Companies that want to engage their loyal customers via mobile apps have plenty of incentive to avoid this digital graveyard. LoyaltyOne recently surveyed nearly 6,000 Canadians and Americans to find out what makes Jane and Joe consumer tick when it comes to the use of mobile apps. 

We wanted to know the key traits of apps that land and stick on your main screen.

Your responses, in aggregate, sounded a loud and clear message. You said you want convenience and utility from your apps — and don’t forget entertainment. You told us the best apps inform more than sell, and provide reliably helpful tools rather than just promotional information. 

In other words, you like a shopping list app that makes suggestions about what and when to purchase based on history and coupons available.

If an app solves lifestyle needs and also throws in a bit of entertainment, it’s less likely to end up in the app graveyard — we get it.

With your collective voice whispering in my ear, here is my list of mobile app innovations that stand apart and deliver on the traits you’ve identified in our survey:

▣ Apple Store: Both the iPhone and iPad are well-organized, easy to use, and take advantage of the strengths of each device. The iPad app is both visually appealing and functional while the iPhone app makes in-store purchasing or support easier.

▣ Uber: Connect with a driver at the tap of a button. This is a great example of a company that has taken a pain point for people, finding and hailing a cab, and turned it into such a great mobile-based experience that it is hard to stop using Uber once you start.

▣ Fitbit and Nike Fuelband: This pair of apps showcase where we are starting to go with wearable technology and just how interested consumers are in apps that help keep them on task, and through gamification, encourage them to strive to be better.

▣ Aeroplan and AIR MILES Apps: Canadians love their loyalty programs, and these apps provide on-the-go access. Surprise and delight comes from a check-in feature for offers, a gamification layer for top checkers in, and a sponsor location look-up. Don’t forget to check out the new shopping list features to find the best offers.

▣ Starbucks: No list of innovative apps would be complete without mentioning Starbucks. Starbucks helped shape mobile loyalty by combining members’ reward management with straightforward, cutting-edge payment application. For members,  that translates to ease of use. For Starbucks, says CEO Howard Schultz, it means nearly 10 million app adopters and the processing of nearly five million mobile payments a week — far ahead of the rest of the mobile app pack. 

In the amount of time it has taken you to read this story, more than 250,000 apps have been downloaded across the world. Make sure you find the app that takes you to your happy place.

Emmie Fukuchi