When it comes to activities we like to do on our mobile devices, shopping has made its way to the top of the list.
Traditionally, consumers have used mobile devices, such as smartphones, more for research but not purchase. However, as mobile ecommerce apps became more prevalent and their features more user-friendly, users can now go from discovery to purchase entirely on their smartphones. This explains why more than 75% of users made their purchases on their mobiles in 2022.
This trend of app commerce, whereby people make purchases via apps on mobile devices, is largely a result of how our smartphones have become an extension of our bodies. Consumers, especially the mobile-first Gen Z, rely more on mobile devices and apps to make transactions than ever before.
Why Consumers Love App Commerce
Consumers have warmed to app commerce because shopping apps offer multiple benefits that their web and brick-and-mortar counterparts lack.
The biggest benefit is that these apps are faster and easier to navigate than websites. In fact, research found that people viewed 5.4 times more products per session in apps compared to mobile sites.
Shopping apps also allow for more personalized content and engagement. Whether it's a content or product recommendation in the app, or in-app and push notifications, apps have become a medium through which brands can tailor the information to each user.
Finally, apps deliver instant online and offline access, making browsing and shopping possible almost anywhere consumers go.
How Brands Can Benefit from App Commerce
The flip side of the coin is how brands benefit from these shopping apps.
These apps have been found to yield 4 times the conversion rates of mobile sites.
In terms of retention, shopping apps enjoy the highest retention rates among all app categories. A recent report in January 2023 shows that even after 30 days, retention rates remain at 5.6 percent.
The benefits of mobile apps and the mass adoption of shopping apps in particular have lowered acquisition costs, increased engagement, and made conversion rates more promising. Because of this, brands are investing more in apps. According to McKinsey, about 55 to 65 percent of retailers prioritized a mobile app or point-of-sale experience between 2020 to date.
This investment in apps is essential as consumers demand more from the brands they patronize, so what can brands do to cash in on the app commerce trend and stay ahead?
How to Maximize Your App Commerce Efforts
Acquisition is crucial to maximizing your app commerce efforts. Without downloads, conversions aren’t possible. Equally as important is retention. By keeping your app users happy and engaged, you can drive more conversions and sales — something data and technology can help you do more effectively.
1. Identify and target high-value app users
According to AppsFlyer, the average install-to-purchase rate for shopping apps was 15.2 percent as of July 2022, while for brand commerce apps, the rate was 16.5 percent. To lift these figures, brands are increasingly using data and deep learning tools to identify the traits and behavior of high-value app users.
Using deep learning technology helps you in segmenting and ranking consumers according to their likelihood to convert by analyzing a robust mix of data signals across a consumer's natural user journey to purchase. It can also help you identify topics and products people have shown an interest in, pinpointing high-value keywords, which you can use to target potential app users via search and social ads .
2. Deliver hyper-personalized content
While shopping apps have the highest retention rate compared to apps in other categories, churn remains an issue, with many shoppers disappearing after download. One effective way to increase app stickiness is by delivering personalized, meaningful content to increase engagement.
By looking at how customers interact with your app using machine learning, you can better understand their behavior and preferences, and then tailor your content accordingly, such as product recommendations, tips, videos and app-specific rewards.
3. Seize the moment, and the channel
Not only is it important to target the right users and to engage them with personalized content, when and where you engage them is also critical.
What channels are your users most active on, and respond best to? What is the best time to reach out? You can leverage artificial intelligence-powered marketing automation tools to better understand user behavior and intent, in order to send out automated, timely marketing messages through their preferred channels, such as in-app messages, push notifications, emails or SMS.
4. Entice hesitant users with intelligent promotions
Shoppers love promotions. By hitting the right customers with the right app-only promotion, you can push people to purchase.
Using advanced machine learning can help you analyze users’ in-app behavior, such as how they tap and swipe, to accurately assess their purchase intent, and identify hesitant, coupon-responsive customers for effective targeting. You can then use predictive A/B testing to define the most appropriate promotion to maximize your efforts.
5. Use deep links to streamline customer experiences
Running campaigns to drive users back to your app is a great way to increase engagement and conversions. However, if the journey from the ad to the app isn’t smooth and simple, you can lose customers with a high potential to convert.
Mobile app deep linking is a great way to avoid this. By directing a user who clicks your ad or email campaign to your app and opening up the exact page that the user was viewing, deep link technology can make the user experience more seamless and boost app conversions.
6. Improve the UX of your e-commerce app
With consumers looking for ease and simplicity in m-commerce, it is important to make sure the user experience (UX) of your shopping app is spot on.
How do customers use your app? What do they like? What features would make the experience smoother? Don’t rely on guesswork. Ask customers for feedback on your app with short questionnaires so you can tap into their mindset, build empathy, and create an easy-to-use, intuitive app they want to continue using.
With app commerce on the rise, staying ahead of the game is crucial to growing sustainable market share. Using data, technology, and smart tactics, you can bring consumers to your app, boost app engagement, and make your shopping app more profitable.
* Looking to boost your app engagement and m-commerce efforts? Contact our team today to schedule an exclusive consultation.