Programmatic for eCommerce Apps: Benefits of Running Retargeting along with UA

2020 saw significant growth in the number of users installing and using eCommerce apps. A large majority of these were non-organic installs. Still, app marketers' main challenge is as relevant as ever: apps need to get quality users, retain them, and monetize them. And that continues to demand a conscious effort and focus.

Read on to find out how a robust mobile strategy combining user acquisition and retargeting presents a key to unlock incremental growth for shopping apps. 

The opportunity for eCommerce apps: mobile growth & profitability

One of the many consequences of Covid19 is the increase in non-organic installs for eCommerce apps in several markets. But despite the rise in activity in mobile shopping, user churn rates are still high. On average, a shopping app retains around 8% of its users 30 days post-install. While acquiring new users makes perfect sense, retaining them becomes the priority.

It is known that acquiring new users tends to be around 5 to 10 times more expensive than re-engaging them. That, coupled with the fact that 1 in 5 apps already run retargeting, shows that planning programmatic spending to include both user acquisition allied with a retargeting plan is an unmistakable opportunity, and we dare say, a necessity facing the competition.

Striking the right balance between acquiring new users and reengaging existing or lapsed ones is key to keeping quality users engaged and generating more conversions and revenue. 

Spending your budget wisely and increasing your app's profitability requires coordinating both efforts.

App growth strategy: marrying your UA with retargeting efforts

For newly launched apps, boosting installs and onboarding new users is the first task. Once users are on your app, the race starts: how to get them to visit often, complete their first purchase, and continue returning for repeated buys?

Start by supporting your UA efforts with a retargeting plan which owns the explicit goal of increasing engagement and activating the new users. First impressions count, so make sure your new shoppers have a successful onboarding experience, create their accounts, and get acquainted with the in-app shopping environment.

Boosting user numbers is essential, but so it is keeping those users engaged in-app with relevant and timely messaging. This is the reason why a mobile strategy driven by sustainable growth needs to be supported by both user acquisition and app retargeting from the start. 

New users need to be activated and re-engaged early to improve their lifetime value in a mobile shopping environment. Retargeting ads that are engaging and served at the right time can act as the first touchpoint between users and your app. They also facilitate a smooth user experience in-app, aid product discovery, and, ultimately, drive more regular purchases as well as increasing basket sizes.

Advantages of running UA together with a re-engagement strategy

1. During the first seven days post-install, retention rates are higher for retargeted users than new users that haven't been retargeted.

2. Retargeted users drive more conversions versus new users.

3. Engagement rates of retargeting campaigns are 152% higher than those of new user acquisition campaigns.

Re-engagement campaigns are useful for shopping apps in every step of the funnel. Engagement levels vary depending on what users you intend to target and the goals you plan to achieve. Depending on what action you want your users to take, there are different approaches an app marketer can take.

Ecommerce businesses that need to get their new or lapsed users to complete their first purchase should retarget them within the first-week post app install. The same applies both to buyers and non-buyers.

For high-value customers that have purchased in the past, retargeting is also valuable to show them new and related products and entice them to buy again with personalized offers.

Success stories in mobile shopping

Our clients have seen significant results by running well-thought-out retargeting strategies.

Zivame, India's trendiest and most popular online women’s lingerie destination, was looking to bring back drop-offs and drive higher conversions on the web and app, thereby reducing cost per transaction and maximizing marketing ROI. With a strategy focused on smart segmentation and emphasis on creative innovation, RevX helped Zivame effectively re-engage their 1M+ install base, get a 3.5x increase in conversion rates and reach 84.2% higher ROI without impacting the ad spend. The campaigns were also recognized by expert panels in the industry and awarded on IDMA 2020, Maddies 2020, and MMA Smarties 2020 in several categories such as most effective use of AI, data analytics, Insight-led Programmatic buying, and innovation in eCommerce.

Similarly, Indonesia's biggest online marketplace Tokopedia, with over 10mn app installs, drove more sales from non-frequent buyers and achieved four times higher ROAS. Tokopedia's fantastic performance was made possible with RevX's real-time audience management engine and personalized dynamic native ads. This combined strategy was vital to driving higher engagement rates and conversions.

How to achieve maximum performance for your eCommerce app?

Sustainable app growth starts by getting clarity on the main goals and establishing a good setup. Start by:

1. Defining specific KPIs for each campaign. Well-defined KPIs will help you gauge each of your campaigns' actual values and keep you on the right track for measurement.

2. Conducting due diligence on your basics. Align on targeting by defining what events you wish to track, and have deep linking ready for a seamless user journey from ad to the app

3. Create compelling creatives. For best performance, using dynamic advertising as well as recommendation engines is crucial for shopping apps' campaigns due to the usually vast amount of product SKUs.

4. Keep measuring, look for the incremental value brought by each campaign, and gather tangible insights throughout your campaigns to be prepared to optimize your app marketing strategy further.

Interested in knowing more about what programmatic can do for your app growth? Reach out to us and our team will be happy to exchange ideas and share their knowledge!

Marta Gaspar

Marta is a digital marketer and a content strategist with 11 years of experience turning ideas into prose and campaigns. She likes to stay updated on the mobile marketing scene and often writes about AdTech.

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