Mobile App Development

How These 3 Big Brands Found Success with Mobile Apps

By 2020, there will be 6 billion smartphones in circulation all over the world. Let that sink in for a moment.

Right now, smartphones and tablets already make up 60 percent of smart connected consumer devices. On average, these smartphone users spend five hours a day on their devices. Since 2015, consumer app spending has grown from $40 billion to $86 billion.

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As a business, this presents an incredible opportunity to inform and engage your audience. With a mobile app, you essentially have a dedicated platform that can deliver content straight to your customers. However, this is only if you actually manage to get your app into their smartphone and in their hands. So, the question is, how can you successfully do that? Take your cue from some of today’s biggest brands who are now recognized for their thoughtful and strategic use of mobile marketing.

1. Starbucks builds branding and convenience into their mobile strategy

The greatest thing about the Starbucks app is its ability to combine customization, customer relationship building, and conveniently work in one seamless platform that its users carry in their pockets every day.

Let’s start with the most practical aspect of the app, which makes online ordering and paying incredibly easy. For customers, placing orders via the app means they no longer have to queue for their drinks. If they want to customize their drink orders, they can also do so. They even have a dedicated pick-up station in-store. Moreover, the real opportunity here was how Starbucks was able to use these features as a digital marketing tool. By directly displaying new items available to customers, they could effectively drum up new interest in menu items even before it reached store shelves. By creating exclusive stations for mobile app users who were ordering ahead of time, they were also able to emphasize Starbucks’ focus on customer service.

Hinging off that, their loyalty program is unparalleled. In fact, according to research conducted across major restaurant chains, Starbucks has the most regularly used loyalty rewards app. Customers can earn a star for every dollar spent, which can be converted into free in-store refills and access to member’s only offers and events.

What’s the takeaway here? Get to know your audience and find out what they actually want from your mobile app. This gives you an opportunity to create interest, relevance, and need for your app, thus compelling them to actually download and use it.

2. The New York Times maintains relevance in a digital world

The biggest challenge traditional broadsheets face today is their inability to maintain relevance in a digital world. Even one of the biggest and most well-respected broadsheets in the world, The New York Times (NYT), was struggling to maintain readership for its paper. However, having implemented a more strategic approach to digital and mobile adoption, the publication now has 3.8 million subscribers—2.9 of which are digital-only subscriptions.

Their mobile app has a lot to do with their recent success. Their first foray into mobile marketing came just a year after the first iPhone was released. Following its popularity, NYT launched their mobile app for iPhones and iPod Touches. The foresight to do so paved the way for their app to be downloaded in a device that has a 20-40% market share across global smartphone users.

Since then, NYT has expanded its approach to follow a multi-channel digital strategy to ensure relevance, convenience, and longevity. Anchored on quality content that the publication was already known for, they made an effort to deliver it to readers in the most accessible channels possible. They focus on making sure readers have a great user experience, regardless of what device they are using, and combine it with a strategic approach to push notifications. This is segmented according to language, geography, and frequency.

What can we learn from NYT’s mobile marketing strategy? You need to take a strategic approach to your mobile marketing efforts. Your objectives should go beyond creating a mobile app just for the sake of it. NYT’s timing and expansion to a multi-channel mobile experience were strong factors for their mobile app success.

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3. Zappos reinforces their reputation on a mobile platform

Zappos, one of the biggest online retailers, has long been recognized for their exceptional customer service. Their goal with the mobile app was to deliver the same level of quality and service on a mobile platform. Building a good relationship with their customers on their mobile app was critical to avoid alienating loyal customers, and the opportunity to gain new ones.

To that end, Zappos made sure that mobile app users could have access to a dedicated customer support team. They also added key integrations driven by customer input to boost engagement. For example, the Zappos app integrates Pinterest so customers can easily share their favorite products on their own boards, which essentially serves as another marketing platform for Zappos to showcase different products. Additionally, a lot of the mobile app’s convenient shopping features were suggested by Zappos customers and implemented.

What does it say about their mobile app strategy? That Zappos is a brand that listens. Zappos’ strong focus on incorporating user feedback into their platform makes their mobile app more appealing and led to its success. It highlights a digital experience that’s hinged on their reputation to ensure brand consistency and works to build better customer relationships.

What do these brands have in common?

These brands may come from different industries, but their mobile app strategy is based on something they all have in common—the value of a real solution to customer needs. The growth their businesses have experienced since they launched their mobile app strategy is largely due to their ability to provide solutions. Driven by this objective, they were easily able to incorporate seamless and frictionless ways to highlight their product and service, ultimately leading to actual ROIs.

If you want to know how your business can achieve the same results, talk to us today.

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