3 Red Flags That Your App is Failing You
Rather than waiting for an outage — and the accompanying social media backlash from infuriated customers and potential loss of revenue — retailers must understand the warning signs that their app is a problem and make the necessary adjustments before it ends up in the ER.
Key to this is proactively tracking and monitoring a handful of key indicators. Retailers can easily become overwhelmed trying to monitor everything, but by focusing on three key areas they can better understand their app performance and take action before issues snowball into business-critical problems.
1. Ratings Slip
Don’t ignore the noise and try to explain away why your rankings are slipping. If your reviews are starting to go south, that's usually a clear indicator that you need to look into what the source of the issue is and fix the problem before it escalates. Defect, slow performance and poor usability can all be fixed, but you have to do so quickly. Don’t just assume that it's a few disgruntled customers; it’s essential that you listen and react to the feedback before the potential problem spreads.
Look to see if there's a correlation with the rating dip and an increase in support tickets from users, or an increase in defect/request turnaround time from your team. The upshot of it is to value feedback as a way to keep your app and your brand healthy.
2. Your App is Losing its Appeal as a Destination
Pay close attention to the length of time users spend on your website or app. If users do a brief fly-by rather than exploring your app, then that's another sign that something could be wrong. If people open your app, make a very linear journey, and leave, then that’s a concern. Why didn’t they hang around? If they did that in your brick-and-mortar store, you would worry. Whether the customer is in-store or its digital counterpart, you want them to browse and see what else is available so you can upsell and foster deeper engagement. You want to see people exploring your app looking for products and promotions.
Keep an eye on back-and-forth user journeys. People browsing is what you want, but people just hitting the back button and then clicking a different button probably means they didn’t understand your app and you have a usability problem. Also, absence doesn't make the heart grow fonder, so keep an eye on the time between visits. If that number starts to significantly extend from days to weeks, this is also an indicator of a problem.
3. Conversion/Revenue Starts to Slide
If conversion rates start to nosedive, then that’s another sign that your app is potentially failing your business. You need to look into the source of the issue and see if the number of abandoned baskets is increasing. Also, if conversion is down but usage is growing, then there's a problem that warrants immediate investigation.
If retailers keep these three red flags front of mind, they can stay ahead of potential app outages, thereby reducing any negative impact on customers and their brands. In retail, the customer experience and basket conversion are key, and the performance of your app is critical to both. Therefore, it’s time to rethink your approach to delivering an app experience that continually delights.
Antony Edwards is the chief operating officer at Eggplant, a customer experience optimization specialist.