Why It Pays For Brands To Focus On Building Loyalty Among App Users


There are a few things brands should cherish more than loyal customers.

A survey by CRO experts Invesp found that increasing customer retention by 5 per cent increases profits by an impressive 25-95 per cent. Also, loyal app customers drive three times as much revenue as other shoppers. So, when it comes to focusing your efforts, it pays to shine the spotlight on your existing customers.

But when it comes to mobile apps, many brands make the mistake of prioritising user acquisition (UA) above all else. Undoubtedly, UA is important, but when you realise that the Invesp study found it costs five times as much to acquire a new customer as it does to retain one, you might want to think again. The research is clear — it makes sense to focus on engaging and retaining the users who have already downloaded your app.

This raises the million-dollar question of how you can increase your loyalty among customers using your mobile app. Let’s take a look.

Data-driven personalisation

All apps will already have data about their users’ behaviours and preferences, so it’s vital to leverage this to provide customers with a personalised experience. This allows you to give them what they want when they want it and where they want it. The stats show how important this is, with 91 per cent of customers more likely to shop with brands that send personalised offers and recommendations.

Many companies are also now incorporating an element of ‘gamification’ into their personalisation efforts. They use customer data insights to create experiences with multiple steps, all connected to driving value for their customer and business outcomes for the brand.

Tailored loyalty schemes

People love to be appreciated, and customers are no different. Therefore, the next step is to introduce a loyalty scheme, as this has proven to be one of the most effective tactics for increasing revenue and inspiring customer loyalty. As many as 84 per cent of consumers say they’re more likely to stick with a brand that offers a loyalty programme.

The key to a successful app loyalty scheme is two-fold. Firstly, it must be easy to use. If it’s complicated, your customers won’t buy into it, so it won’t be an effective strategy for encouraging loyalty. Secondly, the offers and content you deliver must be tailored to the user, so you’re not flooding them with irrelevant information — personalisation is always a winner.

Smart loyalty schemes offer value for customers. Customers usually participate because they want to feel special and like the fact that they’re getting the deals that others are not — prompting loyalty to your brand.

Mobile channels and location services

Push notifications and in-app messages update your customers on relevant changes, keep your brand at the forefront of customers’ minds, and ensure your most active users stay engaged. There are several ways to communicate with your audience with mobile — all of which have their strengths — so it’s important to use a combination and not stick to a single channel.

By delivering the message or content to your user’s lock screen, the main aim of app push notifications is to encourage users to enter your app or claw back inactive users.

In-app messages can be triggered by a user’s activity, for example, if a user has successfully onboarded your app. They can also be used to share product updates or promotions. Ultimately, they are designed to keep your most active users engaged.

You can also use ‘geolocation’ messaging to further enrich your customers’ experience. This allows you to deliver relevant content to the user based on their location. It is particularly beneficial for retailers or restaurants as you can notify customers of a discount or new dish near your branch. You can improve their experience and drive loyalty by reaching them with the right message at the right time.

Web-to-app experiences

All these strategies are great for existing mobile customers, but what about web users? This is where it pays to consider web-to-app experiences, which convert your web visitors into loyal app users by capturing mid-funnel, high-intent users that hit your site. You can let them know your app is a click away and offer them an incentive to install it, leading to a frictionless digital journey.

Starting on your website or initiated by campaigns that lead to it, smart banners and deep linking scripts dynamically generate links behind banners, web copy, CTAs and badges to effectively drive and measure traffic to your app.

Keep privacy top of mind

People are becoming increasingly aware of how valuable their personal data is and are ever-more sensitive to how it is used by brands. In fact, a 2019 survey by cyber-security firm RSA found that 70 per cent of consumers feel protective of their identity information and 57% feel protective of their contact details.

Privacy regulations are also being introduced around the world, so this, alongside a shift in consumer awareness, means it’s in every organisation’s best interest to get their data-privacy policies right. Data must be secure and only shared when customers give express permission.

On this front, loyalty presents a unique opportunity. For example, loyal customers voluntarily identify themselves and know the value exchange for their data — like points, discounts, and personalised offers. A loyalty programme not only protects you against breaching privacy regulations, but it also helps you build trust and communicate with customers on a personal and individual level.

The key is to collect only what you know you will use and ensure that each piece of data enables you to build a deeper connection with customers.

Reaping the benefits of customer loyalty

The Invesp survey found that loyal app customers are three times more likely to repeat a purchase, which again shows the importance of focusing on loyalty. Using smart, data-driven digital marketing for their mobile apps can help companies increase customer loyalty, grow their business, and increase profitability.

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