2016 was an impressive year for mobile. We officially surpassed the mobile tipping point. It’s estimated that they’re over 2.1 billion smartphone users worldwide! Now, the bar is exceptionally high for 2017. One out of every 3 people will own a smartphone or mobile-connected device WORLDWIDE. That’s huge considering that just 10 years ago the first modern-day smartphone, the iPhone came out.
However, keep in mind that the mobile revolution is a double-edged sword. Marketers have much work to do and much to learn about mobile. Now customers are expecting the very best mobile has to offer and the most convenient mobile experiences this year. So make it happen. And make your app (or mobile experience) worthwhile & worth their time. Here are the top three mobile app resolutions you must execute for 2017. These are not options, these are ‘musts’!
Synchronize Your Mobile Data
Being “mobile-friendly” or fulfilling mobile compatibility is just one aspect of the whole mobile puzzle. Ensuring that the user experience is smooth and seamless between devices naturally creates a better customer experience and reinforces brand image from different channels and devices. But there’s more to the puzzle.
Synchronizing your data between channels and systems is a must. For example, a bricks and mortar retailer sells sports merchandise to men, ages 18-29 and just launched a new app in conjunction with their online store. They already have access to a huge POS database with customer profile information and transaction history. Additionally, they also have a loyalty program built into their in-store and online marketing strategy which they’d like to extend into the app. Therefore, having the connection among all these systems and channels into one place helps the marketer understand their customers better as a whole.
If a marketer could see in one place how John buys your basketball merchandise through engagement on email, app, social, or how he searches online or in-store, then the marketer can better approach him. It’s all about smart segmentation, targeting, profiling and custom attribution after the integration and synchronization.
Takeaway: The benefits of holistic customer data is that marketers can segment their customers more precisely. On the flip side, it’s important to make sure your data is integrated so you don’t run into a bad situation. For example, it’s not uncommon for users to experience data fallacy when they’ll place an item in their mobile carts only to find it is ‘out of stock’ on the retailer’s e-commerce website.
Engage with Personalization and Context
Personalization is no longer an option for mobile marketing campaigns. It’s a must. There’s no more compromise. Users will delete your app in milliseconds if you approach them with too many push messages or approach them with irrelevant offers. Here’s the hard part to take in. Ready for it? It might disappoint you, but 1 out of every 4 customers are likely to uninstall your app. Hence, that’s the bad news.
However, the good news is that there are technologies that enable marketers to intelligently engage users. In the mobile world, we call these engagement tools, ‘mobile assets’, which are your ingredients to the meal.
Assets include some of the following, but not limited to, in-app coupons, vouchers, surveys, polls, push messages, rich messages, in-app messages, 3D product spins, videos, loyalty points, games, etc. All assets are natively designed to be displayed in the screen of the mobile device, thus, delivering a very rich app experience to the customer.
However, marketers should use the assets wisely. Personalization is key, then comes context. Let’s do a test. Which notification resonates better for you?
1. “20% off selected items in-store.”
2. “Hey Linda, Like that summer skirt? Buy it & get 20% off! Check your wallet for the coupon!”
The 2nd message is the clear winner. It’s personalized with Linda’s name AND the item she looked at recently (skirt).
The next step is mobile context. Context is the “where, how, how frequent, etc.” aspect. Ask yourself: where did Linda look inside the app? How long are Linda’s sessions in the app? How often and how long does she frequent your stores and where? Did she click the in-app rich message and buy the shirt (convert)? Or did she ignore the message and abandon her cart? Did Linda have a transactional history of buying ‘on-sale’ items only or did she buy the full price, new arrival clothing? Does she participate in your loyalty program via app, online or in-store card?
Takeaway: The more you dig into understanding Linda, the easier it is for you to make informed mobile engagement decisions. And the key to informed, intelligent mobile engagement decisions is by engaging with personalization and context!
Make the Mobile Experience Exceptional
Last, but certainly not least, the impact of the mobile experience matters most. The mobile experience overall is a “make it or break it” scenario. According to Andrew Chen, 80% of users churn after a 90-day cycle. That’s a huge loss for a retailer. Imagine, you have a huge loyalty database, but once they transition to your app, they uninstall within 90 days. Did you make a mistake during the on-boarding stage? Or did you disappear and no longer nurture your users with on-going offers that catered to them? Sometimes if an app sits idle with stale content long enough, users will end up deleting it.
Let’s look at Linda again. She opened your in-app message about the skirt. However, she didn’t click her in-app wallet to see the coupon. Did she need a friendly reminder? Or perhaps she changed her mind about the skirt. Does she need an urgent message like, “coupon expires in 2 days! Activate it now.” Or perhaps you need to take a step back and see Linda as a whole.
Maybe before you engage her again, you need to study where she has explored inside the app. What screens did she see, what she clicks, how long her sessions are and how often. Maybe she needs an incentivizing loyalty boost if she buys the skirt, offer her 50 points, an extra 5 dollar coupon. Either decision you make, make sure you provide her exceptional, on-going and nurtured experiences she won’t forget.
Takeaway: If you’d like to learn more about mobile engagement, check out our eBook “What You Need to Know about Mobile Engagement”