Your Push Notifications Need to be Personalized

In the year to come, personalizing the experience for your users should be on the top of your priority list. More and more, mobile app development firms are understanding just how important personalization and customization really is. Consumers not only want, but they now expect the website’s their on to be personalized, with content they’re interested in, with their own data, etc.

But why push notifications?

The power of push notifications is quite large, according to Wigzo, push notifications can boost engagement by 88%. This statistic is for standard, unpersonalized notifications. Now, imagine about how much more engagement you can get if that message is personalized to the user.

Another reason for starting the personalization with push, is that most users will opt-in for push notifications. If users are opted-in, than it is a relatively easy way for you to reach your user whether they are using your app or not.

Another fun fact, is that Android users tend to engage with more push notifications than iOS smartphone users. Therefore, you should definitely utilizing companies that offer Android development services, and plan out some effective content notifications.

If you’re still unsure on whether or not to use and personalize push, I’m confident that any UX design company that you hire, will help you strategize this, especially if you utilize their UX research services. With research, you will have real data from real users, giving you data about exactly what they want.

The software development agencies that build the below app’s did something right; they have completely nailed personalizing their push notifications.

Pandora

b1Pandora personalized their push notifications in a great way. The notifications are completely custom to the users in-app activity. Localytics reported that one of their most effective push notifications read “2015 is half over and you have already enjoyed 48 songs on Today’s Country Radio. Here’s to 48 more!”

Not only does is this message directly relative to the users activity while on the app, but it celebrates the users achievement (number of songs listened to on a certain radio station). It also gives the user a new goal, to listen to another 48 songs on that radio. The intention of this message is to make the user excited about their past activity, and encourage them to use the app more.

Good job Pandora! (Or to the UX company that helped them strategize this!)

Trip Advisor

b2TripAdvisor does personalized push notifications extremely well. Not only is this app your best friend while you’re traveling, but their mobile app design company had to have designed it where it is usable even when you’re not traveling. The app lets you know the great ratings of restaurants near you, no matter your location.

TripAdvisor’s mobile app will send you notification when prices are going up on a trip that you’ve had your eye on, and always recommends hotel rooms, flights, and things to do, based in your in-app activity. They also ensure that their personalized push notifications have a strong, actionable call-to-action.

MyFitnessPal

b3MyFitnessPal is another business that does push notifications very well. Not only are they extremely personal, speaking straight to the user about their behavior on the app, but they are extremely relevant, timely, and actionable.

For an example, if a user logs meals every day but skips one, it will notify them to remind them to log that day’s meal. They also send notifications that are bold, but effective, like “Hmm. Seems like these reminders aren’t helpful. We’re going to turn them off.” To say the least, this is quite a bold statement, however, it intrigues and interests users since it is so different, creating more engagement.

Conclusion

Messages that are sent via push notification are much more effective and engaging than emails and even text messages with offers and promotions. Everyday, consumers receive a lot of emails with promo’s and offers that are not directly addressed to them. Personalizing push notifications and keeping the message relevant engage the user and keeps them coming back for more.
engages the user,

If your conversion rates, or your CTR is not improving, you should potentially consider investing a bit more time in redesigning your app, or simply consult a UX UI design agency to get professional advice.

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Your Push Notifications Need to be Personalized

The Importance of mCommerce Within eCommerce

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Commerce is slowly moving from brick and mortar stores, to online and mobile. According to BigCommerce, 67% of millennials and 56% of generation X, prefer to purchase products online, rather than going into a store to shop. In order to stay on top of industry trends in this age, you must have eCommerce, and mCommerce incorporated into your business.

eCommerce includes all forms of doing business through the online exchange of data, where mCommerce is the trading of products through mobile, or wireless, handheld devices, like a mobile phone or tablet, using a mobile app.

While these two are different, neither should be prioritized over the other.

Internet Usage

One main difference between the two, is that eCommerce will always require using an Internet connection. Without WiFi, or an Internet connection in general, a user cannot purchase products from your website.

On the other hand, if a user has your app downloaded to their phone, they can make a purchase anywhere, anytime, whether the user is connected to the WiFi or not. This is why working with an eCommerce mobile app development company can be beneficial for your business.

The Experience

In order to grow your business, you need to ensure that you have a positive experience, across all platforms and aspects of your business. If a user looks for your app in the app store, and it isn’t there, you’re probably losing out on a sale that your business could have gained. Keeping a positive experience within every aspect of your business is more than important; you have to keep your customers happy.

In order to keep a solid experience for your customers, having a stellar design is also very important. If you don’t work with an eCommerce website design company, you probably should consider hiring one to make sure that your web design (and mobile!) stay consistent with your brand, and that your website or app look like a trustable place to make a purchase.

Mobile Usage

In a study done by BigCommerce, 20% of American shoppers have made a purchase from their mobile phone while they are in the car, or in the bathroom. People are truly making purchases from everywhere and anywhere, which is why it is so important to have a mobile presence if you’re a retailer or merchant.

If people are making purchases from the bathroom, than I have no doubt that users are browsing their retail apps while they wait in line, are on their lunch break, at work, etc. As one of the leading mobile app development agencies in Chicago, we understand and see the importance of mobile. Mobile usage has increased tremendously over the past few years, and that number will only continue to skyrocket for the years to come!

TechCrunch reported that users are using over 30 apps per month, whereas just a few years ago, that number was around 26. As more and more mobile app design companies launch useful app’s into the iOS and Android stores, the more people will continue using apps that either help them in their day-to-day life, or that they simply find enjoyable (like PokemonGo!).

So What?

So, if you have an online store and have customers that continue to make purchases from you, than you are, no doubt, in need of a mobile application. Consider getting into contact with an expert eCommerce website design and development agency to help you out!

The Importance of mCommerce Within eCommerce

2017 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Website Checklist

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are huge opportunities for merchants and retailers to make a lot of money. Last year, shoppers spent an average of $300 online shopping throughout the weekend. Adobe had stated that $5.27 billion was spent online after Black Friday alone (17.7% more than the previous year!)

As a web and mobile app development agency in Chicago, it is our duty to make sure that all of our clients who are participating in Black Friday and Cyber Monday, have their website ready to go! Making sure that your website if functioning properly, as well as having the user experience up to par couldn’t be more important around the holiday season.

Below is a checklist to help ensure that these holiday months will be profitable for your online store.

Ensure that your site can handle a large load of traffic

Depending on the platform that you’re using to sell online, your store can crash if it sees a huge surge of traffic at once. Before BFCM, you must test your server load capacity to ensure your online store doesn’t crash or break during peak hours.

You can use either LoadImpact.com or Blitz.io to test your store.

Banner Promo’s and Hero Images

You need to make sure that you have some nice graphics and visuals to promote your holiday sales. For every holiday promotion, you should have new banner ad’s to represent those specific sales and promotions. If you work with an eCommerce web design company, like Codal, than they should be able to take care of this for you.

Mobile-Ready

Although Black Friday and Cyber Monday is close to an official holiday, most people are back to work on Monday and may be doing their online shopping on-the-go. This means that your website needs to be 100% ready on mobile as well. Touch base with your mobile app design company to make sure that you don’t miss any mobile issues.

Tracking Pixels

Make sure that your tracking pixels are properly working if you are running Facebook ads, Google AdWords, Twitter ads, etc.

Typically, you should be able to do this yourself. Here is a guide for Facebook pixels, and here’s a guide on how to tag your website for Google AdWords. If you cannot implement this yourself, consider working with your web development agency in Chicago to help.

Ensuring that every page of your website has the correct tracking pixels, you’ll have a deep understanding of where your users are coming from. From analyzing this data from BFCM, you can make data-driven improvements to your ad’s for the rest of the holiday season.

Retarget All Customers

The holidays are the best time for you to retarget all of your past customers. You should be sending email campaigns to older customers. When you retarget previous visitors, you are reaching people that may have forgotten about your store.

It is very likely that people you have already sold to in the past will be much more receptive to your BFCM sales and promotions.

Set up Heatmaps

Implementing a heatmap to your website will also allow you to make data-driven changes to your website for the rest of the holiday season. Knowing where your users are dropping off, and where they are spending a lot of time on a certain page.

As a web application development company in Chicago, we are quite frequently implementing heatmapping tools. One of our favorites that we frequently recommend, is HotJar.

Now What?

Now that you have your Black Friday and Cyber Monday checklist ready to go, it’s time to start planning your marketing campaigns, talking to your development partner agency, and creating those graphics for your sales and promotions.

Happy BFCM!

2017 Black Friday and Cyber Monday Website Checklist

Must-Ask Questions for a Development Agency Before Hiring Them

When hiring an application development agency, there are things that you should know and fully understand prior to hiring anyone. If it’s your first time working with a developer or an Android or iOS development firm, then here is a list of questions that you must ask before getting started:

Will I own the code?

It is absolutely critical to know if you will have ownership of the code and all of the assets before working with a mobile app design company. Any good developer, or trustful company will ensure that you will own all of the code, and all of the assets used to design, or develop the application.

What tools do you use?

The person you hire for the custom software development services should be using quality tools throughout the entire process. For example, all of the code should be in a code repository, such as GitHub or BitBucket. If your agency or developer isn’t using a code repo, or if you don’t have access to it, this should be a red flag. Other industry tools, like a project management system, and JIRA are important to the development process. You should be fully aware of what tools will be used for your project before getting started.

Here at Codal, we give our clients access to all of the systems and tools we use, to obtain full transparency with our customers.

What level of involvement do you need from me?

As a Chicago web application development company, we want our clients to be be as involved as they can be. We are truly open to as much collaboration on projects as our clients would like.

Typically, the more collaboration that exists between us and the client, the smoother the process goes. Client feedback is important to us, we want to build software that our clients will fall in love with.

How and how frequently will we communicate?

The mobile app development company in Chicago that I work for, gives clients at least 1 weekly update on their project. However, in most cases, clients and project managers will be in communication much more than once a week.

Where are your developer’s located?

There are talented developers all over the world. While it does not necessarily matter their location, it is important that you know where they are, so that you can have a mutual understanding of what is being worked on, and when. For example, if your website crashes during the middle of the day, you need to understand who is available to fix it at certain times.

In my opinion, the best model for this is to hire a company that has both onshore and offshore teams. This way, someone is always available to help you, and your potential “offshore” fear can be overcome. This is the way development is done at Codal, we have app developers in Chicago, as well as a team in Ahmedabad, India, and Lincoln, UK.

Must-Ask Questions for a Development Agency Before Hiring Them

Important Metrics of Measuring Mobile App Success

In Part 1 of Important Metrics of Measuring Mobile App Success, some of the metrics that were discussed were as follows:

  • Number of users
  • In-App Engagement
  • Session Length

In this article, we will discuss the monthly (or daily) active users, network errors and app crashes, and abandonment rate.

MAU + DAU

Looking at the daily (or monthly) active users on your app is definitely a metric that you want to track. This will tell you who your true user base is, and how many people are truly engaged and consistently using the mobile application.

You or your mobile app development agency should be looking at this quite frequently and recognizing any possible trends (are your DAU’s shrinking, growing, staying the same?) This will also help you determine your target audience, and who you are marketing and advertising to.

App Crashes + Network Errors

I’m sure that you have experienced a mobile app crash at one point or another. The average rate for app crashed is 1-2% but of course can vary depending on the type of mobile app and how much it is used. Obviously, the less crashes the better. If your crash rate is above 1-2%, you will definitely want to work with an application development agency to get the issues resolved, as you most likely will lose users, in turn, lose revenue.

On the other hand, a network error is typically from the service provider, but can still lead to mobile app crashes.

Abandonment Rate

Your mobile app’s abandonment rate is ultimately the ratio between the transactions voided compared to transactions initiated.
If many of your transactions continue to annul through your app, chances are that either your user experience is not up to par, or that the app performance wasn’t up to the expectations of the user. Any UX design company should be able to take a look at the app, and conduct a UX audit to give user’s a more positive experience while using the mobile app.

As a UX design company in Chicago, Codal takes mobile app success seriously. Codal strives to not only be your UX design agency, or just your go-to Chicago app developers, but we strive to be your partner for everything digital. We don’t just want to build your app, but we want to see your business succeed.

Important Metrics of Measuring Mobile App Success

Beacons in Retail Case Study – OmniChannel Digital

By 2020, 40-50 billion devices will be connected to the Internet, compared to only 10 billion in 2003. This equals 5 devices per person by the time 2020 comes along. Currently there are a large array of different industries that take away benefits from the Internet of Things. Some of these industries include banking, healthcare,supply chain management, and retail.

Over the past few years, IoT has had one of the biggest impacts on the retail industry. From grocery stores, to large department stores, and even small mom-and-pop shops. As a UX design agency offering custom software development services, we see many clients looking into integrating IoT with their current technology, especially in the retail space.

If you have a retail store, whether a small boutique or a large department store, if you don’t have an app, your store will fall behind. Consumers are extremely dependent on their smartphones today that it is almost necessary to have an app, and an app that is engaging and personalized to the user. If you’re wondering how to make an engaging application that is personalized for every user, you have come to the right place. Beacon technology allows you to do just this.

OmniChannel Digital

Seeking out a mobile application development company, OmniChannel Digital had an idea that would bring in-store grocery shopping to the 21st century. Essentially wanting to change the in-store customer experience for grocery stores, OmniChannel Digital hired Codal to conduct thorough UX UI research, and iOS app development services.

blog 1OmniChannel Digital is a white-label mobile application for grocery stores to market their products to customers.

Using beacon technology, the application tracks where the user is located within the grocery store, the app then sends the user specific promotions based on their profile, and where they are at within the store.

For example, if the user is a 30-year old mother, while she is walking past the diaper aisle, the mobile app will notify her that the Pampers diapers are on sale. Not only does this increase the user’s customer experience while grocery shopping, it can save them money, help them navigate through the store, and even increase their shopping efficiencies.

The grocery stores that have the beacon technology implemented, also benefit a lot from this type of technology. Here’s how:

  • They know what products their users are buying
  • They can personalize promotions and understand customer behavior
  • They can collect and analyze pools of data to continue to make improvements
  • They can reach their customers while they are in a competitor’s store

There’s no reason that a retail or grocery store would not want to implement beacon technology into their apps and stores. In fact, beacon technology is the most rapidly growing in-store technology since mobile credit card readers were introduced.

By utilizing the services of IT strategy consulting and a mobile app design company, you can boost your business by simply integrating mobile beacon technology.

Beacons in Retail Case Study – OmniChannel Digital

Beyond the Basics: Custom Icon Design

Icons are a small, but powerful feature to any website that can give users a lasting impression of a brand. While custom icons should blend and match with the rest of your branding and website design, they should stand out enough to get the user’s attention. Any company that offers user experience design services will probably recommend using custom iconography.

Although there are many websites that offer free icons to download, such as Flat Icon, Free Pik, and Icons8, using custom icons is a solid way to ramp up your brand. If you let your UX design company design custom icons for you, they will be available to use on the following:

– Website and Mobile App
-Blog Posts
-Print Material
-Company Swag
-Tradeshow Backdrops + Material
-Product Packaging
-Social Media Visuals

The list of places that you can use icons for can go on and on. If your business has a mobile application and a website, than pass the new custom assets along to your mobile app development agency and have them implement them into your design.

Be Original

People simply appreciate originality. All of the icons in the libraries of the above websites I mentioned, probably have the same ongoing list of icons, that tons of UX companies are using. You wouldn’t want to be the company that blends in with the rest of them, would you? I didn’t think so.

Be Clear and Usable

By using custom icons on your web pages and apps, chances are that the icons will be much more clear on what the message is trying to convey. For example, Codal is a mobile application development agency, offering iOS development services in the Swift language, instead of just using an iPhone to show off that we are iOS app developers, Codal could create a custom icon, incorporating Codal branding, along with elements that would show that that that we specialize in Swift.

How to Get Started?

Start planning and select a style

The first step to creating custom icons is to start thinking about the style, look and feel you want to go for. There are so many different routes of styles you could go, and you would want to make sure it aligns with the rest of your brand (fun versus corporate).

Gather resources

Once you have a plan and a style in mind, start looking for resources that specialize in custom icon design. As a user experience design agency in Chicago, we would love to sit down and have a consultation with you about your UX and brand experience.

Beyond the Basics: Custom Icon Design