8 Fabulous Features Your Business App Should Offer
At one point in time, every business was excited about their website, and how they could better represent themselves in the digital age. Now, most businesses still manage and use those websites, but having one is hardly a new and exciting prospect except for those just starting out.
Now, more and more businesses are starting to consider the utility of a business app and why it matters. After all, you can only do so much with a website, but an app allows you to cultivate your own refined code, offer specific features, and maybe even ensure every provision your website offers can be utilised on the go.
If you visit the DreamWalk website, you can see just what is possible. But it's hard to justify this approach to those who manage your budget, or to consider if this is even an important step to take without an idea of how it could benefit you. Of course, talking with the app development team can help you understand what's on offer, but they're always going to be biased in the final conclusion of an app being exactly what you need.
So, in this post, we hope to discuss, impartially, all of the worthwhile and fabulous features you can provide via an app. We hope to balance this insight from the perspective of you as a business operator, and from the client side too.
Account Security Features
Many business owners feel somewhat unsure if an app is quite as secure as a website they have full control over. But apps are programs that are designed from the ground up for your needs, and in many cases they can make use of the inbuilt security features of the smartphone in question.
On iPhone for instance, Face ID infrastructure will ensure that only those who are verified will be able to access your app appropriately. Account security measures can stretch further, to two-factor authentication measures such as SMS verification, worthwhile authentication apps that provide codes, and more.
An app is simply easier to secure in its function and code than if someone were to use their web browser to visit your website on a device. You even have more control here, such as locking out users suspected of fraud, turning off app features for maintenance, and more.
Usability, Features, Layout
UI and UX design stand for User Interface and User eXperience respectively. These two disciplines have gone from a design philosophy to a full-time role in many businesses, and for good reason.
As such, the usability, accessed features, and layout of the presented information should all be bundled into one category. For instance, how might a user refresh your product listing? Do they have to navigate to refresh button? Or can they use the design language of the wider app in question, like pulling down with their thumb and refreshing the feed instantly?
Keep it simple if you can. Have some notable areas where the feed changes, such as a recent posts feed, or an area where you can showcase the best discounts on products to entice purchases.
A side menu feed to access every category can be useful, as can a search bar that updates with the relevant services or information a customer needs. Here you can also design the visual space of your app. For instance, what colour palette will its UI use? Will you keep it simple, in black and white with minimal branding, or cloak it in the colours of your logo? Working with an appropriate developer alongside your marketing team can help you imbue as much of your personality in your app as possible.
Push notifications are important to have, because measures like account updates, delivery tracking, offers for sales and more can be a great way to keep users reminded of your business and that it's always here to serve.
There's an important balance to strike here, of course. Too many notifications and your user is liable to uninstall the app. Even if iPhones now offer ‘scheduled summaries' – that is the notifications which are held until certain, pre-ascribed parts of the day, too many will scare your user base.
The best compromise is to allow your users complete control of all the notifications they wish to see. In your app, you can provide this. From push notifications to email notifications, these may include account updates, sales notifications, wishlist reminders, abandoned cart reminders, or perhaps messages from the support conversation you're having.
This brings us on to the next topic at hand:
When a user is logged into their account via your app, providing them clean and easy access to your support measures is a great provision. This may take the shape of allowing them to pass the security validation process they may usually go through thanks to verifying their identity through biometric or two-factor authentication data when calling from the app.
Or, you may offer them clean and easy access to your AI chatbot which provides the insight needed. This way, the chatbot can better redirect the intent of the customer so that the right support page is found. Or, simply having access to a frequently asked questions page within the app can prevent them from having to Google questions which, as we all know, can be frustrating.
Most of the companies rated positively for their approach to support all have appropriate apps which offer these features. If 60% of people only browse the internet through their mobile devices or portable devices like tablets, you can be certain this outcome is the best.
A Worthwhile Feedback System
If you're not listening to your customers or users, then you're not listening at all. From an app, you might push forward optional surveys that can discount the next order someone makes, or a feedback section should someone have a complaint or insight but not want to contact your support team for it.
Sometimes, even public feedback can be worthwhile. A review section under each product you sell could potentially encourage future orders and add trustworthiness to your app approach.
In some cases, a ‘report a problem' button can also help you notice issues with your app or the service you provide before any more customers notice it, thereby your downtime only needs to be scheduled for a minor amount of time. In the long run, that's sure to craft a worthwhile outcome you can appreciate, and the users who are given a chance to offer their opinion feel better about you listening to them.
Light Mode/Dark Mode
This may seem like a simple provision, and it is, but offering a light or dark mode as part of your app design can enable people to feel more comfortable when using it. This can also help your app match with the larger software package of your phone's UI, as both Android and iOS now offer light mode and dark mode across all of the phone's display.
What are the benefits of this? Well, light mode can be better in lighter environments, while dark mode is easier on the eyes and thanks to its lack of necessary brightness, is a good way to save battery. Is this absolutely essential? No. Would many (if any) users opt for another app over yours because you lack a dark mode? Almost certainly not. Is it nice to have, and can it help your app stand out among others? We believe it can.
After all, it's better to implement this feature now than to do so later and have to shift around your colour palette or layout so it will fit the presented information already there.
It's healthy to plan for full account management opportunities as part of your app. Everything a customer can do with their account on your website should also be available in the account section on your app.
This may include saving address information, payment details, and more. It can also mean setting preferences. Let's say you're a fashion retailer. Setting their sizes in their account section, optionally, might help them see exactly the clothes that will fit them and remain suitable for their tastes, presented first and foremost.
Security features, as mentioned above, should be easy to register on the app. This way, no customer has to have a computer to inevitably manage their entire experience with your firm. They can do it from anywhere with an internet connection.
A Worthwhile Changelog
When you update your app, it's good to tell your users what may have changed. From switching certain layout elements around to making the app more secure, sure you don't have to tell your users what the update is for, but it's nice to do so, and it shows just what kind of work you're putting into the experience. Your dev team will no doubt appreciate credit for their work.
This way, your app can become more than just a nice utility, and instead a platform that users grow with, and that grows with them. That might sound like overly philosophical talk for a business app, but it shows the right kind of perspectives that lead to success.