Picture this. A pestering salesman at a mobile phone store, insisting I must have a look at the ‘latest arrival’, not letting me get a feel of the place at my own pace. I might indeed be inclined to buy that very model which the salesman is so persistent about. But bulldozing a customer into a purchase simply doesn’t work.
Now let’s visualize a slightly different approach. The store has well positioned display boards highlighting important information about each phone model. The store has an excellent layout and placement of the various models on display so that the customer enjoys the process of exploring various options. There is also an alert salesman discretely hovering in the background, waiting to put in an appearance as soon as I show the inclination to seek more information. Now, I would feel in command of the situation and at the same time, appreciate the prompt customer service. This approach is more likely to result in a successful sale and a happy customer.
The above real life scenario can be extended into the app universe as well. The art of persuasion is a central theme around which product marketing and UX campaigns evolve. Gentle, guided persuasion vs explicit, in your face marketing is the choice here.
Digital nudges Vs Pop-ups
Pop-up banners are annoying
They halt the natural user flow and divert attention to something irrelevant to the user, most of the time. An example will help to highlight this point. I am in a hurry and urgently need to place a grocery order on my online shopping app. But as soon as I open the app, I get to see a pesky pop-up that refuses to fade, for a 25% discount on the purchase of shoes. It doesn’t let me view the feature options behind and forces a click or affirmative action from me. More often than not, that action is a window-close, according to In-app statistics collected from various apps.
That’s not to say that pop-ups are never to be used. Pop-ups are appropriate when an explicit action is required from the user, such as a consent to a license agreement. Or to display an invalid entry error message. Use pop-ups when the in-app message is mandatory for the user to view, not for marketing and recommendations.
Digital nudges are subtle yet super effective
A tooltip when a user is hovering over an icon, a buy recommendation based on past purchase history, or a spotlight highlighting a particular feature - these are all nudges urging the user towards a particular action. But they are non-intrusive and add value to the user journey. Instead of showing me the pesky ‘shoes on discount’ pop-up, I’d rather appreciate a ‘buy again’ nudge for grocery items that I frequently purchase on the shopping app.
We @ Apxor are in the business of helping companies to bridge the gap between their products and their intended users. Digital nudges are a simple and effective means to achieve that objective. Usage of digital nudges placed at well thought out locations within the app, which appear at the right time (read contextual), gives the right push to users finding their way through the app. These nudges lend a small helping hand personalised to every user’s individual user journey but result in significant impact.
Through our first hand experience in handling various customer projects which have successfully deployed Apxor digital nudges, we have some observations in app UX metrics, listed below.
Benefits of using Digital nudges:
- Quicker onboarding. Contextual walkthroughs to guide the new user makes them comfortable with the app much faster. Nudges can save manual customer support effort during onboarding as they make the app self-explanatory.
- Lesser user churn. Pain points where users may drop off due to lack of understanding can be addressed using a suggestion/recommendation/explanation nudge.
- Greater feature adoption. Development effort invested to design several app features often goes waste in apps, as the industry average feature adoption rate is a mere 20%. Tooltips, overlays, and recommendations can gently nudge a user towards a less explored feature.
- Better conversion rates. A tentative user is likely to convert into a committed long-term user when individually personalised information is delivered to them to match their exact needs. This is easy to implement using Apxor digital nudges.
Using Apxor’s dynamic text feature you can now individualize the nudges to the tee, like giving the exact discount the user was looking for at that moment, or gamifying the app to give the user exact idea of what should be done next to improve his/her game. Possibilities here are endless. Such individualization also helps in improving brand loyalty and advocacy, apart from the funnel conversion rates.
As a company who knows its nudges well, we would like to point out some popular mobile apps that have aced their in-app messaging using digital nudges.
Good ol’ Youtube is one of the most intuitive and well designed apps we can find on our phones. No wonder it works well with all user segments, young and old, west or east, English or otherwise.
The most obvious nudge is the next recommended video overlay that is automatically shown at the end of the present video you are watching. These recommendations are AI based and get better and more personalised as a user spends more time on YouTube. Analytics data shows these recommendations contribute to a large share of watched videos on YouTube.
Automatically saving videos liked earlier into the latest created playlist, but still giving the user an option to change the playlist if required - that's another popular time saving nudge. The option to ‘Watch later’, a quick prompt to switch on/off live chat during a live video stream, even the 5 second countdown to skip ads - these are all non—intrusive nudges that deliver a seamless user journey.
A digital new feature in Slack caught our attention. When you are just about to send a message but the other members in the group aren’t online, Slack shows you a contextual tooltip to help you schedule your post. You can schedule the post to be sent later, either at preconfigured times or at a time of your choice. You can also schedule recurring messages to your team.
So if you are a team leader or project manager, you can relax, knowing that your announcement, reminder, meeting agenda, and more is delivered to the team right on time, even when you’re on-the-go.
Coming to one of our own customers who uses Apxor digital nudges very effectively in their app. It's an excellent example of how digital nudges can lead to increased feature adoption. And when we say digital, the idea is really digital - contextual, eye-catching without being intrusive. It’s a result of using UX analytics data to carefully position tooltips, walkthroughs, overlays at the right places.
Let’s take one such instance. Doubtnut has a vast library of classes and other resources for the student community. However, the library feature was not discovered by their users. Doubtnut used UX data analytics to figure out that one particular teacher from the Kota classes section in the library was widely viewed. To improve the feature adoption levels of the ‘library’ feature, Doubtnut launched a cool tooltip. They placed the image of that super popular teacher in the tooltip. This grabbed the attention of the students of 10th and 11th classes who were shown this tooltip contextually. As a result, the user conversion and retention rates saw a remarkable increase!
Read the entire success story here.
Amazon makes abundant and beautiful use of strategically placed nudges throughout their app. These are not a result of impulsive UI development. Rather, these nudges are carefully designed and deployed based on quick user feedback using techniques such as A/B testing.
A first time visitor needs help to sign-in/sign-up, a quick 2 second tooltip pops up to show you where to start. The homepage place-holders are entirely personalised to match every customer’s profile and purchase history. Most of their nudges are very visual in nature, using product images in attractive arrangements.
Then comes the next subtle nudge, the customer review and ratings under each product, lending the product more credibility and earning the customer’s trust. The careful recommendations to use Amazon’s associated products such as Amazon Pay, subscription to Amazon Prime are all done in non-intrusive but tempting ways.
The list is endless, Amazon is indeed one of the best examples of guiding and channeling user action through subtle and digital nudges.
Myntra has always been a cool, trendy app that delivers a thoroughly enjoyable user experience. The digital nudges employed in the app are a major contributor to their ‘cool’ image.
The best use of digital nudges is visible in the way they fuse people’s offline and online experiences where they are able to shop and hang out together while being inspired and getting others’ opinion. Fashion tips from celebrities alongside a particular Myntra designer range, fitness polls and public opinion posts blended with Myntra sportswear. You are interested only in your shopping, feel free. You also want to chill, hang out and become part of a fashion community, the nudges will lead you there. Seamless blending of polls, social media posts, picture galleries and the actual merchandise on sale. What’s not to like !
Here is a detailed guide to creating and using digital nudges.
Digital nudges are a must-have in any app looking to improve user experience and increase customer satisfaction. Get in touch with us right away and we’ll get started.