations on existing and future messaging platforms. </p> </blockquote> <p>Interestingly, as Zach Seward, VP of Product at Quartz, tweets below, the messaging format is inspired in part by lifestyle app <a href="http://www.web.lark.com/#top">Lark</a>.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href="https://twitter.com/patricktrack">@patricktrack</a> Thanks. Yes. Definite inspiration: <a href="https://t.co/pXRwQyibtp">https://t.co/pXRwQyibtp</a></p> — Zach Seward (@zseward) <a href="https://twitter.com/zseward/status/697774945837789184">February 11, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2000/Screen_Shot_2016-02-17_at_11.02.37.png" alt="lark app" width="615" height="600"></p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Despite the slightly misleading tech coverage around the Quartz app launch, users can't simply text back with their own questions, rather the Quartz app gives a couple of options (as seen above) for a 'reply', which then triggers the next piece of content delivery.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">One App Store reviewer, quoted below, feels this is a little misleading, and could bring bias into news reporting.</p> <blockquote> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Also I can’t “converse” with it using my own words, but instead it puts words in my mouth. I have two choices: “so what’s the Fed’s mistake?” and “anything else?” Really?</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">Thats a great way to completely bias my interaction with the news. Also, it leaves me with a STRONG feeling of the shades of Clippy. “I see you’re reading the news! Can I spoonfeed that for you?”</p> </blockquote> <p style="font-weight: normal;">However, my own view is that this format could be good for engagement; users signed up to the daily digest email are often reluctant readers, and this app interaction (using everyday language) could be a new way for those readers to catch up in a relatively pain-free way.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">On the point of bias, news is rarely without it, and sometimes it's a product of dumbing down, found in colloquial language.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">If greater engagement leads to accusations of bias, I'm sure that's a relatively small price for Quartz to pay, though something to keep an eye on with this new method of reporting.</p> <h3>Sponsored content / Ad light experiences</h3> <p>The whole experience is brought to you by MINI. There are no ads in the app, apart from this message that occasionally displays when you've caught up with all the stories.</p> <p>This is an ad light experience that will relieve many a reader.</p> <p>(Related: <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67508-10-publishers-that-want-you-to-disable-your-ad-blocker">10 publishers that want you to disable your ad blocker</a>)</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2016/IMG_2601.PNG" alt="quartz app sponsored by mini" width="300"></p> <h3>Completion</h3> <p>Seeking new readers who are reluctant to purchase full subscriptions, newspapers behind paywalls, such as The Times of London and The New York Times, have <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67479-times-of-london-weekly-fantastic-app-but-i-want-it-in-london">released apps that populate with a smaller sample of content</a>.</p> <p>These apps are designed to appeal to the more casual reader. They almost gamify news reading by encouraging 'completion', letting the user know when they are 'all caught up'.</p> <p>Though Quartz is free for readers, this concept still makes sense as a way of getting light readers to engage.</p> <p>As you can see below, the app let's you know when there's nothing new to read, in this case giving me a quiz question instead, keeping me curious. I liked this touch.</p> <p>The answer is Atlanta, by the way.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2018/IMG_2603.PNG" alt="quartz app" width="300"></p> <h3>Snackable content</h3> <p>Yet again, some App Store reviewers don't like the fact that a messaging format inevitably encourages a light-touch engagement with big issues.</p> <p>Here's a strident fellow:</p> <blockquote> <p>Teenagers who don't like reading the news? So they'll turn to some automated chat thing that makes it 'look' like you're texting someone? Kids who don't like to read the news, won't read the news. If you're an actual news reader, this app isn't for you because you're getting little fortune cookie bits of info, then have to go to the full article because you'll inevitably feel you want to read more, when you can just read full articles through another app or website.</p> <p>If you aren't a regular news reader, this app isn't for you either because this app doesn't give you anything more than just going to a news website or app, and scrolling through some headlines... It's a cute gimmick. </p> </blockquote> <p>What this reviewer has missed is:</p> <ol> <li>It's silly to underestimate the appetite for a dumbed down product.</li> <li>This is a work in progress, designed to capture a whole gamut of readers (including young ones).</li> <li>Clicking through the the article in full is easy and quick to do, so the messaging interaction becomes a different flavour of the filtering a reader does on a more conventional app (which article to choose and engage with?).</li> <li>This 'gimmick' may provide an endorphin rush, similar to that experienced during gaming or social networking, which could improve interaction rate.</li> </ol> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2013/IMG_2598.PNG" alt="quartz app" width="300"></p> <h3>GIFs / Emojis</h3> <p>A pre-requisite for many demographics. They're here in spades and create an accessible, memorable and distinctive approach to news.</p> <h3>Social</h3> <p>Quartz content has gradually evolved to be more social, learning from BuzzFeed that content from Twitter can offer valuable context and colour to news stories.</p> <p>This is brought to the app, too. Below, Quartz includes some of the best <a href="https://twitter.com/jebbush/status/699706718419345408">Jeb Bush gun-tweet</a> reactions, as seen on social.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/2015/IMG_2599.PNG" alt="quartz app" width="300">  </p> <p>Overall, the Quartz app feels like a minimum-viable product that will hugely benefit the business, regardless of whether it succeds or fails. </p> <p>If you're interested in learning more about the future of media, Vice UK's Mark Adams will be talking at <a href="https://econsultancy.com/events/future-of-digital-marketing-london/%20">The Future of Digital Marketing</a> in London, 7th June 2016.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67483 2016-02-04T14:53:00+00:00 2016-02-04T14:53:00+00:00 What is Peach & should marketers even care? Jack Simpson <p>Firstly, it isn’t the physical manifestation of a soon-to-be-billionaire teenager's bedroom hobby, as so many of them are (I’m generalising here). </p> <p>Peach was created by <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66465-10-practical-vine-and-instagram-video-tips-for-brands">Vine</a> co-founder Dom Hofmann, someone who knows a thing or two about launching a new social network. </p> <p>Secondly, it involves Gifs. And at Econsultancy we are massive fans of those. Seriously, it’s the primary form of communication in our office. </p> <p>I thought I’d check out this new social network to see whether it’s any good and explore the potential opportunities for marketers, if any.</p> <h3>What is Peach?</h3> <p>Hoffman describes it as:</p> <blockquote> <p>A fun, simple way to keep up with friends and be yourself.</p> </blockquote> <p>But such <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66631-20-banned-words-from-the-econsultancy-blog-and-their-alternatives">marketing guff</a> doesn’t tell us much about anything, so let’s get down to brass tacks. </p> <p>The app revolves around what it calls ‘magic words’. When you type one of these words you can tap to take a specific action.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1399/magic-words-800x519.jpg.jpg" alt="list of magic words on peach app" width="700"></p> <p>‘Song’, for example, uses your phone’s mic to share what you’re listening to, while ‘draw’ invites you to draw and share a picture. </p> <p>Clicking ‘gif’ enables you to search a database of Gifs that you can publish with one touch. Or you can create your own.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1834/DK5Bvg5.png" alt="peach app mobile" width="250"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1835/r1sU7Kx.png" alt="peach app upload gif" width="250"></p> <p>The same applies with ‘images’, ‘movie’ and so on. </p> <p>The good part is you don’t have to type the whole word. Simply put in the first letter of the magic word and an autocomplete function does the rest. </p> <p>You can add other information to your posts like a rating from 1-5 (‘rate’). You can do pretty much anything from add your location (‘here’) to display your phone’s current charge (‘battery’).</p> <p>I’m not sure what the point of the latter is. All I know is you can do it. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1836/DHtSR1C.png" alt="peach app gif" width="250"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1837/dGWz6pF.png" alt="Peach app gif" width="250"></p> <p>Whatever you choose to post, it will appear in your ‘space’, which is Peach’s fancy word for a timeline, where people can like or comment on it. You can view a stream of updates from your connections’ spaces, tapping posts to reveal more. </p> <p>Similar to Facebook’s classic ‘poke’ feature, users can communicate with each other in any number of mildly irritating ways.</p> <p>You can wave, ‘boop’, blow a kiss, ‘put a ring’ on someone, ‘hiss’ at them, or ‘quarantine’ them if they’re pissing you off. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1410/Edited_1.PNG" alt="Peach app communication options" width="250"></p> <p>When you initially sign up to the app it takes you through a nice little walkthrough that explains all of the above, starting with adding a photo.</p> <p>I’ve included some screenshots below to show you. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1838/Ncp9Nhn.png" alt="peach app image" width="250"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1839/EjhDipH.png" alt="Peach app magic word image" width="250"></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1840/lwwmAV7.png" alt="peach app draw magic word" width="250"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1841/PlW1xMl.png" alt="peach app tv magic word" width="250"></p> <p>‘What’s the point?’ I hear you asking. </p> <p>Does everything have to have a point? Oh, it does? Well, err, let me get back to you on that one then...</p> <h3>The opportunities for marketers</h3> <p>So why should marketers care? Well apart from the fact they should be aware of and familiar with any new platforms appearing regardless of personal gripes, the app could offer some opportunities in future. </p> <p>Merriam Webster, for example, while lacking an Instagram or Snapchat account, seems to be thriving on Peach. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1411/IMG_6919.png" alt="Merriam webster on Peach app" width="250"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1412/IMG_6926.png" alt="Merriam webster on Peach app" width="250"></p> <p>Perhaps this is because the app lends itself to more to words than pretty imagery, something that will have obvious appeal to a dictionary brand. And it offers a more permanent playground than Snapchat. </p> <p>Something exciting about it is the potential for brands to get really creative but in a stripped-backed way.</p> <p>More Vine than <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67020-why-instagram-should-be-the-channel-of-choice-for-marketers">Instagram</a>. Like <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67257-15-reasons-your-brand-should-be-on-snapchat">Snapchat</a> but without the transient nature. You get the picture...</p> <p>And that’s part of the appeal for brands, I think. Because Peach caters for pretty much any kind of content, it is inclusive. There’s something for everyone. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">11 points on PeachBall. <a href="https://twitter.com/peachdotcool">@peachdotcool</a> is a sandbox of a social app. It's literally everything. It's so sweet! <a href="https://t.co/FT0PixZICl">pic.twitter.com/FT0PixZICl</a></p> — Matt Fogarty (@itsMattFogarty) <a href="https://twitter.com/itsMattFogarty/status/694918043907047425">February 3, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>But that still doesn’t fully answer the question of whether brands would want to spend their time on Peach in the first place. </p> <p>At the moment it’s impossible to say, especially as the app is still very much in development.</p> <p>Peach is constantly posting updates on its Twitter feed, so who knows where it could go in the next few months?</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">sneak peek at our upcoming release notes<a href="https://t.co/JjKNOiPI4F">pic.twitter.com/JjKNOiPI4F</a></p> — Peach (@peachdotcool) <a href="https://twitter.com/peachdotcool/status/690300594679070721">January 21, 2016</a> </blockquote> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">A "mini"update just in time for the weekend! <a href="https://t.co/nDdr73cK8q">pic.twitter.com/nDdr73cK8q</a></p> — Peach (@peachdotcool) <a href="https://twitter.com/peachdotcool/status/693245063636344832">January 30, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>Peach’s value as a marketing platform will depend entirely on whether it manages to break through the incredibly noisy world of new social media apps and build a big enough audience for brands to care. </p> <p>But if it does manage to do that then I think marketers looking to engage with a younger audience will have plenty of opportunities to do so via Peach.  </p> <p>I can imagine the big players paying an enormous amount of money for their own ‘magic words’ to appear. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p lang="en" dir="ltr">update tonight featuring PEACHBALL! Use the magic word PLAY to start a game, then share your scores here! <a href="https://t.co/Fto8nByVQe">pic.twitter.com/Fto8nByVQe</a></p> — Peach (@peachdotcool) <a href="https://twitter.com/peachdotcool/status/695057660136312832">February 4, 2016</a> </blockquote> <p>Perhaps the biggest selling point for brands, if Peach can manage it properly, is the sheer amount of <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/value-exchange-from-data">data</a> the app collects about people. </p> <p>It gets to know your favourite books, films, music, location, likes, dislikes, all the usual creepy stuff. </p> <p>And unlike Twitter, everything on Peach is self-contained within the app.</p> <p>According <a href="https://medium.com/@profcarroll/peak-peach-413739752a2e#.i1eskykd5">to David Carroll</a>, Professor of Media Design at Parsons School of Design in New York:</p> <blockquote> <p>Peach is a proprietary platform in every way, perhaps more than anything we’ve seen to date in the evolution of social media apps. It diverts our attention away from the Open Web and into a privately-owned walled-garden. </p> <p>It (is) fun and playful with clever magic words that induce you to share more meta data.</p> </blockquote> <h3>Is it just another fad?</h3> <p>It’s easy to talk the app down because it’s got a silly name and it’s all a bit fluffy, but I actually think it will stick. And here’s why...</p> <p>The app’s creators clearly understand many of the trends developing in the content and social media space and the way people – particularly younger people – increasingly like to express themselves online. </p> <p>Peach lets users curate their own content from various sources and users can customise and put their own spin on everything. </p> <p>I’m not even its target audience but even I have to admit I’ve had quite a bit of fun playing around with it.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1842/3hsF9g6.png" alt="peach app shout magic word" width="250"></p> <p>Crucially, though, it has put an enormous amount of focus on <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67314-what-will-be-the-biggest-ux-trends-in-2016">user experience (UX)</a>, streamlining the posting process to just a couple of touches in many cases. </p> <p>It uses autocomplete, so for ‘game’ you need only type the first two letters, and for ‘gif’ you only need to type ‘g’, and so on.</p> <p>In short: it caters for laziness. And whether we like to admit it or not, our laziness as internet users is increasing at an exponential rate.</p> <p>Take the Safari command as a perfect example. Type the letters 'Sa' into the app and a button appears that takes you to the browser with one touch. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1843/Xjb0vOC.png" alt="peach app safari magic word" width="250"></p> <p>Copy a URL, click ‘back to Peach’ in the top left and paste it in. You can see I've given this link a well-deserved five-star rating, too.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1844/lT30mbb.png" alt="peach app safari magic word" width="250"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1845/5GGIImd.png" alt="peach app rate post" width="250"></p> <p>It’s so easy I think it would even pass the ‘Jack Simpson’s parents’ test, which I use to determine whether anyone is likely to struggle with a piece of tech. </p> <p>And it’s this streamlined UX, and the fact that it’s so easy to customise whatever you’re posting with just a couple of extra touches, that people will really like about the app. </p> <h3>Conclusion: where there’s an audience, there are marketing opportunities</h3> <p>Unlike many people who’ve already commented on this app I do actually believe Peach has the potential to build a large audience.</p> <p>Why?</p> <ul> <li>Users can post a huge variety of content.</li> <li>Content is highly customisable.</li> <li>The app is incredibly quick and easy to use (even for Jack Simpson’s parents).</li> <li>It’s – dare I say it – fun.  </li> </ul> <p>Of course it’s far from perfect, but it’s also incredibly new. And all the above elements, coupled with its creator’s track record, mean it has a fairly good chance of catching on, particularly with a younger audience. </p> <p>If that happens, brands will be interested. Very interested. </p> <p>Only time will tell, of course, but I’m willing to put my gold-plated journalistic reputation (*cough cough*) on the line and say I think this one is going to be big. Not Facebook big, but certainly a significant player. </p> <p>I mean, as soon as I saw the phrase ‘Assemble your squad’ I felt the need to immediately delete the app in protest, but apart from that...</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0007/1413/Edited_2.PNG" alt="peach app assemble your squad" width="250"></p> <p>What do you think?</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67328 2015-12-16T10:23:52+00:00 2015-12-16T10:23:52+00:00 The biggest trends in mobile from 2015 Jack Simpson <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/9970/Nokia_evolucion_tama_o.jpg" alt="Old mobile phones" width="374" height="280"></p> <p>So what have been the biggest trends in mobile in 2015, according to our panel of experts?</p> <h3>Mobile overtakes desktop</h3> <p><strong>Carl Uminski, COO and Co-Founder of <a href="http://www.somoglobal.com/">Somo</a>:</strong></p> <p>Mobile is now in the late majority in terms of usage. It is the primary screen for most digital interactions and as predicted is clearly becoming the remote control to our lives, connecting us with the world around us. </p> <p>Meanwhile, the velocity of adoption for connected devices grew throughout the year, which will only increase the importance of mobile.</p> <h3>Virtual reality has come a long way</h3> <p><strong>Carl Uminski:</strong></p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/a-marketers-guide-to-virtual-reality">Virtual Reality (VR)</a> has come a long way this year, especially as it no longer requires a powerful computer. </p> <p>We now have devices like the Samsung Gear and even Google Cardboard that can be run simply from a smartphone. This is a huge step forward for the potential consumer and enterprise uptake of VR.</p> <p><strong>Dan Thornton, Founder of <a href="http://www.thewayoftheweb.net/">The Way of the Web</a>:</strong></p> <p>The release and promotion of Google Cardboard is a great way to introduce virtual reality at an incredibly low cost, and it's interesting that journalism is slightly ahead of the consumer for once when it comes to VR. </p> <p>The New York Times included Google Cardboard with all home newspaper deliveries in November, promoting the NYT VR app.</p> <h3>The changing world of mobile SEO</h3> <p><strong>Richard Baxter, CEO of <a href="https://builtvisible.com/">Built Visible</a>:</strong></p> <p>After Marshmallow was released, the pace of mobile evolution really seemed to pick up this year, especially in our space: search. </p> <p>We've felt a huge increase in requests for projects for mobile-first content development and general mobile site audits for SEO (especially companies with complex international desktop and mobile site configurations).</p> <p>I expect to see that trend to continue to grow into 2016.</p> <p>We’ve seen mobile search change drastically, with search engines tolerating non-mobile friendly sites less and less.</p> <p>And we've seen ranking boosts in mobile search for mobile-friendly content and the diversity of the results themselves expand into ’in-app content’ depending on the device and OS making the query. </p> <p>Through Google’s App Indexing (&amp; the Google App Indexing API) mobile marketers have been given the opportunity to open up the content contained within their apps for search engines. </p> <p>This content not only influences organic search directly, but can also be resurfaced via OS features such as auto complete searches or via the recent roll out of Google Now on Tap, and Bing's equivalent, ‘Snapshots’.</p> <p>App content visibility can be extended even further via the use of Schema.org markup to satisfy certain user actions such as listening to a specific song, watching a video or opening a specific app from any web page. </p> <p>So I would say that this year we've seen quite a few new options open up for marketers, many of which require a good foundation in technical search to fully understand.</p> <p><strong>Dan Thornton:</strong></p> <p>The biggest event in mobile in 2015 has to be that <a href="https://econsultancy.com/admin/blog_posts/new/(https:/developers.google.com/app-indexing/?hl=en)">Google began indexing content from selected mobile apps</a> to show it in search results, and is opening up that functionality for more brands and developers. </p> <p>There are three big implications: </p> <ul> <li>Firstly, mobile apps and search will now be more closely linked in terms of search engine rankings. </li> <li>Secondly, we only use a handful of the apps we download, so it's a way to surface those we've ignored on our phone when we actually need them. </li> <li>And lastly it reinvigorates the debate around <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64392-responsive-adaptive-mobile-or-native-what-s-the-best-option/">mobile and responsive websites versus app development</a>. </li> </ul> <h3>A growing need for speed...</h3> <p><strong>Gary Elliott, Head of Strategic Services at <a href="https://www.rocketmill.co.uk/">Rocketmill</a>:</strong></p> <p>Speed has become increasingly important. The Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project has reminded us all that mobile experiences need to be fast.</p> <p><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/4Z-m32PukPU?wmode=transparent" width="560" height="315"></iframe></p> <h3>Mobile payments</h3> <p><strong>Carl Uminski:</strong></p> <p>Mobile payments have undergone huge developments, with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay all allowing for seamless transactions in 2015.</p> <p>Apple’s use of its fingerprint scanner, TouchID, for authentication was particularly important and set the bar high for the competitive products.</p> <h3>New technology has made mobile more useful</h3> <p><strong>Gary Elliott:</strong></p> <p><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66975-what-is-the-realistic-future-for-wearables">Wearables</a>, connected homes and cars have extended the usefulness of our mobile devices, and beacons have allowed brands to make physical experiences more personal. </p> <h3>But the Apple Watch fails to impress… </h3> <p><strong>Carl Uminski:</strong></p> <p>One of the year’s major disappointments has to be the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66181-one-of-the-more-sarcastic-apple-watch-articles-you-ll-read-today">Apple Watch</a>, which has failed to solve any specific consumer need. </p> <p>Consumers only seem to find the fitness functionalities useful, so with the Apple Watch at a far higher price point than the vast array of other fitness trackers on the market, it will have to further differentiate itself to compete long term.  </p> <p>There is no doubt that the Apple Watch has potential, though, particularly in the enterprise world. </p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67324 2015-12-15T15:44:15+00:00 2015-12-15T15:44:15+00:00 How Western mobile apps are making headway in China: stats Luke Richards <p>And while the market is certainly big, it is also somewhat hermetic, a trait I noticed of the broader digital landscape when writing my <em>China: Digital Market Landscape Report</em> back in 2012.</p> <p>This is taken from my introduction to the report:</p> <blockquote> <p>It is easy to see why the region is of interest to digital marketers and businesses. But China’s digital ecosystem has other unique traits…</p> <p>For instance, government censorship and strict vetting processes across the internet, including on social media and search engines, can make online visibility difficult and unpredictable.</p> <p>This has given rise to a number of state-friendly digital powerhouses such as Baidu, Tencent and Renren which take the place of western names like Google and Facebook.</p> </blockquote> <p>Indeed, when it comes to mobile in the region, names such as Baidu and Tencent certainly dominate alongside others such as WeChat and QQ.</p> <p>But as we can see from recent TalkingData statistics which looks specifically at the app market, Western names are gaining some surprisingly successful footholds in the market.</p> <p>And just by the way, all the stats used in this post are included in the latest version of our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium/?utm_source=Econ%20Blog%20&amp;utm_medium=Blog&amp;utm_campaign=BLOGSTATS">Internet Statistics Compendium</a>.</p> <p>It’s updated monthly and covers 11 different topics from advertising, content, customer experience, mobile, ecommerce and social.</p> <h3><strong>Leading apps in China are domestic</strong></h3> <p>First, let’s look to some <a title="TalkingData" href="http://blog.talkingdata.com/index.php/2015/11/20/top-20-china-mobile-apps-201510/" target="_blank">TalkingData stats released in October</a> to get a top level view of the Chinese mobile app market.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/9949/chinaapp1.png" alt="" width="449" height="613"></p> <p>Instant messaging service WeChat is the Chinese mobile app market leader, reaching more than 80% of all mobile users; nearly 1bn people.</p> <p>QQ, another IM client, also reaches a good proportion of mobile users (75%) and also has a presence with its browser (QQ Mobile Browser) and music service (QQ Music).</p> <p>Messaging apps certainly rule the roost, and domestic apps really do dominate the Top 20.</p> <h3><strong>But international apps are making headway</strong></h3> <p>While the above table doesn’t suggest that Western apps are being used on Chinese mobiles in any major way, <a title="TalkingData" href="http://blog.talkingdata.com/index.php/2015/10/28/report-on-chinese-mobile-users-usage-of-international-apps/" target="_blank">further research by TalkingData</a> actually suggests otherwise.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/9950/chinaapp2.png" alt="" width="543" height="256"></p> <p>They found that 25% of the country’s mobile users have used at least one international app such as Facebook, Uber or Google Chrome.</p> <p>This percentage might not seem like a lot, but actually equates to 310m people. For comparison, that’s nearly as many people as there are living in the United States.</p> <h3><strong>Facebook pushes international social message app use</strong></h3> <p>The appetite Chinese mobile users have for messaging and related tools is reflected in the international corner of the market too.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/9951/chinaapp3.png" alt="" width="337" height="209"></p> <p>Social messaging apps make up more than 15% of the international app market in the region. Facebook is really driving this, being the number one international app on iOS devices.</p> <p>It’s worth noting that iPhones account for the biggest share of the smartphone device market (more than 33% according to <a title="China Internet Watch" href="http://www.chinainternetwatch.com/15718/china-mobile-internet-insights-q3-2015/" target="_blank">TrustData and China Internet Watch</a>).</p> <h3><strong>And Flipboard is big on Android</strong></h3> <p>When it comes to Android devices, the key success story for international apps in China is Flipboard.</p> <p>The social network aggregation app allows users to easily ‘flip’ between their various social networks, news and other feeds in an easy magazine-style tool.</p> <p>And with the rich variety of social and information services on offer to Chinese consumers, one can see why such a tool has taken off so well in the market.</p> <p>It is the leading international app on Android and is growing at an average monthly rate of 7.6% - although it does have some domestic competition from Zaker and Viva.</p> <p>It's also worth remembering that Flipboard comes pre-installed on some Android devices.</p> <p>Even so, these TalkingData statistics show that there is room in the China mobile market for international names to make an impact.</p> <p>Domestic brands may have majority share of the app landscape, but the market’s size and diversity means that even seemingly small international services can still be of use to quite sizeable numbers of people provided they are – in essence – useful.</p> <p>For more stats see our monthly-updated <a title="Internet Statistics Compendium" href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/internet-statistics-compendium/" target="_blank"><em>Internet Statistics Compendium</em></a>.</p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67138 2015-11-04T13:57:06+00:00 2015-11-04T13:57:06+00:00 Native apps for retail: 10 reasons it's now or never Ben Davis <h3>1. Mobile growth is quicker than anything we've seen</h3> <p>Mobile now accounts for 27% of ecommerce transactions globally, according to Adyen, and 30% in the US, according to a study by Criteo.</p> <p>The speed of mobile commerce growth is outstripping that seen during the original ecommerce boom.</p> <p>Though much of recent debate has focused on Google's <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67110-what-does-the-rollout-of-google-cross-device-conversions-mean-for-marketers">cross-device tracking</a> to understand how mobile impacts conversion, many retailers are still unable to offer a slick journey to purchase on a mobile device.</p> <h3>2. Native apps can be a joyous experience, if only more retailers got the basics right</h3> <p>A symptom of retailers repurposing ecommerce infrastructure for their apps is the prevalence of clunky registration and checkout experiences.</p> <p>The majority of user frustration and bad reviews come from these two ends of the app purchase journey.</p> <p>Judo Payments, a mobile payment specialist, has reviewed the checkout experiences of the IMRG Experian Hitwise Hot 100 Retailer list.</p> <p>As the table below shows, 62% have a commerce app, but only 25% of these have a native checkout. The other 75% direct customers to a web-based payment system, likely to increase abandonment.</p> <p>In order to create joyous native app experiences that will convert loyal customers, retailers must understand exactly what information they need from customers and make it easy to input.</p> <p>The Trainline has recently <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67022-nine-things-i-love-about-the-trainline-app/">dropped the need for registration</a> from its app. Retailers should take heed.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/8597/Screen_Shot_2015-11-03_at_08.33.15.png" alt="native apps with native checkout" width="615"></p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/8598/Screen_Shot_2015-11-03_at_09.06.06.png" alt="native checkout" width="615"></p> <h3>3. Indexing and deep linking increase 'findability'...</h3> <p>One of the most common arguments against apps was <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/65883-berners-lee-native-apps-are-boring-not-part-of-the-discussion">articulated by Tim Berners-Lee</a> at Le Web 2014.</p> <blockquote> <p>Everyone loses if it’s not on the web. If it’s online everyone can see it and link to it, you are part of the conversation.</p> </blockquote> <p>However, <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67006-google-pushing-hard-to-extend-influence-to-apps">Google is now indexing app content</a> and showing it in mobile search (whilst also admittedly <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66884-google-cracks-down-on-app-install-interstitials-what-publishers-need-to-know/">penalising mobile websites with app download interstitials</a> that cover the homepage).</p> <p>Deep linking to specific app content has also been possible for a number of years. This allows retailers to direct customers to specific products or content within their app, from an email or a social post.</p> <h3>4. ...and findability is a red herring, anyway</h3> <p>Perhaps the number one gripe with apps over the years has been the difficulty in increasing numbers of downloads and reducing churn.</p> <p>Dennis Jones, CEO of Judo Payments, makes clear that heavily marketing an app will inevitably lead to churn.</p> <p>A retail app cannot be seen as 'a simple extension of ecommerce', with the same incentive to widen the funnel as much as possible.</p> <p>Native apps should be considered a separate proposition for your most loyal customers.</p> <blockquote> <p>20% of your retail customers will drive 60-80% of business. Either directly or through referrals.</p> </blockquote> <h3>5. Native apps convert</h3> <p>Research by Kony has shown that for iOS, conversion rate in native apps is 30% higher than web apps.</p> <h3>6. Consumers want consistent retail experiences</h3> <p>Amazon has succeeded by creating a trusted service, with reliable pricing and delivery. It's this same dynamic that will pull your loyal customers to a native app.</p> <p>Customers don't always want choice, something that Google (even when searching for a specific retailer) pretty much guarantees as part of its revenue model.</p> <p>Though <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64825-google-shopping-explained-how-to-get-started/">Google Shopping</a> is shortening the web funnel by adding 'Buy' buttons to ads, as well as improving page speed, consumers often want to find a trusted retailer as quickly as possible (and may even be wary of Google's suggested products).</p> <p>It's a simple point I'm struggling to make clearly, as the mobile web becomes busier and more sophisticated, native apps still offer a way to cut through the noise. </p> <h3>7. Success stories are convincing</h3> <p>Here are <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/64435-nine-excellent-retail-apps-that-help-to-foster-customer-loyalty">nine excellent retail apps</a>, as reviewed by David Moth. Success stories, as opposed to poorly implemented solutions, are a simple and convincing argument for retail apps, with the slickest examples being native.</p> <h3>8. A great native app still offers competitive advantage</h3> <p>The same Judo Payments study I referenced earlier highlights some of the top retailers without a commerce app.</p> <p>Debenhams, PC World, Currys, IKEA, Carphone Warehouse, Matalan, Clarks, Waitrose, TK Maxx, Urban Outfitters, Superdrug, Monsoon and Ann Summers are named.</p> <p>What this shows is that however quickly the mobile space is moving, there's still room to delight your loyal customers where your competitors are failing to do so.</p> <p>Moving now may represent the last chance to get a competitive advantage through a native app.</p> <h3>9. App usage is simply too big to be ignored </h3> <p>Consumers are using apps more than ever, with some 2015 studies pointing to 85% or more of smartphone usage as in-app. Smartphone usage is increasing, too, of course.</p> <p>The caveat that app 'haterz' add here is that the majority of that usage is consigned to a small number of apps; 80% of time is devoted to just five apps according to Forrester.</p> <p>These are not the same five apps for every user, though. The chart below shows usage split by category, with a chunky 5% of time spent shopping.</p> <p>Like it or not, users choose to shop in-app when the experience is good. If retailers are truly dedicated to customer experience, a beautiful native app makes sense.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/8576/forrester_app_category.png" alt="time in app spent shopping" width="1050"></p> <h3>10. Retailers are dangerously bound to legacy infrastructure and teams</h3> <p>It's the speed of mobile growth that dictates the need for retailers to innovate and experiment. Doggedly sticking to team structures designed for traditional ecommerce has inevitably led to divided loyalties between native app and web.</p> <p>Early investors in native apps have proven how successful the channel can be, particularly for obviously mobile propositions (e.g. Domino's Pizza).</p> <p>Without continued investment in apps as a separate sales channel, retailers are more likely to fail their customers. As innovation on mobile continues and user habits continue to evolve, retailers restructuring for mobile conversion will be best-placed to succeed. </p> <p><em>For an alternative view on native apps, see Patricio Robles' posts:</em></p> <ul> <li><em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66977-eight-reasons-to-kill-your-native-mobile-app/">Eight reasons to kill your native mobile app</a></em></li> <li> <em><a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67004-are-mobile-apps-bottom-of-the-marketing-funnel/">Are mobile apps bottom of the marketing funnel?</a></em> </li> </ul> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67090 2015-10-23T12:09:48+01:00 2015-10-23T12:09:48+01:00 The ad-blockers cannot be allowed to win, but they can move the goalposts Ian McKee <p>That’s perhaps an oversimplification, but generally I’ve always had the sense that ad-blockers aren’t considering how the sites they are frequenting are supposed to support themselves.</p> <p>As someone who works in media and marketing, with clients on the delivery side and relationships on the publisher side, it smacks of ignorance, and ultimately selfishness.</p> <p>A ‘let someone else pay’ attitude. </p> <p>However, recent events have put ad-blocking to the fore. It’s no longer the preserve of a few geeky <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67058-marketing-on-reddit-a-potential-goldmine-or-a-fool-s-errand/">redditors</a>.</p> <p>It’s growing exponentially, and with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66998-mobile-ad-blocking-the-challenge-for-publishers-the-experts-view/">Apple’s introduction of ad-blocking in iOS 9</a> it’s made its way to mobile.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/8322/Screen_Shot_2015-10-23_at_12.04.40.png" alt="" width="515" height="459"> </p> <p>Ad-blocking apps shooting to the top of the App Store is about as solid an affirmation of mainstream crossover as it’s possible to achieve. </p> <p>And for the first time I am beginning to understand why people want to block ads. Because I think there’s a shift in motive. </p> <h3>Privacy to performance</h3> <p>There are two main arguments ad-blockers will normally cite. </p> <p>The first is privacy – ‘I don’t want my behaviour to be tracked’. My stance here is ‘sorry, but that ship has sailed’.</p> <p>Data and tracking is the foundation on which the web is built on, it’s the flip side to the openness we all value in it.</p> <p>If you don’t want to be tracked, well, I hope you like paywalls. </p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/8320/Screen_Shot_2015-10-23_at_11.57.28.png" alt="" width="389" height="300"></p> <p>By all means the way data is tracked, shared and used should be subject to regulation; Edward Snowden showed us that’s true. But that’s a separate discussion.</p> <p>For the most part (as any Econsultancy reader is likely to know) data is used responsibly.</p> <p>The worst motive most businesses have for tracking you is to try and sell you stuff. You have free will, you don’t have to buy it. </p> <p>The second is around performance and experience. Everyone wants a faster, smoother, better experience on the web.</p> <p>But for some reason, as device, mobile network and Wi-Fi speeds have increased exponentially, our experience on the web has failed to keep up.</p> <p>And the reasons for this can be seen via a quick query on the HTTP Archive, which tracks various trends across the web’s top 1m sites.</p> <p>Average web page size has steadily increased while <a href="http://httparchive.org/trends.php?s=All&amp;minlabel=Nov+15+2010&amp;maxlabel=Oct+1+2015">page speed is actually slower than it was in 2010</a>. </p> <h3>The ‘Overton Window’ of online advertising</h3> <p>As Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour leadership campaign gained momentum this year, there was a lot of talk of the ‘Overton Window’.</p> <p>The concept is that the mere discussion of political policies to the left or right of what is in mainstream discourse shifts the ‘window’ of what is acceptable in the public view. </p> <p>Corbyn’s rise to popularity has been as similarly, and surprisingly, meteoric as the sudden rise in ad-blocking.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/8321/jeremy_corbyn.jpg" alt="" width="224" height="251"></p> <p>Apple’s decision to allow ad-blocking in Safari (and even, seemingly, <a href="http://techcrunch.com/2015/10/06/apple-approves-an-app-that-blocks-ads-in-native-apps-including-apple-news/">native apps</a>) has thrust it into the mainstream.</p> <p>And now the debate around ad-blocking is considerably broader than it was just a year ago, with the consumer backing to make it a genuine concern for publishers and ad tech vendors everywhere. </p> <p>What ad-blocking is doing is shifting the ‘Overton Window’ of online advertising, changing the public view of what is an acceptable experience. </p> <h3>Why ad-blocking cannot be allowed to win</h3> <p>This is what ad-blocking should be doing. It’s a knock-on effect of the same openness that I earlier argued is the reason we have to allow data tracking.</p> <p>If the web is a free market, ad-blocking is the people flexing their consumer buying power muscle, voting with their feet (or in this case, browser extensions).</p> <p>However, the prospect of it going any further than that is a frightening one to me. </p> <p>Here on Econsultancy recently, Jack Simpson asked ‘<a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/67044-is-native-advertising-the-answer-to-ad-blocking">is native advertising the answer to ad-blocking</a>?’.</p> <p>My answer to that question is, ‘probably, yes’. Though I’d maybe phrase the question differently, more like ‘is native advertising the logical result of ad-blocking?’.</p> <p>In a world where all technology-based advertising is blocked, native advertising reigns.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/8319/Screen_Shot_2015-10-23_at_11.52.09.png" alt="" width="1000"></p> <p>But I disagree with Jack’s conclusion that this ‘benefits all parties’. </p> <p>I have no issue with <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/63722-what-is-native-advertising-and-do-you-need-it/">native ads</a> in a full marketing ecosystem. As a PR person, I’ve planned and written many an advertorial (what we used to call native ads before Buzzfeed came along and gave them a trendy new name) over the years.</p> <p>But even as a brand marketer myself, a media landscape where they are the only vehicle for brand messaging is akin to some kind of post apocalyptic nightmare to me.</p> <p>First of all, I don’t believe it is what even the staunchest original ad blockers want.</p> <p>If they thought their actions were leading towards a web where all their favourite sites are 50% branded content (and <a href="https://contently.com/strategist/2015/09/08/article-or-ad-when-it-comes-to-native-no-one-knows/">they aren’t sure which 50%</a>), they’d be distraught.  </p> <p>And it doesn’t benefit publishers. Their sites will likely load faster, but their editorial independence and integrity will inevitably falter as they struggle to keep the walls up between commercial and editorial.</p> <p>They will also know less about their audience and, to marketers, knowing your audience is as important for the creation of content as it is for the selling of ads. </p> <p>I don’t believe native ads benefits marketers either. Native advertising has its benefits, for presenting a brand message in an engaging way, but it’s poor for audience intelligence and targeting, and not the best medium for direct response. </p> <p>There’s also the financial issue. Native ads are currently expensive, probably because they impact a publisher’s editorial independence and allow the brand to ‘buy’ some of that integrity.</p> <p>If they’re the only advertising medium, native ads will get cheaper, and publishers’ already diminishing revenues will fall further.</p> <p>But native ads will still likely be an expensive way for brands to attempt to target an audience, being as they are predominantly a brand messaging vehicle.</p> <p>Again, bad for both sides. </p> <h3>Ad-blocking should be making advertising better, not worse</h3> <p>The point is that if ad-blocking was to get to the apocalyptic (and admittedly still far off) level where all tracking technology is defeated, I think the web will be a worse, not better, place. Which is not the point of ad-blocking. </p> <p>Instead, the marketing technology vendors and buyers, publishers and marketers, should see ad-blocking neither as a minor irritant nor an unstoppable tidal wave.</p> <p>It’s a market movement, the result of an open web that they can respond to by making ads and tracking less intrusive, and our <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/digital-experience-are-brands-meeting-consumer-expectations/">digital experiences</a> better.</p> <p>Ultimately a web with more relevant, better implemented, faster ads really does benefit everyone – user, publisher and marketer. </p> tag:www.econsultancy.com,2008:BlogPost/67022 2015-10-12T14:13:47+01:00 2015-10-12T14:13:47+01:00 Nine things I love about the Trainline app Ben Davis <p style="font-weight: normal;">Trainline has brought mobile development in-house and is moving much of its infrastructure to Amazon Web Services as it seeks to use all the resources it can to improve <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/customer-experience-statistics/">customer experience</a>.</p> <p style="font-weight: normal;">For now, let's keep it lighthearted and look at some of the lovely features of the Trainline app that should inspire you for your own projects.</p> <h3>1. Mint jelly babies</h3> <p>A wonderfully simple demonstration of UX, these turquoise dummies make it less easy for those without their glasses or in a rush to select the wrong values here.</p> <p>I always travel in fives.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7779/img_2228-blog-flyer.png" alt="trainline app" width="300"></p> <h3>2. Guest checkout</h3> <p>Probably the major development of the Trainline app. All you need to give is a name and your payment details and you can purchase a ticket and leave town.</p> <p>Guest checkout is something <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/66122-why-has-asos-removed-its-guest-checkout-option">many ecommerce sites do not do</a>. Even in an app, it makes sense, as people forgetting their passwords are often a major cause for abandoned purchases or customer services enquiries.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7767/img_2217-blog-flyer.png" alt="trainline app" width="300"></p> <h3>3. Contrast and clarity</h3> <p>New font, demure shading, stamped borders, coy colour scheme. There's something Apple-esque about the design here, it sings.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7772/img_2222-blog-flyer.png" alt="trainline mobile app" width="300"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7774/img_2223-blog-flyer.png" alt="trainline app" width="300"></p> <h3>4. Dynamic tickets</h3> <p>This is the second major improvement to the app, tickets with live updates including platform numbers and journey progress. This should help encourage users to move to mobile ticketing.</p> <p>I wish it did take five minutes to travel London Bridge to Brighton (that way, Croydon would be only a blur).</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7770/img_2220-blog-flyer.png" alt="trainline ticket" width="300"></p> <h3>5. Personality</h3> <p>Trainline's rebrand has seen a whole lot more personality injected across ad campaigns (TV's 'I am Train') and also UX and <a href="https://econsultancy.com/training/courses/online-copywriting/">copywriting</a>.</p> <p>Whilst some might bemoan the infantilisation of marketing (started by Innocent smoothies), Trainline does well with this approach.</p> <p>There's something about the hell of train travel that benefits from a cheeky wink during the booking process.</p> <p>Below are some examples of Trainline's pep - a nicely chosen quote, a shining star (in mint, again) and even the copy from the app store, which nicely delves into the design updates.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7768/img_2218-blog-flyer.png" alt="trainline app" width="300"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7769/img_2219-blog-flyer.png" alt="trainline app" width="300"></p> <p><em>(click to enlarge the image below showing the new personality of Trainline's brand)</em></p> <p><a href="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/7791/trainline.png"><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/7791/trainline.png" alt="trainline app in app store" width="620" height="441"></a></p> <h3>6. Sexy interstitials</h3> <p>Not quite a student band name.</p> <p>These overlays on first use are just the sort of notifications that users need. They inform me not how to use the app - which is fairly intuitive (cue commenters telling me there's no such thing in UX) - but why to use certain functions.</p> <p>No queuing, no booking fee etc.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7780/img_2229-blog-flyer.png" alt="trainline app" width="300"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7771/img_2221-blog-flyer.png" alt="trainline app interstitial" width="300"></p> <h3>7. Timetable downloads</h3> <p>Alongside the new dynamic mobile tickets (showing journey progress), the ability to download timetables and access live departures eats into the territory of the <a href="https://econsultancy.com/blog/9845-app-review-national-rail-enquiries-journey-planner/">National Rail Enquiries app</a>, which many have used to keep abreast of this information.</p> <p>For those recidivists like me who still love a good timetable, the only thing missing is the joy of the concertina fold.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7776/img_2226-blog-flyer.png" alt="trainline app table download" width="300"> <img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7777/img_2227-blog-flyer.png" alt="trainline app timetable" width="300"></p> <h3>8. Flush forms</h3> <p>These chunky form fields fit squarely into the frame and there's nothing but the obligatory link to privacy policy to distract customers from this most tricky part of the buying process.</p> <p>Even the field titles could not be more succinct.</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/resized/0006/7773/img_2224-blog-flyer.png" alt="trainline mobile app" width="300"></p> <h3>9. Branding</h3> <p>The decision to change the app icon to say simply 'train' is inspired. Along with the mint, the icon is unmissable and seeks to convey the joyous booking process that Trainline thinks will differentiate itself from the competition</p> <p><img src="https://assets.econsultancy.com/images/0006/7786/train_icon.png" alt="train icon" width="400" height="400"></p> <p><em>Any thoughts on the app? Let us know in the comments below. For more information on mobile development, download the Econsultancy <a href="https://econsultancy.com/reports/mobile-web-design-and-development-best-practice-guide/">Mobile Web Design and Development Best Practice Guide</a>.</em></p>