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4 WEB DESIGN TRENDS TO WATCH IN 2019

4 WEB DESIGN TRENDS TO WATCH IN 2019

We head into 2019; many businesses are starting to think about their marketing plans for the upcoming year. Is a new website going to be in your budget for next year? This is a great time to take stock of the state of your current website and think about whether or not you need to update or refresh. If you have already started a growth-driven-design-based website redesign, then you are on the right track and are already planning to make continuous improvements to your site throughout the year (good for you!). For the rest of us, however, here are a few web design trends to keep an eye on in 2019 as you plot a new website redesign

1. MOBILE Version

It's no secret that we are more attached to our phones than ever now. We've known this was coming for a while. In 2015, Google told us that one of the key web design trends was that mobile searches had overtaken those on a desktop for the first time. In 2018, Google made the shift to mobile-first indexing - this means that the mobile version of your website is the one that Google will include in their index. Between this shifts from Google and user behavior trending more towards searching on phones, it is more important than ever to make sure that your website is in tip-top shape for use on a phone.

What does this mean for your potential 2019 website redesign? It means that you should think carefully about how your users are interacting with your website - take a look at your analytics. What pages are they visiting? How long are they staying? As you dive into your redesign, keep these findings in mind and make sure that you are thinking first and foremost about how your site performs and looks on a mobile phone. Is it easy for users to navigate and interact with the content they need on a smaller device? Think about designing first for mobile, and then expanding your design for desktop and tablet so that you are sure users can do and see everything they need to on a mobile phone.

2. THE NEED FOR SPEED 

In today's busy world, people's attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. If your website lags and is slow to load it's likely that your web visitors will just move along and check out one of your competitors.

It's not just our lagging attention spans that you need to worry about when it comes to website speed; it's also our Google overlords. In July of 2018, the Google speed update went live - in this update, Google included using mobile page speed as a ranking factor for search results. More than almost any of the other web design trends, speed needs to be at the front of your mind from the very beginning of your design process right through to the launch of your new site and the subsequent continuous improvements. This news isn't new, but the importance of it will only grow in the coming year.

 

3. VIDEO BACKGROUNDS

As we move into 2019, it's clear that video is becoming the king of the web. Cisco predicts that, by 2021, 80% of all web traffic will be video - making video one of the most important web design trends going forward. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, but video can be worth so much more.

Using video on your website allows you to convey your message quickly and compellingly. One trend that we are watching for 2019 is the rise of video backgrounds and header images. These allow you to grab the attention of your users right away when they land on a page of your website. People are naturally drawn to video in ways that aren't equaled by text or images. They want to keep watching to see what happens.

As you think about a 2019 website redesign, think about how you can incorporate video to showcase your brand and your message.

4. CHATBOTS

Web design in 2019 is all about user experience. How can you make your site as easy to use as possible for your customers? What can you do to make sure that they are able to find the information they need and ask any questions they have as quickly and simply as possible? One answer is chatbots.

We have already seen these little guys popping up in the corners of many websites offering to help answer your questions. As technology continues to evolve, we will be seeing more and more of them.

Properly used and configured chatbots can be extremely helpful to both you and your customers. From an end-user perspective, chatbots allow people to ask questions and get the information that they need quickly - a positive and easy interaction that will leave them with a good feeling about your business. From a business perspective, chatbots allow you to gather valuable website visitor data for your sales and marketing teams to leverage.

Are you finding that people are coming to your website and asking the same questions? Perhaps you need to make that information clearer and easier to find on your site. Perhaps it's an opportunity for a blog or social media post.

Your users are telling you what they want - and for a marketer, this information is golden.

Whether you're looking to adopt new web design trends as part of a redesign project or as part of the continuous improvements you make to your website during the growth-driven design process, the web design team at THAT Agency can help. Contact us today to find out how!

12 Mobile App Development Trends in 2019

Gaining more speed and momentum from the statistics mentioned above, 2019 is likely to bring about an even brighter future for mobile app development. We will either be seeing brand new mobile app development trends or a huge upgrade from what users are already using.

1. Accelerated Mobile Pages through AMP and EMM

AMP (Application Performance Management) listings were integrated into Google search in 2016, and since then developers have not looked back.

By inculcating these within the app framework, developers have been able to use this boiled down version of HTML for better user experience and retention, with Facebook Instant Articles being one of the many success stories.

These monitoring tools and metrics that help resolve bottlenecks as well as enhance overall performance are due to become a staple by 2019.

2. Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence

AI and machine learning have dug their heels deeper into mobile apps that we may have realized. AI makes itself manifest in the form of chatbots. Siri is, in fact, one of the biggest proofs why machine learning and artificial intelligence are very much a part of mobile apps and ones that cannot be separated now.

The rising demand for machine learning and AI in the form of virtual assistants and chatbots is what we’re looking at, and that is what 2019 will bring for us.

3. The rise in the Demand for Wearable Devices and IoT

Thanks to Apple, the affordability constraint is out of the equation. App developers are and will be looking to develop apps for wearable devices, mostly smartwatches.

Currently, it’s mostly horology and fitness industry that are looking towards smartwatches, but a few big names like Zomato and Uber have invested in wearable app development. Although, like most, they only have scratched the mere surface.

2019 promises to bring more wearables – watches, fitness bands, movement trackers, and more.

4. Chatbots will be Integral

As per Statista, the global Chatbot market is projected to grow to 1250 million U.S. dollars by 2025 – a jump of more than 1000 million U.S. dollars from 2016. One can simply deduce that chatbots are very well a part of the digital reality now.

Chatbots will now act (in fact are already acting) as virtual assistants within mobile applications. Thanks to the advancement in AI, it is now an easy job to integrate chatbots within apps without involving intricate coding.

A rather interesting infographic Digital Commerce suggests that as many as 50% of B2B buyers prefer self-service CRM. Chatbots is the new way to extend that sort of customer relationship management.

5. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality will Influence Mobile Strategies

‘Pokémon Go’ may have been a temporary storm on the eastern seaboard, but AR and VR are here to stay. Predicted to reap over $200 billion in revenues by 2020, developers are expected to create breathtaking mobile app experiences in AR and VR, and with compatible hardware entering the market, we can’t wait to get this party started.

6. Mobile Wallets and Payment Gateways

Frictionless payment methods are what customers demand from all the apps they use. There has been a gradual but significant change in the ways that users prefer to shop. We’ve slowly moved from cash to credit, debit, to mobile wallets, and digital currencies.

Mobile commerce has, thus, successfully, become a preferred shopping mode. So, for businesses, to be able to create a great app experience, integrating payment gateways as well as mobile wallets (like Amazon Pay, Google Wallet, PayPal, etc) that provide secure encryption will become staple in 2019.

7. More Businesses will Invest in Cloud Integration

It took years but the world is finally waking up to the possibilities offered by cloud computing and integration. Streamlining operations, reduced costs in hosting, better storage, and loading capacity, along with increased user retention, are few of the many advantages of developing mobile apps over the cloud.

8. Instant Apps are Coming around

2016 saw the birth of instant apps – native mobile applications that are smaller in size than usual apps, user-friendly, and highly convenient because there is, well, just no need for downloading. As the name suggests, they can be accessed instantly without any download at all.

With users constantly demanding better user experience and shorter load times, instant apps are indeed the trend that 2019 will welcome, and for good, thus eliminating the waiting time required in the installation.

9. Mobile App Security to Gain Extra Attention

Yes, we know it is nothing new, but with Uber coming out of the metaphoric closet and accepting the hacking, and even Facebook and Google admitting their security lapses, app developers will be looking to invest more in cybersecurity, given it is directly linked to users’ data privacy and protection laws.

The finest minds in the industry will have to up the ante to drown out the uncertainty around mobile apps.

10. Beacons Technology

The Beacons technology has been around for some time now, and 2019 will make its presence stronger still.

We’re likely to see it more than ever in the form of beacon-enabled airports, mobile payments beacons, and even automated personal beacons. So, the trends will be to create more useful apps to work on beacons technology and make virtual guides and personalized information sharing smoother.

11. Predictive Analytics to Influence Mobile UI/UX

Mobile apps are going to move on from being mere utilities to being an integral part of your workflow. Giants like Facebook, Google, and Apple are already employing AI to use predictive analytics to enhance the customer journey across the UI/UX of their apps, and 2019 is set to witness advances in this field.

12. Rising Popularity for On-Demand Apps

What was once being termed as an inevitable bubble in the realm of mobile app development, is now the future. With industries embracing the on-demand business model like an old friend, one can expect UI/UX enhancements, mCommerce facilities, predictive analytics, and business bots, to fuel the growth of Uber and Zomato-like apps in 2019.

Google rolling a new search bar

Google rolling a new search bar.

After a few months of investigation, a new search bar for Google search pages was launched.

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With the Google search engine land & it has confirmed that have started to create a new search results page that has a circular search bar at the top of the page while you scroll through the search page. Google has started to bring this new design back in August and now it is launching to all researchers.

New title: The main difference in the title of the old search bar & is to scroll to see more search results, which will be tuned to the top of a new search page. The old design does not use it, in order to access the search bar, you had to scroll back to the top of the page.

The second difference is that the search bar is not another box, it is now round.

How do you see when the page below is straightforward:

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Only on the desktop: The new design is not the result of mobile search results, only in desktop search results

Why does this make any difference? The new design looks different and the old search results are up-to-date. A change leads to many complaints from dedicated and trusted researchers of Google. So you can expect some complaints about a new design. While scrolling through search results, the search bar can also be directed towards another invention as it is accessible on the page.

5 Reasons Businesses Should Update Their Apps Regularly

Updates are critical to maintaining your app and introducing new features that increase user engagement. 

5 Reasons Businesses Should Update Their Apps Regularly:

Reason #1: Keep Your Users Happy

No matter how much time and effort you invest in app testing and focus groups, real app users will give you the most valuable feedback about ways to improve your app.

If your app does well, you’re going to get feedback. Customers are going to tell you what they like and what they don’t like. And, if you’re smart, you’ll listen to them!

There’s always room for improvement, so it’s important to seek out such feedback. There are a number of tools your business can use to solicit the opinions of your app users, including:

Mopinion

Apptentive

Appstark

Doorbell

By collecting the feedback and implementing the changes your users ask for, you will show that you care about quality. This will increase engagement and make for more loyal users.

It can be a good practice to plan for major quarterly updates in response to analytics and user feedback. However, it should be noted that some companies may opt for more frequent updates, particularly in cases where you’re taking a phased approach to your app’s development.

Reason #2: Stay Ahead of Bugs 

Typically, user feedback will point out any bugs in your mobile app. Sorry to say, but no matter how thoroughly you test your app, you will likely still find bugs in the system. 

All apps are buggy in some way. There are simply too many variables involved to avoid all issues. What is most important to users is how quickly your developers can address the problems.

If you’re seen as a company that irons out app issues quickly, you’ll retain users. If you ignore the problems and simply let your app rot, users will abandon your app in droves. Nobody will support an app if the company behind it is seen as not caring. 

The good thing about bugs is that most can be found and fixed with tools that are readily available. Invest in an automated solution, such as Crashlytics, to research, analyze, find, and fix bugs through real-time crash reporting, analysis, and issue aggregation.

Reason #3: Make “Hardly Noticeable” Tweaks to Your UX

Just like a singer on “The Voice,” you need to change your app’s “tune” and address the judges’ (users’) feedback just enough in order to stay fresh and relevant. However, those changes don’t need to be so large that the users even notice. 

As opposed to major bugs, which can be critical and prevent users from using the application, these tweaks may simply address momentary instability or minor annoyances. For example, if a particular section takes longer to load, or if images display in varying sizes and shapes.

Most app developers can swoop in and make a few minor tweaks without anyone even noticing. Many users don’t realize just how frequently apps are updated, particularly if the auto update setting is engaged.

Reason #4: Keep Up with Technology

Two good reasons to regularly update your app are to keep up with software and hardware advances. Every time a device’s operating system is updated, the chances are good that you’ll need to update your mobile app. This type of urgent update can be necessary if an operating system (OS) update creates major problems with your app’s functionality and interface.

You also should keep a close eye on any updates to utilities or other apps that your interface interacts with, as those changes can prompt the need for an update on your end to ensure your app remains compatible.

For example, if your app connects with Apple Wallet/Google Pay or Google Maps/Apple Maps, you will need to stay abreast of updates to those platforms to ensure that the integration with your app remains seamless.

A good rule of thumb is to anticipate major operating system updates at least 2-3 times per year.

Most mobile manufacturers look to upgrade their hardware in tandem with operating system advances. This may include anything from a new type or generation of device to new technology, such as 5G connectivity. Whenever innovative technology is released, there is potential for an app update.

Reason #5: Stay Relevant Through Updates

Although many businesses may not realize it, app updates can be one of the best marketing tools at your disposal. Users give up on apps every single day. With our busy lifestyles (and shorter attention spans), it can be very easy to forget about even the most popular of apps over time.

Remember, your app is competing with thousands of others, so a good marketing approach is valuable.

Regular updates can help an app get more attention. Releasing regular updates keeps a company’s digital offering top of mind for users.

Updating your app can be a great (and genuine) reason for sending a new push notification. You can remind users that your app is still on their device, as well as alert the users to new features or more stable usage.

Apple and Google also prefer to see apps get updated, especially if those updates coincide with their major OS releases. To that end, many app development partners will recommend scheduling app updates on major OS launch days.

App updates can help build a loyal following, provided that the updates include relevant bug fixes and requested features. Frequent updates show that your company is committed to the app, which can help you maintain a loyal following. 

Why AI should be part of your strategy?

Why AI should be part of your strategy?

Moral education is marketing and remarketing - and an increasing number of well-known markets.

At the same time, about a quarter of them use it today. Industry analysts buy businesses in Empire Empire and interpret valuable information and link strongly with their customers. However, their marketing strategies have not yet been implemented.

Today's consumers expect a lot of digital experience and are marketing materials that are useful and relevant to their lives.

And IBM is leading this platform, the Watson Marketing Market launches.

How much do your customers know? If you think of so many data from online behavioral behavior, social media activity, and browsing, related messages should be easy. But consumers are complicated. In order to provide relevant marketing experiences to channels, you must remove deep insights, such as intensified process, just a few air

ING Direct Australia takes the customer to their clients to create this customer as the "future client". Watson Marketing, ING explanation helps users to identify customer priorities, build loyalty and encourage trust. The company has released over 1 million potential customers for more than 100 different efficiencies associated with eaiko-based data triggers, active filters and relevant messages per month.

Comprehensive monitoring can be provided without AI, it is impossible to get full details about the behavior of your customers. You can handle erroneous messages and can jeopardize important devotion and faith. However, I can help you make a positive impact to help.

An important management of customer data is that heavy digital technology is more sophisticated. There is a lot of information to evaluate and evaluate people who can not be alone at all. You can change the change today, if you have an environment where you want to succeed, you have no questions: You have many sources of data connection. And you feel lighter than that.

Because AI is created in a variety of products, you must add your data to the Watson market and you will go your own way.

"This kind of knowledge, long time skills, support the opposition returned, ignore cooperation, and promote their own marketing campaigns of the party, member AI is able to help."

Atlanta Georgia Aquarium uses Watson Market Insights to fill the heart that sources the cathedral data to leave. As a result, its email newsletter generated 32 percent of elevator revenue and its website traffic was misused. "

Non-profit, as much as we can as much as we can, "said Carlson Australia, digital marketing manager."

While they make happy customers, they do not talk with your brand anymore, but the main elements of a successful marketing experience The best way to complete these criteria is through personalized messages.

External information such as social, research, and even the weather. Provide lenient business to business professionals Bilata Fashion retailers provide a more compact program that creates "one-on-one" relationship with its customer. Consumers' data is mixed with social, research and weather as well as foreign data - which influences the intent of purchasing goods - Yoox net-a-porter users have been more expected.

The marketing world has a change in the user's complex, and therefore communicate creatively with your information, AI-driven marketing platform, to help both your customer's experience and what your team works.

Top 3 Hidden Google Marketing Tools

Google has many useful tools for marketing. Some of these devices are not hidden, but many people do not know these devices. To improve your marketing strategy, it is always advisable to use new tools. Some tolls are very effective for research and new marketing plans.


This field was displayed when searching the query "Digital Marketing".  

People ask a unique tool that shows related questions about our topic. With this tool, you can analyze user intentions to target specific audiences on our blog or our content pages and create articles and frequently asked questions. Google algorithms use user algorithms to understand user intentions and sites in the ranking that meet user needs.

This tool is very effective for optimizing websites for SEO.

1. Google Trends

Google Trends provides insights on trends topics and historical trends for each issue. This tool is very useful to understand daily trends questions. We can analyze the following important information.

1. Ask questions about time
2. Comparison of multiple questions
3. Related questions on the topic
4. Related topics
5. Popular places of inquiry

2. Google Alerts

This is one of the most valuable Google tools. We can set up the keywords for which email alerts are requested. When Google Indicator site is indexed by our selected keywords, we automatically receive an email from Google. It is very useful to manage a customer's online reputation.

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3. Google Adwords 

Google Ads is a unique tool called Keyword Planner. We can use our Keyword Planner to create our Google ad groups and predict budgets, clicks, bid value conversions and more based on previous data.

On the above screen, Google can predict December 2018 demand. Key impressions such as total impressions, total clicks, total costs, conversions, CPA, etc. are displayed. If you change the above max CPC option, the inferred screen will change automatically.

Another wonderful thing about this tool is that you can define this function with ad groups and then create campaigns, bids and all ad groups and keywords directly. This scheme uses Google AdWords Editor. Can be downloaded and imported

I hope you learn something about these tools. If I do not remember Google hidden tools, tell me in the comments. I'll add it to the next update.

Visual Testing for Mobile Applications – Benefits, Tools, and Best Practices

There are various types of testing and many quality assurance techniques. You can choose from methods ranging from manual testing, through unit tests, functional test, to end-to-end tests. Each testing technique brings additional value to the project and improves its quality. Some of those techniques are also confused or misused.

The biggest confusion arises when it comes to testing the user interface itself. Teams usually test other aspects along with the UI, such as the behavior of the UI components. This is not bad per se, but it’s not a minimum viable solution to the problem of testing the UI itself. We took a closer look at the benefits of visual tests and their practical uses in mobile applications.

Why visual testing?

There are many possible ways to test UI in mobile applications. However, visual testing proves to be the most precise and fastest method. It enables app creators to automate the process of view checking, which significantly speeds up the work. You can verify whether a particular component renders correctly or if it doesn’t lead to regression. Developers will be notified about bugs much faster and, as a result, testers will have more time for testing other parts of the app.

In each test, you can check whether a property of a particular element has the desired value. Even the tiniest changes in the color, relocation or framing of the elements may escape the developer’s attention during code review, whereas automated visual tests will definitely detect them. This way, the UI of your app will always be “pixel perfect”.

How visual tests work

Visual testing is a method of detecting changes in UI appearance that may lead to regressions. The main mechanism relies on comparing the actual UI with reference snapshots of the same UI. This is achieved by running a specialized test suite for generating reference snapshots. These snapshots are then kept in the device memory, which means that this procedure needs to be run on each device separately. After generating reference snapshots, the main test suite that will validate the current state of UI by comparing them with snapshots can be run. Once the tests are run, a report is generated with a summary of the results. The visual testing tools can point out the exact differences between the actual UI and the snapshots (expected result). Each time the UI is changed, the reference snapshots need to be generated again to keep them up to date.

Tools for visual tests

Android: There are no visual testing tools for Android in the Android Testing Support library, therefore developers need to create their own tools. One of the few available frameworks was screenshot-tests-for-android created by Facebook. This tool allows you to test entire screens as well as smaller pieces of the UI, such as single controls. Runtastic added better support for CI and Android 6.0 as well as also some minor improvements to their project. The library also contains a plugin that allows for easier access to generated tests reports.

iOS: Similarly to Android, Apple doesn’t provide tools that will natively perform snapshot tests. Therefore, engineers need to find their own way around. Facebook created a library called FBSnapshotTestCase. It’s currently supported by Uber under the name iOSSnapshotTestCase. Right now it’s the most reliable solution for visual testing on Apple devices.

React Native: The most popular tool for snapshot testing of React Native apps is Jest, a library which enables testers to identify unexpected interface changes within your application – whether that interface is an API response, UI, logs, or error messages. Another tool worth mentioning is Loki. It’s primarily used in web development, but, developers have been using it in React Native, too. Unfortunately, there are no options to configure this tool. In order to effectively run tests, developers need to conduct them on the same simulator with the same screen size.

Benefits of visual testing

The main benefit of using visual testing techniques is faster bug recognition and preventing regressions. 

  1. Quick bug detection

  2. Increased quality of the code and UI

  3. Regression reduction

  4. Control of views on different devices

  5. Effective feedback for designers

  6. Code reduction

  7. Low entry barrier (they’re easy to implement)

  8. The lower workload for testers

  9. Fast implementation

  10. Automation

Quality assurance perspective

There are obviously numerous benefits from the application quality perspective, but quality assurance specialists also notice upsides. They spend less time fixing bugs, so they can focus on other parts of app testing. Correct implementation of visual tests increases the quality of other features, making basic functionality bugs less common.

Top 5 Features of on Demand Food Delivery App to Make It Successful

This is the age of mobile solutions and everyone has to have an app for the growth of its business. And, On Demand Mobile Apps are especially having the highest demand in mobile solution categories. Its study reveals many features that can be implemented in any On Demand Food Delivery Apps. We have noted down the Top 5 Features of On Demand Food Delivery App Like Zomato To Make It Successful.

Easy and Intuitive User Interface

The first thing you notice as soon as you open the Zomato is its clean and intuitive user interface (UI). The user interface is the part of the app through which users interact with the app and request services. So it is considered the single most important element of the app for its success. If the UI is clunky or takes time in loading, the user experience will be hindered. More than 50% of users won’t open the app the second time if their first-time experience is not good. And more than 80% users won’t give an app the third chance if they don’t find what they want in two attempts.

So, the On Demand Food Delivery App must have a well-designed user interface. It must load all the elements very quickly. The user should be able to easily navigate and find what he wants. On Demand Food Delivery App must include all these things in its user interface.

Curated Deals & Promotions

Who doesn’t want to save time and money? Both of them are very important for everyone and they will come back to you if you help them save time and money.

For saving time, an On Demand Food Deliver App must display all the relevant items to users as soon as they open the app. The On Demand Food Delivery App has to be smart enough to curate an interesting list of products based on user’s age, gender, location, time of the day and order history. Social medial log in and profile creation will help gain access to users’ age and gender. GPS functionality will help get the location information of the user. So these two features must be incorporated into your On Demand Food Delivery App. With integrated artificial intelligence (AI) the app can be more accurate at predicting these things.

Saving money is more important for users to come back to your app. If you offer them a good bargain, promo codes, seasonal offers, reward points and loyalty bonus, users will surely come back. Word of mouth will increase the retention and growth of customers.

Order Scheduling

One of the unique features of Zomato is its order scheduling facility. You can order food well in advance. You can book your meal a week in advance using Zomato. This is particularly handy when a user doesn’t want to waste time ordering the same thing again and again. He can order the food for an entire week within a few clicks using an On Demand Food Delivery App like Zomato. That will surely grow your business and retention ratio will be great as well. Repeat order option and one-click ordering will also help your business and improve the user experience (UX).

Easy Payment Options

Payments are the most important part of any business, from a business owner’s perspective. It tends to be the last part of the order placement as well. If a customer faces any problems during his payment processing or sees any unknown elements, he will not try to pay for the third time. So making the payment process highly efficient and easy to use, a customer must have all the payment options available in the market listed in the On Demand Food Delivery App for your business.

You can integrate all the payment gateways and wallets services like PayPal, iOS Wallet, Google Pay, Amazon Pay, Stripe, Credit Card, Debit Card, Online Banking and (in certain countries) Cash On Delivery options. You can also offer promo code and voucher code usage from the same page.

Real-Time GPS Tracking Of Delivery

GPS services are now available into basic feature phones as well. So, all the smartphone users expect GPS tracking facility for their On Demand Service App. It is especially in high demand for On Demand Food Delivery App as customers always check the status of delivery when they have hunger pangs. Real-time GPS tracking of delivery is not a unique feature of Zomato because most of the On Demand Food Delivery Apps like Doordash and Grubhub offers it. But Zomato offers it with perfection.

Zomato offers delivery to everywhere including public places like parks and hospitals. So, it is useful not only to customers but also to delivery drivers. Customers and delivery people can easily locate each other during such situations. So, many-a-times it is not about offering something unique but offering the same thing with perfection that helps.

Hybrid App Vs. Native apps: What is The Difference?

Thinking of developing a mobile application, but confused about how to go about it or where to start? Not sure which technology to use? And the biggest question of the lot: Which is the best for your business- a native app or a hybrid app? 

To answer that question, one first needs to understand the psyche of the average mobile user: (a) they’ve just gotten acquainted with their phones and (b) they certainly don’t need any new features unless they’re interesting.

In short, the user experience is the key to an application’s success.  Users want their phones to execute functions without giving them the chance to think they’re navigating through a new app. Your choice of a native or a hybrid app shall rely on several factors.

Understanding the difference between iOS and Android as well as the nature of native and hybrid apps is also key to uncovering the right choice. In this article, we will be going through all the variations that make up these apps and help you understand which one is the best to use.

Before we get down to the nitty-gritty, let us first examine the exact ecosystem of each application; their advantages, their drawbacks, the translation to user experience etc.

NATIVE APPS

Native apps are apps that have been written in a programming language unique to the platform they’re being developed for. This could either be Objective-C or Swift for iOS or Java for Android. Essentially, it’s an app that’s been developed for a specific mobile operating system.

When users access their device’s default apps (say, when they use the built-in music application or click pictures using the embedded camera or simply text via an SMS app), it ’s called using a native app.

And because native apps tend to be more ‘at-home’ with the device they’ve been developed for, they end up being easily navigable for the user; whether it’s accessing the GPS, the address book etc. In essence, native apps are just that, native to a user’s OS.

Key benefits to developing a native application include:

  1. An A1 performance - Native apps are tailor-made for a user’s OS, making them sleeker than their hybrid counterparts.
  2. Best-in-class user experience - Their specific features go easy on the users, allowing them to operate both Android and iOS apps.
  3. Greater access to device hardware/software - Native apps gain easy access to device functionalities like camera, microphone, calendar, GPS, location, calendar etc without breaking any sweat.
  4. Discoverable with no trouble - Users can easily locate a native app in app stores (the better user experience and user interface design help), which means such apps easily have more users.
  5. More wiggle room - If we look at it solely from a developer’s point of view, native apps are far more flexible when it comes to problem-solving.
  6. Access to the Latest Features - Another key advantage going the native app’s way is its ability to access the latest features of an updated operating system.
  7. Top-drawer security - Compared to a hybrid application, native apps probably have some of the best-in-class security available.
  8. Offline mode - Native apps are accessible even without an Internet connection.

But what is the downside to a native app?

  1. Development time - Unless your company happens to have the capacity to wait anywhere between 4 to 6 months before launching an app, then native is probably not the way to go. Because native apps tend to follow all the technical guidelines of the OS they’ve been built for, it’s only natural that the development clock moves slower than expected.
  2. Higher investment - A native approach to app development always means higher preliminary budget costs but saves the company some money in the long run. 
  3. Viewing updates - Native app users need to update the app to see any new changes. Auto-updating over the wifi is not an option that works for most people. And let’s face it, no one really wants to shove reminders at their users to keep updating their app; it only increases user resentment (meaning your app’s history once that uninstall button is hit)

HYBRID APPS

A hybrid app is basically a mobile app that holds a web view. At the gist of it, hybrid apps run web applications inside of a native app (i.e. as websites that have been packaged into a native wrapper) and using the same wrapper, powwow with the native device platform and the web view (giving web-based applications the green signal to run on a mobile device and have access to features such as the camera or GPS)

Which means they may look like a native app, feel like a native app, but at the end of the day are applications powered through by a company’s website. Developed using HTML5 and JavaScript, hybrid apps load page info as users move through the application; unlike native applications that download it as soon as the user hits install (Some examples include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc)

Hybrid apps are created not by tools generally belonging to iOS or Android platforms, but by third-party tools helping your web application transform into a native app.

Benefits of building a hybrid application:

  1. Portability - A hybrid app’s allure lies in its one code base, spread across multiple platforms. Set it up once, release it across multiple platforms and you’re good to go.
  2. Reasonable starting cost - Hybrid apps save you the money to get the app running.
  3. Updates - With a hybrid app, as soon as any new feature gets added in, the user needn’t update it in the app store. Users see an update the minute they operate the app.
  4. Saves you the time - Since there’s only one code base to oversee and almost half the number of developers, hybrid apps require far less outlay than native developers.
  5. Scalability - Hybrid apps can easily be launched across other multiple platforms.
  6. Faster marketing speed - If you've got less than four months to develop an app and test out its market viability, then opt for Hybrid app development. If you pass the test, quickly move on to a native application framework.
  7. It grants you access to various device features just like native apps but via plug-ins.
  8. There’s no necessity for additional resources.
  9. Because it’s handled via the web, you don’t need any API development.

The drawbacks to building a hybrid application:

  1. User Experience - It is unfeasible for developers to build an app that caters to the two most dominant user types: the iPhone faction and the Android faction. Because their MO is so different, many a time strategies are compromised.
  2. No offline Access - Hybrid app development does not permit users offline access (poor reception or airplane mode etc)
  3. Access to device-specific capabilities - Any development regarding access to device-specific capabilities (GPS, location, contact list etc) is met with roadblocks.
  4. Performance driven issues -  The biggest let-down of any hybrid app is its constant need for overhaul due to complaints about UI elements or performance driven issues.
  5. Speed -The problem with hybrid apps is that because they still depend on the native browser, they are not as high-speed as native apps.
  6. Likely to cost you significantly in the long run. 

Hybrid vs Native: Which is better?

Now that’s a million dollar question. And one that requires careful consideration and painstaking research before it can be answered right away. The fact is, there’s no black and white answer. Its strictly grey territory here.

Before taking any decisions, it’s crucial to keep in mind the differences that underlie both native and hybrid apps. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, which means your decision needs to be based totes on your business needs.

To settle the score once and for all, you need to examine several factors that influence the decision to go Hybrid or Native. These include the following:

  1. The development - Native apps need a different code base for each platform and thus require extra time and effort, with multiple teams to work on each version separately.  This is where hybrid apps have the upper hand. Apart from the fact that you are doing away with the pressures of building multiple apps, you are simply creating one app and tweaking it accordingly. This allows companies to save considerable effort with just a single app for leading platforms. Developers can develop one framework, and use the common code base for different platforms.
  2. The user experience - If we consider native apps, then these apps fully satisfy the users both in terms of performance as well as seamless functional integration. Hybrid apps,  on the other hand, can be a right pain with frequent user complaints regarding the UX and performance issues.
  3. Security - All native apps (Android or iOS) are fully tested and reviewed by an app store approval team before being featured in the store and are accessible via those same stores. The native app, compared to Hybrid, offers the best in class security for a mobile application.
  4. Budget - Developing a native app means you need a massive initial budget but saves you money in the long run while it’s vice versa for the hybrid apps - costs you less to develop but more to maintain.
  5. Compatibility - Hybrid app development is more compatible with different technologies and platforms because as known cross-platform applications, they are easy to scale onto different platforms and operating devices. Native apps, however, don’t offer cross-platform support.
  6. Integration - When it comes to native apps, functions like the camera, address book, geolocation etc native to the device can be seamlessly integrated while hybrid apps find it harder to integrate certain device features.
  7. Offline Accessibility - The key defining feature of native apps is that they operate even without an Internet connection whereas the same cannot be said of the hybrid ones.
  8. Performance tempo - If you’re on the lookout for a high-speed app, then a native one is your top pick. Since these apps are designed for a specific operating system, they provide a great performance. Hybrid apps, on the other hand, tend to be a bit slower because they are based on web technologies alongside mobile platforms. All this means considerable time to adapt to an application, resulting in a loss of performance.

Once you’ve examined and reviewed all the above factors, it’s also important to ask yourself this: “Do you really need an app that works on both platforms, straightaway?” Companies, in their war for development, tend to believe that being available on both Android and iOS platforms is the way to go. But that isn’t necessarily the smart way to go about things. Take Instagram. The app took two whole years to develop an Android version!

Long story short, there are several very distinct advantages and disadvantages to both hybrid and native app development. Going native can mean complete platform control, hardware acceleration and guaranteed performance satisfaction. But it can also mean epic budgets with even more herculean engineering efforts, longer release time, and drawn out approval processes.

Going Hybrid, on the other hand, can mean one source code, cross-compatible web technologies, easier updates, and lower earlier costs. However, there’s never a 100% guaranteed performance fluidity. Constant tweaking and fixing can be a deterrent to the overall user experience as well.

So, while each approach has its own pros and cons, at the end of the day, we believe a native approach is what’s best for a company.

Top Employee Engagement Tips

10 Tips to Grow Your Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is a concept often ignored by organizations. After hiring a candidate, companies do not plan any strategies or policies which can keep the employee enthusiastic about work. This is an essential aspect of employee retention and promotes stability among employees for a more extended stay in the company.

Before knowing why employee engagement is essential, you must understand different categories of employees:

  • Engaged employees are those who treat their work as their second home. They take complete responsibility and ownership of their work and stay loyal to the organization. They are the upcoming leaders and remain with the company for long.
  • Not engaged employees are those who are pretty happy with their job but only do what their job profile demands. They do not work for the mission, goals, and values of the company. However, with the right approach, you can convert them into engaged employees.
  • Disengaged employees have no zeal to perform. They spread negativity in the organization by talking about how unhappy they are with their work and office culture. There is a rare chance that you can convert them into engaged employees.

·         Here is how HR managers can improve their employee engagement:

1. Give Right Tools to Work

·         Job satisfaction depends a lot on company’s infrastructure. This means devising processes and providing tools to employees using which they can complete their job. You must find out tools which can enhance employees’ productivity. They can complete a job quickly with distinct processes and boost their efficiency.

2. Provide Training

·         Employees look for a culture which offers continuous growth. They want to work in an organization where they can see a rising graph in their career. It is important to provide regular training to employees to help them gain more skills. Organize training and enroll your employees in the same. This will provide them a sense of belongingness with the organization, and they will feel motivated when they learn something new.

3. Recognition

·         There is no doubt that appreciating employees for good work is the key to having an effective employee engagement. Giving them rewards in the form of gift coupons and monetary benefits is very encouraging. Conduct monthly meeting and recognize efforts of employees.

4. Introduce Open Communication

·         A clear communication gives insights into what is going on in the mind of an employee. Know how your employees feel by conducting surveys, team meetings and using suggestion boxes. Be a good listener. Encourage them to speak up so that you can implement changes which you feel are right.

5. Share Numbers

·         Your employees should know what is happening in the company. They must be aware of the numbers. Share every good and bad news with them so that they feel part of the organization.

6. Promote Company Culture

·         Make your employees clear about company culture which includes goals, mission, and values. Encourage them to fit into the system by listing down the benefits.

7. Engage Right from the Start

·         The best way to kill an employee’s enthusiasm is giving him the monotonous task of filling out forms on the day of his joining. You can change this concept by introducing employees straight to work. Attach a mentor or a work buddy with the new joiner to make him feel engaged and part of the company right from day one.

8. Regular Feedback

·         Giving frequent feedback to employees is more encouraging than discussing it annually in a performance review. Timely review of their performance helps them in updating their skills and performing as per the company’s expectations. Use both formal as well as informal methods of communication to do the same.

9. It’s Time to Distress Them

·         Working non-stop for long working hours under pressure and deadlines build stress among employees. Organizations should take the responsibility of making their employees stress-free and feel happy about working. Organize fun activities which are both fun to play and useful to learn. Take them out for outings or organize parties as an annual reward.

10. Offer Work-life Balance

·         Work-from-home options and flexible timings provide freedom to employees to work from anywhere at any time. Providing these facilities will result in more engaged employees than unhappy employees working in cubicles from 9 to 5.

·         There is no hidden secret for increasing employee engagement. These simple tips can make your workplace more meaningful for the employees. There is no need to invest a huge amount of money in engaging your employees. By following simple practices and with creative strategies, you can quickly promote a happy work culture in your organization. After all, employee engagement is the first step towards building a happy workforce.

How In-App Advertising Helps Marketers

We’re living in a world that truly deserves the moniker “Planet of the Apps”. These days, with everything so mobile, there’s nothing we can’t do without using an app. Need flight tickets to Bali? App-solutely! Midnight cravings but the kitchen’s like ‘Don’t come to me, I ain’t got no food’? App-tastic! Paying your bills and the app crashes? Oh, the app-rehension!

We app-ologise if we’ve let the puns get the better of us (Sorry, couldn’t resist that one!) But the point we’re trying to make is that there are apps for literally everything. Buying, selling, banking, socializing, fitness or education we could go on and on. With the tech landscape constantly evolving all around us, is it any wonder that we’ve come to depend a lot more on our gadgets and the help they provide us via ‘apps’?

 

And if you need further proof that the world has turned mobile then just look at the number of smartphone users that are about to surpass two billion this year. In fact, people spend more time scrolling through applications than they watch TV!

 

So, what does this mean for companies on the look-out for a new medium to strut their stuff? Clearly, in-app mobile advertising is the way to go. However, it’s a truth universally acknowledged that there’s a gap between the time people spend on their phones and the actual dollars dished out to this medium.Speaking of which, the gap is expected to diminish with advertisers quickly latching onto using mobiles to reach their audience.

 

Compared to the mobile Web, in-app advertising can prove to be the ticket to securing the attention of targeted consumers and getting them to act without any interruptions.Brands and agencies have woken up to the fact that they simply can’t focus on the mobile Web, because apps have undergone a rapid growth spurt. Which is why in-app advertising is what marketers have turned to for a better targeting of the right audience at the right time.

 

Mobile advertising is currently the biggest bully in the playground so to say, beating other competitors both in terms of the numbers and the names. In-app mobile ad spending is expected to touch $16.9 billion by 2018, compared to the measly $3.5 billion it made in 2013. In the United States alone, the app-install ad revenue is expected to jump up to more than $7 billion by 2020!

 

 

So, what makes in-app advertising a big hit with marketers? In-app ad spending is the future of mobile advertising. And considering the fact that nearly half the world’s population has access to a smartphone or tablet and spends nearly three to four hours on them per day; it’s no surprise that in-app engagement is priority numero uno for advertisers. Some of the ways in which in-app advertising has helped brands grow include:  

 

  • In-app advertising offers a higher click-through rate than web advertising, pulling off their success 11.4 times better than any normal banner ad!
  • In-app ads are far better at retargeting than normal ads because they happen to be laid out within the context of the app, making them more natural than ads typically spotted across browsers. This lets ads be targeted across apps with similar audiences, ushering in higher conversion rates.
  • They help you grab user eyeballs by sending notifications straight to their phone. E.g Push notifications. This way the first thing a user checks apart from his most important messages (Texts, calls, Instagram or messenger notifications etc), is a push notification. And ones that come with images tend to raise open rates by up to 56%!
  • Another boon is in-app messaging. Similar to push notifications, yet set out only inside the app, in-app messages guarantee you get seen. E.g. When an app asks for a rating or an in-app pop-up etc. The best part is, you get a guaranteed look-see because users can’t opt out of them.
  • Allows advertisers the chance to display ads at certain key points, ensuring smooth user transition.
  • Apps have the facility to draw in a direct demographic and geo-location data. Since users are always fused to their phones, anyone can be geo-targeted based on where they are located in real time. And because they are enhanced by location data, it gives advertisers the key to open layers of data marketers probably drool over. From the weather, local events, demographics etc, geo-targeting allows marketers to cater to a much more receptive audience.
  • Encourages user search behavior. The higher in the funnel, the more likely someone is to perform research on their phones first. Imagine coming across a product ad on a hoarding or a shop window, or even a random flyer floating through the air; first instinct is to get the phone out and go on a search mission.
  • An app can be used to deliver nifty, attention-grabbing content that buoys up your brand relationship and allows cross-selling to existing customers.
  • In-app advertising allows you to target customers based on their device - tablets, phones or desktop or by more selective targeting – OS, brand or model. This means ads can be fine-tuned to fit different buyer personas or target markets.
  • A visually engaging and hyper-focused advertising means that marketers can shift from simply wasting resources by weeding out an audience that won’t click or purchase a product thus becoming effective at retaining regular users.
  • Weighing the differences between different ad formats, it’s obvious that in-app ads make more of an effort to ensure their relevancy while introducing themselves in a non-invasive manner simultaneously. It is this relevance that makes it popular and whips up huge amounts of user engagement; as compared to simply put together in-app campaigns.

So what we’ve been trying to explain is that while mobile advertising has its advantages, make sure you have your end goal firmly outlined. There are a number of ways for you to get into mobile app advertising but the cardinal rule of in-app ad building is to invest in creating a great user experience.

With an added edge of ease, portability, and location-specificity, mobile advertising firmly puts to rest any question marks you may have had about this advertising strategy. In-app ads are currently deemed ‘the future’ yet they need to be referred to as ‘the present’. The best opportunity for advertisers to reach consumers, mobile app advertising is the best in the business and proving their power when it comes to rank, resources, and results.

We’re living in a world that truly deserves the moniker “Planet of the Apps”. These days, with everything so mobile, there’s nothing we can’t do without using an app. Need flight tickets to Bali? App-solutely! Midnight cravings but the kitchen’s like ‘Don’t come to me, I ain’t got no food’? App-tastic! Paying your bills and the app crashes? Oh, the app-rehension!

We app-ologise if we’ve let the puns get the better of us (Sorry, couldn’t resist that one!) But the point we’re trying to make is that there are apps for literally everything. Buying, selling, banking, socializing, fitness or education we could go on and on. With the tech landscape constantly evolving all around us, is it any wonder that we’ve come to depend a lot more on our gadgets and the help they provide us via ‘apps’?

And if you need further proof that the world has turned mobile then just look at the number of smartphone users that are about to surpass two billion this year. In fact, people spend more time scrolling through applications than they watch TV!

So, what does this mean for companies on the look-out for a new medium to strut their stuff? Clearly, in-app mobile advertising is the way to go. However, it’s a truth universally acknowledged that there’s a gap between the time people spend on their phones and the actual dollars dished out to this medium.Speaking of which, the gap is expected to diminish with advertisers quickly latching onto using mobiles to reach their audience.

Compared to the mobile Web, in-app advertising can prove to be the ticket to securing the attention of targeted consumers and getting them to act without any interruptions.Brands and agencies have woken up to the fact that they simply can’t focus on the mobile Web, because apps have undergone a rapid growth spurt. Which is why in-app advertising is what marketers have turned to for a better targeting of the right audience at the right time.

Mobile advertising is currently the biggest bully in the playground so to say, beating other competitors both in terms of the numbers and the names. In-app mobile ad spending is expected to touch $16.9 billion by 2018, compared to the measly $3.5 billion it made in 2013. In the United States alone, the app-install ad revenue is expected to jump up to more than $7 billion by 2020!

So, what makes in-app advertising a big hit with marketers? In-app ad spending is the future of mobile advertising. And considering the fact that nearly half the world’s population has access to a smartphone or tablet and spends nearly three to four hours on them per day; it’s no surprise that in-app engagement is priority numero uno for advertisers. Some of the ways in which in-app advertising has helped brands grow include:  

  • In-app advertising offers a higher click-through rate than web advertising, pulling off their success 11.4 times better than any normal banner ad!
  • In-app ads are far better at retargeting than normal ads because they happen to be laid out within the context of the app, making them more natural than ads typically spotted across browsers. This lets ads be targeted across apps with similar audiences, ushering in higher conversion rates.
  • They help you grab user eyeballs by sending notifications straight to their phone. E.g Push notifications. This way the first thing a user checks apart from his most important messages (Texts, calls, Instagram or messenger notifications etc), is a push notification. And ones that come with images tend to raise open rates by up to 56%!
  • Another boon is in-app messaging. Similar to push notifications, yet set out only inside the app, in-app messages guarantee you get seen. E.g. When an app asks for a rating or an in-app pop-up etc. The best part is, you get a guaranteed look-see because users can’t opt out of them.
  • Allows advertisers the chance to display ads at certain key points, ensuring smooth user transition.
  • Apps have the facility to draw in a direct demographic and geo-location data. Since users are always fused to their phones, anyone can be geo-targeted based on where they are located in real time. And because they are enhanced by location data, it gives advertisers the key to open layers of data marketers probably drool over. From the weather, local events, demographics etc, geo-targeting allows marketers to cater to a much more receptive audience.
  • Encourages user search behavior. The higher in the funnel, the more likely someone is to perform research on their phones first. Imagine coming across a product ad on a hoarding or a shop window, or even a random flyer floating through the air; first instinct is to get the phone out and go on a search mission.
  • An app can be used to deliver nifty, attention-grabbing content that buoys up your brand relationship and allows cross-selling to existing customers.
  • In-app advertising allows you to target customers based on their device - tablets, phones or desktop or by more selective targeting – OS, brand or model. This means ads can be fine-tuned to fit different buyer personas or target markets.
  • A visually engaging and hyper-focused advertising means that marketers can shift from simply wasting resources by weeding out an audience that won’t click or purchase a product thus becoming effective at retaining regular users.
  • Weighing the differences between different ad formats, it’s obvious that in-app ads make more of an effort to ensure their relevancy while introducing themselves in a non-invasive manner simultaneously. It is this relevance that makes it popular and whips up huge amounts of user engagement; as compared to simply put together in-app campaigns.

 

So what we’ve been trying to explain is that while mobile advertising has its advantages, make sure you have your end goal firmly outlined. There are a number of ways for you to get into mobile app advertising but the cardinal rule of in-app ad building is to invest in creating a great user experience.

With an added edge of ease, portability, and location-specificity, mobile advertising firmly puts to rest any question marks you may have had about this advertising strategy. In-app ads are currently deemed ‘the future’ yet they need to be referred to as ‘the present’. The best opportunity for advertisers to reach consumers, mobile app advertising is the best in the business and proving their power when it comes to rank, resources, and results.

Top 5 eCommerce UX Best Practices For 2018

Digital presence is important for businesses that are into eCommerce. No doubt, digital web design is maturing and by all means, it’s subject to trends, best practices, and standards.

Below are best 5 eCommerce UX practices, which must be followed.

UX Best Practices #1: The Rise of Guided Selling

Understand the different types of audiences:

1.Customers who know what to buy and when to buy:  Customers who know what to buy and when to buy have a pre-established mindset. To this type of prospects, it’s fairly reasonable to provide sufficient information to help them make purchase decisions.

2.Discount customer: Discount customers are price conscious customers. Your website should guide them to product and service categories where deep and perennial discounts are in the offing.

3.New customer: New customers may or may not know what to buy and when to buy. Your website should give them a tour of product offerings. Most importantly, selling should be based on value rather than price.

4. Casual web surfers: Can you convert casual web surfers into potential prospects? Of course, yes! The key is to design your multivendor marketplace in such a way that it engages in a need-oriented and interactive dialogue with them. It’s important to identify their latent needs.

UX Best Practices #2: The Presence of Video

Videos are everywhere on the web. Though some UX professionals consider video a contentious UX element, I vouch for videos. 

Why should you use videos in your eCommerce site? There are many reasons:

  1. Not so long ago, Google’s algorithm changed from desktop to mobile-first indexing. This can be attributed to the fact that the sales on mobiles exceeded those on desktops. Product description videos are often watched on mobiles. There is no denying that product description videos spark engagement in prospects
  2. Customers are likely to purchase more if they get positive reviews from other customers. User-generated videos i.e., customer testimonials can work wonders in perpetuating positivity amongst new customers.
  3. More often than not, customers call customer representatives to know about a product, the right way to assemble its parts, etc. Videos can be used to clearly demonstrate how the product is used and how it is assembled. Videos minimize customer care calls. And more importantly, they reduce product returns due to customers’ remarkable ineptitude to utilize them.

360-degree videos are gaining remarkable traction in 2018. Surely, carefully crafted videos are the way forward!

UX Best Practices #3: The Significance of Performance

Of course, design elements and visual entities are indispensable components of UX. But the significance of website performance cannot be discounted.

  1. Loading speed: Don’t keep your prospects waiting. Loading time should be less than 3 sec. To check your multivendor marketplace loading speed, use Pagespeed Insights by Google. 
  2. SEO: Website content should be optimized not only for browsers but also for humans. In other words, content should be comprehensible and readable. Letters should be legible. Pay attention to schema and XML sitemaps. And yes, don’t ignore SEO tags and elements. In essence, your website should be SEO savvy. 
  3. Enabled CMS: Audiences are receptive to compelling and fresh content. But your job isn’t done yet. To attain marketing momentum, you should let your audiences post and edit content. You may use a CMS (Content Management System) in this regard.

UX Best Practices#4: The Personalization of Delivery

More often than not, eCommerce enthusiasts pay scant attention to personalization of delivery. This is a harsh reality. 

UX or User Experience isn’t confined to website design and themed templates.

According to Survey, 39% of shoppers opined that they shall never shop again with an online merchant following a negative delivery experience.

E-commerce giants such as Amazon often give free and fast delivery options. Due to Amazon and giants, small businesses are under tremendous duress to offer free and fast delivery options. 

Can small businesses make profits with free and fast delivery? No!

  1. The key is, to be honest with your customers.
  2. The same report suggests that nearly 35% of online shoppers place convenience above cost. 
  3. State the exact delivery date, time, and place of delivery.
  4. Be creative and personalize their delivery experience at an extra price to keep your potential paying customers delighted.
  5. Do NOT delay.
  6. Do NOT compromise.

UX Best Practices #5: The Simplification of the Checkout Process

Many eCommerce sites have shortened their checkout process to enhance user experience.

Unfortunately, not every step can be eliminated. Single click checkout process is easier said than done.

  • The key is to simplify the process rather than eliminate all steps. 
  • You can use Checkout wizards which assist customers in understanding the different stages of a transaction, where they stand in the process etc.
  • There should be enough guest checkout options.
  • Incorporate features such as forms and address entry sections to simplify the process.
  • Thanks to digital wallet options such as Apple Pay, checkout on mobiles is effortlessly easy.
  • Key benefits of the mobile application development

    Looking at today’s scenario, the global mobile space is becoming increasingly crowded with a variety of smart applications and innovative tools that are making their presence felt in ways more than one. Also, the expanding reach of social media applications & networking platforms like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. have brought about a paradigm shift in the ways businesses operate in contemporary times.

    Most of their operations have been executed using smartphones and the mobile app. As a result, mobile app development holds crucial importance to the businesses nowadays.

    A fast becoming standard for effective online interactions, the benefits of mobile application development are indeed many. Listing a few of them below:

    Key benefits of the mobile application development

    1. Providing value to the customer

    Businesses can reach out to the customers with the help of their mobile app. It becomes really easy to know about the interests of the customers by collecting information about their purchases. Offer rewards and delights for the customers on the app.

    2. Easy organization of tasks and emails

    With the help of a mobile app of the company, one can easily schedule tasks and organize emails in an easy manner. One can even store notes in the phone and set reminders to carry out tasks promptly. The email app allows you to send or receive the email messages over your phone.

    3. Enhance cost effectiveness

    Companies can send regular updates related to the offers and vivid discounts to customers. This can reduce their cost of advertising on various other platforms, creating banners to showcase their products in the surrounding areas, etc.

    4. Brand building

    A mobile app can create a strong impact on brand awareness. Developing a mobile app with the features that your customers will love to use can help you in building a strong brand. One can make it stylish, informative or functional. Also, the frequency of the customers getting engaged with your app is a crucial factor in making customers inclined towards buying the product.

    5. Finding places

    The geo-positioning system, when used with the mobile phones, can help the customers in finding the location of your company or organization. Also, the apps can be useful in providing information about nearby places, restaurants, and another useful commodity store. One can even get to know about the travel time to reach a particular destination from their source location.

    6. Cultivating customer loyalty

    Last reason why you should consider going for mobile app development for your own brand is customer loyalty. We all are aware of the immense amount of advertising surrounding us – billboards, flash signs, Facebook marketing, website banners, roadside banners etc. With all the noise outside, it becomes really difficult to maintain the lasting impact on the customers. Well, mobile apps can provide an extra edge to stay closer to the customers as they will be only a “fingertip” away at all times.

    7. Create a marketing channel

    Mobile apps can be useful in many ways as they can serve the purpose of providing various information, sending & receiving the message, price of any commodity, booking forms, messengers, news feeds, user information and much more. Businesses can make use of mobile apps in sending push notifications; thereby doing a proper marketing about their products and services.

    If you want to share your thoughts about the benefits of the mobile app development, your views are most welcome in the comments below.

    Is It Necessary To Have Your App Regularly Maintained?

    Have you deployed your developed app into the store yet? If yes, then what's next? Developing an application and deploying it into the store doesn’t signal the end of the deal. It’s just the beginning of some pretty big things. After completing an app’s development, the next thing you probably need to do is head back to the drawing board.

    Seems like something you can’t ignore, right? Which is why mobile app maintenance should be a no-brainer for all app developers out there. What’s the point in putting in so much effort to create an app for your users only to have more than half of them exposed to the very risks you wanted to avoid in the first place? However, sadly, if reports are to be believed; only 30% of developers update their app every month.
     
    In this post, we’re going to be talking about mobile app maintenance from our point of view.
     
    How does one go about maintaining an app?
     
    Imbibing new technologies
    A key reason to carry out regular app maintenance is the velocity with which innovation happens in this business. Versatility is the name of the game. Everything from an expansive “augmented reality” and “virtual reality” to the “Internet of things” occupies a place at this business’ table. And as part of an app’s upkeep procedure, you ought to fuse them whenever necessary. E.g. IoT gadgets are becoming more popular as time goes by. On the off chance that these function well with client satisfaction, consider adding it to your application’s capacity collection.
     
    Regular App Monitoring
    At SwitchSoft, we switch to the testing mode once development is over. Our mantra: Test, test, further test and the rest”. This fanatical testing is the only thing that spares us from issues that have the ability to transform into enormous ones. By persistently testing our apps, we're quick to recognize any existing bugs and quick to fix them; before they end up wrecking our clients’ experience. Alongside bug fixing, we can easily pinpoint any arrangement that can cause a break in proceedings and refine every app functionality.
     
    UI Updates
    User interface design trends keep updating with time which leads to an update in your app design as well. An interface design that was the “coolest thing” a few years ago is most likely to not cut it with current users. So, you need to be able to imbibe all current UI trends into your app to meet current user needs.
     
    By adopting and updating the more recent UI patterns, you will be prepared to address any difficulties as they emerge. Moreover, as your UI keeps enhancing, you gain the ability to create further transformations that add to a client's satisfaction.
     
    UX Updates
    Along with the UI design, the UX also changes. Much like the UI, user experience also keeps evolving. This is as it ought to be, considering that the users you are focusing on will perpetually be advancing and in this way, their progression will be as well. UX design allows application engineers to make the procedure effortless for any newcomers as well as dependable clients.
     
    OS Version Update
    No matter what the platform - iOS or Android, there will be regular new version updates. While designing an app, developers will make the design for a specific platform, mostly for the current generation version. Whenever a new version of the OS is released, it is needed to upgrade the app to accommodate the changes. If the app is not maintained according to the version updates, it will soon become obsolete. The latest version updates tend to deliver some interesting features, which is why it is necessary to update mobile applications according to the OS version updates.
     
    Security Concerns
    When it comes to security, it is crucial that you sort out every possible loophole within mobile applications. In order to address all sorts of security loopholes or vulnerabilities, every kind of application should be updated to avoid all possible threats. E.g. You have hackers devising newer, deadlier techniques to take advantage of any existing loopholes. When in case of payment gateway integration, we must safeguard customers’ critical information against any unauthorized access. Regular app maintenance helps to meet such security concerns.
     
    Change in Software Programming libraries
    Most apps don’t make use of software libraries or APIs for running their systems. However, there are some apps that use these and need to be regularly updated in accordance with any changes made to their platforms.
     
    Now that you’ve figured out the need for regular mobile app maintenance for mobile apps, it’s advisable that you invest both your time and amount in carrying it out. Try improvising in coordination with the latest technologies and trends. If you want to maintain a competitive edge over the mobile market, then app maintenance is compulsory.

    Tips For Mobile App Agencies To Improve Market Presence

    It’s quite common for most young app developing agencies to struggle to gain a market presence, because:

    (a) A number of app development companies emerge regularly and

    (b) The competition is tough.

    But there are a few tips for these budding agencies to gain that market presence and if you're one of them, read on ahead to find out more:

    1. Focus On Your Strengths And Skills:

    It’s a great idea to develop apps for many domains & departments. But focusing on too many at once can lead to a lapse and result in a delivery of poor quality products; 

    especially for the younger companies.

    So, it's always better to choose and work on domains in which your team has the most skills. Does your team excel at e-commerce apps? Then highlight it. If your team specializes in games then show it. It may seem great to work on multiple domains to get wider client exposure, but focusing on your strengths definitely works best in the long run

    2. Respect Your Client:

    It sounds like some pretty common advice; look after your client’s satisfaction, but it's a key element to consider. You have to let your client know that your team is doing 

    everything by keeping the client’s interests & requirements in mind. Let them know that your team is striving to deliver products of the utmost quality. First and foremost, 

    developers need to understand that a client’s interests are their own.

    3. Exhibit Your Previous Projects:

    A company’s history of accomplishments is like an individual's resume. By showcasing your previous work and list of clients, you provide future clients a sense of security. 

    This lets your customers and clients trust you; to be confident in your abilities. This way you create a positive impact and gain some serious market presence.

    4. Highlight Your Core Values:

    Ethics, values, morals etc are small words with big consequences. These are a must have for every company worth their salt. Here’s a question for you: “Would you trust 

    somebody with a shady background with your hard earned money and work?” The answer? Absolutely not! The same goes for clients searching for quality services and products. 

    These principles help you gain your client’s trust. It shows your clients that they are in good hands.

    5. Target Audience:

    We cannot apply “One-size-fits-all” here. Every person’s needs and requirements differ. It's important to know your target audience because without identifying one, you can’t 

    hit your target sales and services. Make sure your audience matches your products and services which in turn match your skill sets.

    6. Strive For Quality Over Quantity:

    Always know the difference between quality and quantity and never hesitate to show it. Even though your company may be smaller and younger, you shouldn't choose quality over 

    quantity. Because quality is what makes you stand out amongst a crowd of competitors. Make sure to deliver quality services to a small pool of clients rather than trying to 

    impress many clients at once.This helps you develop a positive brand image.

    7. Build An Online Presence:

    Constructing a visually appealing and responsive website is very important to attract potential clients to your company. Enhance your products online as much as possible by 

    displaying them on your company’s website and other online media platforms.

    8. Use Social Media:

    Regardless of size, every organization needs to have a proper social media strategy. The company itself is capable of selling their products and services and what better way

    to self-advertise and gain market presence than social media and its platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin etc.

    9. Maintain Uniformity:

    Make sure there is a uniformity amongst your products across different platforms. Whether it is an iOS or Android or even a Windows platform, your products should be the same 

    on all of them. From a functionality and appearance point of view, products need to be the same. Some apps have variations in their interfaces or appearances while changing 

    platforms leading to a variation in the products or services themselves.

    10. Acknowledge Customer FeedBack:

    During the first stage of any app release, closely heed your customers’ feedback. Regularly read reviews published on the app store, websites, social networking sites etc. All 

    these help you gauge your audience's’ feelings towards your products and services while giving an opportunity to improvise in the future.

    Keep these simple tips in mind and you’re as ready as ever to improve your market presence and gain a stronger foothold than before!

     

    UX vs UI: The Difference Between UX And UI Design

    Maybe you’re going to get your first Web application for your website. Or maybe you're going to build your first Mobile application. In any of these cases, you might have heard of discussions revolving around ‘the great UX of a product’ or ‘the poor UI design of a website’.

    But what do these acronyms stand for? And what exactly are these people talking about? What is the difference between User Interface Design (UI Design) and User Experience Design (UX Design)? So, let's find out what UX and UI really mean.  

    Acronyms Unveiled:

    Generally speaking, in layman terminology, if you will, UX and UI are actually two different lines of work in the designing field.

    UX design means User Experience Design, whereas UI stands for User Interface Design. Both designs have their own priorities when it comes to designing digital products like Web Applications & Mobile applications. Even though both UX and UI designs work closely together, they have very different purposes when it comes to designing.

    What is UX design?

    With the development of the Internet, User Experience (UX) has become a prime objective for most tech companies like Google, Facebook etc.

    UX Design is the process of increasing customer satisfaction and loyalty by focusing on ‘ease of use’ as well as improving the overall satisfaction and interaction between the customer and the product.

    This implies that regardless of its medium, UX Design encompasses any and all interactions between a potential or active customer and a company. As a design process, it could be applied to anything — cars, software as service, web development and so on.

    A good UX design focuses on the interactive side of the product, how it behaves (a box sliding out) and how people might interact with it (where do they click first) UX handles the architecture of the content and the sitemap.

    What is User Interface Design?

    User Interface Design is a lot more difficult to answer because it has a wide variety of interpretations. While User Experience is an amalgamation of tasks focused on optimization of a product for effective and pleasant use, User Interface Design is the look, feel and interactivity of a product. But like UX, it is easily and very often confused by industries that employ UI Designers.

    For example, if you look at job openings for User Interface Design, you will find interpretations of the profession that are taking to graphic design, sometimes including branding design and front-end development.

    Similar to User Experience Design, User Interface Design is a multi-faceted and complex role. It is responsible for the transference of a product’s development, research, content, and layout into an attractive, guiding and responsive experience for users. However, unlike UX, UI is a strictly digital profession.

    Despite being design terms, both UX and UI, since their inception have helped the online or digital industry gain momentum.  

    Advantages of Having a Website for Your Business

    Do you have a business and don’t have a website? If you said yes, it’s almost as if your business doesn’t exist.  In this modern era, people and companies are on the internet for information. Why do you think people visit a website? It’s primarily to find information. And if you’re in the business world, information is critical. You need to have a website for your customers. It needs to contain information about what you can do for them. 

    Here are just a few of the advantages and benefits of having a website for your business.

    Less Expensive
    have you ever advertised your business through various forms such as printed media, radio, and television or by other means? It’s expensive! Investing in advertising is necessary, but it takes a lot of money. Having a website will make promoting your company less expensive. Many versions of offline advertising available on the internet are sometimes free.

    Advertising
    a website is more environmental friendly when it comes to advertising and marketing. There are lots of ways to advertise your products or services through the internet. One example is Facebook ads, an advertising feature offered through Facebook. Another one is called SEO.  This is a major advantage for your business. Having a good SEO service provider can boost the ranking of your website which quickly results in increased sales and higher profits.

    Satisfaction
    having a website will be more convenient for your customers and leads. Make it easy for your customers to purchase from you! Many will be more likely to visit your website, rather than driving a car to your physical location and browsing for your products. From a customer’s point of view, it’s better for them if they don’t have to ask anything. They can just find what they’re looking for on your online site.

    Increase Customers
    Most businesses have local popularity, but what about potential customers outside their city?  A website can help you generate more customers. Not just outside your city, but worldwide. The internet offers a global community. With a website, your business will be visible around the world.

    Accessibility
    Have you ever experienced having to turn customers away because it’s closing time? Well, you don’t have to close the doors of your website.  An online site can be visited any time of the day or night. People will look to your site instead of going to your shop because it is more accessible. Just make sure to post enough information about your products and services.

    Better Relationship
    having a website can build better relationships with your customers. You can send messages instantly to your customers through email. Also, your customers can review your products online and can also leave feedback for you and your business. It’s best to always send your customer a message. This is essential for building a good relationship with them. You can even give them more information about your business through messages or emails.

    Increase Sales
    If you are a business owner, more visitors leads to more potential sales. That’s how your website will help you. You can drive more people to your site by consistently updating and promoting the contents of your site. The more informative your site is, the greater the possibility of increasing your sales.

    Opportunity
    A website gives you the opportunity to prove your credibility. You have to tell your customers why you deserve their trust through your website. This can earn positive feedback for your service and products. Also, your website serves as a place for a potential investor to explore what your business is about and what it can do in the future.

    Long Term Clients
    what do you think is the difference between client and a customer? Well, a customer is the one who walks in and buys something and that’s it. A client is your regular customer. He is buying your products or services daily or contractually. Having a website gives you a chance to gain more clients that can help your business grow.

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