March 2020 -

Strategy of Unfolding a Mobile Trading Application

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The pattern of taste of each individual is contrasting and disparate. This is no one-size-fits-all recipe that will satisfy and earn a badge of a universal harmonious palate. The common strategy adopted is the preponderance of affection and antagonism to decide an upshot, a common minimum programme in Indian context. How far will this be successful?  Unfortunately the affection quotient is spontaneous & dynamic; influenced by epigenome, emotional framework consciousness, observations , knowledge, environment, cognitive morale, physical state and plenty of other coerce forces.

In short, the underlying statement being, there is no single universal preference!!

In my short exploration of a preferred mobile trading application within my selected circles, I realised that product owners are equally confused about the end user’s need. They were completely inconclusive in positioning the product flavour; ended up either in making a plethora of distinct products or a heavy weight massive application with an ocean of features. In both the above choices, they force the user to use the application in the way it was structured without providing a flexibility of any choice of usage or what they seek. I couldn’t sense an affinity or belonging in this approach and design.

I will classify the general sentiment, the genuine demand and a traders emotion into three simple entities.

  1. Opportunity
  2. Curiosity
  3. Realisation

Any features in a trading app can be classified into these attributes. The density of these sentiments are proportionate to the nature of investor you are , in general , aggressive/ moderate /conservative ; or the tenor of segment viz, a trader / investor / hybrid.

In this post , I will limit to a few analysis of Opportunity with a few relevant feeds gathered.

Opportunity bucket and its criteria will vary with each person. However in most of the applications that I have navigated was trying to plug all use cases in a single screen/module. A cumbersome tool leads to an opportunity loss and a customer dispossession. How can we make life easy for a user by using the app the way he/she wants ? Only solution is to create a platform to analyse the data effectively, navigate and fulfil a dimension as he/she is in quest for.

(1) My Priority of Data

The analysis of quote screens in multiple apps proves a point that there is quite an uncertainty in the prioritisation of data points. Majority of the applications have a tab structure with the following data classification.

  1. Quote Snapshot: OHLC info, Chart and News
  2. Quote Detail: Detailed Info about Symbol, 52 Week High Low, Average Traded Price, Volume
  3. Market Depth: Top 5 Bid and Ask
  4. Chain: Options/Future Chain

A simple thought , how can a quote screen vary for a trader and an investor?

For an investor why are you displaying a Market Depth or ITM Option Chain in a quote snapshot ?

Why is that , the data points I want to analyse and compare are spread across in four different tabs ?

Possible answers are,

  • The information architecture of a trader , investor or a hybrid persona is not classified and reinforced.
  • I don’t know the type of trader you are.
  • The excuse of the screen real estate restrictions.
  • API / Data limitations.
  • Judgemental error in alignment of the priority of data with end user.

(2) My Usage 

Many of the responses I received from my introspection belongs to the clog in navigation and accessibility of a feature. Complaints were numerous that more than four clicks are required to access a particular entity. In one of the applications, a square off from the Net Positions data was a fixed five clicks away , post login.

A person accustomed to shortcut keys in a desktop are still not comfortable with new generation smart screens. More than 56% of the users are finding the fixed bottom menu navigation not in alignment with their frequently used screens.

(3) Relevant Push Notifications

Push Notifications are “rich” in SPAM and “poor” in content inclination even with contextual targeting. The significance of the information requirement for the user has to be in alignment with the instant intelligent notifications. One of the most sought features in push notification is a “mark as SPAM” option. Unless this changes , the harder the push , will retard its use.

(4) Readable Signal from Charts

Deciphering a MACD Crossover from a chart or a PSAR Reversal is not my ploy. A readable trading signal is what is needed , especially for the newbies. Majority of them queried , “Can we have a descriptive note of the advanced chart with indicators , with possible trends ?”. Maybe Siri or Alexa is required to decipher the chart and trend.

The requirement of advanced charts varies with a professional trader and a market entrant.

(5) It’s my Data Network

Can the User throttle the streaming or categorise it based on his network strength ? I don’t want to have real time streaming on a poor network , instead a 30 sec update is good for me. Can I set my priority of fast feed or a polling based on my situation/need/preference ?

(6) Opportunity Validation ?

I sense an opportunity and I am ready to act, if my inference is validated . Throwing a query to a community or a forum and waiting for information digest is time consuming. Can the chatbot be an Intelligent Advisor rather than a Support Ticketer ?

And the list grows with conflicting needs, cross pollinated data , simplified tools and more demanding new generation users.

The bottom line is how much customisations/ personalisations can we bring into the app , to make the customers feel a sense of belonging to the tool they use. An Open API won’t solve this problem since the customer is not a tech-savvy person who will invest to build an app. The customisations of today are limited to a theme and multi-language which is just a basic premise. On top of this personalisation with high level demographic, contextual and behaviour segmentation is not enough. The minimal demand of the customer is to have flexibility for limited customisation on what to see, make short and quick navigations and tools with more intelligence and interpretable results. Only effort which is required is to have the right ingredients and the place holders for the customers to make their own DIY (Do It Yourself) screens.

Personalisation is a key part of customer experience, with intelligent use of data allowing marketers to create relevant and unique experiences that hold attention for longer (and generate loyalty in the long-run).That being said, this is perhaps more indicative of organisations’ maturity levels when it comes to the skills and structures needed to implement effective personalisation. (credits: EConsultancy)

For the product managers who are constantly in rummage for TD Ameritrade’s successful products has to follow and digest their tagline; “TD Ameritrade: Power to trade in your own terms”. This alone speaks about their user base growth , loyalty and stickiness factor . Next step to the ambitious SuperApp should start from the fundamental practice of flexible customisations , which should be the next target for any new application initiative.

About the author: Prashanth is Chief Operating Officer at Market Simplified and his forte includes delivering innovative business strategies and client-focused solutions to improve margins for SBU- BFSI segment. He is obsessed with movies and cooking and is also a cricket buff.

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