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How to Build a Successful Mobile App Adoption Strategy

Retail decision-makers understand the future of the industry - and their business - is deeply rooted in mobile. How quickly retailers adapt and adopt their own mobile and omnichannel strategies could very well dictate the success of the brand moving forward. As part of this process, many retailers are deploying native retail shopping apps to stay competitive and reach their customers. 

The success of a brand's mobile shopping app doesn't happen overnight, however. Simply developing an app and launching it can be a long and challenging process for any organization. The success of your app truly depends on whether or not you can get it into your customers hands and ensure they keep coming back to use it. 

This is what we seek to clarify in our playbook: App Adoption Playbook: How to Plan, Execute, and Measure App Promotion. App adoption can be challenging for any brand beginning - or redefining - their mobile transformation journey, but can pay dividends when executed properly. 

The analytics and measurements behind app adoption has reached a level of sophistication on par with traditional website analytics, both of which greatly exceed even more traditional analog market analysis. Data pours in quickly from users, and this allows retailers to perform A/B tests and review the performance of sales, promotions, and messages on a level that only the giants like Amazon previously enjoyed.

Wisdom from the Playbook

The paper pulls research from several market analysts and addresses vital issues such as planning an app adoption strategy, choosing the right channels, promoting and measuring app adoption success, as well as retaining and converting users. These are all sophisticated procedures that require dedicated focus from at least one individual, since they are constantly in a state of flux. Technologies and trends change overtime, and an app strategy must be an ongoing process that always includes time for review and adaptation to new developments.

An example from the world of app adoption involves the design of screenshots. Perhaps nothing illustrates the depth and potential of the entire app medium as well as screenshots. They could be easily dismissed as simple product illustrations, but there is so much more. Here is a list of questions from the report, intended to help in the design process:

  • Do your first two screenshots illustrate the advantage of installing the app?
  • Do the screenshots ‘speak’ to a specific target audience?
  • Is there minimal text on the screenshots?
  • If so, is it easy to read, even from the search impression view?
  • Do the screenshots contain some form of social proof, such as people’s faces?
  • Do the screenshots show products that are frequently purchased in-app?

The audience for apps is also stratified. There are your typical end users, as well as influencers from other networks and platforms that brands can leverage for increased reach and insights, whose demographics highlight patterns of usage and discovery that would otherwise go unseen.

More on the Plate?

Many in the retail business wish this new world of data-centric commerce would quietly fade away. It can be intimidating to contemplate starting from square one with this new  and constantly evolving technology that's leading retailers into uncharted territory. 

For all of its apparent complexity, there is a time factor to consider. The time required to figure out the marketplace and understand the customer must be spent regardless. It is not a matter of adding the “app concept” to an already loaded plate but rather, envisioning one older, more stale portion of that plate being removed and replaced by a lighter, more nutritious offering. 

In fact, there has never been a more reliable resource for understanding customer tastes and retail trends than the data that can be collected and parsed with the help of mobile apps.

Perhaps most importantly, it would benefit any retail decision-maker to observe the people in the store. Where are they looking when they are not reaching for a product on the racks? They are looking at their smartphones. That's an important clue.

Download the App Adoption Playbook to gain insights and best practices for planning, executing and measuring app adoption. 

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Editor, The Mobile Retail Blog

Editor-in-Chief of The Mobile Retail Blog with NewStore.

Topics: app adoption

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