With customers more digitally distracted than ever and browsing on devices, brands need to find the best way to engage with them by providing the most immersive, purposeful and engaging customer experience possible. Beyond optimising a website for mobile, app is a unique way to engage with customers, building loyalty and providing opportunities for personalisation.
Customer engagement is at the heart of loyalty, repeat business and lifetime value. The goal for brands must be more frequent and longer interactions that lead to a higher value shopping basket and robust advocacy and loyalty. Accompanying the rise in mobile commerce is greater adoption of native shopping apps, with shoppers visiting a brand or retailer’s app 2.6x more per month often than they visit the mobile site. Installation and usage of apps have both risen dramatically during the lockdown, with downloads 3.3x higher than previous year and a 27% uplift in daily active users.
Research shows that apps are the channel capable of providing exciting and convenient customer experiences, driving engagement, in a way that other channels simply can’t. There’s been a 22% uplift in daily revenue per user since the pandemic began and deep linking into the app has been shown to increase conversion rates by 2.5X and increase user retention of 2.1X.
Brands Utilising Apps to Create Unrivalled Customer Experiences and Engagement
Cotton On uses their app to create an accessible omnichannel retail journey. Customers can scan barcodes in-store to see stock levels, colour & size variations which they can then add to a wish list or purchase. Sales associates use the same app for stock management, helping to create a single view of inventory for them and the customer. This enhanced product discoverability and store stock checker functionality in the app means that customers have more choices in how they shop for and receive their products. Loyalty program customers benefit from always-on access to their loyalty card, one-click reward redemption for in-app purchases and the ability to scan reward barcodes right from the app. Push notifications are used to remind loyalty members when they have rewards nearing expiry to ensure they never miss redeeming a reward.
SurfStitch is an Australian coastal lifestyle pureplay brand that is always looking for ways to deepen their relationship with their customers. Their app allows them to create stories (akin to Instagram) and swipe to like items to add to Wishlist . This riffing on social media/gamification has greatly enhanced customer engagement and provides invaluable and rich firsthand customer data. This data is vital in building better product ranges, personalising the shopping experience for individual users through creating a customised profile and ultimately delivering the customer more of what they want.
By working like a virtual customer service agent, the Home Depot app allows customers to search for items based on their own photos of similar items. This allows customers to easily find what they want online and in–store and drives brand engagement throughout the day, as whenever the customer sees something they want, they can snap a photo knowing that they can engage with Home Depot to find something similar.
Ikea has had amazing success with their augmented reality Ikea Place app. The app drives customer engagement by allowing them to virtually “place” furnishings in their own homes or offices so they can check the size, design, and functionality for their space. The convenience and novelty of this app provide an exceptionally immersive experience.
Gucci are driving customer engagement via their Gucci Sneaker Garage app to allow customers to design their own shoes and try them on virtually with augmented reality functionality. They twin this with retro 80’s 8-bit games to gamify and enrich the customer interaction with the brand, especially the Millennial and Gen-Z crowd.
Sephora’s app ensures cross channel personalisation through their Beauty Insider programme, which tracks activity across web, mobile and brick and mortar stores. This information is used to create a personalised customer profile for recommendations and changes what the user sees when browsing the website or in–app, providing a seamless and personal user experience.
Stitch Fix, the subscription personal stylist online retailer, allows in–app instant chat to stylists, to help fine–tune customer‘s personal style. This gives the customer the experience of feeling like they have a personal stylist whenever they need one, all easily accessible through an app, driving robust loyalty.
Target has incorporated Siri voice commands into their app to make searching for items and accessing coupons and gift cards as simple as saying a few words. Adapting and integrating a now–familiar technology into the app provides are rich and convenient customer experience.
Customers expect easier, purposeful, and enriched mobile experiences and the advantages that App is a channel brings to both consumers and retailers can no longer be ignored. It’s time to look to the future with native apps being the cutting-edge solution to providing a better customer experience.
Our partners at Poq have just released some compelling pieces, looking at app behaviour evolution, which you can download using the below form. We’d love to hear your feedback and hear more about how you are leveraging app to engage customers!