The first-party data that apps collect on users give brands the unique advantage of getting to know their customers in a more intimate way than almost any other marketing channel. But that data is only as good as how it’s leveraged. If the only value your app provides is simply existing, it will soon be deleted from users’ homescreens, getting you no closer to your customers or differentiating your brand from competitors. Make the most of your investment in the mobile channel and create a favorable impression of your brand by providing an ultra personalized experience that will be sure to foster good-will and long lasting loyalty. Looking for inspiration about how to do it? Check out our four tips to help you personalize your brand’s app experience.
When brands don’t recognize that person A browsing on her desktop is the same as person B on the mobile site and person C who has made several purchases in the brick-and-mortar store, it leads to a disjointed customer experience.
Through intelligent data collection, mobile connects offline and online behaviors, providing a cohesive experience to make customers feel like VIPs. Brands must identify key attributes like behavioral activities, purchase information and locational data to append to customer profiles as they happen, setting rules for any of those attributes to trigger a personalized experience. For example, when a customer trips a geofence upon entering a brick-and-mortar store, send them a push notification to say welcome and that items they were browsing online are available in-store. This is the modern day equivalent of the local butcher greeting his customers by name each week and offering them a cut of their favorite meat before they even ask.
Another great way for brands to leverage geo-targeting is by showing the app icon in the bottom corner of the home screen when a user is within a certain range of a brick-and-mortar location. This is a gentle nudge to consumers that points out, “Look you’re near a Starbucks. Don’t you want to a tall iced coffee with coconut milk?” Uh, yeah I do!
There are a few different ways that brands can do this. One is to suggest items to consumers based on things they have previously bought or browsed. If you’re like 99.9% of the population and use Amazon, you’re no doubt familiar with this tactic. In addition to making recommendations for similar products according to your purchase or browsing history, Amazon also makes recommendations based on items that are frequently purchased together.
Etsy dedicates a section of their app to items chosen specially for users based on other things they’ve browsed (kilim rugs and bohemian pillows for me!).
They also sent this push notification to encourage me to check out my special picks!
By having users identify brands, designers or categories of products they like (like the Shopbop app does) you can send them personalized alerts around those selections.
This is also something that Chairsh does in their app. I had saved a search for ‘framed batik textile’ (niche, I know), and Chairish kindly sent me this push to tell me new items had arrived that matched the description.
On-sale and low stock notifications
Similarly, brands can use the types of products or specific brands consumers favorite to send them alerts when one of those items is on sale or low in supply. Besides selecting favorite designers, Shopbop app users can also choose specific items to favorite to receive notifications when those items go on sale or are low in stock. This is a great way to create not only a personalized experience, but also urgency for customers to complete a purchase.
Offer relevant discounts
Instead of sending customers discounts or rewards for any old thing, brands can use the data about someone’s purchase or browsing history to send perks that are catered to each individual’s preferences. This is one area where most brands fall short (perhaps that’s why I wasn’t able to find an example among my own apps!). Sending your entire database the same, generic discount is akin to walking down a city street and having a peddler shove their promotional flyer in your face. It’s almost never offering something of interest, and printing the flyers is as sound an investment as lighting a pile of cash on fire. Customers don’t want to receive messages that aren’t relevant to them and their preferences even if those messages involve a seemingly welcomed perk. Because a perk that a consumer has no use for isn’t a perk at all.
All of these tips for how to personalize your brand’s app experience are mutually beneficial for both customers and brands. And that’s the way it should be–because customers that feel like the app experience (or any interaction with your brand for that matter) was tailor-made for them, are going to be your most frequent purchasers, your highest cart values and your biggest advocates, all of which translates into more revenue for your business. And when both customers and your brand are satisfied, that’s what they call a win-win situation.