In advertisers’ eyes, not all customers are created equal. Would you prioritise a group of customers who are more loyal, spend more, and have a stronger affinity to your brand? Of course! Lucky for you, this market segment exists, and it’s growing in both size and importance. Advertisers, meet mobile app users.
In Australia, people are using mobile apps more than ever. In our latest app research conducted in partnership with Kantar, the data all adds up to one clear insight: For advertisers, app users are some of your most valuable customers – and their research and purchase journey should be prioritised across all marketing activity.1
Apps are available 24 hours a day, with a round-the-clock opportunity to capture and convert demand.
However, many advertisers have yet to realise the importance of this highly-engaged and loyal audience. When it comes to user acquisition and re-engagement, the app channel is often a distant second or even third priority for brands – yet app users are actually surpassing non-app users in value, as they engage more often and have higher brand affinity.
Apps are available 24 hours a day, with a round-the-clock opportunity to capture and convert demand. Even when shops, retailers and bank branches close for the day, apps are there to take up shop in customers’ channel consideration set.
So, how can brands leverage marketing for apps and win more users? The answer is threefold:
- App users are some of your most dedicated customers. Put them first.
- Acquiring new app users helps your business grow their customer base and increase revenue.
- Re-engaging your app users leads to higher customer value and maximum retention.
Australians are choosing brands based on their in-app experience – and their favourite features may already exist in your app. You just need to let people know about them.
Let’s shine some light on this under-tapped channel – and specifically, how apparel retailers and banks can use marketing for apps to get a leg up on their competition.
The value of app users
Despite the world returning to its pre-pandemic state, Australians are still spending five hours per day on mobile apps – using apps for everything from shopping to keeping their finances in order.
In fact, 42% of all personal banking in Australia is done via an app.2 And compared to last year, there’s been a 10% increase in time spent perusing shopping apps.3
But it’s not just the hours logged that count, it’s app engagement. In shopping apps, loyalty and basket size matter most. 36% of Australians tend to spend more than they intended when using shopping apps.4 In the current environment of price-sensitivity, building loyalty and affinity has never been more important.
Brand affinity increases significantly for app users. In banking apps, those who use an app regularly have 31% higher brand affinity than when they first downloaded the app.5 Meanwhile, in retail, 86% of shoppers who use an app regularly reported a strong affinity with the brand.6
App shoppers engage differently, and compared to web shoppers they buy more, more frequently. And finance app users are more likely to choose you next time they have a banking need – so you’ll have a better chance at helping them secure or refinance a mortgage in today’s competitive market. So… which customer do you want to win over?
User acquisition through app
One in four apparel app users in Australia are very likely to use that brand over alternatives. Just think about what 25% more customers would mean for your business…
Your competitors are pondering the same thing. And they’re spending to acquire new customers. 37% of top shopping app installations in Australia are driven by paid media.7
A brand’s mobile app experience is the second most important factor driving finance product decisions, ahead of rates and fraud protection.
But what about user acquisition through your existing app? There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to customer shopping journeys. They’re complex and vary by product – but for many customer journeys, apps are an effective channel to communicate USPs and ultimately impact purchase choice.
For example, when choosing a new credit card, the user journey often begins on Search, where half of decisions are made in less than three hours. There’s a lot of competition and little brand loyalty – so with a limited window of opportunity to influence decisions having a good app can help capture and convert. A brand’s mobile app experience is the second most important factor driving finance product decisions, ahead of rates and fraud protection.
Retail and banking apps are finding success through app campaigns with Google – which help you grow your valuable user base by optimising for installs and creating subsequent actions for users beyond the first download. This is your opportunity to get creative, as 50 to 80 percent of ROI can be attributed to how ads appear.8
App engagement and customer retention through experience
Consumers aren’t the only ones using apps more than ever – so are other brands. Australians have an average of three apparel apps downloaded on their phones, but only use two. To avoid being that dormant app – ensure you’re regularly engaging customers and promoting the benefits of your app.
Our research found that user experience is the key to driving ongoing app usage, and 48% of Australians won’t come back to an apparel app if they had a bad experience.9
On their shopping journey, app users are looking for features to help them make purchase decisions, like the ability to browse and compare, create shopping lists, organise returns and read reviews. So brands with great in-app experiences should be shouting from the rooftops.
For maximum app engagement and customer retention, promote how easy and simple shopping is on your app, and consider touting specific features in your advertising. Only 37% of Australians have app notifications turned on, so when it’s not possible to re-engage organically, consider strategic spend through App Campaigns for Engagement for long-term revenue gains – generating sales and reducing churn.10
The bottom line? When it comes to marketing for apps, it’s no longer enough to rely on just owned and organic channels for both app growth and revenue growth. It’s time to prioritise app users and invest in app strategies to drive meaningful business results – now and into the future.