If you work on mobile in the Middle East right now, you couldn’t ask for better conditions than what we have. According to ComScore, smartphone penetration is 93 per cent in the 18-34 demographic, and 79 per cent across all demographics.
Yet, desktop still accounts for most e-commerce transactions due to usability issues on mobile. Clearly, everyone is ready for sticky mobile solutions that work and there is an immense opportunity for innovation and improvement in the mobile space.
So, what should digital brands do?
Mobile apps must be useful, usable and best-in-class to succeed. The Adobe Mobile Survey conducted in 2016 revealed that the most popular reason for deleting an app across all age groups was “not useful”.
According to Localytics, 24 per cent of users abandon an app after just one use, and 63 per cent users have used an app less than 10 times. Additionally, only 52 per cent users have ever used a mobile payment method for online purchase.
A multi-platform strategy is critical for alignment with customer expectations, yet brands still treat desktop as their primary channel of reach and engagement. dubizzle sees seven in ten customers now using mobile as their main channel.
Our share of app users has grown from 28 per cent to 40 per cent in the last year, and is now the highest of all channels. Therefore, for digital brands to become more customer-centric, it is essential to invest more resources and effort into mobile, specifically smartphones.
How might we deal with diversity?
By taking an active mobile-first attitude and collaborating with our users to personalise their experience and bringing them closer to things they want.
We want to offer users a wide selection of relevant items. Although, our audience is unevenly distributed between categories, demographics, geographies and levels of tech-savvy, we address our users’ needs regardless of these differences by enabling them to find anything they desire and purchase with ease.
For mass market segments, we provide a broad selection of over 150 categories, easy discovery, serendipity and value for money, while making it easy for users to navigate the mobile platform.
For premium segments, we offer peace of mind, convenience and quality of service through brand partnerships with other leading companies in the sectors we operate in.
For example, dubizzle partnered with Expat Wheels to create a “Sell it for me” experience for car sellers. This service gives our users a convenient, hassle-free option to list a car for sale, handle inquiries and transfer papers after the sale, which further differentiates us from other platforms, and keeps our audience loyal.
Therefore, through the continuous personalization of user experience and consistency of engagement, we identify the jobs users need done and ensure they are performed to the best of our ability.
Lastly, as the reach of digital networks expands, so does the amount of risk users face when using mobile. Safety and privacy is of paramount importance. One means to maintain security is by using a one-time password to prevent phishing of personal information and criminal masquerading among other features.
The future is mobile. Mobile apps are going to be the main channel to browse, buy and sell because they can leverage the power of communities, and engage users better than any other channel out there. All in all, user success is mobile success.
Vineet Singla is the General Manager of New Business and Director of Product at dubizzle