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Apart from being a medium to drive online bookings, the Consumer Mobile App (CMA) also offers your guests a contactless and a convenient way of booking and taking your services.

Your CMA is capable of handling the end to end operations of your business from booking a service to taking payments online without any manual intervention.

It is important that you let your guests know about the versatility of the CMA and prompt them to install and use the app for their own convenience and safety.

This article lists down a few tips and best practices that a business can use to drive and improve the CMA adoption among your guests.

Best practices for CMA adoption

  1. In-store Promotions: Needless to say, a salon/spa/medspa gets the maximum attention from guests while they are inside the premises. Hence it is important to promote the app within your premises. Use signages promoting the app and its benefits along with a QR code that guests can scan and install the app within seconds. Use spaces like the reception, in service areas, behind the doors etc.
  2. Automated Voice Message: When a guest calls you to book an appointment or for any inquiry, you can use a voice message instead of the dial tone.
    For example, Thank you for calling <Business name>. You can now book your appointment anywhere, anytime on our mobile app. Just download <app name> app from Google Play Store and Apple AppStore and book within seconds. Try it today!
  3. App Store Optimization: App Store Optimization (ASO) is all about improving visibility on the respective app stores to boost organic downloads. App store search is the most common way of discovering apps.
    47% of iOS users and 53% of Android users discover apps by searching on respective app stores. How to get your app to show up on these searches? ASO improves ranking positions of your app on these searches which results in more visibility and more app downloads.
    Below are the top factors that contribute to ASO that businesses can adopt:

    - App Name (30 characters): The app name provides you with the strongest grounds to match keyword searches on the app store. It is essential to have an app name that is easy to remember, users can relate to and provides insight into what the app does. Apps with keywords in the title rank 10.3% higher on average than those without a keyword in the title.
    The app names could have the brand name with one or two keywords words about its services. For example:
    <App Name> - <Services> i.e. Spa Bliss - Hair & Wax

    - App Subtitle: Apple AppStore allows app developers and marketers to use an additional short phrase under their app name, which can be seen as a complement of the app name in terms of marketing message and keywords. Subtitles provide a simple call to action, i.e., what users can do with the app.
    Examples of titles that brands could use:

    <Waxing salon brand>- Book waxing services for hands, legs, and body
    <Spa brand>- Book massages, refer friends

    The subtitle should highlight the main services and also an action word for the users.

    - App Description (4000 characters): The app store description gives users relevant information about the app and an overview of its main features. Descriptions are also factored in app store algorithms. The description should be informative, easy to understand, have relevant keywords in sentences.
    Checklist for the app description:
    > Informative
    > Easy to understand
    > Clearly structured (bullet points, emojis)
    > Includes keywords (especially with Google Play)
    > Up to 4000 characters long

    - App Ratings and Reviews: User feedback plays an important role in ASO. Apps with higher ratings rank higher as they are considered to be more relevant. When choosing a brand, today’s users rely heavily on ratings and reviews to decide if they want to install an app. Reading reviews by other users gives an authentic picture of how the app is, what issues others can face, is it worth downloading the app or not.
    Businesses should respond to every review- positive with a thank you note and negative with an apology followed by getting in touch with the guest to follow-up on the issue.

    - Assets: App screenshots and videos help apps demonstrate their functionality. For the iOS App Store, add videos in-app previews. For Google Play Store, embed videos directly in the screenshots section. Below are some examples of good app screenshots that attract users and convey the essence of the app. Businesses can experiment with screenshot titles, portrait or landscape orientation as the objective here is to attract the user to download the app.
    Checklist for your screenshots & videos:
    > Illustrate how your app looks like
    > Highlight its main features
    > Tell a visual story
    > Pay attention to layout & size requirements

    - Appstore Search Ads: Businesses can run paid ads within the app store to get the app featured in the category or search. With Apple Search Ads, Apple now provides the exact Search Popularity for keywords.

    Businesses can also use the links below for more details on improving their Asset Store Optimization (ASO):
    > Apptamin
    > Appradar
    > Medium.com
  4. Promotions on the website:
    > Smart Banner: Your website is an important medium to promote your app. Configure smart banners on the home screen of your webstore for mobile browsers to drive app installs. Add download links for Apple and Android devices to the Smart Banner which guests can click and directly download the app. If your app is already installed, the Smart Banners display an “Open” button to remind guests to use the app.
  5. Embed app download links: Always embed your app download links in website promos, emails, SMS, social posts, etc. Whenever an email is sent to a guest, include links to download the app from the iOS App Store and Google Play Store by showing icons. Upon clicking, guests are redirected to the app description page on the respective app stores to download the app.
  6. Digital Campaigns: Create campaigns on your brand’s touchless and safe mobile app experience. Digital campaigns can be very helpful to drive app downloads if the targeting is right. Check the resources below to know some of the ways businesses could leverage social media to drive app downloads:
    > Fatbit
    > Business2Community
    > The Tool
  7. Create microsites to promote the app using SEO: To improve app discovery, businesses could have microsites that make use of SEO. These sites are similar to a landing screen, but act as a website; hence are discoverable in search engines. These microsites can highlight the app’s benefits and include a download link for users.
    Check the resources to gain more insights:
    > Hubspot
    > Accella
  8. Ads on other apps: Many apps generate revenue from app advertisements. Businesses could promote their app on other apps to drive app installs. Salons must sign up to some tools to create an ad, and select a budget. Explore the tools in the link below:
    > The App Solutions
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