Last Updated on
July 11, 2024

How to Increase Customer Loyalty and Retention With a Mobile App

Published in
Key takeaways:
  • Mobile apps are a powerful tool to boost customer loyalty on their own, as they create a deeper and more personal relationship between your customers and your brand.
  • Apps also let you use native push notifications, which are a great way to communicate with customers and deepen that relationship further.
  • If you don't already have an app, you can use MobiLoud to easily convert your website to an app, no matter what platform, integrations or custom features you have on your site.

Mobile commerce is on the rise: a trillion-dollar industry worldwide, and shopping apps specifically generate more than $33 billion dollars per year in the US alone, growing by 15-20% every year.

More and more brands today have their own mobile app. For good reason; apps have a 157% higher conversion rate than mobile websites, and app users view 4.2x as many products per session than website users.

Apps also have an amazing effect on customer loyalty, getting your existing customers to feel a deeper connection with your brand, coming back to shop with you more often.

Keep reading and we’ll explain how this works, a few actionable strategies to use your mobile app to boost customer loyalty, and how to build your own app if you don’t have one already.

How a Mobile App Can Increase Customer Loyalty

Why are mobile apps so great for customer loyalty?

Apps are inherently positive for loyalty and retention, as they give you a semi-permanent touchpoint with your customers, as opposed to a website where you disappear once they close the browser tab.

There are also a lot more possibilities for what you can do to cultivate loyalty with a mobile app, such as push notifications and more access to customer data.

Let’s explore a little further. Here are a few reasons why mobile apps result in higher customer loyalty:

  • Your store and your brand can stay top of mind, with an app icon on your customer’s phone and push notifications appearing on their lock screen.
  • You simplify the shopping experience with a more mobile-friendly UX, making customers more likely to come back and shop with you again.
  • Increased convenience (customers can get in with one tap, navigate with fewer distractions and shop from anywhere) also makes it more likely to see repeat shoppers that grow into loyal fans.
  • Apps let you provide better customer service, through a more direct communication channel with your customers.
  • Since an app is a channel you own outright, you have the ability to collect first-party data, which you can use to better understand your customers and build a more personalized shopping experience.
  • There is a subconscious effect on the customer when they download an app, where this action alone makes them feel a deeper connection with your brand.

Part of this comes with the package when you launch an app for your customers, but part has to be nurtured. 

Keep reading to the next section and we’ll walk through some steps you can take to use your app to foster deeper loyalty from your customers.

7 Ways to Use Your Mobile App to Improve Customer Loyalty

1. Offer App-Exclusive Discounts

You want to incentivize your customers to use your app, and a great way to do this is by offering discounts or specials that are exclusive for purchases made within the app.

Nike’s Member Exclusives is a great example. Branding it as an opportunity for customers to join a privileged group makes them feel special, and increases the bond they feel with your brand.

It’s also simply a way to get people to buy things through your app, which is stickier than a website and gives you more opportunities to cultivate loyalty down the line.

2. Communicate With Your Customers Using Push Notifications

Mobile push notifications are an amazing tool to use to grow loyalty. They allow you to communicate directly with your customers, without intermediaries like an email client or social media platform which make things less personal.

You can get to customers right on their mobile phones, reaching them with messages on their lock screens, wherever they are.

Push notifications are great for improving the level of customer service you provide, by giving to-the-minute updates on customers’ order or delivery status.

Push notifications are also an excellent way to nurture engagement from users in the early stage of their relationship with you, fanning the flames until they become loyal, repeat buyers.

3. Personalize Your Communications

The more direct nature of mobile apps and push notifications allows more opportunity to personalize how you communicate and interact with your customers.

Research from McKinsey indicates that companies can generate 40% more revenue by using personalization. Customers want shopping experiences that are personalized and relevant to them.

You can use the data you collect on your mobile app to send ultra-personalized push notifications, hitting customers with offers for products that interest them, and communicating differently to customers at different points in their relationship with your brand.

4. Make the Shopping Experience Pain-Free

Use your mobile app as an opportunity to build a perfectly optimized mobile shopping experience.

A lot of mobile websites simply fit the desktop experience into a smaller screen, which is not ideal.

An app should fix all of this and feel like it was designed specifically with mobile users in mind. Consider things like minimizing text input, designing for touch screens, and streamlining your checkout flow.

If your app provides a much smoother and more usable experience for mobile users, you’ll see more people choose to use your app over your website, and loyalty will increase as a result.

Learn more: 15 Mobile eCommerce Best Practices to Boost Conversion Rate and Revenue

5. Implement a Loyalty Program

One of the best ways to boost loyalty is to incentivize it.

Loyalty programs are a staple in all kinds of business, particularly eCommerce. You can give people an easy reason to shop with you over competing stores, by promising rewards like points or cashback on their purchases.

Mobile apps are a perfect fit for loyalty programs. You could offer higher rewards for app users, or even just limit rewards to purchases made through the app.

Apps like Yotpo or Smile.io make it easy to set up a loyalty program with no development required, and integrate with many other tools and eCommerce platforms, so you can be sure that your loyalty program will fit seamlessly into your customer experience with minimal changes needed.

6. Create a Referral Program

Like loyalty programs, referral programs are a great tool to use in combination with mobile apps.

A referral program gives points or rewards for customers who refer new customers to your brand. This is a great way to leverage your existing loyal customers to grow your loyal customer base even wider.

Referral programs also foster more loyalty from your existing customers when they recommend your app to others, slowly turning them into loyal advocates over time.

7. Collect Feedback From Your Customers

Use your app as a two-way communication channel to gather honest feedback from your customers on what they love about your brand, and what would make them love your brand even more.

Collecting data is harder than ever, with browsers blocking third-party cookies and privacy concerns rife, which is one reason why having an owned channel like an app is so valuable.

Direct communication gives you valuable insights you can use to improve your products and your brand, as well as making your customers feel heard, deepening your relationship with them even further.

How to Build a Mobile App and Boost Loyalty and Retention with MobiLoud

If you don’t have your own app yet, you can launch one with minimal effort and investment, by converting your site to an app with MobiLoud.

MobiLoud is a full-service website to app platform. We take your website, make a few small additions (like native mobile UI elements and native push notifications), and deploy it as native apps, fully synchronized with your website.

A few examples of apps built with MobiLoud

MobiLoud works with any website platform, as well as custom-built websites. As long as your website is mobile-friendly, it can be turned into an app.

There’s just about nothing for you to do - we handle all the technical aspects of the build, along with submitting your app to the app stores for publishing, and technical updates and maintenance after you go live.

And since your website and app are fully synced, there’s minimal overhead. Just manage your website like normal, and your app updates automatically.

Here’s how to go live with your own mobile app, in less than a month:

  1. Make sure your website is fast, responsive and mobile-friendly.
  2. Book a free demo to discuss your project further, share any custom requirements, and learn more about the process. We'll also show you an interactive preview of your site as an app!
  3. Hand it off to our team. We’ll build your app, test it, and handle the app store publishing process. We handle everything app-related, freeing up your headspace for other business tasks.
"My team is thrilled because we have functioning apps that require almost no effort on our part, to build or maintain. It is a brilliant solution."

David Cost - VP of Ecommerce & Marketing, Rainbow Shops

"We couldn’t find another company that could offer the same features at the same price point, same time to market, and make it as easy as MobiLoud could."

Svend Hansen - Product Owner at Bestseller

Launching an app is one of the best things you can do for loyalty and retention, and with MobiLoud, it’s unbelievably easy to go live with your own, high-quality, native apps.

Check out some case studies from successful MobiLoud users here, and book a free demo when you’re ready to learn more about boosting loyalty with mobile apps.

Get a working preview of your app prepared by our team. Your MobiLoud app integrates with your entire tech stack, works with all custom features, and automatically syncs with everything on your site in real time.
eCommerce App Development Guide
Mobile apps are a great loyalty amplifier and made for your best customers. Understand your options for launching your own app with our ecommerce app development guide.
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