Retail & eCommerce

Building Loyalty with an App for Retail Brands

Mary Kearl By Mary Kearl Mar 30, 2022

Retail customers are increasingly becoming synonymous with digital and mobile retail customers, with the vast share of sales (73%) taking place online and online sales accounting for more than half (51%) of industry revenue, according to the 2022 Braze Global Customer Engagement Review (CER). As a result, mobile marketing is a key customer engagement channel, with platforms like apps playing powerful roles in elevating customer loyalty. That's why every retail brand needs a mobile marketing strategy.

So how can brands leverage mobile marketing strategies and mobile marketing campaigns to drive long-term engagement? Let’s take a look at the top ways that retail and eCommerce brands can increase customer loyalty with apps and app-based messaging channels, like push notifications and in-app messages.

How Retail Brands Can Use an App to Build Customer Loyalty

As part of the Braze 2022 CER, an annual analysis we conduct on the state of customer engagement all over the world, we found several key factors that set leading retail brands apart from those with less advanced customer engagement strategies.

Based on this study, here are five key best practices that can help strengthen customer loyalty specifically within the retail space, strategies that have helped top retailers boost repeat buyer conversion rates by 38% and purchases per user by 8.6X.

#1: Use campaign testing to experiment with your app campaigns and customer journeys. According to the Braze CER, top performing brands are 97% more likely to proactively run marketing experiments, such as by conducting A/B testing to optimize the performance of the messages they send.

#2: Measure marketing performance and keep track of your top mobile app KPIs. Use these insights to iterate and optimize both your organization's app and your mobile campaigns. Our study shows that top performers in retail are 41% likely to assess their marketing results.

#3: Use real-time personalization to boost the effectiveness of your app-based messaging. We found that leading retailers are 48% more likely to personalize messages in the moment, right when messages like push notifications and in-app campaigns are sent. That allows for more timely, relevant communications—and a better experience for the people receiving them.

#4: Leverage mobile marketing channels alongside other key customer-engagement channels as part of a comprehensive, cross-channel engagement strategy.

Our research indicates that retail and eCommerce brands can achieve standout gains in loyalty, including lifetime value and retention, with each messaging channel they add.

Combining app-based messaging with other channels, such as email and SMS, not only expands upon the opportunities retail brands will have to reach and engage potential users, but it also gives them the unique opportunity to combine multiple messages into one messaging flow that keeps customers engaged across their user journey.

#5: Encourage app users to make the jump from browsers to buyers by combining in-product and out-of-product channels.

Our 2021 analysis found that retail and ecommerce shoppers' app usage conversion rates are 15% higher than other industries, but that their purchasing conversion rates are 30% lower than other industries. This gap between browsers and buyers presents a powerful opportunity for brands to convert interested customers into active and loyal shoppers.

How to make that happen? Bring together in-product messages (like in-app messages) and out-of-product messages (like push or email) to create cohesive messaging flows that can speak effectively to browsing users. The 2022 CER found that leveraging a cross-channel approach that included both in-product and out-of-product channels led to 25% more purchases among US users, compared to individuals who were messaged with any two channels as part of a multi-channel approach.

Next Steps

Interested in learning more on how to create meaningful and relevant experiences for every shopper? Register to attend our “Grow Loyalty. Grow Sales.” webinar on April 6.

Want to dig deeper into how cross-channel messaging can drive stronger results and better customer experiences? Check out our exclusive guide to cross-channel marketing.

Mary Kearl

Mary Kearl

Mary Kearl is a writer and digital strategist, who has led email, social media, and content marketing for several brands. She has helped launch six mobile apps and one niche social network and is always up for a good Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Prime binge recommendation or travel tip

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