How to Use Your Own App to Build Loyalty. A Winning Strategy?

Posted in: Digital marketingLast update: 28/03/19

In recent years it’s become all the rage for companies to create mobile apps for their brands and even for individual products. But is it always good for business? Does your brand need an app to build loyalty?

Many companies are creating their own apps as a reaction to the ever-growing use of smartphones by consumers. But before you create a mobile application for your business or brand, think about whether it’s really worth it: will the app compensate customers for going to the effort of downloading it and having it take up memory on their phone? It’s a good idea to draw up a list of pros and cons beforehand, keeping in mind that a relatively small number of apps represent the majority of downloads.

In Spain, for example, there are 27.7 million active app users. These users have an average of 17.8 applications installed on their smartphones and 11.4 on their tablets according to Ditrendia’s report on mobile phone use in Spain and the rest of the world in 2017. Of the apps downloaded by users, most Spaniards only end up using nine on their smartphone and four on their tablet. Each month, the average mobile user downloads two new apps. This means that many apps are downloaded only to be uninstalled when the user finds they are not using them. In this context you should ask yourself: is my brand’s app guaranteed to succeed?

Create your own app

The most-frequently downloaded apps are those used for communication and social media, such as WhatsApp, Messenger or Instagram. Also popular are those used for making purchases and playing games. To give you an example: just 10 apps account for 59% of downloads by millennials, while all the other apps make up the remaining 41% of downloads. This data comes from an analysis carried out by Webde Family based on studies by Comscore and other sources. The data also shows that mobile device users devote almost 100% of their time to just three apps, and around half of the time they are using only one: the user’s favorite app. For this reason, when designing the app, it’s important to target specific consumers and instances because – as the data makes clear – competition is stiff.

When designing an app, it’s important to target specific consumers and instances Click To Tweet

Some apps have been so successful that almost everyone with a phone has downloaded them. The type of apps that are used most frequently include social and messaging apps (349%), finance and business apps (43%), shopping apps (31%) and sporting apps (25%). If your aim is to offer promotions, discounts or other loyalty-building actions, a downloadable app to build loyalty might not be the best choice. If the app is not likely to be used every day, users may decide it’s not worth downloading and installing.

Apps for building client loyalty

These are apps that give you points, gifts or discounts when you buy something at a pharmacy for example or consume something at a restaurant. This is currently a very common promotional action, but it can end up overwhelming a client instead of bringing them closer to the brand. The loyalty card boom is a prime example of this: customers got fed up of carrying around dozens of cards to get discounts in all the stores or coffee shops they visited. Similarly, customers may get tired of having apps they seldom use taking up lots of valuable space in their cell phones.

When you’re setting up a loyalty program and you decide to create an application to manage your relationship with your clients by offering them special rewards you should consider whether users will find it worthwhile to have the app installed permanently on their phones. Many loyalty programs require users to download the app from App Store or Google Play and sign in with a password to obtain points for each visit or purchase. The majority of these apps also provide other features, such as locating the nearest branches of the store, brand or club, managing reservations or checking out new features. But these actions can easily be carried out from other apps like TripAdvisor or Google Maps which people are more likely to use every day.

So, the basic idea is clear: generate a loyalty-building program for customers that is accessible via smartphone. This will make it possible to identify each customer with their name, surname, email address, perhaps even telephone number, and locate him or her geographically so that your marketing team can generate more customized and effective promotional actions. And, in turn, contribute towards generating VIP clients who are loyal to your brand and who regularly return to your store or establishment to make a purchase. Is there another way of using an app without asking customers to install it?

#Easypromosapp makes it possible to customize an app and embed it in a website using a widget Click To Tweet

Yes, there is. Create a promotion app and install it online. There exists online promotion and loyalty-building software, such as Easypromos, that makes it possible to customize an app and embed it in a website using a widget. The design is mobile-device friendly, responsive and adapts to any type of screen.

The same can be accomplished with a customized URL. This can be useful if you want to create a website to promote a loyalty club for example. If you want to guide promotion participants to your Facebook Page you can also install the app in the brand’s Facebook Page, or share the app’s URL in a post. The experience of the user whose loyalty you wish to build will be via mobile device. And it will be optimal. You are also saving the user the hassle of carrying out the installation. This is not a solution that works for all actions and brands, but it could work in a majority of cases.

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Randi Jensen

International Business Developer in Easypromos

Publication date: 2018-03-28