5 Tips For Making The Best Retail Trading App

By Rachel Carpenter
September 21, 2022

Hello, I’m Rachel Carpenter, the CEO of Intrinio. If you are a fintech founder or engineer building any type of retail trading or investing app - this article is for you.

At Intrinio we’ve helped power data into hundreds of retail-facing and pro applications, so we’ve seen some great tools and some flops.

In this article, I will outline my top 5 tips for making the best retail trading app.

But first, congratulations. Retail trading is a GREAT space to be in right now, following GameStop, Covid-19, and heading into a recession where everybody will be googling how to “Buy the dip”.

But it’s also crowded, so you’ll need to stand out and get a lot right in order to be successful.

I’ve broken my top five tips down into categories that are critical for retail trading and investing apps. In order to build a winning retail trading app, you’ll have to:

  • Attract
  • Convince
  • Engage
  • Retain
  • Evolve

Alright - let’s dive in. 

1. ATTRACT - It’s Gotta Look Good!

The first, most critical element for your retail trading or investing app, is your brand - and it’s gotta look good.

Retail consumers, even the nerds and finance geeks, are human. That’s why your brand should be catchy and include elements based on human psychology. Choose your colors, your messaging, your graphics, and even your font with intention - and make sure that the full picture stands out.

Another thing that is often overlooked is consistency. Every element of your brand should show up consistently across your website, social platforms, and even your email signature. Don’t be afraid to invest in this. Paying for good graphic and logo design ensures you get a modern, clean, and unique result.

If you nail your brand and make sure it stands out, you will be able to attract swaths of retail investors to your app - if you don’t get this part right - the rest doesn’t even matter.

2. CONVINCE - Give a Simple, Clear, Value Proposition

Now you’ve built a great brand and have a catchy, clean, modern, slick, and unique website. Retail investors are taking notice, and landing on your site. Now your job is to convince them to pay or at least play. 

Figure out what type of result or accomplishment your target audience is looking for. Do they want to find hot trades? Make big bucks? Learn how to invest? Invest like the pros? Get all their finances consolidated? 

Next, figure out how you want them to feel: proud, trusting, secure, safe, special, intrigued, inspired?

Make sure that your splash header on your website says:

  • WHAT your app does 
  • WHO it’s intended for
  • How it’s DIFFERENT
  • The RESULTS it will give to users
  • Ensure it TRIGGERS an aspirational feeling for them

For example:

We help new investors get up to speed with investing basics through a unique live trading simulation. Start investing like a pro today and reach your own financial freedom.

3. ENGAGE - Integrate & Display Key Data

Okay, your brand attracted retail traders and your messaging convinced them they were in the right place - now, you’ve got to get them engaged.

This part is not easy as most website users leave a website after just 15 seconds. Some might argue that you’ve just got to convince them to sign up during that time period, but when it comes to the niche of retail trading and fintech apps, I argue that engagement during that period is more important.

What will it take to get users engaged on your website in 15 seconds? The key element here is data - it's the blood running through the veins of the investment machine.

Find a reliable, tech-forward data provider like Intrinio and make sure to subscribe and integrate key data sets like stock prices, options prices, fundamentals, and estimates. Display this data to your users in an engaging way through charts, graphs, or visualizations - and make sure it’s in front of potential users within 15 seconds.

The key is to display the data in an engaging way - something as simple as typing in a ticker, stretching out a stock price chart, or flipping between a put and a call will do the trick. The faster you get them engaging with real data on your application - the more likely they are to stay, play, and pay.

4. RETAIN - Build Sticky Features

Now you have attracted, convinced, and engaged your target retail users - but the work isn’t over.

You have to design an application, tool, or platform that will make them stay. This is harder than it might seem. Every target market and type of retail trading app is different, but a couple of rules generally apply across the board.

You’ve got to have good support and open communication to keep retail traders on board. Consider things like live chat or a ticketing system to make sure needs are addressed consistently. Your users are likely to be putting real money behind investment strategies, and if they aren’t supported they’ll go somewhere less risky.

Thought leadership is also key - unlike the pros, the retail traders will be looking to you for advice, tips, and even news. Put out fresh, original, and consistent content.

Lastly, consider how you might create a sense of community for your users. Message boards, webinars, meetups, monthly features, or even swag can go a long way. Trading communities can be very strong and if you nail this, your community will stand behind you. Your users will stick around if they are well supported, learning, and feeling part of something big.

5. EVOLVE - Roll Out Consistent, Catchy Updates

This last tip is all about keeping things interesting for your retail users. Consumers in the B2B space, especially in the fintech vertical, get bored easily. 

If you aren’t rolling out consistent catchy updates - you risk losing your clients to the hundreds of other investment tools out there. Develop a consistent cadence of engineering and design releases so that your app doesn’t become stale and stagnant. Consider things like new data sets, new features, or even new asset classes.

For example, if your app has a tab for equities and a tab for options - you could add a tab for “ESG” data and research.

Startup-friendly data providers Intrinio offer robust ESG data starting at just $500 a month. This can power a brand new feature on your app with trendy information that all investors are keeping an eye on. Updates like this show that your company is on top of trends, keeping users in the know, and constantly evolving.

Get Help From Retail Trading App Experts

Okay, there you have it. Our top 5 tips for making the BEST retail trading app.

  • Attract - with a catchy, standout brand.
  • Convince - with simple, clear messaging.
  • Engage - with key, mission-critical data.
  • Retain - with support, education, and community.
  • And lastly, Evolve - with new data sets and new features.

If you are building a retail trading app, chat with our team of data experts. We can help you get fast, easy, and affordable data integrated and in front of your users pronto. We keep it cheap and easy so that we can scale up and grow together.

Thanks for reading - we can’t wait to see what you build.

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