Bulk SMS Kenya: Should you Choose SMS or Push Notifications for your App?

Bulk SMS Kenya is a service that many app owners do not think about until the last minute. The greatest concern is always the number of downloads. When thousands of people download an app, the owner relaxes and assumes all is well.

The expectation is that the engagement rate will increase with each new download. Here is the reality. Downloads do not lead to engagement. You must give users reasons to open your app every day where possible.

Two ways to do that is through push notifications and SMS. The effectiveness of these methods of communication is the subject of this discussion. Let us start with the definitions.

Definitions of Push Notifications and SMS

Push notifications are messages that an app send from its server to the user’s interface. The user view notifications on the mobile device or desktop depending on the settings. Some apps allow users to choose the type of notifications that an app sends to their interface.

Apple was the first company to introduce the service in 2009 before Google introduced its service in the following year. Since then, companies have been adopting the form of communication for their solutions. The trend has been introduced in mobile apps development as well.

SMS stands for Short Message Service. Text messages have existed throughout the history of mobile phones. However, their popularity increased in the 1990s when companies adopted the service for commercial activities.

Bulk SMS Kenya is a popular service. It has attracted many providers because of the increasing demand. As mobile apps and e-commerce platforms become popular, entrepreneurs realise the need to invest in the service.

Mobile Engagement through Push Notifications

It is important to note that every method of user engagement has its pros and cons. Push notifications offer the option of combining both text and images. The notifications often play a sound and show an icon to alert the user.

You can play around with notifications to include interactive buttons that allow users to respond to the notification. Push notifications are associated with a higher level of user engagement. They do not just remind the user of the app but prompt a specific action.

By clicking on the notification, the user may go directly to the app when a link is provided. Another advantage is that users can opt or out of the notification. Users can either block all notifications from the settings or choose the type of notifications to receive.

The downside of push notifications is that is they can be disruptive and annoying. Think of apps that are highly interactive such as social apps. Notifications for every time a connection takes actions are too much for some users.

Users end up either blocking all notifications or logging out of an app. Such actions mean loss of opportunities to convert for app owners. Hence, the timing and content of notifications must be right.

One advantage of push notifications over SMS is that they are free and unlimited. As a mobile app owner, you can send as many notifications as necessary at no cost. Some companies that offer Bulk SMS Kenya charge after a specific number of messages.

Push notifications are suitable for apps whose functions require constant reminders. For instance, fitness apps need to send constant reminders to users to work out. Users sign up for social apps for engagement with other users and so push notifications are less disruptive.

Bulk SMS Kenya

Travel apps such as airline apps need to send notifications to users to remind them of scheduled flights. In short, if you need to remind users of important activities or actions, push notifications are recommended.

For push notifications to work as intended, avoid sending them in the morning. Nobody wants to wake up to the sound of a notification.  Avoid sticky notifications and ensure that the message is relevant.

You do not need to send a notification every day unless your app requires that. For instance, working out or adopting a new diet requires daily reminders. Make the messages relevant, useful, and engaging at all times.

Engagement through SMS

The alternative to push notifications is SMS. Some apps require that you use both bulk SMS and push notifications. Why send text messages while you can send notifications? One, you may need to confirm the identity of users.

Consider finance apps or delivery services that require user authentication. The mobile phone number is often part of the verification process. You need to send a message to confirm registration or provide a verification code.

Delivery and transport services require SMS services. Think of users that book a service online and then switch off their data. How do you deliver their orders without an alternative communication channel?

Transport companies will often send a message to both the client and courier to confirm an order and delivery time. You can also send alerts or warnings to clients via SMS. For instance, you will find banks sending SMS alters to all clients of new fraudulent activities.

Healthcare services use SMS to reach a wider market with warning or alerts of outbreaks or new services. Text messages are a great way of introducing discounts or offers to clients. Clients are prompted to log into the apps and view the products or services on offer.

The downside of SMS is that they may attract an additional cost.  Bulk SMS Kenya is free to a limited number of messages. Sometimes you may need users to reply to a message, which attracts a cost for them as well.

Another downside of using SMS is that some users consider them as spam. It is difficult to personalise every SMS. Hence, companies end up sending the same message to all clients. Sometimes the same message will appear in a day and users dismiss them as spam.

Conclusion

Choosing the right engagement tool is now easy with this information. The first question to ask before contacting any service provider or developer is, does my app need this service? Will it improve communication with clients or annoy them? Consider the type of app you have developed and the kind of alerts that the user needs. Think about the frequency and timing of both SMS and push notifications to maximise on open rates. Remember that Bulk SMS Kenya services may attract a cost. There is no harm in exploring both tools at the same time to optimise user engagement.

Benefits of E-Commerce Apps: Best Programmers in Kenya Advise


Even the best programmers in Kenya sometimes have a hard time explaining the benefits of mobile apps to business owners. Entrepreneurs with successful e-commerce platforms ignore mobile apps. The problem is that the entrepreneurs do not understand the benefits an app could add to their businesses.

Let us assume that you jumped onto the e-commerce sites’ ship really fast. You built a successful online business long before mobile apps became a thing. You are still earning well and wondering why everyone is running to apps. Let us talk further before you dismiss the idea.

1. Reaching a wider market

Look at popular platforms in Kenya such as Jumia or Kilimall. The owners started with e-commerce websites and made a kill. They still make money but have a gone a step further to create Android and iOS apps. The mobile apps have similar features with the websites.

The owners have understood that some buyers will always prefer apps to sites. Even with a mobile-responsive website and a flawless experience, the buyers will always result in an app. The market segment enjoys comparing prices and products on different apps.

We do not mean that you shut down your online store or give it less attention. We are simply pointing to some potential customers that you have locked out without an app. Your competitors may think of starting with an app but your e-commerce site puts you a step ahead.

2. Constant communication with clients

Online shopping means one thing to clients; shopping never ends with a sunset. You have probably experienced this with your e-commerce site. Some clients will wait until night to scroll through your catalogue to order.

What happens when they cannot complete a transaction after working hours? Customers know that you will not deliver at night. However, they expect to find help from your customer care staff at all times.

The beauty of an app is that communication with your clients is easier and faster. You get instant notifications on your phone whenever an inquiry is placed. The type of notifications you receive will depend on your settings. In short, you can get an immediate notification when an issue arises that need your attention.

The good part is buyers have the same convenience. You can stay in touch with both potential and real buyers 24/7. The SMS notifications do not just remind them of their orders or carts but of your brand as well.

Best Programmers in Kenya

3. Creating brand loyalty

You have worked hard to build a strong brand with your e-commerce site. As mentioned, you are already a step ahead of entrepreneurs that go straight to the best programmers in Kenya for an app. The efforts to create an e-commerce site in the times of mobile apps are not in vain.

The same clients that you attracted to an online store are more likely to use your app than new clients are. Adobe conducted a study on mobile revenues. The researchers discovered that nearly 70% of online buyers prefer an app from a brand that they know. If their favourite brand has a new app, buyers will rush to install and use it.

The statistics partly explain the dominance of e-commerce platforms in the world of mobile apps. The same entrepreneurs that built e-commerce sites years back have taken over the mobile apps. You can have the same results if you step into the unknown and create an app for your existing customer base.

4. Faster speed

The best programmers in Kenya will tell you that mobile apps load faster than e-commerce sites. Even with the best development process, a mobile app is likely to load faster than a website. Remember that online shoppers are quick to run to another website when your platform takes long to load.

Sometimes the traffic to your online shop may slow down the loading speed. Kenyans are big on using mobile data bundles. The experience with your store will depend on the chosen mobile network. You cannot control their choice of a network but you have control over their experience with your business.

The pages of the mobile app will load faster. That means that most of your loyal customers as mentioned above will go to the app for new purchases. Think about the convenience of switching from one app to another.

The buyer must go to the app store, download, install, register, link a payment method, and then make a purchase. The process takes longer than waiting for a page on your app to load. Give clients the best loading speeds on both the website and app. However, you are likely to record higher sales on your app depending on how you market it.

Also Read: Android App Development Trends

5. Cheap marketing platform

Online marketing is no cheap affair. The competition is high to attract internet users. Entrepreneurs that understand the power of digital marketing will give anything to reach their target audience. Where does your business stand in this stiff competition?

When we talk about a cheap marketing platform, we do not mean that your brand becomes automatically visible with an app. Here is the trick. Every loyal customer becomes a channel for you to reach their connections on social media. The same study by Adobe revealed that friends and family are the greatest influence on buyers.

You gain visibility and new leads whenever a loyal customer shares a link to your app or store. Here is another advantage. The best programmers in Kenya will include a feature on your app that allows users to share your app on social media.

Think about it. You spend thousands on social media marketing. Sometimes the results are disheartening. Your customers on the app become a free channel to reach thousands of their followers on social media.

As long as your products or services are of high quality, a satisfied customer will be quick to recommend your business. Even if the customers end up on your online store, you will still make money. The message moves from your current customer to new leads that you might never reach with a website.

What next?

We have told you about the benefits of having both a successful e-commerce website and a mobile app. The article highlights the top benefits but the advantages of mobile apps are numerous. Your next step is to analyse your business in light of this information.

Software development requires a good plan right from the features of the app to financing. Set a timeline for the new move and then contact the best programmers in Kenya. You will come up with a plan together to help you achieve your goal within the set timeline.

Mobile App Reviews: A Review of the Glovo App in Kenya

Entrepreneurs in Kenya have now mastered the art of online selling. Buyers have gained a significant level of trust in some online sellers. Kenyans are more willing than before to take risks and order for products online. The greater challenge now is delivering products in good condition to customers at the right time.

Apps like Glovo meet this need. Sacha Michaud and Oscar Pierre co-founded the Glovo Company in 2015 in Barcelona. The Spanish start-up has managed to build a competitive brand and penetrate the international market.

The concept from the start was to provide on-demand courier services to customers for all types of product. However, food delivery has overtaken other types of delivery via the app. Glovo is available in 20 countries around the world including Kenya.

Features

Glovo launched its operations in Nairobi in the first quarter of 2019. Here are the top features that users enjoy on the app:

1. Speed

You can order for anything from a supermarket, store, or restaurant and have it within minutes. Glovo emphasises on delivering anything that customers order “within minutes.” When you order for a product, the nearest courier receives the order and considers the nearest seller. The courier will buy and deliver it within the shortest time possible.

The promise to deliver within minutes has proved true in some cities and for some clients in Nairobi. While the app owners do their best to keep this promise, sometimes a delay may occur when a product is unavailable.

Sometimes the courier has to try several stores and probably wait in line to serve some orders. However, for some products that are readily available or already packed, the couriers deliver within minutes.

2. Low cost

Buying products online makes sense to customers if the delivery cost is reasonable. Otherwise, they might as well walk or drive to a store and get the products at a reasonable price. Glovo understands this concept and offers affordable courier services.

The delivery charge within Nairobi is likely to range from Ksh.50 to 100. The charge may be higher depending on your location and order. Imagine escaping the long queues in supermarkets for a hundred shillings. Some items are delivered at no cost within Nairobi’s CBD.

The cost begins to make sense when you think of the time you spend getting a good seat in a restaurant, ordering for food and drinks and then eating. You know how restaurants keep you waiting for a “special order?” Well, you can save time, order the same dish, and keep working while the food is delivered to your doorstep.

3. A wide range of services

Most people think of food delivery but the Glovo app in Kenya offers more than food. Well, food delivery is a big part of the business but you can order anything on the app. For instance, you can order for any item from a registered supermarket like Naivas.

The app is not only an opportunity for buyers to get products delivered easily and at a reasonable rate. Glovo has opened opportunities for couriers to earn from the app. Stores have an opportunity to maximise sales without worrying about deliveries.


4. Easy Ordering Process

The process of ordering an item is simple. After downloading the app, you create an account and proceed to order. You can use your Facebook account to log in. The app requests you to select your location.

You will then proceed to the next interface that shows the categories of registered partners. The best of restaurants in Nairobi’s CBD are listed on the app. Go through the menu of the items offered by each partner.

An alternative ordering process is clicking on “anything” and specifying the product you need. The app has restriction on the size and weight of the items you can order. With this option, you need to specify if the courier will pay for the item or not.

5. Tracking Orders

You can track your purchased item in real-time. In other words, you can tell the exact time when the courier will arrive at your location. Tracking is much easier than calling a delivery person every 5 minutes to find out when they will arrive.

As you track you can also tell if the courier got the directions right. You will not sit and wait for an item while the courier is moving in the opposite direction. If you have ever tried to track items with a phone call or text messages, you will appreciate the tracking feature in Glovo app in Kenya.

6. Favorite items

Let us say you like a certain dish from a specific restaurant. When you order it the first time, you can add it to your list of favourite items. The next time you log into the app to order, the app suggests your favourite items first. The list saves you minutes of scrolling through unwanted items and stores.

Also Read: Top 10 Mobile App Categories as Analysed by Android App Designers in Kenya

Customer Feedback

As app developers, we can look at the functionality of an app and recommend it based on its features. The truth is that the developers have done a great with the simplicity of design and great user experience. However, we need to consider the actual experience of customers who have ordered products via the app.

Happy users

The app has a 3.7 rating on Google Playstore. The majority of about 130,000 users that left a review after using it gave a 5-star rating. The experience is different depending on the item that a customer ordered.

Users seem to have a great experience with the interface and ordering process. The partners registered on the app offer quality products, which is important when ordering for items online. Most customers got the items they ordered for as described.

Unhappy users

The app is relatively new in the market. Although the developers say that you can order from any part of Nairobi, couriers do not deliver to some parts of the city. In addition, some customers complained that the estimated time of delivery was inaccurate.

Some customers had to wait for more than an hour to get their items. A few customers have also complained about bugs when trying to order for any item. Based on the reviews, the customer support team is slow in responding to complaints from customers.

Conclusion

Glovo App in Kenya is a game-changer in the country’s online business and logistics. The app is easy to use in terms of ordering and tracking items. The delivery time may not always be accurate. However, based on customer reviews, the couriers are doing a great job of delivering products within the shortest time possible. App developers in Kenya take the challenge to keep up with such competitive apps from international developers.

Google Maps Integration: Benefits of Using Maps on your Website

Have you considered Google maps integration for your business website? Embedding maps on your site does more than giving directions. Try to search for your top competitors online. Alternatively, search for the most competitive keyword in your niche on the search engines.

The first result you are likely to get on Google is a map with the location of different competitors. When you follow them to their website, you will find a location pin on their home page and contact page. Compare the results with your own website. Which business are customers likely to choose?

Sometimes business owners miss opportunities to grow their businesses because of a lack of knowledge. If you are still unsure about this, let us look at the benefits that your business is missing for operating without maps.

Marketing your business

By embedding Google maps on your website, you increase the visibility of your business. As mentioned in the introduction, search engine results often start with maps depending on the search query. If your business is within the location of the client, it will pop up among the results.

Do not allow your competitors to outdo your business on this. Seek Google maps integration services if you do not know how to use the API. The advantage of using developers is that the integration will be done within a short time. Your team continues with other operations while developers handle the technical bit.

Building trust

Sometimes it helps to think as a client while trying to get into the mind of your target audience. In a world on online businesses, many clients still trust companies with a physical store. You have an advantage over online businesses that have no physical location.

It is now time to use that advantage well. This does not mean that you ignore of online transactions. Most of your customers will still search for more information about your business online. However, they will gain trust in your brand since they know where to find you. Some will complete their orders online but a good number will visit your store.

One of the reasons why clients trust businesses with a physical location is handling complaints. If you have your ears on the ground, you will notice that many online shoppers are disappointed because of unmet expectations. With an embedded map, clients know where to return products or ask for a replacement when disappointed.

Connecting with your target audience

Your target audience includes potential clients in your neighbourhood. If not, you need to rethink your marketing goals and approach. Consequently, your marketing strategies should include local search engine optimization. Search engines sometimes recommend service providers based on the user’s IP address. Your business will rank high by location to clients in your area.

After the aggressive marketing campaigns to drive internet users to your website, let them know where to find you. Your target clients will easily connect with you by following the map on your site. Ensure that the pin is correct and visible.

Google maps integration goes hand in hand with other contacts. For instance, clients need a phone number to call in case they get lost while following the maps. Some will want to chat or send an email before visiting your store. Ensure that the working hours are clearly displayed as well.

Google maps integration

Suggesting transportation modes

Google Maps gives users all the transportation modes available to their destination. In some cities, it is possible to view bus and train schedule directly on the maps. For those using public transport, the drop off points or bus terminus are critical.

The routes for private vehicles and nearby buildings are visible as well. In other words, your clients can pin point the location of your business and have a clear path of their way to that location. The maps help them determine the best mode of transport to use.

On the flip side, the location of your business on Google maps can help you make some decisions. For instance, if you are in area that is not visible on maps, it might help to move to a new location. You do not need to change cities but find a more visible building within the same area.

User-oriented service
Google maps integration for WordPress websites and other sites gives users a personalised experience. The service presents your business as an easy and available service. Clients are looking for the easiest and fastest way to get a product or service.

Maps integration gives clients that impression. Your business appears as an easy way of meeting their need.  In other words, you are making life easier for your clients. You might not be the best in your industry but the ease of access will give you a cutting edge.

Google has made it so easy for users to use maps. Your clients do not need any advanced skills to use the plugin on their devices. Your part is to include the right pin on your website and make it visible. Have you not received enough calls from clients asking for directions?

Cost effective

Do we need to mention the cost of maps integration? It might be the cheapest marketing strategy you have invested in since your business began. In other words, you have no reason for leaving out Google maps. The cost of integration is low.

Developers will help you integrate maps on your website at an affordable rate. Do not shy away from asking for help even if your business is old. Knowledge is only useful if you apply it. You do not need the technical skills to embed maps. Let developers do it while you keep growing your business.

Final remarks

It is evident from the discussion that your business is missing growth opportunities without maps. Do not wait until your business grows to implement market strategies. Right now while you are trying to build your client base, use all means to attract customers. Google maps integration in Kenya is for both large and small businesses. The returns are incomparable to the cost of investing in this service.

Android App Development Trends: The Rising Popularity of the Dark Mode

Have you noticed that most of the popular apps are recommending the dark mode? What difference does it make when using an app on the dark mode?  Is there a downside to it? As we discuss this new trend, bear in mind that app developers have user experience in mind at all times.

Every trend in iOS or Android app development is in most cases meant to improve the experience of end users. Hence, when a new trend comes, app developers will try to implement it across all platforms. The dark mode started with Android apps and then expanded to iOS devices.

YouTube, Twitter, Gmail, and Microsoft Outlook already have the dark mode option. An app does not switch automatically to this mode. You have the choice as an app user to stick the old black and white background or turn the dark mode on.

The traditional mode has a white background with black text. Some developers experiment with text colors to highlight certain features. When you turn the dark mode on, the background becomes black, gray or dark blue. The text turns from black to white.

 What are benefits of this app development trend?

1. Less strain on your eyes

The first reason that app developers give for introducing the new screen settings is their users’ health. Eyestrain is not new to phone users who spend hours staring at their screens. Let us be honest here. Smartphones have become addictive, especially with cheap data bundles.

It only makes sense to do everything you can to stay healthy while enjoying the beauty of connectivity. Browsers like Chrome are also considering the same trend for this reason. For internet lovers, if you are not on an app, you are browsing websites or watching videos.

Continuous strain on your eyes can lead to conditions such as myopia. You are at a high risk of nearsightedness if you work on a bright screen all day.  The risk is higher now that virtual reality has been introduced to the world of Android app development.

Using the dark mode on apps does not mean that you are completely safe from the mentioned risks. You still need to reduce the number of hours spent on your mobile devices. However, the dark mode reduces the fatigue on your eyes.

2. Easier reading

Mobile apps are designed with the assumption that users have normal vision. The reality is that our vision is different. Some people have low vision while others struggle with color blindness. The new trend favors such phone users.

Texts become more visible on the black or grey background. You will come across different settings for the dark mode. It is not always a reverse of the black and white combination. Some app developers prefer a grey background with black text. An alternative is a black background with grey text.

Blocks of text are easier to read with the dark mode. The settings activate all the sensors on the eyes even with low vision. If you have been struggling with reading online, try the dark mode where available. You are likely to keep it on.

Android app development

3. Longer battery life

Ever since smart phones were introduced, the greatest challenge has been the battery life. The situation has been improved but you can do with an extra hour or two of battery life. Dark mode gets you just that, longer battery life.

It takes more power to keep your screen illuminated than a black or gray screen. You will have to sacrifice something to keep your phone running for long. First, you are accustomed to the white back background. It will take some time and adjusting to appreciate the dark mode.

The white or bright mode is easy to navigate. Scrolling and switching from one feature to another, or one app to another is easy. The dark theme is a bit slow in terms of a smooth flow but you are guaranteed of using your phone longer.

4. Better sleep

Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night because of a notification on your phone? Forget about the alarm. You know those automated messages from service providers or notifications from apps. Switching data off does not always help.

Falling back to sleep is a challenge after staring at a bright screen. If you have problems falling asleep, try using the dark mode in the hours preceding your usual bedtime. Bright light inhibits the function of sleep-inducing neurons, especially artificial light.

The light interferes with the natural cycle of sleep. This partly explains why you stay awake longer after using your phone. The worst happens when you wake up to bright light and cannot fall back asleep. With the dark mode on, you will easily fall back to sleep and maintain your sleep cycle.

5. Better experience in low-light environment

Using a mobile device in a low-light room is strenuous. The obvious temptation in such situations is to increase the brightness on your screen. That just makes things worse. You will strain your eyes more even when the text size is large enough.

Try the dark mode when you get into such an environment. You will not even realise the difference in lighting if the mode is always. Reducing the brightness on your device helps for apps or programs that do not have the dark mode yet.

6. Improving sensitivity to light

For many phone users, the bright light disturbs when the screen is on. The discomfort is over as soon as the phone goes off. For some, sensitivity to light is a medical condition. Even the sun is too bright for such people.

Doctors call the condition photophobia. The dark theme makes it more comfortable for people with this condition to work and use apps. In addition, the theme helps those who suffer migraines. Prolonged eyestrain often leads to headaches and migraines.

Final thoughts

Before they discover the cure for phone or internet addiction, protect your eyes. Take advantage of this Android app development trend. Activate it for apps and programs that have it in their settings. You can switch to the bright screen at times but if you suffer migraines or photophobia, it is safe to use it always.