GPShopper's VP of Mobile Strategy
Retailers with mobile apps that are thinking ahead of the curve have been deep linking e-mail messages, search results and mobile ads to their apps. Deep linking detects when a mobile device user has the app of a retailer or other business on her smartphone or tablet and instead of linking that user to the mobile website or responsive design site—the most common practice—reroutes the user directly into the mobile app.
Why do savvy retailers deep link? Because mobile apps provide the richest mobile experience and as a result convert three times higher than mobile web sites. More data confirming the far higher conversion rate in apps just came out yesterday: According to the “State of Mobile Commerce Report” from digital advertising firm Criteo, which measured 1.4 billion digital transactions in retail and travel, mobile apps convert at a rate three times higher than that on mobile web sites.
So, why has apparel and accessories flash-sale e-retailer Gilt Groupe Inc., a business that does more than half of its business via mobile commerce, stopped deep linking all of its shoppers straight into its mobile app? That seems quite counterintuitive, and possibly even counterproductive. But that’s not the case, says Dominique Essig, Vice President of Product, User Experience and Design at Gilt, No. 54 in the 2015 Internet Retailer Mobile 500.
“We wanted better visibility into how consumers prefer to interact with Gilt, we wanted to give them a choice, the option to shop our responsive design website or our mobile app,” says Essig, who reports cutting off 100% deep linking and switching to optional deep linking earlier this year. “When a shopper picks the app, they will continue to be redirected to the mobile app, though we have only deep linked certain pages, including the home page, sales listing pages, listings pages and product details pages.”