3 Tips for Retailers to Navigate Mobile’s Growth and Complexities
The ease of e-commerce continues to radically shift how consumers shop. With mobile expected to account for 74 percent of all e-commerce transactions in 2021, retailers are now placing a greater focus on users’ experiences in-app.
But how do shoppers really interact with e-commerce apps, and how can marketers use these insights to inform their growth strategy? Based on over 7 billion installs and 120 billion sessions, Adjust’s 2019 Mobile Shopping Apps report provides a snapshot of the trends, challenges and opportunities in mobile, including a deep dive into the world of shopping apps. Below are some of the key takeaways for retailers looking to navigate the industry’s growth and complexities.
Hyper-Relevant Ads Main Driver of E-Commerce App Installs
For most verticals, organic traffic drives the majority of app installs. Not so for shopping apps. Adjust’s report showed that e-commerce apps had the strongest paid performance throughout 2018, with 65 percent of installs coming from a paid source. That’s a big difference compared to other verticals, such as casual gaming (38 percent) or health apps (13 percent).
E-commerce’s strong performance shows just how well retailers have capitalized on accurate targeting and retargeting, as well as compelling creative.
For brands looking to tap further into the power of paid installs, perfecting dynamic product ads is key. Hyper-relevant ads, served at and tailored for every stage of the funnel, will dramatically simplify the path to purchase.
The four key elements for marketers to track are key events (what you’ll track), target audiences (who you’re targeting), product catalog (what you’re advertising), and deep links (how the user will find what you’re advertising).
To Retain Users, Apps Need More Than a Simple Transactional Purpose
When looking at retention data, around 25 percent of shoppers returned to an app the day after they installed it. By day seven, this dropped to 14 percent.
That’s not unexpected. In contrast to high-retaining verticals built on users consuming content, shopping apps are generally purely transactional. Users often install, purchase and churn on the same day, or return some weeks after their initial purchase.
Focusing on retention can pay dividends — and for this, retailers need to keep customers engaged. It’s something Nike has excelled at with its SNKRS app, which puts a focus on content (“learn about the inspiration and heritage of featured sneakers with exclusive content”), convenience (“buy sneakers in seconds, directly within the app”) and exclusivity (“submit your entry into a randomized selection system to purchase key releases”).
Nike CEO Mark Parker spoke to the app’s value in a recent interview: “The SNKRS app has become an incredible asset to our brand, with users checking in daily, and has acquired more new members than any other digital channel for Nike … doubled its number of monthly active users, and now accounts for roughly 20 percent of our overall digital business.”
Seasonality Still Wins
App install rates peaked and troughed throughout the year. As expected, November — with retail’s holy trinity of Black Friday, Alibaba’s Singles’ Day and holiday shopping — registered 33 percent more downloads than the yearly average. By comparison, December saw 3.3 percent less installs than the average.
While the industry increasingly relies on the “always on” shopper, there’s no denying the power of huge sales events to massively boost revenue. This is particularly true with recent shopping holidays like Amazon Prime Day showing a knock-on effect on sales for other retailers.
The success of this year’s Amazon Prime Day proved that new shopping holidays still have the power to attract a huge amount of customers. And as shopping days continue to spread around the world, from China to the U.S., it gives retailers all the more opportunity to engage customers and offer them the perfect user experience.
Arun Gupta is vice president of sales, Americas at Adjust, the global leader in mobile measurement, fraud prevention and cybersecurity.