There are hundreds of ways that you can look to enhance customer engagement with your brand.
You might look to drive more traffic to your website, get more footfall in your physical locations – or even talk to people on the telephone to market your products or services.
While these are all well-trodden routes – building an app to encourage engagement and conversions isn’t usually at the top of peoples’ to-do list. Despite this, apps have the potential to enhance customer engagement with your brand in an impressive way – and that’s not the only benefit they can bring.
Here, we’ll take a detailed look at what an app can offer in terms on awareness and engagement – so you can ask yourself if now is the right time to have a presence in the app store…
Enhancing brand loyalty
Perhaps one of the most impressive ways apps can drive engagement is through the good old-fashioned coffee shop loyalty scheme.
Although you might not consider yourself the kind of business that could benefit from this way of working – many apps and businesses use it successfully – even if they’re not selling lattés.
It’s all about consumer psychology. A forward-thinking app development company will be able to build in a method of recognising certain actions from the app user – and you can incentivise those actions.
The Chinese retailer Wish showcases this in an impressive way. While e-commerce platforms aren’t necessarily the type of business you would expect to use a card-stamping loyalty scheme, the platform encourages repeat visits over a course of days. If the customer comes back, they collect stamps and unlock discounts that can be redeemed against a range of products.
In essence, this approach ‘gamifies’ the relationship between user and outlet – the idea that customers will continue to engage because they will unlock achievements – in much the same way the video games work. It’s also a proof that consumer quite simply like to be told what to do – and like to be rewarded with money-saving features when they do.
Build on your brand awareness
It goes without saying the customers are more likely to engage with brands if there’s a relationship of trust already there – and this is something that apps do a great job of building.
There’s a rule of marketing that says trust is built when a customer sees your business’s branding more than 21 times. The good news is, this doesn’t have to be 21 different transactions – in fact, just appearing on the app store (or on a customer device) is enough to drive the message home that you’re a brand that can be trusted.
As such, simply having a presence will help to drive engagement with your app. When this trust is built, you’ll establish yourself as a go-to solution. This is often the case with online stores – such as clothing retailers ASOS and Zara. They might not be the solution that customers want to use – but they will encourage on-going engagement simply because their apps and websites are so well-built and easy to use. Both ASOS and Zara report an incredible 96% re-engagement rate with customers – so if you’ve shopped there once, you’re almost certainly going to keep going back.
The trick to making sure this kind of engagement continues is ensuring that your branding is consistent over all platforms and physical locations. This way, you up the number of possible instances that your customer will see your brand – thus getting to that magic 21 number as quickly as possible.
Take your message to your customers
When you think of an alert on your phone or device, you probably think of someone tagging you in a Facebook post or some breaking news flashing through from your news app.
The thing is, this is a very narrow view of what can be done with alerts – or, as they’re known technically – push notifications.
Push notifications can be used any time you want to communicate with your customers or app users. They can be used to alert people to sales, discounts, news, or anything else you might traditionally send out by letter, phone, email or via social media. Should a customer decide that they want to engage – then pressing the alert takes them straight to the page you desire on your app – removing as many hurdles as possible.
The beauty of push-notifications is the sheer rate of engagement you can expect. While an email campaign is considered to be a runaway success if you see opens of more than 15% – with push notifications you can expect opens/engagement of over 45% – delivering customers to the app – another indication that there’s a lot of intent behind their visit.
You’ll need to take it little easy with the notification – as phone manufacturers are making it easier and easier to switch off notifications should they become annoying – but as long as you’re careful only to target customers infrequently and with high-value offers and news, you can expect a lot of engagement in return.
Innovate with features
Building an app for your business gives you a fairly unique opportunity to offer your customer base (and potential customers) something interesting and new to use.
An app doesn’t have to mirror the same functions a customer gets when they use your website or pick up the phone to talk to your team. In fact, you can get imaginative with an app – providing your businesses services as a kind of background features.
This is where you need to use your imagination – but creating useful tools and features for customers is the name of the game. There’s a world of different possibilities out there – from games and puzzles to productivity and lifestyle apps. Ultimately, if the app carries your branding, then you’re winning all the other benefits you see on this list – and you’re likely to get recommendations from your customers.
In truth, this is exactly what social media platforms do – they operate their advertising businesses behind the smart features they offer users. Facebook doesn’t make any money from people sharing pictures – but the pictures are a glossy veneer on a world of adverts – which do make money. Think features and benefits for your customers first – and the increases engagement with your brand will naturally show on your bottom line.