Last weekend, I found myself at the store of every woman’s dreams: Target. I grabbed a small basket and assured myself that I would only purchase the three items on my list (the same massive lie all Target shoppers tell themselves).
As I walked in, I thought about the Cartwheel app, which I had yet to download (I know — I’m behind on the times). Just that morning, a friend posted a screenshot to Facebook of her Cartwheel app leaderboard, depicting how her savings stacked up against those of her friends. I love coupons, and I love winning games, so I downloaded the app as I perused the $1 to $5 knick-knack section of the store.
According to a recent Survata survey cited by eMarketer, about two-thirds of U.S. consumers are like me in this regard: App-only coupons or discounts are a major factor that influence them to download retailers’ apps. While I haven’t used the Cartwheel app enough to reap any major benefits yet, I’m thinking about all of the possibilities that come along with downloading the app. Target is a master retailer when it comes to delivering personalized coupons and deals; it occurred to me that any app created by the brand to deliver coupons while in-store has got to be worthwhile.
Personalization is going to be a major factor in commerce going forward — and smart brands will incorporate it into their app experiences. In fact, a Quixey survey found that nearly 70% of millennials cite user experience as what they like most about using apps. And there’s pretty much no better user experience than having relevant, actionable content — curated just for you — delivered right to your fingertips.
Delivering a personalized experience via the mobile environment is an enormous opportunity for digital marketers. You have the data (length of time of users sessions; what they tapped on; demographic info; location), so use it. Specialized offers and deals à la Target are just one way to reach consumers through a mobile platform, but there are plenty more ways to get personal with your fans. Here are four more strategies that are sure to keep your fans app-happy:
Recommend Products They’ll Love
We’ve established just how chaotic the customer journey is these days. Consumers are constantly coming across content on a multitude of channels, leaving them with far too many options about products, services and more. This type of content overload can lead to indecision about which products to buy and cause customers to potentially miss out on a product they would have otherwise found desirable.
Nike is eliminating this headache for its fans. The latest version of the Nike+ app recommends products and events to customers based on their previous product preferences. This makes it incredibly easy for Nike fans to see and discover new items they’re likely to desire. It’s also a huge win for Nike as it eliminates much of the research process for customers during the purchase journey, helping them make decisions faster.
Enhance Real-Life Experiences
In the latest version of the Hilton HHonors app, Hilton Worldwide acts as a personal travel guide for guests. The app uses guest preferences, location and the time of day to suggest ideas for activities they’d enjoy. And the suggestions are even sweeter because they typically arrive in the form of an offer, like happy hours and spa deals. To make it simple, the location feature within the app guides the guest around the property, so they know exactly where they’re going.
Provide useful, real-time information
If your brick-and-mortar location is huge — like an arena, for example — the opportunities for personalization are pretty much endless. That’s what the NBA’s Sacramento Kings and Golden 1 Center have discovered.
In addition to guiding fans to their seats for games, the app also shares information on how long the lines are for the nearest bathroom and allows guests to pre-order food from vendors nearby. While this information isn’t absolutely pertinent, it does make life a whole lot easier for basketball fans.
This mobile strategy shows how brands can continue to make the experience seamless for the customer even after he or she has made a purchase. For visitors to the arena, the Sacramento Kings and Golden 1 Center have already collected payment for the seats, but they’re still thinking about how to keep fans as happy as possible until they go home.
Deliver relevant articles and videos
We all know about the Flipboard app, which shares relevant content based on the user’s interests, but here’s another idea for publishers: Think beyond the user’s preferences and location and deliver content based on life stages.
The My Pregnancy & Baby Today app by BabyCenter does it well. Expecting moms download the app to keep track of how their babies are growing day-by-day. But the app also shares videos and articles on how moms should be taking care of themselves based on the stage of their pregnancy and health stats.
Publishers can use this principle to share relevant content for people in various stages of other life events, like training for marathons, transitioning into a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, or planning a wedding.
Remember: Personalization is Essential
With the content overload that the consumers of today are facing, personalization is essential. While some marketers might be reluctant to personalize content out of fear of creeping a customer out, the mobile app environment is the ideal channel to deliver these experiences. Consumers who download a brand’s mobile app are making conscious efforts to keep up with news, offers and content.
Another big part of winning the mobile experience is optimizing Facebook retargeting ads. They’re easy, personalized and effective. Download our free case study to learn how apparel company Creative Recreation doubled clickthrough rates and dramatically lowered cost-per-click on Facebook dynamic ads on mobile.