The state of mobile in 2016: Mobile app strategies (webinar)


Join our mobile app strategy experts from Lumosity and Leanplum in this live webinar for help understanding key learnings from the past year — and what you need to be on top of for 2016.

Register here for free.

As we head into a new year of tech and inevitable changes, the state of mobile continues to advance unabated. We’re video messaging with friends through Skype, hitching a ride instantly with Uber; finding which roads to avoid on Waze, and booking last-minute hotel reservations via Hotel Tonight. In mobile commerce, recent breakthroughs in image recognition are making it easier for our smartphones to deliver instantaneous service to us, such as buying specially-marked products within seconds by simply waving your phone over it.

But it’s not just that mobile apps are changing the way users view their mobile devices. For mobile app publishers, it also means significant changes in acquiring and engaging users. Using bare-boned demographics to target customers won’t cut it anymore. If you want to effectively engage with your audience, you need to go beyond preconceived notions and use vital in-app behavior data to segment them.

Ask yourself this: What do my customers want to hear? If you’re sending them irrelevant content at the worst possible time, they won’t waste a minute on you or your ads — and may even delete your apps. However, if you’re using personalization to deliver relevant content at a time that is essential to your user, you’ll have their undivided attention. But personalization also has its risks: while it’s a superior way to engage your audience, appearing to know too much about a customer will create an impression of an Internet creep — and there goes your brand’s trust.

Also, personalization will only go so far — a bad app user experience will frustrate any potential longtime customers from using it again. What exactly can your business provide in the very first instance that will make your audience want to download your app — and keep it installed beyond the first day or week?

And if your business is lacking the necessary tools to track and optimize for tech-savvy millennials, then it might be time to invest. App analytics are the gateway to discovering the great unknown about your users, but navigating the vendor landscape can lead to massive confusion.

There’s also advertising to consider, as picking the wrong mobile advertising partner may lead to fraud. According to Adweek, mobile fraud is on the rise as 34 percent of programming traffic was deemed fake, 12 percent was considered high-risk, while 22 percent of impressions appeared suspicious. Your business won’t go anywhere if all your user engagements are artificial.

This barely scratches the surface of what marketers and businesses need to consider when finalizing their mobile app marketing strategy — sign up and learn from the top practitioners which strategies succeeded last year and which ones crash and burned. Gain insight on the most effective ways to engage your users, while avoiding the mistakes that chase them away — and make sure you are well prepared for whatever 2016 may offer.

Don’t miss out!

Register here for free.

In this webinar, you’ll:

  • Optimize your user onboarding to improve lifelong retention
  • Learn about tools you didn’t know existed for driving deeper personalization
  • Triple mobile push notification opt-ins through new tactics that are proven success factors


Fabian Seelbach, GM International, Lumosity

Momchil Kyurkchiev, Co-founder & CEO, Leanplum


Wendy Schuchart, Analyst, VentureBeat

This post is sponsored by Leanplum.


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Google Launches Android Studio 2.0 With Improved Android Emulator And New Instant Run Feature

android-work Google today launched version 2.0 of its Android Studio integrated development environment (IDE) for writing apps for its mobile operating system. Android Studio, which is based on IntelliJ, launched back in 2013 and came out of beta a year ago. It includes everything a developer needs to build an app, including a code editor, code analysis tools, emulators for all of Google’s… Read More

Retailers are finally giving shoppers a good reason to use their apps in stores


(By Kylie Gumpert, Reuters) – At some Macy’s outlets this holiday season, shoppers who download the retailer’s app will be able to use their smart phones to guide them through the store to products they’re seeking.

At JCPenney, customers will be able to take a snapshot of, for example, boots worn by a person passing by and quickly find out if the store has similar ones in stock. And Staples is testing an app that will allow sales clerks to let customers know how the store’s prices match up against Amazon and other rivals.

Hoping to claw back market share from online rivals – and tired of watching customers use their phones to find better deals than those offered in stores – brick and mortar retailers are trying to give shoppers different reasons to use their phones while doing holiday shopping.

From VentureBeat
Your ideal customer is waiting. Tap back and hit them where they live – quite literally.

The new apps will allow customers to easily order out-of-stock items for home delivery, to check store prices and even to summon a clerk.

But the retailers’ efforts will face two significant challenges in the looming holiday season: getting customers to embrace the new technology, which is still sometimes glitchy and dependent on in-store systems, and getting them to trust that stores can match the Web’s prices and convenience.

Retail purchases by mobile phone have increased by 34 percent in the last year, according to IBM, which estimates that more than 40 percent of the online traffic and about 20 percent of sales this Thanksgiving weekend will come from smart phones.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll of more than 3,000 respondents this month found that about half of those surveyed said they would use their mobile phones while shopping in stores this holiday season, for such things as making price comparisons, taking photos or researching products. Last year, only about 42% of respondents said they would use their phones while shopping.

Companies that don’t make mobile work are playing a “very dangerous” game, said Jay Henderson, head of IBM’s cloud-based marketing platform. “Retailers that can’t deliver a more personalized experience on mobile devices will start losing customers to businesses that can,” he said.

In addition to its pilot program guiding customers to products within stores, and a photo program similar to JCPenney’s, Macy’s has taken inspiration from dating app Tinder, recommending products to customers online who swipe one way to like an item and the other to reject it.

JCPenney’s app can be used to scan barcodes to pull up product information or order out of stock items, and it saves digital coupons – two increasingly common offerings in retailer apps.

“We look at using phones in stores as an enhancement to shopping,” said Kate Coultas, a representative with JCPenney which is heavily focused on mobile this year.

Service with a tap

Stores are trying to make customer service easier, too.

Best Buy’s app now lets shoppers call, text or email a representative while in stores.

Target is testing an in-store “digital service ambassador” in 25 Los Angeles stores to help customers use Target apps.

Ulta Beauty is testing an app that will allow clerks to access customer information and point them to products they might like.

Faisal Masud, executive vice president of global e-commerce at Staples, said his company knows that it must satisfy the desires of its customers to find low prices. The company, like many others, will match online and in-store prices of competitors, including Amazon, Best Buy and Office Depot.

Customers “have a phone that is basically a super computer, and they will find it somewhere else” for less if they can, he said.

Companies offering web apps and in-store technologies will also have to grapple with keeping the new apps and systems working and up to date. That means ensuring that WiFi in stores works, and that terminals function.

Recent visits to a Staples store in New York City found that a kiosk set up to allow people to order online wasn’t functioning, and at a JCPenney store in the city, the Wifi didn’t work. Both companies said the problems encountered were unusual and that they have backup systems in place.

“Poorly executed plans can be worse than no mobile strategy at all,” said Perry Kramer, vice president at Boston Retail Partners. “The dangers are losing those customers for the rest of the year or for a long time.”

(Reporting by Kylie Gumpert; Editing by Peter Henderson and Sue Horton)

Shopify launches Sello, an app to help you sell goods on social networks

Harley Finkelstein, Shopify

Today Shopify is launching a mobile app that allows consumers to sell their wares through social channels. This is the first time the commerce platform has broken away from its shopping cart and point-of-sale business.

The app, called Sello, allows anyone to take a picture of an item, price it, choose shipping options, and push a link to Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and seven other social media channels, as well as other platforms that use share extensions.

Sello - iPhone - ShareInterested consumers can click the link to purchase the advertised items and pay with PayPal, a credit card, or even cash. Merchants and consumers will have to arrange in-person cash payments themselves, but it’s an option most payment platforms don’t offer. Also, the addition of PayPal as a payment method reduces the cumbersome task of having to fill out shipping or billing information.

With this new app, Shopify is hoping to latch onto the growing number of people who want to work for themselves in the U.S, UK, and Canada. And it’s not the only company angling to serve this population. In spring of 2014, Etsy launched an app for sellers called Sell on Etsy and, this year, eBay revamped its mobile app to simplify the selling process, folding its premium valet service into its core app. But Shopify maintains that Sello is different, because it’s directed at budding entrepreneurs.

“We assume there are going to be people who are selling very occasionally, like used goods or collections or whatever. But I think we’re putting [Sello] into the hands of people who are aspiring entrepreneurs,” said director of product for Sello, Christopher Lobay. In this way, Sello is a bit more like Etsy’s seller app, though it doesn’t have a marketplace. Buyers will only find Sello products through individual merchants’ social media accounts.

To appeal to these new entrepreneurs, Sello is including a series of tutorials that walk sellers through best practices, and offer insight into how merchants can use social media to its fullest potential.

In addition, the app represents a gateway to Shopify’s full platform. If fledgling merchants can make enough sales on Sello to justify expansion, eventually those merchants will need more robust point-of-sale and ecommerce solutions. That scenario is what Shopify is banking on.