Building your Mobile App Experience: Loyalty & Engagement

Posted by David Kovacs on Sep 22, 2016 10:00:00 AM
David Kovacs

This is the second in a three-part series helping retailers plan their mobile strategy. See part one here


With an app you have the opportunity to deliver an experience tailored for your best customers. So what should that experience be? For every brand that answer will be different, but this series presents a framework outlining four key functional categories: Commerce, Loyalty, Engagement, and Utility.

PacSun-Loyalty-Join-in-Phone.pngMy last post explored Commerce (read it here). Today I'll focus on Loyalty and Engagement.


Starbucks is the obvious poster child on this one, but enhancing a loyalty program with an app should be a no brainer for retailers. App users visit the app 4-5 times per month. Use this opportunity to make sure they know their status and motivate them to earn more. Leverage your rich CRM data to send segmented push notifications and messages to an app inbox. Reward customers for social sharing through the app or for in-store check in. PacSun does a great job at this and even rewards for opening emails and time spent in app. Leveraging the proactive marketing capabilities of an app is one of the best ways to unlock the value of a loyalty program. 

Don’t have a loyalty or CRM program? You can if you have an app. The people that will download your app are the same ones that will join your loyalty program, and now you have a dedicated channel to treat them like the special customers that they are. Offer first looks, exclusive products or content, app only promotions, or other rewards. Doing this will keep customers coming back to the app, engender brand loyalty, and add value to the app above and beyond the mobile website.


Most lifestyle brands have well-produced yet underutilized content to offer their customers: imagery, videos, blogs, user-generated content, fit guides… the list goes on. The reason they are not employed to their fullest potential is very practical. On e-Commerce sites, the goal is to convert visitors into buyers. As such, the best strategy is to make product search and discovery as efficient as possible, promote bestsellers, new arrivals, and sale items, as well as streamline checkout. I am oversimplifying of course, but not by all that much. 

Those brand fans that have taken the effort (at least two taps!) to download the app don’t need to be rushed through commerce. Take this opportunity to elevate existing content and share it. The Steve Madden app does a strong job of this. On their website, SM World is a tab on the far right of their top navigation menu, in the app it is featured prominently as the center menu icon. Many companies also have great user-generated content that is difficult to navigate to on their websites. The app is a great channel to showcase your best customers to each other and create a community.


Read this three-part series in its entirety.

Download the Whitepaper



About the Author

david-kovacs-bw.jpgDavid Kovacs is the VP of Business Development at GPShopper where he is responsible for driving adoption of the mobile commerce platform by retailers and technology partners. In this role, David has worked with brands and technology partners to deliver unique solutions to drive incremental revenue and brand engagement. Prior to joining GPShopper, David was a Director of Business Development at GlobalBay, a pioneer in the development of mobile applications for retailers.

Prior to working in retail technology, David held positions in channel sales at Avaya and was a management consultant at IBM. He received his undergraduate degree at the University of Vermont and hold his MBA from NYU Stern School of Business.


Topics: Mobile Retail Apps, Retail Industry Research, Omnichannel Retail

About GPShopper

GPShopper is a mobile commerce platform and app developer for retailers, using technology to transform the total retail experience.  GPShopper is a Synchrony solution. 
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