Emptying the closet; why applying your brand is not fashionable
When it comes to our wardrobe, stylists know that no matter how many trends we follow, 80% of the time we only wear 20% of our clothes.
In other words, we naturally gravitate toward our favorite, tried and true clothes again and again. We may pack our wardrobes with various options, but most of them never see the light of day. The same principle applies to mobile applications on our smartphones; more than half of the installed applications remain unused.
The average person installs 40 apps on their phone. However, only 18 of the 40 apps dominate 89% of users’ time. Just like those loudly printed pants we were convinced we would one day wear, our smartphone is a digital closet in need of a clean-out.
However, when the time comes to hit the ‘remove’ button, we can’t help but think about how much time, effort and investment each brand has put into creating that particular app. Although branded apps were de rigueur five years ago, the fad has turned out to be a lightning rod. Gartner predicts that by 2025, 80% of customer service organizations will abandon native mobile apps in favor of multi-channel messaging to deliver a better user experience.
Customers take a capsule approach to applications
Consumers seem to be suffering from choice fatigue and are reducing the amount of time they spend on different apps. Just as the capsule wardrobe sees wearers prefer a small selection of quality items, they take the same approach to apps.
With one in two apps being uninstalled within just 30 days of download and losing $57,000 a month as a result, trying to divert customers from their preferred channels is a costly business. When you add the investment required to maintain apps, the appeal of branded apps further diminishes.
Now more than ever, it is imperative to communicate with customers through the channels they already use and love. Instead of trying to lure users away from their favorite apps, it’s time to meet them where they are—be the perfect accessory instead of reinventing their wardrobe.
While the most sought-after real estate is on the customer’s smartphone, companies must consider what is most engaging and convenient through each customer’s lens. And just like fashion, what suits one customer may not suit another. For example, research shows that the majority of users prefer Whatsapp and chat apps as a communication channel over social media or in-app messaging. For Xennials (35-44) and Gen Xers (45-54), as they gradually get used to mobile-first communication, email remains the preferred choice. The shift towards digitally-led communications will continue to accelerate, and brands must favor an omnichannel strategy that encompasses all applicable channels, enabling them to build lasting relationships.
Driving the perfect ensemble – vertically and horizontally
Moving away from apps doesn’t mean giving up on innovation or giving up on digital transformation. On the contrary. After all, no two customers are exactly the same, and we cannot apply a one-size-fits-all approach in accordance with the heightened expectations. To create great experiences, you need a clear picture of your customers; who they are, how they’ve interacted with you in the past, and what they’re interested in now.
We believe that the future of commerce lies at the heart of the conversation. Now we’re moving into an environment called conversational commerce, where you can do anything with a brand with just a conversation. Armed with a memory of every interaction that is fully scalable and capable of using artificial intelligence to learn over time, conversational commerce can help businesses create the best personalized customer experience.
We are only at the threshold of the dialogue trade movement, which can develop in two ways – vertically and horizontally. The recent launch of the Dior Whatsapp chatbot is one example of a vertical – in this case luxury beauty – using 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 to activation to purchase, providing a seamless, end-to-end experience for the end user in a single journey that can be extended across industries. .
Creating loyal, long-term customers means capturing consumers’ attention and serving them at their convenience. Apps may have been the trendy choice five years ago, but a simple conversation today is much more engaging for customers and much more sustainable for brands in the long term. Companies willing to embark on this journey have first-mover advantage. 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.
About the author
Ivan Ostojic is Infobip’s Deputy General Manager of Business. Infobip is a global leader in multi-channel engagement, offering a wide range of messaging channels, tools and solutions for advanced customer engagement, authentication and security. We help our customers and partners overcome the complexity of consumer communication, grow their business and improve the customer experience – all in a fast, secure and reliable way.