The first time a user opens their freshly downloaded app, they are excited, curious, and they all need a little guidance. But besides the guidelines, there are myriads of factors marketers must optimize to gain user satisfaction. A delightful experience is the combination of seamless navigation and powerful content elements injected by a touch of personality. Wow, that sounds like a lot of things. But, don’t fret. eCommerce app onboarding isn’t rocket science.

In today’s article, we’ve handpicked 3 proven tips to design an engaging eCommerce onboarding and make users connect with your brand instantly. Each tip also covers a detailed implementation instruction that helps you maximize the final result. Let’s dive in.

Simplify sign-up with SMS detection

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As users, many of us probably have a love-hate relationship with account confirmation. Account confirmation has become standard for customer onboarding because of security reasons. However, it is often executed poorly, which eventually turns into frustration. If the confirmation email or SMS, fortunately, doesn’t come late, users still need to open a new app to read the code, and then manually enter the code to finish this step. Since there is not a single person like filling the form, manual account confirmation has become a pet peeve that users always face when signing up for an app. But that’s not the case with WhatsApp.

When WhatsApp hit the first 1 billion daily users in 2017, its CEO Jan Koum said the company committed to delivering more delightful features, along with reliability, simplicity, and security. This philosophy appears crystal clear in the WhatsApp onboarding process. The app automatically detects SMS verification so that users don’t need to check their SMS during the onboarding process and manually enter the code. This brilliant feature – an excellent example of simplicity, significantly enhances the user experience. Some extra kudos to WhatsApp!

Key takeaway: use automatic SMS detection to make a seamless experience for the onboarding.

Speak your users’ language

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Don’t think about onboarding like a tutorial. Think about it like a product, or better, a human. The onboarding must follow a set of voice, tone, and language that aligned with users’ values. You should consider simple sentence structures, wording, color, sounds, animations, and interactions that aim to invoke an emotional response in the user. When you and your target users speak the same language, it’s so much easier to engage and connect with them on a deeper level.

Onboarding is the beginning of a journey that nurtures the bond between a customer and the brand. Here are steps of how to create that bond.

  • Know your audience. Take a closer look at your buyer persona. Who are they? What are their hobbies? Where do they spend their time? How do they speak? The more you understand your audience, the more chance the content team can rock it.
  • Develop a set of tone, voice, color, sound, animations that make sense to your target users. For example, if your app users are “geeky”, terms like “may the force be with you” can instantly nail it.
  • Pay attention to customer feedback. Rating and reviews from Google Play and App Store are great ways to gather feedback from users. You can also actively send them surveys in exchange for some exclusive perks. This way, you’ll get real insights and understand what they want. Use the data wisely to keep optimizing the content for the next update.

Leverage UX design with creative visual effects

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Immediately after the onboarding starts, visuals will leave an indelible impression on your users. A strong visual is not a nice-to-have element but a must-have one that directly contributes to the success of your onboarding.

Here are some suggestions to leverage your game of visuals for your next onboarding.

  • Use in-app Stories to present ideas and tutorials. Since Instagram Stories are pretty familiar with many users already, using Story features in an app would be a nice way to engage with them, making users feel like they’ve known you for a long time. You can also be creative by incorporating user-generated content for eCommerce into these Stories. A huge chance to become more relatable to your users! Since the Story is so easy to use, it can save you plenty of time designing personalized user experiences in eCommerce.
  • When it comes to text, less is more. Too many texts can devastate readability. If you want a clean, minimalistic UX design, cutting down the text is a good choice. Remove them by using other elements whenever possible. For example, use a date picker like the iPhone when you want to ask users about their date of birth.
  • Make progressive onboarding to provide hands-on experience. Instead of showing slides of introduction like a vertical PowerPoint, let your users try the features immediately. By doing so, users have a chance to be more interactive with your product and gain a better learning experience.

The bottom line

We believe that if applied strategically, these 3 tips can bring enormous changes to your app onboarding. But just using it isn’t enough. To measure the success of onboarding, don’t forget to keep track of customer onboarding metrics such as Time to first time value, Free to paid conversion, Customer progress, Customer response rate, Product adoption rate. These metrics are the ultimate goals that decide whether your efforts come to nothing or something.

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