Huge US fashion retailer rue21 had an ambitious plan - launch an app in less than a week, to coincide with a massive $100,000 loyalty campaign they were running.
That left them scrambling for the right option to help them create an app from their website, one that would provide users with a satisfactory user experience, fit with their tech stack, and wouldn’t cost millions of dollars.
And they needed this all in just a few days. This is how MobiLoud helped them do it.
What is rue21, and Why Did They Need an App?
rue21 is a US fashion retailer, operating both online and physical stores. Their reach is impressive, with 580 brick and mortar stores in 45 states. That’s on top of their thriving eCommerce arm.
When Scott Saeger came in as CIO, one of the first things he noticed was that they didn’t have an app. He believed that a branded app was “table stakes” for retailers today, and they needed one to be able to provide a more personalized experience to their customers.
This coincided with a drive they were planning to boost loyalty and retention - a $100,000 giveaway. The initial plan was just to let people sign up for the giveaway by signing up for their loyalty program and joining their email list.
They decided a better approach would be to tie the two initiatives together; let people enter the giveaway by downloading their app.
"We had very aggressive timelines because we were going to run this contest anyway. We were just gonna do it where you came in in the store and signed up for the loyalty program. We started thinking, what are other ways that we can do this? What if we have them download an app? Now we can have more ways to communicate with our consumers. I did the app thing on a Friday, the next Monday we were tying our $100,000 giveaway to the launch of the mobile app.”
The biggest challenge that rue21 faced was the timeline.
The wheels for the giveaway were already in motion. Once they decided to tie the giveaway to app downloads, marketing campaigns kicked off and physical assets were sent to stores, advertising to customers a chance to win by downloading their app.
“If we had hit any roadblocks, through Apple, Google or anything like that, it would have been a massive failure for us.”
So they had to find a solution that could deliver an app fast - on top of providing a good user experience and coming in on budget.
Scott was often told an app would cost in the ballpark of $2 million. He set out looking for a more realistic option, which could still fit their needs in terms of timeline and functionality.
Scott knew there were services and platforms out there that could render their desktop site as a mobile app, which was more likely to work with their timeline than a custom-coded app.
He set about looking, and after jumping between various options, he came across MobiLoud.
Scott put in their URL, and was immediately able to see what their site would look like as an app. He was impressed - if the app looked this good from a quick preview, he figured the experience would be even better once they signed up for real.
It looked like MobiLoud could do exactly what they needed. The only question was whether we could do what we said we could, and actually deliver functional apps in the timeframe they needed.
Scott got the go-ahead from the executive team to explore MobiLoud as a solution for their app.
They rushed through their usual vetting process; would the app work with their tech stack? Will it integrate with their site? Would it be able to do what they needed? And what about price?
We were able to answer these questions to their satisfaction, even with the truncated process.
But one thing remained - would we really be able to ship their apps in time? We said yes, and Scott trusted our word and went ahead with the project.
"Right after our onboarding call, you were in a rush to get the apps released. We released them in four days. It was crazy. You killed it for us."
MobiLoud helped rue21 hit the most important milestone - launching an app within their aggressive timeline, allowing their giveaway to go off without a hitch.
Better yet, they’ve seen great results from their app since launching:
- >45k app downloads in two months
- 70% higher average revenue per user in the app
- 10% higher engagement time in the app
Not only did we deliver the app in time for the giveaway, the app is also producing the results that Scott hoped for when he first earmarked it as something to prioritize.
They’re getting more revenue from their app users, and a large number of the customers who downloaded the app to enter the giveaway are continuing to use it, validating their decision to use this as a hook for the loyalty campaign.
Why MobiLoud Is the Best Way to Build eCommerce Apps
MobiLoud has helped over 2,000 businesses, including numerous high-revenue eCommerce brands, launch the perfect mobile apps for much less time, money and effort than they thought possible.
We let you keep everything that works on your website in your apps, and fit with any tech stack. It doesn’t matter what platform your site runs on, if you have custom features, or even if your whole site is custom-built. MobiLoud will work for you.
We take care of the whole process of building apps, including publishing your apps with Apple and Google’s app stores, and providing hands-on support both before and after launch.
"How much does it suck to have a great product and you can't ever get support? One of the things I always look at is, you don't have to be the best, but you have to be available."
Our team is always available to Scott and his team, helping them further iterate on their app experience, and maintain an app that their customers love to use.
To see how we can help your business, get in touch now and book a demo. One of our experts will walk through the process and your requirements, and present a custom design of your app to show you what’s possible when you create your own, branded mobile app, with MobiLoud.