Shoutem – Mobile App Creator – Make App http://blog.shoutem.com Apps should be easy Thu, 30 Jun 2016 10:57:22 +0000 en-US hourly 1 News and Events module improvements http://blog.shoutem.com/2016/06/29/news-events-improvements/ http://blog.shoutem.com/2016/06/29/news-events-improvements/#respond Wed, 29 Jun 2016 15:15:25 +0000 http://blog.shoutem.com/?p=10289 Featured News and Events are the newest platform improvements available to all Shoutem users. How does featuring certain news and events improve your app?

Shoutem users probably know that the Places module already supports featuring selected places on listings. The …

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Featured News and Events are the newest platform improvements available to all Shoutem users. How does featuring certain news and events improve your app?

Shoutem users probably know that the Places module already supports featuring selected places on listings. The good news is that the same is now true for the News and Events modules.

By default, all items will be sorted and displayed in the app based on certain criteria once a user opens the app and selects a Places, News, or Events listing. For Places, the default criterion is distance, with places ordered from nearest to farthest from the user’s location. Sorting places by distance makes perfect sense from the user experience perspective.

If you’re searching for a good pizzeria or bike repair shop, you don’t want to see ones that are far away. Ideally, you could find some tasty pizza and chardonnay around the corner, and your bike could be repaired close to your office so you can pick it up after work, right?

For some time now, app owners could override this default sorting by “featuring” selected items in Places module on the list. If the app owner marks places as featured, those places will be displayed at the top of the list of places regardless of how far they are from the user. In that way, app owners can highlight or promote specific places.

Beginning this week, highlighting selected News and Events items is also supported.

Below you will find two examples of how Shoutem app owners are using featured items for promotion and monetization.

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– Pinpoint special news and events

Let’s say a restaurant owner is expanding her business by opening a new location in three months. To reach new customers, she is organizing an opening party. However, since three months is a long time, the news item announcing the new place and the event invitation might sink to the bottom of the lists.

To keep users from missing information that is crucial for the smooth launch of your new business, the owner can pin the news item to the top so it will stay visible for the next three months.

With the featuring functionality, you can pinpoint and highlight Events, News, and Places in your app and override the default sorting. By highlighting one or few items, you can make sure the most important items stay at the top of the list so they will grab your customers’ attention and so they won’t go unnoticed.

How featured events are displayed in the app

– Monetize your app

Another great way to use this new feature helps you monetize your app.

If you own an app of your town, businesses like restaurants or stores can sponsor selected content blocks in your app. You can offer deals to businesses such as restaurants, spas, or barbers so they can promote their news stories or special events.

Let’s go back to our example of the new restaurant opening. If the restaurant doesn’t have its own app, the owner can share news about the new place and the grand opening party in the town’s app. In exchange for a promotion fee, you could pin the promotion details to the top of the list of local news for a specific period. The same offer could include pinning the invitation to the opening party to the top of the Events section.

Thanks to smartphones, humans’ attention spans have fallen to eight seconds, which means we now have shorter attention spans than goldfish. Since you have only eight seconds to show content to users, make sure you provide the most important information in the right way with these two tactics.

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New Features for Shoutem Apps http://blog.shoutem.com/2016/06/16/new-features-shoutem-apps/ http://blog.shoutem.com/2016/06/16/new-features-shoutem-apps/#respond Thu, 16 Jun 2016 16:01:30 +0000 http://blog.shoutem.com/?p=10274 We’ve been working hard on making platform improvements in the last couple of months. The time has come to introduce new, robust, powerful features to all of our users for free.

Empower your apps with scheduled and segmented push notifications,

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We’ve been working hard on making platform improvements in the last couple of months. The time has come to introduce new, robust, powerful features to all of our users for free.

Empower your apps with scheduled and segmented push notifications, a CSS editor, a client settings Page, Home screen Carousel, and Composite pages.

Scheduled Push Notifications

Scheduled push notifications are the first upgrade to our current push notification module. These push notifications allow app owners to schedule push messages, making time management easier and providing more strategic and planning options. App owners can schedule push messages to be sent to users on a specific date and time. You can schedule messages on a weekly or monthly basis, so there’s no more need to go inside the app builder on a daily basis.

Once they’re scheduled, you will see the status of push messages in the queue; if you need to change the date or time at which the messages will be sent, simply click on the push message and apply the changes. You can find a tutorial on how to use Scheduled push notifications in our support center at this link.

Segmented Push Notifications

The second upgrade to our push notifications are Segmented push notifications. As the name implies, app owners can now send push messages to specific segments of app users. With segmented push notifications, you don’t have to broadcast push messages to all your app users. Segmenting app users allows you to target users better, which leads to better conversion rates and sales.

App users can choose which segment (group) they want to opt into and receive push notifications based on their preferences. Segmented push notifications also bring more recognizability since you can add icons to different groups; these icons will appear as part of a push message once the user receives it. Adding icons is helpful for users, especially if they are subscribed to many groups, since they can instantly recognize to which group a push message belongs.

You can find a tutorial on how to use Segmented push notification in our support center at this link.

CSS Editor

CSS, which stands for Cascading Style Sheets, is a style sheet language used to describe the presentation of a document written in a markup language. Shoutem apps have always supported some custom HTML and CSS, but with the dedicated CSS editor, app owners now have many more design customization options available.

The CSS editor allows app owners to apply custom styling to all markup elements in the app, such as buttons, images, and loading icons; owners can also change the positions of or hide elements. The possibilities are almost endless. At this time, we do not have a list of all the classes/methods used in our default app design, but the documentation will be released in the near future. Until the documentation is ready, here’s how you can find specific CSS classes/elements.

Here are some examples of app elements our team created using the CSS editor.

Example 1. Custom slide in menu setup

– Partial slide in menu screen coverage with transparent background

– Unique static menu element at the bottom

– Different item styling, starting with specific elements in the menu

Example 2. Custom news list feed

– Dynamic leading image sizes

– Custom article arrangement

– Custom bordering and scrolling mechanisms

We hope this article gives you an idea of the possibilities and helps you build your own unique app. If you don’t feel like messing around with the CSS on your own, get in touch with us and our design team will work their magic to give your app a unique look and feel.

Client settings page

The Client settings page is a unique app improvement because it combines some of the app elements used in other features and brings a few new functionalities.

In the client settings page, you will find the following elements:

– Push notification groups

Push notification groups allow you to create lists of different groups to which users can subscribe. Let’s say you run an e-commerce website with different product categories. Under push notification groups, you can create following groups: Books, Consumer Electronics, Vinyl, Comics, and Collectibles. Once the different groups are created, users can opt into one or more groups based on their interests.

More importantly, push notifications groups allow you to target your app users. If you’re running a special promo for books, you can send that special promotion only to the users who subscribed to the books group. You don’t need to send the promo to all users and risk being labeled as spammy. With highly targeted push notifications, you can convert more users and make more profit.

Note: this one feature requires segmented push notifications to be enabled for the same app.

– Separator

Now, the separator can also be found under the client settings page, but its functionality hasn’t changed. You can use the separator to split your app’s content and structure the design of the app.

– Review this app

The “review this app” feature allows you to ask app users to review your app. Once a user taps the feature, the app will redirect the user to the App Store or Google Play Store depending on which device he or she is using. This feature provides you instant feedback on your app so you can improve the app’s UX and UI based on the reviews.

– Share application

Once your app hits the app stores, you want to reach as many users as possible so they will download your app. Now, you can add the “share application” feature and ask your users to spread the word about your app via Facebook, Twitter, email, or SMS.

– Tweet support

Looking for the fastest way for customer to reach you and engage on social networks? Add ”Tweet support” feature and enter your Twitter username (handle). When users tap on this feature, they can contact you directly on Twitter.

– Email support

Similar to the Twitter support feature, tapping on this feature will open up the user’s default email client so they can send you an email from his or her phone.

– Text page

The “Text page” feature creates a simple, static text page on which you can enter any kind of text information you want to add to your app, such as additional info about your business. this feature also allows you to include some custom HTML and CSS code to style the text page content.

Composite pages

Composite pages allow you to create a more complex, deeper app structure in your app using new design options. Until now, app owners could add and group content inside a folder. However, the folders were limited by the structure, meaning that it could only be expanded and you could add as many items as you wanted to it.

From now on, you can use composite pages instead of a folder to “nest” content in the app. Nesting allows app owners to nest new pages under a “parent” page, providing a deeper content structure and better categorization of items.

On the content side, composite pages provide the option to connect one of your news feeds/news collections to a page. Instead of manually adding content to the page, you can mix things up and add a related news feed at the bottom of the composite page.

Composite pages also provide new design options, although they are very similar to folders; folders and composite pages both include description boxes, image galleries, and item icons. The main design differences are that the items can be additional pages and you have the option to define how the icons are displayed. They can be presented in a grid with a custom number of columns or as a regular list.

Read our support article on how to set up Composite pages.

Homescreen Image Carousel

The home screen image carousel is another design improvement available to all users starting today. The carousel of images allows you to rotate up to four photos on the home screen of your app.

You have the option to choose from two behaviors for the home screen image carousel:

  • Auto-slide images
  • Manually

If the carousel is set to “auto-slide images,” the images will automatically rotate on your home screen. You can also set the frequency of the auto slider and choose how long the images will be displayed before another one displays.

The home screen carousel can also be used to monetize your app and for advertising purposes. For each image you add to the carousel, you can set a URL that will open once the user taps on the image.

Read our support article on how to set up Homescreen Image Carousel.

All these features are available to all our users as of today, July 16. Even better, this is just the first set of improvements we plan to release in the coming weeks. We encourage you to keep sending us feedback on these new features. Together, we can improve the best app builder in the world and make it even better!

Go to your app and try new features now!

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Instagram Improvements http://blog.shoutem.com/2016/06/15/instagram-improvements/ http://blog.shoutem.com/2016/06/15/instagram-improvements/#respond Wed, 15 Jun 2016 19:17:32 +0000 http://blog.shoutem.com/?p=10265 Instagram has introduced a few major changes to its app: a new app icon along with a new app design. These design changes were followed up by changes in the backend to how images can be fetched. Consequently, Shoutem’s integration

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Instagram has introduced a few major changes to its app: a new app icon along with a new app design. These design changes were followed up by changes in the backend to how images can be fetched. Consequently, Shoutem’s integration has been improved, resulting in unlimited photos that can be displayed in the stream from now on.

Instagram photos had been imported into Shoutem apps via Iconosquare, but due to the changes in the Instagram API for third-party apps, Iconosquare can no longer access the Instagram feed and display.

The root cause of the issue is a change the way images can be fetched, so Iconosquare decided to ditch the free plan and become a paying service. Instead of using Iconosquare as a paid service, which would require additional payment on the user side, we decided to make the most out of the change in API, that is, we implemented a new way to fetch and display Instagram photos.

With the new way of fetching and displaying the feed, your app will now be able to display all photos uploaded on your Instagram account. Until now, our Instagram feed was limited to displaying only the last 30 photos from the added Instagram account.

This is small, but valuable improvement in the Shoutem platform; stayed tuned for more new updates and improvements. Check our new Youtube video and see how integration works after we implemented the improvement.

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Hall of Fame: Gig Pic http://blog.shoutem.com/2016/05/09/hall-of-fame-gig-pic/ http://blog.shoutem.com/2016/05/09/hall-of-fame-gig-pic/#respond Mon, 09 May 2016 20:20:17 +0000 http://blog.shoutem.com/?p=10247 Gig Pic is the newest member in our Hall of Fame section. If you’re planning to visit any summer music festival, Gig Pic is the right app to download on your phone!

What is Gig Pic app and who is

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Gig Pic is the newest member in our Hall of Fame section. If you’re planning to visit any summer music festival, Gig Pic is the right app to download on your phone!

What is Gig Pic app and who is it for?

Gig Pic is a photo sharing app for music events, gigs and festivals.

When did you realize that you need a mobile application?

Well the app for us is our product. Lots of people have asked about allowing uploads on our website and multiple photo uploads, but we wanted to make sure every picture is unique and special. We don’t want people to go on the app and see that a user has uploaded 65 photos to a gallery, we want to see the best pictures and when, where they were taken, who’s in it and why it’s special to them!

Shoutem_gig pic_2

What kind of impact did the application have on the community?

So far Gig Pic has had a great impact and is continuing to grow every day. We initially started speaking to artists, bands and DJ’s about their thoughts on the app and we had nothing but positive comments and thoughts. It was featured in the ‘Best New Apps’ and ‘Best Photo Apps’ on iTunes in 2015 which was really exciting and every time you go on the app you can see more uploads from all over the world.

Did the app got noticed by the artists or music festivals?

Initially, we spent a lot of our time showcasing the app to artists, music festivals and venues to try and show what the app can do for them. It was hard at first, but once a few artists were using the app it just started to grow and we now have some really well-established acts including the likes of UK chart-toppers BLONDE. We now work alongside a lot of music festivals to promote their events across our network and app.

Shoutem_gig pic_1

What channels do you use to promote your app and what type of promotion do you find most successful?

For us our most successful way of promoting the app is out and about at events, meeting artists and festival goers and showing them what the app is really about.

The other way we promote the app is via social media – mainly Twitter as its the easiest way to interact with people.

How easy was to make the app using Shoutem?

Really easy and simple for people that have little or no experience developing apps. Great support team as well who are always happy to help.

Shoutem_gig pic

What advice would you give to people who are planning to make an app?

My advice would be to understand exactly who it is you’re hoping to target and what would make your app different. I’d also encourage people to keep apps free initially (depending on the product) as it allows you to develop a strong user base who might be put off by an app with a small fee. If you’re not necessarily providing a paid service you could keep your app free and also make your app user-friendly.

If you don’t like the look yourself the chances are your users won’t either. Keep it simple and clean! 🙂

P.S. There’s no reason why you can’t succeed like Gig Pic did. Click on the button below and make your own custom app!

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When is the right time to rethink your app’s UX? http://blog.shoutem.com/2016/04/26/right-time-rethink-apps-ux/ http://blog.shoutem.com/2016/04/26/right-time-rethink-apps-ux/#respond Tue, 26 Apr 2016 17:06:55 +0000 http://blog.shoutem.com/?p=10232 Coming up with a great UX for your mobile app is a long and, let’s be honest – hard process. So if you get it right and have a good UX, why would you want to change it at all? As …

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Coming up with a great UX for your mobile app is a long and, let’s be honest – hard process. So if you get it right and have a good UX, why would you want to change it at all? As mobile apps go through their life cycle, they inevitably evolve and change, so their UX also has to change and evolve with them.

Here are the top reasons why you’ll have to rethink and change your mobile app’s UX, so it doesn’t start to feel old.

New features

Obviously, adding new features (or removing some existing ones) is the reason to rethink the app’s UX. Minor changes and updates usually don’t have a great impact, but major updates may require a complete UX overhaul.

System changes

Sometimes the change is out of your control – for example, the changes in a mobile operating system can force you to adjust the app’s UX. Looking not so far back, the iOS 8 update sparked the need for the UX changes in apps and it is still considered one of the major iOS updates.

Even just the fact that the app will be adapted to another OS could be reason enough to rethink the user experience.

Just how much a system change can impact the app UX can be seen in the evolution of Windows mobile apps that went through a steady and continuous change, adapting to the system and its features.

Shoutem_What needs to be changed in your app's UX_

User feedback

A successful UX is a result of thorough testing and adjusting even the smallest of details. Furthermore, finding out what exactly to improve and adjust is fast and easy – just turn to your users and get their feedback!

The insights you derive from the user feedback are valuable as they identify not only when to change something, but also what exactly to change in the UX. Just make sure to make it easy for users to give you their feedback – after all, it is also a part of a good UX.

You should also make sure to check the app reviews in app stores, as they may also contain valuable user feedback that could help you.

User testing

There is always a chance that your current UX is not a product of a systematic testing. Maybe you have skipped a few steps, needed to rush the development or just didn’t have the resources to do the proper user testing. Whatever the reason, any later user test that you do will surely result in an impulse to make changes to the UX.

Whether you do it while developing the app or later on, the user testing will always provide the most accurate input on what to change in the app’s UX, so make sure not to skip it.

There is no right or wrong time to rethink your app’s UX, as you should always strive to make it optimal and the best it can be for your users, but there are certainly situations in the app’s lifecycle when you simply cannot and should not ignore the need to change it because if you don’t – you may end up with a sub-par UX that will turn users away from the app.

P.S. Want to learn more about how to improve your app’s UX? Click on the button below and read our first Medium post and why improving your mobile UX lies in hands of different generations!

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Take your UX testing to the hallways http://blog.shoutem.com/2016/04/20/take-ux-testing-hallways/ http://blog.shoutem.com/2016/04/20/take-ux-testing-hallways/#respond Wed, 20 Apr 2016 15:42:16 +0000 http://blog.shoutem.com/?p=10221 One of the first steps you can take in UX testing is – into the hallway!
Hallway testing is a quick way to gather general feedback about your app’s UX from random passersby in the hallway and identify any potential …

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One of the first steps you can take in UX testing is – into the hallway!
Hallway testing is a quick way to gather general feedback about your app’s UX from random passersby in the hallway and identify any potential major issues your UX is facing, but you may not be aware of when creating your mobile app.

Plan your tests

As easy as it sounds, hallway testing should be structured and planned, just like the whole UX testing process. It should also be done as soon as possible, to identify major issues and avoid them creeping into the further development process.

Just like in focus group testing, hallway tests should be done on a maximum of 5 people. Only 5 users will identify approximately 85% of all major issues according to Jakob Nielsen’s report. To optimize the process further, try to be somewhat selective in picking the respondents and have them represent your users that would actually use the mobile app.

Why You Only Need to Test with 5 Users

Location, location, location!

Funny as it may sound, the next important thing to consider is choosing the right hallway. Ideally, the hallway should be quite busy so to have a choice of more respondents. Also, target hallways in different departments or where other teams pass through to assure as much objectivity as you can.

Generally, team members like project designers and engineers close to the project should be consciously avoided in hallway tests, since they already know the product too well (typical users of your app won’t share their insight).

Hallway tests are a quick and easy way to gather qualitative feedback but they shouldn’t be improvised by any means. Plan ahead what questions you will ask the participants. Also, plan to go through all the questions and answers within about 5 minutes and never more than 10 minutes.

Structure the results into a report

The results of hallway testing should be applied to the development process, but before you can do this you should structure all the feedback into key conclusions and decisions that will be applied to the design process.

Hitting the hallways again after the changes are applied is a good idea to test the UX and progress and did the changes really address the major identified issues.

Testing fast, testing as soon as possible and testing easily are the benefits of hallway testing and more than reason enough for you to get up from your desk right now and walk around the office.

It is good both for you and your UX project.

P.S.: Aside from the above-mentioned Nielsen’s article, another great resource on the user testing is DigitalGov.

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Hall of Fame: offerON http://blog.shoutem.com/2016/04/04/hall-of-fame-offeron/ http://blog.shoutem.com/2016/04/04/hall-of-fame-offeron/#respond Mon, 04 Apr 2016 16:10:50 +0000 http://blog.shoutem.com/?p=10180 OfferON is the newest member of our Hall of Fame section – an app that wants to connect businesses in Poland with customers. Read their story and interview with Carlos Fernandes, offerOn founder.

What is offerON app and who is it

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OfferON is the newest member of our Hall of Fame section – an app that wants to connect businesses in Poland with customers. Read their story and interview with Carlos Fernandes, offerOn founder.

What is offerON app and who is it for?

The app is a mobile platform for businesses in Poland to reach the masses. We allow companies to add their profiles, events, loyalty programs and coupons to the app. It’s also a place for the community to find local businesses and easily access their profile, events, latest news and any current offers they may have.

When did you realize that you need a mobile application?

I realized when I noticed how most people spend possibly 80% of their internet usage time on their smartphones.

What kind of impact did the application have on the community?

It’s still early days. We have not yet spent any money on marketing as we first needed to fill the app with interesting businesses. We will begin serious marketing/advertising from March 30, 2016 as the app is now full of very interesting offers for premium and non-premium clients. Otherwise, we are happy with the current level of downloads and users.

2. Shoutem_offerON_hall of fame1

What are main advantages of a mobile app as a communication channel?

The main advantage of our app is that our users can access offers on the spare of the moment. Looking for a place to have a coffee while you are out walking? Open the app and chooses from dozens of offers close to your location thanks to GPS Location.

What channels do you use to promote your app and what type of promotion do you find most successful?

We will promote heavily via Facebook. Twitter is not popular in Poland. Also national newspapers and local radio.

How easy was to make the app using Shoutem?

It has taken me a while to get to the stage it is at right now. In fact, we internally are still not 100% happy with the current look, but this is normal; we are always looking to improve the app. Shoutem is by far the best app builder we have found. It’s really easy to use and has many building options in terms of adding content. Would be nice if we could build a Windows version also but lets not be too picky. Shoutem is cool.

Shoutem_offerON_hall of fame3

What advice would you give to people who are planning to make an app?

Try to think out of the box and make your app look different. Shoutem allows you to play with the layouts so make use of it and come up with something original. Also, try to keep your graphics to a minimum to increase the loading speeds of the app.

P.S. Follow the same path as offerON did! Click on the button below and make your own custom app!

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5 business benefits of mobile loyalty program http://blog.shoutem.com/2016/03/15/5-business-benefits-of-mobile-loyalty-program/ http://blog.shoutem.com/2016/03/15/5-business-benefits-of-mobile-loyalty-program/#respond Tue, 15 Mar 2016 21:13:10 +0000 http://blog.shoutem.com/?p=10025 Building a business is not an easy task, but building a successful business is even harder. The essence of successful businesses are customers, who expect to experience outstanding customer care along with amazing product or service.

Loyalty programs encourage customers …

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Building a business is not an easy task, but building a successful business is even harder. The essence of successful businesses are customers, who expect to experience outstanding customer care along with amazing product or service.

Loyalty programs encourage customers to connect with your brand and recognize the values of your company, and they offer you the opportunity to nurture your clients.

Howard Schultz, Starbucks’ CEO, said, “If people believe they share values with a company, they will stay loyal to the brand.” Below you can read about the 5 business benefits of mobile loyalty program.

1. Understanding customers

Understanding customers’ behaviors and buying habits will lead to an understanding of customers’ needs, enabling you to send them the right offers at the right times.

Perfectly timed messages, such as push notifications or newsletters, will keep your customers engaged, and an offer that meets their needs will have a higher turnaround. Fully engaged customers with a strong attachment to the brand (also known as brand ambassadors) deliver a 23% premium over the average customer in the share of wallet, profitability and revenue.

2. Ahead of the competition

No matter how superior your product or service is, a competitor is always lurking around the corner trying to draw your customers away. Even if you stay ahead of your competitors, you should differentiate your business as much as you can to stay beyond your competitors’ reach.

Benchmark your business against your competitors to see where your advantages and weaknesses are, and lead ahead of the curve, think smart, and take advantage of innovations to provide customers with a carefully planned loyalty program.

3. Becoming the market leader

The best way to stay ahead of the competition is by setting trends. If you are raising the bar and setting standards, you will not only survive in today’s customer-centric environment but also skim the cream off the top. We shape our technologies and thereafter our tools shape us,” observation made by Marshal McLuhan, one of the most recognized experts in the field of communication studies, is accurate now more than ever, with 93% of business leaders worldwide saying technology had changed customer expectations in the past five to ten years.

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5 Reasons Why You Need a Digital Loyalty Program – Infographic; Compliments of  PassKit.com

4. Better sales results

Customers love loyalty programs and their benefits, but the days of carrying around plastic loyalty cards are over. Cards are lost easily, they aren’t practical for carrying around in a wallet, and tracking redemptions can be difficult for business owners.

Even if you have doubts about mobile loyalty programs, 86% of marketers ranked mobile loyalty campaigns as very effective or effective. In addition, 72% of consumers would like better access to rewards and the ability to redeem their rewards more easily (78%).

Businesses can also benefit from mobile loyalty programs in multiple ways:

  • Boost sales

A loyalty program can affect current and potential customers. Sending the right offer to a current customer can generate recurring purchases (as in the Kohl’s example, where customers who are members of the loyalty program spend $80 more than those who are not), or it can attract potential customers and convert them into regular customers. Collecting insights from loyalty-based data to refine pricing and promotion leads to a consistent 1–4% increase in sales and a 4–7% increase in profits.

  • Reduce operational costs

Mobile loyalty programs are easier to maintain, and offers can be changed in just a few minutes and sent to all users instantly. Thus, less time and fewer funds need to be invested in mobile loyalty programs than in paper-based loyalty programs.

  • Improve customer service

Digital loyalty programs offer a direct communication channel between customers and business owners during the pre-sale, checkout, and post-sale process. One survey found that 79% of customers would take their business to a competitor within a week of experiencing poor customer service.

5. Rich analytics data

Tracking and interpreting customer data is essential if you want to communicate relevant messages and offers to your customers. Customers are more likely to use loyalty programs if the program is easy to understand (81%) and if the rewards and offers are relevant (75%). Furthermore, brands that allocate 20% or more of their budgets to customer loyalty have a better understanding of their customers.

To learn about and understand your customers, you need to decide which metrics you want to track and what goals you want to achieve. Every business has different goals and strategies for achieving them.

If you want to a have strong initial impact, the number of app downloads is the best metric to track. If your goal is to get users to keep using the app, the percentage of active (returning) users will give you insight into your strategy’s success. Promoting specific feeds in the app can also be used to attract user attention, and by monitoring the most popular pages in your app, you can determine whether you need to change the app’s content and understand which pages are more attractive to customers.

Maybe you only want to track the amount users spent on purchases and deal redemption and create your next campaign based on those metrics. You might want your business to explode on social media and go viral; in that case, tracking the number of social media shares for your app’s content can help you understand which content is shared the most and which content types perform below average.

Real-time analytics and collected user data allow you to measure the ROI of your campaigns, pinpoint behavior patterns, re-target users with push notifications, and engage with your customers by providing them what they really want.

Create an amazing mobile loyalty app for your business today without any coding at all!

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5 essential features your restaurant mobile app should have http://blog.shoutem.com/2016/02/29/5-essential-features-for-your-restaurant-mobile-app/ http://blog.shoutem.com/2016/02/29/5-essential-features-for-your-restaurant-mobile-app/#respond Mon, 29 Feb 2016 21:37:39 +0000 http://blog.shoutem.com/?p=9984 What features should a perfect restaurant mobile app have? We bring you 5 essential features for boosting restaurant business in the mobile era.

Restaurant owners are starting to recognize the value of a dedicated restaurant mobile app that can bring

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What features should a perfect restaurant mobile app have? We bring you 5 essential features for boosting restaurant business in the mobile era.

Restaurant owners are starting to recognize the value of a dedicated restaurant mobile app that can bring to their business. Restaurant mobile app is a perfect tool to launch campaigns, inform your guests about special events in your restaurant and new items on the menu, and share the contact of your newly opened location.

But, what features should you add into your app to acquire new customers, retain old ones and boost your revenue? Here are 5 essential features that you should add into your restaurant mobile app.

1. Build relationship with loyalty program

Customers are the core of every business; without them, there would be no one to use your services or buy your products. Companies with customer oriented approach must treat loyal customers and make them feel special, and eventually, they will be your best brand ambassadors.

We’re not talking here about expensive rewards, but carefully planned Loyalty program that can boost customer engagement and increase transactions. Choose a Loyalty program that fits best with your business needs; use Single-Card Loyalty program for a single location or Multi-Card Loyalty program for multiple locations. Statistic module will help you understand the user behavior and improve your app to achieve better results.

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2. Payments

Give customers an option to pay directly from their phones and let them enjoy the meal without wallets! By 2019, mobile payment transaction will reach $210.45 billion and you don’t want to miss that opportunity, do you?

Mobile payments

3. Location-based marketing

Give the opportunity to your customers to try special meals, discounts and try the new food before it’s on the menu. With perfectly timed marketing promotion and with these 5 tips on creating push notification strategy, purchase with the mobile coupon is almost certain.

4. Ordering

Hungry consumers are turning to smartphones and tablets to place online orders for pick-up or delivery, 69% of consumers order food online using a mobile device, according to the IAB & Viggle study “Mealtime Goes Mobile”.

Shoutem allows you a seamless cross-platform experience to browse and purchase food and beverages via mobile apps. Integrate Shopify in the app with one-click integration and present your restaurant to app users; Shopify makes it easy to sell food and beverages online.

5.Behind the scenes & Social Media

Don’t be a stranger to your customers. Show your “human side” and add Instagram, Twitter or Facebook profile together with news, updates or videos from your Youtube channel. As much want to learn about your customers, try to make strong bonds with them and you’ll turn them into brand ambassadors even without asking.

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To summarize these 5 essential features and to prove they make a difference, take a look at infographics below.

5 essential features for your restaurant mobile app.5 Things Restaurant Mobile Apps Must Include [infographic]
Compliments of QSRweb.com

Want to succeed in a mobile-first environment? Click on the button below and make your own restaurant app without a single line of code, it’s that easy!

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Introducing Enriched App Statistics http://blog.shoutem.com/2016/02/24/introducing-enriched-app-statistics/ http://blog.shoutem.com/2016/02/24/introducing-enriched-app-statistics/#respond Wed, 24 Feb 2016 14:37:23 +0000 http://blog.shoutem.com/?p=9949 “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.”, once said Aaron Levenstein. We are proud to introduce a powerful improvement on Shoutem app builder platform: Enriched App Statistics.

We introduced App

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“Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.”, once said Aaron Levenstein. We are proud to introduce a powerful improvement on Shoutem app builder platform: Enriched App Statistics.

We introduced App Statistics module last year in May and users loved it! Finally, app owners were able to track statistics for both, Single-Card and Multi-Card Loyalty programs. User data provided by App Statistic can be a powerful tool for understanding the user behavior, learn more about your customers and boost user engagement if interpreted correctly.

Until now, app owners were able to keep the track of following data in specific modules:

Shoutem_app_builder_enriched_app_statistics_old features2

From now on, you will be able to monitor even more metrics in the App tab –  it will improve your understanding of users behavior and help to improve your app. You will be able to track following metrics:

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To access new data, just click on the first icon, Statistics, in the left menu. Your statistics will become available once your app is published in App Store and Google Play.If your app is already live, make sure that it is republished – click on the Re-publish button to activate your app tracker you will find the Re-publish button in the upper right corner of your app builder).

Shoutem_app_builder_enriched_app_statistics_app not published

Downloads

Once your app is live in stores, you can follow the impact of your app in the first few days through the number of app downloads. The Downloads section will provide you the number of downloads on both platforms, together with the pie chart and percentage of installs for a specific platform.

Shoutem_app_builder_enriched_app_statistics_Downloads

Sessions

To understand sessions tab, first we need to define what the session is. A session is an a sequence of interactions of one user, that hasn’t been interrupted for more than 30 minutes. Once the app is opened on user’s device, the session starts, and as long as the user is active in the app, it will last. When app user is inactive for 30 minutes, the session will end automatically.

Example: a user, let’s call him Joe, opens the app to browse the Social Wall, before his meeting starts in the conference room. During the meeting, he leaves his phone on his desk. He’s back by his phone after more than 30 minutes and opens the app again to check new updates. Since his first session has ended after 30 minutes, while he was still in the meeting, opening the app again, will start the new session.

However, in some cases, sessions can last for a whole day. For example, the user is posting a status update in the app, puts his phone away for 15 minutes. Then he opens the app, browses through the content, becomes inactive for 29 minutes and opens the app again. In this case, the session will not be interrupted – old session will still be active, and the new session will not start.

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Active users

Active users metric will display the number of unique users with at least one session in selected active date range. You can select from different date ranges: today, last week, last 30 days, etc. If the number of active users is high, it means that users love your app and its content, but if the number of users is decreasing for a long time, you should probably improve your app or try to get a feedback from the users to reduce the bounce rate.

Shoutem_app_builder_enriched_app_statistics_Active users

Page views

This metric will show you the number of page views by day. The chart will display a total number of page views on a specific day, while the table below will display the Top 10 most visited pages in your app in the selected date range. With Top 10 pages, you know which parts of your app are the most popular and where users spend most of their time.

Shoutem_app_builder_enriched_app_statistics_Page views

Try our new App Statistics feature and tell us what you think!

P.S. This is just the beginning, a lot of new improvements will be rolled out soon, so stay tuned.

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