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What Marketers Can Learn From Three Mobile Apps

by Courtney Bosch  |  
December 20, 2013

The holiday gift-buying season is in full swing, so I thought I'd provide a quick-and-dirty rundown of mobile shopping apps that understand their customers and can inspire you to create a better app for your company.

1. Shutterfly (Internet-based image-publishing service)

A quick review: The Shutterfly app is pared down so that you are not overwhelmed with other choices or clutter. With a few simple clicks, items such as pictures, knickknacks, and gifts are ordered and shipped wherever you want them to go. You can quickly upload photos directly from your smartphone within the app and place an order using these images. Shutterfly picture orders consistently come out looking very professional (and arrive in a timely manner for a reasonable price).

Shutterfly's app has created a simple way to do complex things. Printing pictures, creating keepsakes, and managing your photographs sounds hard, but this app has made it incredibly easy.

Marketing Takeaway: Keep it simple. Ask yourself, "What do my customers want most when they access our app? How can we help them do that task easily?"

2. Etsy (an e-commerce-based website for handmade and vintage items)

A quick review: I can't say enough good things about Etsy. It provides a platform for selling homemade, handmade, and vintage items. I have ordered many items from the Etsy mobile app. It is so well-organized, providing a highly efficient method of searching and finding exactly what you want.

You can search using specific keywords or using the nifty categorization (vintage, handmade, men, women, kids, etc.) that they have built into the top nav. The app allows you to follow others and "favorite" items that you may want to purchase at a later date. You can have conversations (private messages) with various sellers, asking them questions or providing feedback on their products. The integration with PayPal via the app is seamless, giving you a variety of ways to pay for your order.

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Courtney Bosch is a content manager for e-learning and events at MarketingProfs, managing content for seminars and virtual events.

LinkedIn: Courtney Bosch

Twitter: @courtneybosch

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