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Tmreya Case Study: Make an App for Online Shops

In this article, I would like to introduce you to one of our latest mobile app projects where we had to make an app for online shops. In the last months of 2017, we worked on an authentic web design for the Tmreya company, based in KSA. Tmreya Company is a renowned sweets and chocolate company in KSA with over 25 branches in KSA alone, and available in Kuwait, UAE, Oman and Qatar. So when you have an online shop, and coming-back customers, then why not mobilize it and put your shop in their pockets?

See What’s Inside

The main features and screens in the app include an original splash screen, main shop screen including filters and categories, product details, non-shop products, branches, gallery, and about/contact info. Using the side menu, we can switch the app to Arabic, login to see our order history, and see featured products.

API Integration

The main feature in the Tmreya app is that it is fully integrated and dynamic to the website. Any changes done on the website backend will be instantly update on the app, from product changes, translation changes to galleries and informative text.

Push Notifications and Updates

Upon each order, you will see instant push notifications as well as email notifications for your order. You will be able to also checkout your orders in the My Orders section, and see the status of each order. By ordering, and specifying your region, the region manager branch will also be notified of your order and start preparing your request till you get there.

Products and Shop

When we had to make an app for this online shop, we wanted it to be fully dynamic. Meaning that we wanted each product shown in the website is instantly shown in the app. You can just update the products and categories in the website, and you will see the API integration updating it in the app. The shop includes beautiful classy chocolate and sweet photos, product info, categories, as well as filter/sort and search functionalities. The shop is also integrated with HyperPay and Sadad, allowing the customers to make purchases with their preferred payment methods.

Bilingual

The app is fully available in Arabic for locals and just like the website, native Arabic speakers can easily navigate and make their orders through the app.

Your Favorite Shop in your Pocket

To wrap up, you can easily install the Tmreya app on your smartphone (available in for android and iOS) and have your favorite sweets and chocolates shop right in your pocket. Make online deliveries with a tap and get notified instantly.

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Get a Special Restaurant App: a Table Top Digital Menu

It’s hard to be a restaurant, coffee shop, diner, fast food shop or any food providing manager without constantly thinking of ways to keep up the momentum and to make your restaurant feel special. Just a while ago, we did a special restaurant app for Kababji in UAE, which was a digital menu aimed to be used as a table top menu shown on tablets in the diner. Kababji is a Lebanese cuisine restaurant with three branches in UAE and 2 branches coming soon in Saudi Arabia. What makes this restaurant stand out is it’s special cuisine and menu items, as well as how it is presented.

special restaurant app

Special Restaurant App: See what’s inside

special restaurant app-kababji screens

Main Category Screen

This app first starts with a unique simple splash screen, leading the user to the main dashboard, which is a categorized list of the restaurants’ menus. Most restaurants have from breakfast to dinner categories, but this is all up to you and in this app, you have the flexibility to make changes to your categories easily through the dynamic back-end website. As a subtitle small text, you can also see the number of items in each category as well. These all create a memorable experience for your customers, and they will remember you have a special restaurant app to serve them with.

See the Details

In the details page, we can see one or more images of the dish, giving clients a special preview of what they will get. Also it has the main title, description and price of the item. This is especially good if you have changes in names, photos and prices and you can easily make changes in the backend. No need for any printing costs once you have changes in your menu. You can keep an up to date item list from the backend, making your special restaurant app dynamic and up-to-the-minute.

Localize it

The app provides a unique experience for clients in the diner as it has a localization feature and you can view the items in English or Arabic, whichever is preferred. This especially good for tourists or for locals who wish to see the app in their local language, creating an impressive experience for all types of clients.

Manageable Backend

Having a dynamic backend for your special restaurant app provides the benefit of having an up-to-date app without the need of constant re-publishing. The app reads from the central database of the backend allowing the restaurant owner to have the flexibility to make changes anytime necessary.

special restaurant app- backend

What else to consider

So how else can you add extra value to your restaurant digital menu app? Well, there are many restaurant apps with different features, but for a tabletop digital menu, see our ideas below.

Reviews & Ratings

Reviews and customer feedback will add value and trust-building information on your restaurant. Not to mention increasing the loyal return customer rate, and spreading your creditability.

As a restaurant owner, you know that user experience is your key to improve and present a higher customer experience.

Loyalty

Most restaurants know the value of a customer loyalty program that can be included in an app. Loyalty programs can vary from coupons and rewards, a point system or just providing anything extra in the app to encourage returning customers. In this article, we elaborated some methods but creativity and innovation are endless when it comes to restaurant services.

Online Ordering

Another feature to add to your app is the capability to have online ordering, integrated with your restaurant POS system. In this way, you can even add on further features such as delivery or reservations, thus adding more loyalty by providing quality customer service.

Complimentary Items

Newcomer customers love to be guided through a restaurant’s experience and when they order a dish, you can provide suggestions for complimentary items, such as a fries and coke with a burger. This way you can increase your revenue by simple suggestions in up-selling.

Locations

It’s always great to have your locations listed in your app. Customers will become familiar with your branches and it will also add to your loyalty program, when customers know the locations they can come to you. Also, when on the road, it will add up for hungry clients to come to your nearest location.

Special Events

In your table-top special restaurant app, you can even consider special events and menus for special days. For example you can create a category for an occasion and add on the special items easily through the dynamic backend, then unpublish it when the occasion is over. This is ideal in case you provide catering or host special events in your restaurant.

Wrapping Up

I hope you had some insight on how to get a special restaurant app for your restaurant or diner. As a fan of hospitality, I have paid special attention to the details in restaurants I have visited, from their looks and decoration, their customer service, facility of work, and of course their food! So consider all customers coming to you will monitor your services and rate you in their mind, if not publicly. It’s always my pleasure to help restaurant businesses and hear from like-minded restaurant owners or hospitality experts. Feel free to leave your comments and suggestions below.

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7 Methods of Creating Loyalty

Whether you’re a new diner, or a restaurant with multiple branches, I’m sure a returning customer is of deep value to you. Do you know that at least 46% of people are more likely to return to your restaurant if you have rewards or loyalty program? And do you know the impact of the word-of-mouth marketing, if you DID have a loyalty program?

loyalty_card

So what is a loyalty program? According to Hubspot, a loyalty program is a rewards program offered by a company to customers who frequently make purchases. A loyalty program may give a customer free merchandise, rewards, coupons, or even advance released products.

So below, take a look at some methods to boost your loyalty program if you’re a diner:

  1. Be Friendly and social: this might be something insignificant in your mind as a restaurant manager, but as a customer’s point of view, trust me, customers are more likely to return to you if they see you friendly and social. People love to see someone make them feel comfortable.
  2. Discounts: discounts can be according to special occasions, or maybe weekends or even as per monthly basis. Whichever strategy you choose, make sure it’s planned out to make the most. Remember when people come to your restaurant and would want to make the most of it.
  3. Point system: you can use a point system and have customers redeem their points at specific timings. Here are a few ways to use it:
    • Get points for money spent: you can put a limit, for example if a purchase over $20 is made, than you earn 5 points. Customers can gather points and then purchase something cool with it.
    • Get points for number of visits: sometimes you have to show your appreciation to returning customers so with every return, you can award them points so they can collect and return even more.
    • Get points for purchasing a product: Have a special menu? You can place a reward for a special product so everyone who gets it will earn some points. Maybe the Hawaii Pizza, or maybe a special dessert…
  4. Special Days: people love to be remembered on their special days, such as their birthday, or maybe the day they became a member of your program. So if you have a point system, you can reward some points here, or maybe if you know your customers, treat them with a freebie on their special day.
  5. Gift Card: gift cards are also a cool way to have loyalty program. You can offer gift cards for people to purchase and give away to friends and family as a gift. Or you can reward a customer with a gift card to use anytime they want.
  6. Play a Game: gamification is also a renowned message to motivate customers. You can encourage customers to play a game, win, and earn a prize. Whether its points or discounts, the challenge is tempting to many out there.
  7. Social Media: social media is an excellent method to earn more customer loyalty. You can allow sharing and posting of your food and service to your Facebook Page, or Instagram account and let people see your customer reviews in action with their real life photos. You can let customers earn point with each share or post or refer.

loyalty

Remember, how you present your loyalty program is also important. Many customers get frustrated by complex systems, or search for something easy, like an app on their smartphone (40% prefer an app for their loyalty program), and not being able to get your loyalty program out in their reach can also have a negative impact. So make sure you are also getting the right feedback from your system, whether it is through surveys or questions and emails you ask, social media, any way that you can know how you’re performing.

By Nadia Kamil , Technical & Project Manager at Comelite IT Solutions

If Your Customers are Mobile, Why Aren’t You?

“World changes every day. Be part of this change”

While you are readying this, the world is changing. The way we think, act, work, is all changing by the concepts and techniques around us. In the world of business, if you want to survive and triumph through the ever-changing world, then you have to adjust, compete and be part of the change. Who would have thought that people would spend over 80% of their time on a mobile device? So if you have a business, you should have presence in the app market.

mobile-apps

Much of the time of users on the internet is through a mobile device, and much of this time is spent in apps, so you can find various reasons to create a customized app for your business. Here are a few reasons having an app for your business is vital for the survival and advancing of your business:

  • Live in your customers’ pocket: when you have personalized app for your business, you are always present to your clients. This means you can always provide info updates, notifications, discounts, and when your customer is looking for the right info, your app exists and will show the way.
  • See what they think: every person in business knows in order to survive the trends and improve, they need to analyze, summarize, plan and change. So how can you know what to plan and what to change? With an app you can get direct feedback from your customers, through ratings, reviews, surveys and much more. This way you will be feeling and always knowing what your customers want and think about.
  • Go digital: Social media networks are also where users spend a lot of time in these days. It starts from a post, a comment and a hashtag. It gives you leads, sales and your inbound marketing strategy. So look out to create the links to your social media accounts in your app. Create easy sharing, posting, social media logins and much more, to get interactive with digital media networks.
  • Be simple and authentic: many customers are attracted to user friendly UI designs in apps, and even personalization features such as user account info, interface customizations, and seeing their apps in their own native language.
  • Make them loyal: customers love discounts and any ways to save dollars. With an app you can have your own reward system and loyalty program. They can earn points and freebies through your app, and you will guarantee returning customers! You can even provide special coupons for their birthday, when they register and for special occasions.
  • Be remembered: with an app, your brand will find its way into your customer’s hands, mind and they will remember your logo and slogan the time they need it. They will recognize you and as a word of mouth refer you to friends and colleagues.

So these are just a few reasons you can get an app for your business, whether you’re in retail, consulting, transportation, hospitality and any other industry, you need to embrace the change and stand out from your competitors by getting an app. Depending on the type of business you’re in, you can add features and special functions to improve your customer/employee engagement and you can base your business strategy on the performance and feedback you receive.

It’s time to think twice on your business strategy and online presence techniques. Take your business into the change, and see the benefits you will gain.

By Nadia Kamil , Technical & Project Manager at Comelite IT Solutions

Google Play store app ranking essentials

Ranking top in app store search results is every app developer and publisher’s dream. It can quickly turn into a brand’s source of fame, install rates, and revenue.

But getting there is not easy, especially when you’re competing with millions of apps that are already there and thousands that are joining the fray every day.
In this article, I will describe some of the mechanics behind Google Play’s app ranking algorithm and how you can give your app a boost in the app store’s search results.

Some basics

The main driving factor behind app ranking are parameters such as total installs and download velocity, but Google Play’s app ranking algorithm is much more complex and intricate, and many other parameters come into play.

A noteworthy fact is that more than 50 percent of Google Play’s daily active users (DAU) search for apps every day, and the app store processes more than six million unique search phrases every month. Therefore, with the right tweaks and settings, you can improve your presence in specific search results that apply to your app and increase your installs, which will in turn improve your app’s overall ranking.

Choose the right category

Find a category that suits your app and at the same time isn’t clogged with competition. App category is an essential ASO parameter, and newer categories which are less crowded are more likely to see your app climb the charts and provide opportunities for higher ranking and optimal app store placement.

Give your daily installs a boost

Having a steady flow of daily installs will improve your ranking, which in turn will give you more organic installs. But now, you might argue, you’re dealing with a “chicken and egg” problem. How do you get those initial installs in the first place? Well, as I’ve discussed in previous articles, there are many ways, free and paid, that can help you drive installs to your app.

Improve your app’s rating

The feedback and reviews that users make about your app are a crucial factor in determining its ranking in search results. It is also one of the key metrics that the editorial staff looks for when reviewing top games and apps. Maintaining an overall 4 out of 5 rating average should be a major goal. But there is more to app rating than just the 4 star average. Here are other factors you should consider:

• The total number of reviews
• Keywords used in each review
• How frequently your app is being reviewed
• How recently has the app been reviewed
• Average rating per version of app

Google Play also uses parameters such as geographical location and device type in reviews to personalize search results for users. So when a user makes a search, apps that have received good reviews from devices of the same type or from users of the same origin will be favored by Google Play.

Oh, and one more note on reviews: Don’t even consider generating fake reviews for your app. The folks at Google Play are pretty smart and have some arcane tools at their disposal that will help them detect scam campaigns, which will eventually lead to penalizing your app or kicking it off the shelves altogether. There are many ways you can generate good and organic reviews for your app, including using opportune moments during in-app experience to unobtrusively encourage your users to write reviews.

Do your SEO homework

Apple’s App Store has a keywords field to go with the app description. Google Play instead harvests keywords from the name and description fields, which means you have respectively a 30- and 4,000-character space to fit in your app’s keywords. App name space is limited, so you have to choose wisely.

Google’s search engine Page Rank also comes into play when determining Google Play app ranking, so you should consider tapping into traditional SEO methods to boost your app’s standing. Here are a few things you might consider:

• Include links to your page in your site and blogs
Reach out to the media and try to get your app reviewed by reporters and prominent bloggers
• Consider cross-promoting your app with other apps you own or through cross-promotion networks

Stay fresh

Google Play tends to favor new apps over older apps when sorting search results in order to give new titles a chance and see if users like it. Apps that have been around for a while will have a harder time climbing up the ladder and will need strong app store listing factors such as title, description text and social elements.

The takeaway is to take advantage of your freshman boost while you’re new in the game, in order to lay a strong foundation for your app’s ranking, and to later deliver updates and newer versions to re-boost your app in the future.

Plan for the long term

A fresh start is good, but you also have to keep your app on a good footing in the long run.
It’s no secret that Google gathers a lot of data from its users, and it puts them to good use (at least in this case it does). So instead of just counting mere install numbers in determining app ranking, Google Play takes into account how much users stick to your app after they install it. This involves the number of daily and monthly active users (DAU/MAU), the number of install/uninstall and long install rates, and the amount of engagement and user activity that your app generates. Therefore, never suffice to simple install numbers and have a plan to engage and re-engage your users.
Google takes into consideration the number of downloads over time, so while having a burst of downloads over a short period is helpful, it is also important to plan for a continued flow of downloads in the long term. Make sure that your marketing strategy continues to feed your app with loyal users because apps that acquire and retain satisfied users are awarded with higher ranks.

Don’t aim at fake search targets

Click-through rates (CTR) will quickly give your app ranking a boost. After your app appears in search results, the more users click on it, the higher it climbs the ladder, because CTR is an indication that your app is making a good impression on users and is likely to respond to their needs in that specific search topic. That said, it is therefore important that you aim at keywords and categories that are actually relevant to your app. If you add some low traffic keywords to your app’s name and description while your app has nothing to do with the topic, not only will you not help improve your app’s standing in Google Play, but you’ll also risk damaging its reputation and score. Focus on edgy keywords that are applicable to your app, enjoy a considerable amount of traffic and provide low competition.