A well-designed mobile app is a great tool for improving customer experience on mobile devices, which in turn leads to higher conversion rates, more loyal customers and other benefits. Although retail mobile apps can have a great positive impact they have a catch, getting consumers to download your app.
Enticing Consumers With Rewards
The great majority of consumers are price sensitive and if they know that an app can save them money on something that they were looking to purchase, they will give it a try.
There are a number of rewards that can be used to incentivize app downloads and use:
1. Free shipping with the first in-app order: In today’s world of online shopping, the cost of shipping could be the differentiator between online retailers. By offering free shipping with the first in-app order, you are making that app download a lot more enticing.
2. Special discounts/ free items on in-app purchases on specific days: McDonald’s successfully used this strategy in Q4 2018 by offering its customers free medium fries with any in-app order over $1 on every Friday. Everybody loves free items, making this type of offer a recurring event, ensures that your customers don’t delete your app after downloading it.
3. Exclusive promotions and discounts: App specific targeted messaging features such as push notifications, in-app messages and Geo-Fencing can be used to provide app users with exclusive offers and discounts on products. Randomizing these events is another way to ensure app user retention, while promoting this through all other channels will increase app downloads.
4. Loyalty program: Allow users to scan their physical receipts and be rewarded with points to be accumulated and redeemed for free products. Make sure that when in-app purchases are made, points are automatically allocated to the user’s account. Being consistently rewarded for making purchases will not only ensure customer loyalty and an increase in customer life time, it will also increase the chance of users recommending and sharing the app with others.
5. Personalized offers: Use the consumer insights that you gather from app interactions to make offers personalized to each user. A discount on an item related to a previous purchase made by the user has a higher chance of converting than a generic sale. Leverage user accounts to their full potential by offering special treats for the user’s birthday or anniversary, a marketer’s imagination is the true limit to what is possible.
Promoting Your Retail App
A company might pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to design and develop their app, however if they don’t spend any effort promoting the app, it is very unlikely that consumers will find, download and use it. When promoting their mobile app, a retailer should use an Omni-channel approach, just as they should with their sales.
Promoting the app on their website, in-store and through their social media pages would cover the basics. A more advanced strategy is to have an in-app “tell a friend” feature, so that app users can easily share the app with their friends, family and colleagues. Incentivizing this sharing by offering credits, points or discounts for every new subscriber the user brings onboard has proven to be highly effective. After all, there is nothing better than “word of mouth” marketing.
Exponential Social Sharing
Another great strategy getting more app downloads and users is to provide them with content and features that will entice them to share their experience. Augmented Reality (AR) is one of those features.
Allowing users to virtually try your products on themselves or in their environment has proven to bring a number of benefits, including an increase in sales and a decrease in returns. Furthermore, if the user is allowed to capture their AR experience on photos and videos, they are likely to share that experience with their network.
An advanced retail mobile app should have the capability of adding a transactional link to any photo or video shared from within the app. This is a very important feature as it ensures that when an app user shares a picture of their living room with virtual furniture in it (as an example), the recipient will not only receive the picture, but that they are taken to the product description page of the product in the picture if they click or tap on that image. Once on the product description page, the new visitor would be able to either download the app to try the product in their own environment, place an order, or simply learn more about the product and the company. This feature can have a great impact on an organic increase of website traffic, app downloads, conversions and brand recognition.
App Store Optimization (ASO)
Optimizing your app for consumers to find through organic search on their app store of choice is just as important as search engine optimization (SEO) is for your website. Both Apple and Google have specific guidelines for app optimization, however they share the same core elements:
1. Keywords: the app description needs to have relevant keywords and paint a specific picture of its features and functionality, so that search algorithms bring up the app in relevant searches.
2. Category: Selecting the appropriate category for an app is highly important as category filters are what most consumers use when searching for apps with a specific functionality in mind.
3. Ratings and reviews: The great majority of consumers will use ratings and reviews to determine if an app is worth their time. On top of this, both the App Store and Google’s Play Store take ratings and reviews in consideration when running their search algorithms.
Keeping Users Happy
It is highly important to have a qualified development team making sure that the app always performs at its best, and a good customer support team that responds to negative feedback addressing consumer complaints and making sure that the necessary changes are made to the app.
Getting consumers to download your app is only the start. Offering exclusive app features and rewarding content is key to providing the consumer experience that your customers deserve and demand. Always listen to your current app users, they can provide great insight into not only their user experience, but their on-boarding path as well. A bad review can turn into either a lost customer and a deterrent for other potential users or it can lead to higher customer loyalty and more downloads if properly addressed.
Technology is going to keep advancing, and consumers are going to keep changing. If you would like to know more about the latest retail technologies and how they can be applied to increase your revenue and lower your costs, please contact us for a free consultation.