Online shopping is not a new trend anymore – actually, it all started in July 1995, with Amazon as an online bookstore. However, recently this trend has evolved, making it possible to shop online from any place, at any time, without the need to stay in front of a computer or a laptop. Yes, we are talking about eCommerce apps. The first mobile commerce website was launched in 2001 also by Amazon. A lot has changed since that time. Here are some recent statistics (as of 2019) regarding the eCommerce mobile app growth:
- 79% of smartphone users order goods online from their mobile devices.
- 35% of US consumers use only mobile devices to shop online.
- Conversion rates from mobile eCommerce apps are 3x higher than that of mobile websites.
- In 2019, 42% of smartphone users were planning to shop more by using their mobile devices during the next year.
- 53% of smartphone users make purchases from company-specific apps.
These numbers suggest that there’s no sense to ignore mobile traffic. Having an eCommerce mobile app for your online store will bring you the following benefits:
- Improved customer loyalty. Mobile solutions strengthen the connection between online stores and customers. Online shoppers who use their smartphones to shop prefer the apps that their favorite stores offer. Additionally, when an app is on a customer’s desktop, they are more likely to return to your store.
- Increased conversions. The combination of intuitive design, easy navigation, and usability brings a lot of conversions. Mobile apps are converting significantly more users than websites and their mobile versions. The conversion percentage is, on average, three times higher for mobile versions of websites and one and a half times higher than for desktop versions.
- High loading speed. One of the problem areas of websites is the loading speed. Very often, users leave a website without waiting for the page to load. This can be caused by both the speed of the website itself and the slow Internet connection. A mobile app also takes information from the server but loads much fewer data. The data is partially stored on the device and does not require constant downloading. Consequently, e-commerce apps take less time to show the user the information that they want.
- Meeting the customers’ expectations. When looking for a product or making a purchase decision, potential customers expect to see easy navigation and quick access to the product they need. In this case, mobile apps are an excellent sales tool. Users can quickly find the product without being distracted or confused with navigation.
Do you already have an eCommerce mobile app but it drives not as much traffic as you expected? In this article, we will give you some tips to help you get the most out of your app.
First of all, you should make your target audience aware of the app by doing the following:
Tip #1: Make the App Easy Searchable and Drive Organic Traffic
There are several ways to do it:
Optimize the app for the app stores (ASO)
ASO is the search engine optimization for mobile apps. It helps users find your app in the stores by keywords and categories, increasing the number of downloads almost twice. Further benefits of ASO are as follows:
- High retention rate. As compared with contextual advertising, the return rate of users who installed eCommerce apps by using organic search is higher, and the percentage of uninstalls is lower.
- User loyalty and LTV. Users who have installed the app from organic search in the store are more interested in using it regularly. Such an audience shows higher LTV than the users that came through paid channels.
- Support and improvement of advertising campaigns. ASO is important if you plan or run contextual advertising in Google Ads to download an app. Google uses application metadata such as keywords and creates audience databases based on them. For traffic from other channels, due to improved usability, the conversion increases and the CPI decreases.
Create a landing page
A landing page is one of the most efficient methods for promoting an eCommerce mobile app. This is a one-page website that describes the main features and functionality of the software product. Its main purpose is to encourage the user to download and install the app on their smartphone. Thoughtful calls to action help to do this. As a rule, there are three most common target action options:
- subscription – collecting a database of users interested in the app;
- bonus program – customers are attracted with promo codes and discounts;
- download links – buttons with catchy phrases or custom QR codes.
Landing pages at different stages of an app’s life cycle may differ only in a call to action, so it is not necessary to develop a page from scratch every time. For example, here’s how a clothing brand Gwynnie Bee offers a discount on its landing page:
Leverage the power of email marketing
Email marketing refers to sending commercial messages via email to a targeted group of people by using special tools. Despite the ever-growing wave of new technologies, emails and newsletters still remain one of the most powerful marketing instruments. Email campaigns include new services, special offers, and sales coupons that enhance the growth of business, boost conversion and increase sales.
Basically, there are the following forms of email marketing:
- Regular emails or newsletters that build strong relationships between the business and the customers.
- Promotional emails that encourage potential customers to buy a product or service or retain customers with discounts and special offers.
It is also possible to promote your eCommerce mobile app in regular emails, such as confirmation emails. For example, you can announce your app in an email and give a download link, just like Nike does:
Tip #2: Use Referral Marketing
Referral marketing is a user acquisition model based on the recommendation of products to friends for a reward. The mechanics are simple. A member of the referral program (referrer) receives an affiliate link or a unique promotional code, motivates other people (referees) to follow the link, and, after a successful conversion, receives a bonus. Referral marketing is a perfect solution for ecommerce apps. It brings the following benefits:
- your app gets additional audience coverage (due to recommendations, your app gets more users);
- the level of trust in you from the attracted leads is higher than those that come from ads or media;
- there is no risk of incorrectly setting up an advertising campaign and “draining” the budget;
- you decide for what and how to reward the referrers (for leads, conversions, immediately, after a month, one-time or partially, etc.).
Check out how Freshly, a meal delivery app, encourages its users to refer their friends:
Tip #3: Build a Community
Almost every eCommerce mobile app builds its community on one of the social media platforms. However, a branded in-app community is a more powerful tool than social media. Companies that own a community inside their app get 100% reach to their users while for social media platforms, the organic reach is only up to 5.2%. As a result, brands have to pay for ads to reach their own users. Therefore, to save costs and get more organic traffic, we recommend building an in-app community.
For example, ModaCruz, an online marketplace for pre-owned luxury fashion items, has a personalized activity feed that the users can filter as per their interests. Just like on social media, they can like and comment on each other’s posts which significantly improves the user experience and boosts the retention rate.
Another example is MyGlamm, an online shopping app for beauty and skincare products. The company has implemented GetSocial’s Community feature that allows the users to participate in contests and share their favorite beauty recipes. A user who participates in Community engagement has around 18% conversion rate which is 3X greater than that for regular users. Month on month, MyGlamm sees 10-15% more users participating in the Community and a 20% MoM increase in the engagement.
Learn how to create an in-app community in our ebook: The New Way to Grow Your Brand
Tip #4: Continue Leveraging the Power of Social Media Marketing
If you decide to build your own in-app community instead of creating one with the help of social media platforms it doesn’t mean that you have to discard social networks altogether. You can use them to promote your eCommerce mobile app and create a buzz around your brand. Many companies hold contests on Facebook or Instagram, rewarding their customers for reposts on social media. In such a way you can tell even more people about your products and services.
Take a look at the Instagram account by the ASOS shopping app. They introduced the #ASOSDESIGHMustHaves hashtag so that the fashion bloggers can use it to demonstrate their looks in the brand’s clothing.
Tip #5: Consider Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is a way to advertise products and services with the help of media personalities – influencers. The key feature of this marketing tool is that it does not look like a regular advertisement: the ad is shown in a native format as a recommendation.
Knowing that influencer marketing is an effective marketing tool, we can highlight its main benefits:
- It is perfect for the promotion of eCommerce apps. Influencers often buy different products and review them on their blogs. For their shopping routine, they can use your eCommerce mobile app and then review it as well based on their unique experience.
- Influencers can increase the number of direct sales. In a post with an advertisement or in the description of a video, the blogger posts a link to the company’s website or app and thereby provides a direct stream of Internet traffic. The higher the trust in the influencer, the higher the conversion. For example, here are links below the video by James Charles, a makeup artist:
- Through bloggers, any company can establish contact with potential customers, erase the boundaries of official communication, and build trust. By ordering advertising from an influencer, a brand begins to speak the language of its own customers.
- Impulse selling. A consumer will be more willing to buy a product if they are impressed by the blogger’s experience or use them as a role model. Probably, under other conditions, they would not have made an impulsive purchase.
Now you know how to drive more traffic to your eCommerce mobile app and thus get more users. Next, you should retain those users, constantly improve their experience, and establish long-term relationships.
Tip #6: Introduce the User to Your App with Onboarding
Mobile apps use several “introductory” screens to guide users. The app typically displays them right after the first launch. Exactly this first acquaintance with the app affects whether the user will regularly work with it or delete it after a couple of sessions. Here are the main rules that will help you efficiently onboard the users of your eCommerce mobile app:
- Be concise. Focus on the most important features of the app, and then invite them to sign up or enter the app.
- Visualize the information. Often people do not like to read text, so visualize what is written on each slide.
- Do not be too salesy. Talk with the user as if they were your friend.
- Make it possible to skip the tutorial. Often people don’t have time to learn all of your cool stuff. Therefore, it is better to give them an option to skip the onboarding and/or resume it later.
Here’s how the Zappos brand onboards its users by providing a “quick tips” overlay after a user signs in to explain each icon.
Read more: 7 Tips for Creating Better App Onboarding Experiences
Tip #7: Personalize the User Experience
The personalization of mobile applications is one of the most visible trends in recent years. An individual approach to the consumer is becoming a new normal. Personalization refers to tailoring certain functionality to the user’s behavior pattern. An app with personalization features suggests actions that the user could perform, but would have looked for them for too long without a prompt. This should help the user to quickly make a purchase or solve another problem through the eCommerce mobile app. For this to succeed, it’s necessary to identify and analyze user patterns as well as track how they change.
Here’s how the Adidas online shop changes their recommended products for the shoe of the same style, depending on the selected color.
Tip #8: Track In-App Events and A/B Test
Before you can optimize the user funnel, you need to know where users are failing to convert. By measuring engagements such as installs, purchases, and registrations, you can learn which channels deliver high-value users.
A/B testing is a powerful marketing tool that can help you improve the performance of your app. With A/B tests, you can increase the conversion of landing pages, select the optimal ad titles in ad networks, and improve search quality.
The idea behind A/B testing is very simple. You randomly divide the app users into segments. One of the segments remains unchanged – this is the control segment “A”. Based on the data for this segment, you assess the effect of the changes while showing the users from the “B” segment the modified version of the app or feature.
Additional resources: The Ultimate SDK Guide 2020
Tip #9: Use Deep Linking
Deep linking is a technology that allows you to bring a target user to a specific page of a mobile app. Mobile statistics services allow you to segment app users according to their actions. You can create a segment of users who ordered a specific product at a specific time.
Let’s suppose that you have a shoe store. Preferences of users who love shoes made of genuine leather, without a heel, and in a discreet color, suggest that they love comfort. The segment of such users should be offered other “comfortable” products from your assortment. Offer this segment a specific product or product category by setting up ads on landing pages.
This is where a deep link comes to the rescue – when a user clicks the ad, they are taken to a page in an eCommerce mobile app with an offer that matches their interest.
It’s not enough just to have an eCommerce mobile app – it’s crucial to make it work properly and bring you money with each converted user. We hope that our tips have helped you to choose the right direction in the promotion of your app. Good luck!