In-app marketing campaigns are similar to onboarding campaigns in that they take place while a user is within the app. However, the key difference is that onboarding campaigns happen immediately upon opening the app, whereas in-app messages happen during use.

Great in-app messages guide users through funnels and help them complete tasks. They should also take advantage of rich media and match the app’s unique branding. Below are several retail-specific in-app marketing campaigns you need to try:

SHOPPING CART/WISHLIST REMINDER: Let’s face it, most of us have a short attention span these days and are constantly multi-tasking. So why not give shoppers a friendly reminder about  something they forgot to finish? Sending an in-app message about items left in their shopping cart or on their wish list is a highly relevant way to engage with shoppers, and help them to convert.

PRO TIP: Consider having a progression of in-app messages for cart abandonment. The first message is just a reminder, whereas the second provides an incentive for the user to checkout, such as offering free shipping.


PROMOTIONS/SPECIAL OFFERS: Having a sale? Let users know while they are browsing your app so they can take advantage. In-app messages are also a perfect opportunity to provide users with a special offer that’s personally relevant  based on their purchase history.

PRO TIP: Avoid blasting out every sale you have to the masses. Instead, a more effective approach is to segment your offers based on user history and purchases so they are highly relevant to the user.


TRANSACTIONAL: When shoppers convert within your app, it’s important to have in-app messages in place confirming these conversion actions.  A simple confirmation message will ensure their transaction is complete, letting them rest easy that their new shoes are on the way.

Dunkin Donuts confirmation screen lets users know their order was successfully received and up-to-date information about their card balance:
PRO TIP: Follow up a transactional in-app message with an email to shoppers so they have all the details they need in a safe, static place. This can include things like receipts and shipping confirmation.

REVIEW PRODUCTS:  Ask shoppers for reviews a few weeks after they purchase an item. Not only does this give your customer an opportunity to voice their opinion, apps with reviews enjoy a 3x higher conversion rate and 5.3x longer average session length than those without reviews.

PRO TIP: If you’re having difficulty getting enough reviews, consider incentivizing shoppers to review products.

NPS REVIEWS: Speaking of reviews, creating an in-app message that asks users to ‘rate the app’ via an NPS score is a perfect way to separate your  promoters from the detractors. If a shopper’s rating indicates they are neutral or a detractor, you can have the in-app message request that they provide feedback via a text field. Not only will this provide you with valuable insights into your app’s weaknesses, it will allow users to vent privately rather than in a public app store review. For those users who indicate they’re promoters, the in-app message can have a CTA that redirects them to the app store, where they can provide a glowing rating to help boost your app’s rating.

PRO TIP: Your in-app NPS should be branded so it feels like part of the app experience rather than an ad. Have some fun with it to entice shoppers to review, and make it unequivocally you.