We’re all about that base: Minding your product’s core features

by Balint Szeplaki,
Head of Product at Poq

Today’s modern shopper places constant pressure on retailers to be innovative, unique, and engaging. While this is no easy task, retailers are up for the challenge and as seasons go by we can see the vast array of innovative campaigns and digital experiences the retail industry has produced. However, retailers must ensure they do not neglect the elements that brought them customers in the first place. This consideration can be thought of as important nowhere more than with apps and in this blog, we will be discussing the importance of keeping your core features top of mind.

A retail app’s core features are the foundations upon which a strong user base is built. While shiny, new features will help maintain and grow a user group, a lack of attention to core features and their maintenance or evolution will cause significant user dissatisfaction.

So, what makes up a group of core features? Standards include, quick response times, a well designed UX, an intuitive and autocomplete capable search bar as they relate to navigation, quick and simple account creation as it relates to on-boarding, saved payment methods as they relate to checkout, and overall high performance.

Navigation and on-boarding are one of the most important sets of core features due to the fact 14% of smartphone owners deleted an app that was difficult to use and effective on-boarding has been shown to increase user lifetime by up to 500%. But let’s not forget about the significance of speed⚡. According to Ericsson ConsumerLabs, consumers find the stress of mobile delays comparable to watching a horror movie and solving a math problem, proving that speed plays a vital role in determining whether a user experience is delightful or frustrating. In an only increasingly competitive industry where winning retailers can be separated from the pack by minimal differences in sales, these numbers and facts should not and cannot be ignored.

While these feature examples can be perceived as obvious, need-to-have features, they are often not consistently maintained, updated, or improved. A lack of attention to core features will lose engagement and ultimately lead to app deletion. According to Appcues, core features need to be the stickiest of the group, if they are not being utilised by users then the app has not been effectively built for its target audience. An app not effectively built for its target audience will not only serve to create negative sentiment and cause bad reviews, but also produce potentially irreversible brand degradation.

“Mobile delays are comparable to watching a horror movie and solving a math problem.”

More on the harsh effects unhappy users and their reviews can be found in our latest whitepaper; The ultimate guide to preventing bad app reviews

 

Get your copy of The ultimate guide to preventing bad app reviews

 

How would you feel if every time you went to checkout from your favourite retailer’s app you were asked to re-enter your credit card, billing, and delivery information?  I am not sure about you, but in this hypothetical scenario I would be annoyed and there is a high chance I will forget about it altogether. Parting with your money is not an easy process and the fact that it is made even less enjoyable by the inefficient process of entering my personal details will only serve to frustrate and annoy me. I know that am not alone in this thought process, meaning the retailer will lose out on a significant amount of revenue and gain unhappy customers. Thus, it is important that features which significantly reduce frictions in the payment process are maintained and fostered. Products must first remove the pains from the shopping journey before adding delight because if your core features are not succeeding in removing the basic pains then it does not matter how much delight you add with cool feature extras, they will not work—your customers will only be left frustrated.

As previously mentioned, bad app reviews as a result of dissatisfied customers can cause serious damage, including a drop in app rankings, negative brand awareness, revenue loss over an extended period of time, app deletion, and app download droppage. (Basically lots of 👎) These are all serious effects that every retailer must work to avoid, and providing your core features an equal amount of effort as innovation will protect you and your brand.

“5% improvement in retention results in a 25 – 95% profit increase”

As previously mentioned, bad app reviews as a result of dissatisfied customers can cause serious damage, including a drop in app rankings, negative brand awareness, revenue loss over an extended period of time, app deletion, and app download droppage. These are all serious effects that every retailer must work to avoid, and providing your core features an equal amount of effort as innovation will protect you and your brand.

 

🍀 Lucky for you though, choosing to increase the value of your core features will not only help you avoid bad app reviews and avoid the dreaded feature creep, it will also protect your user base and increase revenue. According to Appcues a 5% improvement in retention results in a 25 – 95% profit increase. In the retail industry a little can go a long way and so it is very important that you and your product teams are constantly up to date on trends relating to both innovation and the core features that make up the base of your current and / or potential success.

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