Mobile apps have become an integral part of our daily life, no doubts about this. There is a race among all e-commerce businesses to launch their own e-commerce app. Mobile e-commerce is the way forward to increase sales for any e-commerce business.
Mobile traffic is far higher as compared to desktop traffic. So potentially the best way to improve your e-commerce sales is by providing an e-commerce app. Most users shop on the go while traveling or while they are not accessing their laptops or desktops.
In most cases, e-commerce websites are mobile responsive. So, why exactly do we need an e-commerce app?
Well, though the website is responsive, it makes shopping seem complex. Users want the look and feel to be more appealing and easy to use. Navigation over mobile is one of the key reasons why users prefer an e-commerce app while using mobile devices.
Also Read: Optimize your Ecommerce website for Mobile
Why do we need an e-commerce app?
To understand this better let us look at a few interesting stats related to mobile usage.
- Over 77% of users own a smartphone.
- Over 230 million U.S. consumers own smartphones
- Around 100 million U.S. consumers own tablets
- 79% of smartphone users have made a purchase online using their mobile device in the last 6 months
- Almost 40% of all eCommerce purchases during the 2018 holiday season were made on a smartphone.
- 80% of shoppers used a mobile phone inside of a physical store to either look up product reviews, compare prices or find alternative store locations
- An estimated 10 billion mobile connected devices are currently in use
Ignoring these trends, potentially means you are losing out on a major chunk of your profits. Being mobile responsive and mobile optimized is a great thing, however, this is not sufficient.
Users expect more when they use services through mobile. Through this post, we will provide you with multiple creative ways to promote your e-commerce app.
However, before we get into this, let us understand how an e-commerce business can benefit from an e-commerce app. There are few benefits that a mobile app can provide over a mobile website.
E-commerce Apps v/s Websites
Mobile apps have an advantage over mobile websites. There are multiple reasons why store owners prefer to also launch their e-commerce app.
Few of the reasons why mobile apps are the preferred choice is highlighted below-
- Better Personalization: Mobile apps offer better personalization. Personalization is an important aspect and is based on user interest, location, usage, behavior and many more. Creating a personalized view using mobile apps is simple.
Mobile apps can let users set up their preferences at the start, based on which users can be served with customized content. Apps can also track and observe user engagement, and use it to offer custom recommendations and updates to users. Furthermore, they can also identify the location of the users in real-time to provide geography-specific content.
When users can enjoy the personalized experience, then the chances of conversion become higher.
- Notifications: With mobile apps, it’s easy to send notifications. Email marketing is a long-used technique. However, with changing trends email marketing has lost effectiveness. An alternative to improve click rates is through mobile apps.
Notifications can be of two types- push and in-app notifications. These are less intrusive and are a great way to interact with users. The ability to send instant, non-intrusive notifications to users is so desired that it is one of the major reasons why many businesses want to have a mobile app in the first place.
In-app notifications are the notifications which users can only receive when they have opened an app. Push notifications, on the other hand, are those notifications which users can receive regardless of any activity they are doing on their mobile device. There have been instances where the push medium of notifications has delivered click-through rates of 40%.
- Mobile Device Features: Mobile apps can make use of almost every mobile feature such as camera, contact list, GPS and several others. These features embedded within the app makes it a more user-friendly experience. Moreover, these features can also reduce the efforts users would have to make otherwise. For instance, users completing a form on a banking app might need to submit their photograph for completion of the process. The app can let users take help of the camera of their mobile device to capture and submit a photograph.
- Work Offline: E-commerce apps would need an internet connection to function completely. However, there are certain add-on features which the app may provide offline. For instance, a banking app can provide features like tax calculation, installment calculation, and determination of loan limit. These features can work even without the help of an internet connection.
- Designing: Mobile websites depend a lot on browsers. However, mobile apps do not have such restrictions. Mobile apps are easy to construct and provide multiple inbuilt functions which are not browser dependent. It can provide features such as tap, swipe, drag, hold, and other mobile-friendly features.
- Branding: A mobile app can experiment with new branding trends which can be different from the official mobile website. Additionally, a mobile app can also allow users to customize its appearance, as per users’ liking. This can further help in the personalization front of the app. Building a new brand image is easier using an e-commerce app.
- Time spent on Apps: Users spend more time on apps. Mobile users spend 86% of their time on mobile apps and just 14% of the time on mobile websites.
- Conversions: If you are targeting mobile users, then mobile apps are a great medium to increase conversion. It can be used to target all kinds of customers across the funnel.
- Brand Presence: Users spend a substantial amount of time over mobile and very likely to encounter your app multiple times during the day. This is a huge potential to improve and monetize on branding. Even when users are not actively using a mobile app, they are still reminded of the brand associated with the app. The icon of the app acts like a mini-advertisement for the brand.
- Speed: E-commerce in apps work faster than mobile websites. A well-designed mobile app can perform actions much quicker than a mobile website. Apps usually store their data locally on mobile devices, in contrast to websites that generally use web servers. For this reason, data retrieval happens swiftly in mobile apps.Apps can further save the user’s time by storing their preferences and using them to take proactive actions on the user’s behalf.
Well, as you have seen there are multiple reasons why your e-commerce business should have an e-commerce app.
While you are convinced by the need for an e-commerce app and have created it, how do you ensure users use it? The most challenging thing is to promote your e-commerce app. You will be able to capture mobile users only when you promote your app.
Below stats provides the most challenging aspect of app creation in marketing or promoting it.
Creative Ways to Promote E-commerce app
Even before you start building an app, you can start to market it. This helps in understanding the level of interest people have in using an e-commerce app. Talk to customers, get their feedback. You can start this by focusing on your existing customers and then spreading to a larger customer base.
Ask people a few questions to get an idea about what exactly people search for while choosing an app. In this way, you are not only promoting your app but are also getting aligned with user requirements. Even a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profitability by 75%.
Identify your target audience at least 3 months prior to app launch. There are 3 key things one needs to identify-
- Who is the app intended for?
- What is the benefit your target audience will derive by using the app?
- Why is your app better than your competitors?
Identifying these details can help in maintaining a consistent brand image.
3.Register your domain and create a landing page
Once the app is ready, you can register a domain and set up a landing page with your app’s name and description and a form for visitors to sign up for email alerts on app’s progress. Landing pages can be easily created using no-cost tools such as Wix or Instapage.
Once your landing page is ready you can gather leads and run analytics using Google Analytics or Optimizely. Landing pages can be optimized using this analytics. This is a great way to promote your app while it is still getting developed.
Another way to promote your e-commerce app is by creating a short video. This could be in the form of a Youtube Ad or a short video embedded within any social media channel such as Facebook, Instagram, and
Below is a reference of how Angry Birds promotes its app using videos.
Such videos compel users to download and try the app. This could also include short, funny introduction videos introducing your app. The video should have an appropriate call to action and must reference your app.
The most common way to go viral is by tying up to one of the most watched or popular videos on Youtube.
People love to get recommendations from someone popular or well-known to them. One way is to make a prominent Youtuber or popular personality to review your app. Finding and using the right influencer can easily promote your e-commerce app.
Add the video to your official website as well as to other popular social media channels. This helps in improving the credibility of the app and is again a good way to promote your app.
Invite people and long-term users to write a review.
This is one of the most used and most creative ways to promote your app. Most apps look at ways to provide incentives to use apps. This could be cash back, discount vouchers or like the one shown below.
First-time users of the apps are provided incentives in several e-commerce apps. You can do this by providing first-time usage discount code or cashback. While you provide incentives ensure you use enough social media and email marketing to promote these deals.
Provide special benefits for referrals. Sharing the app and providing incentives is yet another great way to promote your app.
While first time users and referrals are given importance, equal importance should be given to long-term users by providing suitable incentives. A lot of times, long-term users are the one who can quickly help in promoting your app.
Additionally, you can also tie up with other influencers to provide a downloadable link.
We know that providing incentives for sharing app is one of the well-tested ways to promote your e-commerce app. But how do users share? The sharing should enable all popular as well as not so popular social media channels.
Google on its maps provides multiple sharing options as shown below-
Along with making your e-commerce app worth sharing it should also be easy to share.
Create stunning graphics, videos, GIFs, and infographics to grab users attention. Utilize great free graphics tools like Canva and Unsplash. At the end of the day, we (humans) are visual beings and thus, we tend to grasp ideas and messages that are visually delivered more easily.
10.App name and logo
Provide an easy to remember and relevant app name. This helps people to quickly search for your app. Ensure to embed the logo wherever you provide app downloadable links.
With over 1.6 million apps in the Google Play Store and 1.5 million in the App Store, there’s a lot of noise in any category you choose you to have your app in. Due to this, many people choose to take interest in apps, only when the app icon entices them.
Another great example is as shown below,
11.Optimize frequency of push notifications and marketing communication
Customers like to be engaged but not spammed. All marketing communication has a tipping point, where messaging ceases to be valuable. Only by identifying this tipping point can you identify the optimal volume and frequency of messages to send your customers, via either push or in-app messaging.
Below are mentioned common reasons why users uninstall apps
12.Promote your app through blog or emails
Along with showcasing your app on the official website, you can also promote your app through a blog. Include it as part of regularly scheduled blogs. This can be done by dedicating a complete blog for the app or by a call to action within the blog. You can include links, videos, and screenshots showing more about your app.
In case you do not wish to completely dedicate an email for app promotion, then you can embed app link within any email content. In most cases, as part of a signature within the email, a downloadable link is added.
13.Consider multiple app stores
Google Play and App stores are the most popular once, no doubts about it. However, there are several other app stores where your app can be uploaded. According to One Platform Foundation, if an app is submitted on other relatively less popular stores, it will increase the expected downloads 200% more compared to Google Play.
Few other app stores included are-
- Opera Mobile Store
- Amazon Appstore
14.Apply for Awards
Participating in-app awards also is another way to promote your e-commerce app. It can give you tons of press, exposure, reviews and plenty of downloads. Although the chances of winning depend on the app idea, if you get things right the first time then you can enjoy a lot of exposure.
Few of the app award sites are provided below-
- Appy Awards
- Best App Ever Awards
- AppCircus competition
- Apple Design Awards
- Appsters Awards
- Ericsson Application Awards
- The Webby Awards
- Best Mobile App Awards
SEO does matter. When a user types in a search query, then your app URL should appear at least within the first 5 suggestions. All you need to identify is the best-targeted keywords that you want to rank for. Also analyze which keywords your app is currently ranking on, build some quality links accordingly to boost rankings.
The below-mentioned tools help in analyzing app SEO:
This is also referred to as App Store Optimization. ASO is like SEO at its core, meant for Google Play and App store. Just like search engine optimization, app store optimization focuses on keyword relevance, search relevance and the keyword density in your description. Your app description is one of the most important things you can focus on in your app marketing efforts.
Beyond this, there can be many more creative ways you can come up with to promote your e-commerce app. Few of these includes direct advertisements of apps, press release, promote your app in your store location.
Other popular ways include running a contest to rapidly promote your app, responding to reviews, providing latest app updates frequently, recruit an in-store sales person to help install the app and there can be many more.
All in all, you can find multiple creative ways to promote your e-commerce app.
Also Visit: Guide To Launch Your Ecommerce Store