Before you can launch effective retail marketing campaigns, you need to have a few things ironed out to ensure you’re getting the highest possible return on investment for your efforts. You can have the best marketing campaign in the world but if you’re targeting the wrong users, it’s sure to be a flop. So how do you ensure you’re attracting high value users to your app in order to set your campaigns up for success?

1. HAVE CLEAR MESSAGING: A key part in attracting users to your app is to have clear and concise messaging. Since retail apps are becoming increasingly popular, it’s becoming more difficult to stand out from the crowd. Therefore, when people see your ad placements, they should be able to instantly understand exactly what your app is, and the value it provides.  Make sure your ads show customers why they should download your app and how it will it make their mobile shopping experience better.

2. FOCUS ON HIGH-VALUE ACQUISITION CHANNELS: In addition to having solid messaging, pay close attention to your user acquisition plan. Which channels are bringing in users with strong engagement and LTV (lifetime value)? App downloads are a vanity metric. Who cares if an acquisition channel is attracting thousands of users to your app if they simply churn days later? Instead, make sure you’re attracting only high-value users to your app by closely monitoring LTV.

How do you go about this? Make sure you invest in a mobile marketing platform that gives you insight into attribution so you can truly understand where your high value users are coming from. Odds are, you’ll be advertising on several different places, from social media to paid search. If you monitor the sessions and LTV of the average user brought in by each channel, you can understand its true impact. Cut those that are attracting a high rate of users who churn and invest the additional spend in places where you’re obtaining high-value users.

If there are certain groups of users who are particularly relevant to target, be sure to take advantage of features like Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences. Lookalike Audiences allow you to send Facebook a list of your customers that are highly valuable and Facebook then shows your ads to Facebook users who are similar to those high-value customers.


3. CREATE USER FUNNELS: Once you know you’re attracting the right audience to your retail app, it’s time to create funnels that give you insights into how your users behave and how your app drives results. Understanding the app user lifecycle is crucial to this part of your mobile marketing strategy, because the way you engage with your users should be based upon where they are within the lifecycle. Different marketing channels work at different points. With a solid mobile engagement platform, you can set up many different funnels to evaluate user flows, conversion paths, and in-app actions. Below are some funnels you should create to help you optimize your in-app experience:


  • Onboarding: The onboarding process is a crucial component to user retention. It helps users start off on the right foot and immediately see value in your app. Onboarding generally starts the first time the user opens the app and progresses through several subsequent user actions. A common retail onboarding path is: 
  1. User opens app.
  2. User opens app a second time.
  3. User views a product category.
  4. User enables push notifications.

Given the importance of onboarding, how do you know if yours is effective? By creating an onboarding completion funnel, you’ll be able to tell. A funnel will show you how many users progress through each step of the onboarding process. If a significant number of users are falling off between certain steps, that’s an indicator that something about the app or the onboarding process isn’t working. In that situation, look through your app and make sure it’s easy to use. You  should also consider reevaluating your onboarding process to ensure you’re delivering clear, concise instructions that highlight key app features that promote engagement.

Wayfair is a great example of a brand that has an excellent app user on-boarding process. Within seconds of launching the app, users are made aware of the top three benefits associated with using the Wayfair app.

The onboarding process begins by clearly communicating that signing up to use the app will be beneficial to users as their purchases will be faster and more secure:



Wayfair also incentivizes customers to use their app through exclusive sales, limited time offers, and a host of special features:

  • Conversion: Conversion funnels are straight-forward but also a must. A conversion funnel shows you how many users start the path to making a purchase and how many end up actually placing an order. A typical retail conversion funnel looks like:

1. User views a category.

2. User views a product.

3. User adds product to cart.

4. User proceeds to checkout.

5. User completes checkout process.

Conversion funnels are important because they help you pinpoint areas where you can improve your app’s user experience or identify potential bugs. When evaluating a conversion funnel, look for a significant drop-off in the number of users proceeding from one step to the next. This indicates that there is something interfering with the user proceeding.

For example, if a lot of users proceed to checkout, but very few complete the checkout process, perhaps your checkout process is cumbersome or confusing. In that case, you might want to consider revamping your app’s user interface or adding quick pay options like Apple Pay and Google Wallet. Alternatively, a drop off like that could indicate that there’s a bug with your app that’s preventing people from submitting their payment information.

Now that you have the proper structure in place, it’s time to build your marketing campaigns. Read on to learn the effective ways to engage with your users throughout their lifecycle: