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Introduction

Customer experience has been, and is, the most critical thing in the realm of business. The toughest challenge in today’s mobile-first world faces today is to replicate the same level of fluid, seamless user experience as is possible in an offline store.

Some virtual infrastructure does exist that makes up the basics of customer experience in the form of the world wide web; however, with the advent of multichannel capabilities of mobile devices across various platforms, there is a need to raise the bar on the user experience once more.

Addressing this disconnect between various online channels today, Branch has set out to fix the problem. The company, a landmark name in mobile growth, recognizes the need for instantaneous, responsive transition capability between platforms to provide users with an end-to-end, stitched journey across the web and mobile.

Govind Kavaturi, Director of Partnerships at Branch, elaborates on the subtle nuances of onboarding new consumers and how to get the details right. He also talks about creating coherent transitions and intuitive user interfaces for users, particularly on mobile phones.

Importance of User Experience

“…what we all should believe as marketers is that we’re not only competing with our competitors on the product side, but we’re also competing on the experience side…”

Studies show that 57.4% of the leading marketers of the industry believe flawless onboarding to be a benchmark stratagem that leads to consumer conversion. This is true all the more so because of the Coronavirus pandemic. People are at home all the time; the outside world is now condensed into a mobile screen. The only chance a brand gets to interact with the consumer is through that tiny screen.

There have been instances in the industry, Govind elaborates, where long-term consumers bailed out on a brand because of consistently underperforming apps and clumsy user interfaces. The biggest bottleneck here is that many brands are unaware that cross-platform-related issues can actually be solved, that information exchange can happen efficiently from one platform to another, from one channel to another.

branch works by removing the bumpy junctions between web and apps, and by adding better form and more function to internal and external links, helping businesses create natural and breezy user experiences throughout their journey with the business, starting from creating easy consumer onboarding processes.

Decisive Moments

Designing user experiences isn’t as simple as clicking on a link and navigating to a website anymore. With the emergence of alternative channels and platforms, the pathway to consumer conversion now careens through a complex network of interconnecting, interacting links.

“…brands need to really design these experiences so that it caters to different segments of users going to different platforms, not just based on the age or gender perspective, but also on the platform perspective…”

If a user clicks on a link on the world wide web to download a mobile application, the brand needs to retain the context, the purpose of that click – and transfer this information across the platforms that the user traverses throughout this particular engagement. For example, click to log in to an app from a web browser – the user doesn’t need to feed the same data to the app after already having done so on the web browser.

There are three steps that can be conceptualized and redesigned, according to Govind, to stitch a great onboarding experience for a consumer:

Registration

Many top-of-the-line brands employ a simple, one-click app registration process: signing in with existing accounts. Embedding in the app the ability to let the user register with his Google, Apple, Facebook, or other existing accounts frees up the user’s time that is, in turn, invested in the brand.

Automatic Login

Allowing your user to log in on any one device and automatically be logged in everywhere else is a flexibility that is greatly appreciated by users. This goes to show that the brand values the user’s time.

First-Share

The ability to share a good experience or product with other users exponentially boosts consumer volume onboarding to a brand. A mobile app should sport convenient sharing options that leap over cross-platform restraints.

Ways to Tailor a Great Onboarding Experience

“…if you are not able to provide the onboarding that the user is expecting in the initial phase, then you are not holding that particular customer with you…”

Govind highlights that the concept of “Show, Don’t Tell” works perfectly to reduce screenshots and increase the quantum of relevant, meaningful information delivered to the user per screen. The skill to show a consumer what an app has in store for him, even before he has signed up for it, pushes the user to commit to completing the registration. An application has to be able to properly showcase its plethora of services in a neatly designed interface so as not to overwhelm the user with information.

How long a user stays with an app before uninstalling it largely, and quite surprisingly, depends on the fluidity of onboarding and completion of the first task. The app interface should allow a user to accomplish the first task that led to the sign-up quickly.

When users are asked to furnish additional information during onboarding, it is necessary to provide them with sound reasoning to prevent them from falling away from registration.

App-to-app transition capability (for example, navigating from a recipes app to an ingredients-shopping app, or sharing information from one app into another) works to further streamline the user experience and customer retention.

The most important feature that a brand can tailor its app around is to have the app focus on the benefits of onboarding, instead of advertising its features. When a user sees the quality addition an app can bring to his/her life, onboarding is easier.

Key Takeaways

Long story short, Govind highlights the following key points to ensure that onboarding new users to an app is a success:

  • Time: Each step a brand includes in onboarding uses the consumer’s time. This needs to be kept as short as possible.
  • Control: The user needs to feel in control of the app, to keep the authority with him while onboarding.
  • Flow: Cross-platform and cross-channel, wherever the user wants to go from an app, there has to be an unobstructed, glitch-free path the user can easily find and take.
  • Simplicity: Informational clutter will drive users away. Keep the interface neat, the information simple, and the users will stay with the brand longer.
  • Flexibility: The ability to carry and store information across platforms and channels gives the user the flexibility to access your brand from anywhere, and on any device.

Govind highlights that brands need to be smart in designing their platform and channel-friendly app versions based on the geography of the target demographic, as some regions have more engagement through mobile web, while others see higher traffic through desktop systems.