Three key principles for delivering meaningful mobile app personalization
With 71% of consumers expecting companies to deliver personalized interactions, it’s table stakes for mobile app creators to offer users a unique and tailored experience. But with increasing concerns about sharing personal data, the idea also causes a great deal of anxiety for app users and app creators alike.
It’s a simple concept with a complex execution to get it right. Though personalization is already woven into our everyday lives with things like emails with your name and offers on your birthday, offering meaningful personalization requires much more due diligence. It means constantly evaluating user demands, sentiments, and behaviors – in parallel with the constantly changing landscape of technology and regulatory requirements. With more than 6 billion smartphone users worldwide, there is no one-size fits all solution to personalization that can possibly work for all mobile app creators to keep users engaged.
However, you can structure your app development process to have built-in checkpoints so that your engagement strategy is always relevant.
We’ve identified three key principles to ensure you’re continually delivering personalization that’s meaningful for your mobile app users.
Identify your users’ “why”
What makes your users tick? Why did they download your app, and why do they come back?
While some apps are nuanced and made to represent who you are, other apps are very functional, made to complete very specific tasks. Depending on the app’s purpose, users will develop different relationships with the app, along with different expectations for what kind of personalization that the app offers. For example, your relationship with Spotify is likely very different than your relationship with TurboTax.
As a result, it’s essential to recognize what your app’s core values and mission are, and what they mean to your users. These sentiments will inevitably change over time, shifting with consumer trends, current events, technology advancements, etc. Therefore, it’s important to continuously seek data to identify what external and internal influences shape your user’s expectations for what kind of personalization your app specifically offers.
Build trust at every touchpoint
What’s the first touchpoint that demonstrates your app’s value to users? How do you gain trust that you respect and protect their data?
Building trust with users starts much earlier than the actual download, and it’s a continuous relationship that must be nurtured. When you find ways to let users choose what they want – what they want to send, to receive, to know, or to share – then they are more likely to opt-in to using your app’s personalized features.
This principle applies not only to encouraging users to opt-in to features, but it also applies to helping users opt-in to privacy settings. When you prioritize user privacy at every touchpoint in your app’s journey, you’ll find your team designing and developing in ways that will inherently build trust with your users. What data is necessary for a specific feature’s use case? How do you design the dataflow to only bring in the necessary data? Can you demonstrate how this works earlier in the user journey during acquisition and onboarding? Does your privacy statement make this clear with simple and easy-to-understand language?
Choose vendors that reflect your values
What’s your company’s stance on what kind of data to collect and how to use it? Do your vendors’ values align with yours?
With very few mobile apps that can truly build in-house, most apps depend on third-party vendors to power its full range of services and experiences. It’s an effective approach to building apps, but it also comes with the fact that your vendors’ choices affect your brand’s reputation and relationship with users.
Whether or not this poses a risk, however, depends on the depth that your vendors understand the implications of how your app uses, processes, and stores data. It’s imperative that vendors partner closely with you to design practices that will protect your company and deliver the value that your app promises, without compromise. Look for vendors whose values on data sharing and transparency align with yours and ask how their tenets are upheld in practice.
In future posts, we’ll dive deeper into each of these principles by exploring proven methods to demonstrate your app’s unique value and increase user engagement. If you’re interested to learn more, schedule time to chat with an expert today.