Mobile apps complement marketing strategies. They can serve a variety of purposes – increase sales, build company’s image, build customer loyalty, and so on. By a simple act of launching an app you gain a brand new channel of customer communication and, if you use CRM for mobile applications, access a whole new set of behavioral and transactional data – collected by smartphones.
There are several types of applications that you might want to consider while planning to include a mobile app into your overall marketing efforts. Below I have described the five most interesting, from the ecommerce point of view, suggestions.
The easiest and most obvious way to increase your ecommerce income is to launch a shopping app. Development of mobile technology and network security regulations is followed by increasing trust that users have for mobile payments. It causes the growth of mobile share in ecommerce profits as well as strengthening the position of mcommerce on the digital market. Shopping app is the essence of your online store. It must give access to the same assortment as the store has (unless it is intended to promote a particular category of products), its visual identification must be consistent with the look of the online store, and it must be mobile-optimized. It won’t be enough just to miniaturize the website. The entire design of the app should be user-friendly to make a purchase as simple as possible. A highly simplified login procedure is a must. The good practice is to allow to check in with a social networking account – the full set of features will be two or three clicks away, not a-full-inquiry-with-lousy-screen-keyboard away. Key features (such as add to cart) should be placed within a thumbs reach when browsing products on the vertical screen of the smartphone. The final stroke – make the checkout procedure as simple as you can imagine and bear in mind the One Thing per Page approach. The above tips apply, of course, to all of the described applications.
Discount Coupons and Gift Cards
Sales and discounts are something that Tiggers and customers like the best. The application that will be an exchange market and the thrift shop for discount coupons and gift vouchers may turn out to be a hit. For the consumer, the most obvious benefit will be an opportunity to save a few dimes on purchases or resell an unwanted gift card. For you, this means increasing the website traffic in your online store and increasing the volume and value of a single deal – I guarantee that customers who have an X% discount before their eyes will try to make the most of it.
Occasionally, we are all dreamers in our hearts. From time to time we all decorate a kitchen of our dreams or drive a brand new, leathery-scented Ferrari. It’s a common practice to put together a wishlist to realize “when pigs fly.” Many ecommerce owners wisely provide for their customers a feature to add browsed products on their wishlist. Amazon has it! Of course, the mandatory function of the wishlist is the “buy all” button that both the list owner and someone who wants to make a gift can use. The mobile app fits perfectly for the wishlist. Often, great ideas come to our minds when we go shopping or simply wander down the street. We do not have a laptop with us, but in 99% of cases, we have a smartphone. Adding an item to a list is a matter of few clicks. If the idea of connecting user’s accounts in the app with the one in the store crossed your mind, congrats – you’re good to go. It’ll allow clients to use the list both ways – with the smartphone and laptop. It can be a further facilitation of the buying process. Even if not every list is paid for by a mysterious millionaire (or client’s mom), many of them can become a kickstart for an awesome, dreamy shopping spree.
Loyalty programs are very popular. They introduce an element of rewarding desirable behaviors (purchases) and give the participants the opportunity to earn attractive prizes or discounts in return for points earned. In general, they have two main goals – to build customer loyalty and drive them to more frequent and more expensive purchases. The application that gives the access to the program opens many possibilities for the participants: quizzes, contests, the possibility of instant points for the prize exchange, and much more. The extra feature (very persuasive feature) is a quick access to all the cool prizes you can have in return for points collected. Also, sometimes your loyalty program continues beyond the online store (the brick-and-mortar store, the network of program partners that offer some profits for the points). The smartphone with the app can be a much more convenient equivalent of a plastic card (a usual loyalty program token) that is easy to lose and hard to fit in a wallet.
One of the faster-growing marketing trends is the augmented reality. The most famous example of its use over the past year was the Pokémon Go game (which gained popularity quickly and also quickly lost it – keep this case study in your mind while creating an application or a mobile game). The augmented reality essence is putting the computer-generated images and sounds over the real-world. The game of catching pocket monsters is not the only example of this mechanism usage. It worked great as a virtual glasses dress room made by glasses.com (read more about the campaign here). One of the major concerns when buying online is that clothes and accessories won’t fit. The virtual dressing room helps to reduce these fears somehow. Combined with a transparent returns policy, it has the potential to boost your sales to the whole new level.
What do you get in return for preparing and releasing your application?
First of all, you are building up a contact database by adding people who prefer to shop via smartphone and those you’ve reached with the app ad.
Second, by properly designing the onboarding process, you can connect mobile app users’ accounts with their online store accounts. If you integrate marketing automation and mobile marketing automation platforms, you can easily complete your clients’ behavioral and transactional profiles with mobile channel data.
Third, you give customers an added value that no one else has. It’s is a strong argument in a customer winning and loyalty building game
Fourth, you gain access to a set of data that is not available if you are contacting consumers only through the www. Smartphones accompany your potential clients during shopping, meetings, and became a personal assistant and entertainment center.
Fifth, you get an extremely effective communication channel. You can send push notifications that are much more likely to be opened and clicked by users than regular emails.
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