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Srinivas Gurram
Srinivas Gurram September 29, 2022

Direct-to-Consumer(D2C) marketing has been on the rise for the last few years, especially during the pandemic when online purchases replaced traditional in-person purchases. A study by Statista shows that D2C sales are predicted to exceed $213 billion in the US and $80 billion in India by 2024. 

Due to the stiff online competition, D2C and retail brands find it increasingly difficult to attract and retain customers. Customers are attracted to newer brands and better shopping experiences, and brand loyalty is dwindling. This is why app retention strategies for Retail and D2C companies come into the picture.

This article walks you through the app retention rate and strategies for retail and D2C to boost customer engagement.

What is App Retention Rate?

The percentage of customers who keep using an app over time is known as the app retention rate. Retention rates are typically calculated after Day 1, Day 7, and Day 30 after users download the app for the first time.

Aggregate Retention Rate = Number of Active Users / Number of Installs

Why should Retail and D2C Apps Focus on Customer Retention?

  • Retention rate is crucial because it indicates your app’s performance with users. A high retention rate suggests people are engaged and active, which may translate into improved monetization potential. According to Bain and Company, online consumers are likelier to purchase various products from the same app.
  • Customer retention yields more significant results; the article suggests that a 5% increase in D2C retention could lead to 25-40% more profits.
  • Customer loyalty is directly related to retention rate. This, in turn, may reflect how consistently loyal customers interact with your app and how likely they would recommend your app to close ones.
  • On the other hand, retention rates reveal why users are abandoning your apps, which may prompt your team to change your app growth strategy.

App Retention Strategies for Retail and D2C to Boost Customer Engagement

#1 Have a Seamless Onboarding Process

First impressions last long. A user’s first significant success with your app happens at this precise moment. More than 70% of respondents think they’d be more likely to be loyal to an app if it has a smooth onboarding and engaging process.

Assist your users with tutorials and screen tips on app functionalities and how this app will benefit them. To encourage users to experience the “aha moment,” concentrate on educating them about the app’s features and benefits. 

#2 Segment and personalize the user experience

Personalization is a sure-shot technique to boost app engagement; It generates 40% more revenue than non-customized apps. 

D2C and retail brands naturally have better access to consumer data; instead of generic engagement programs, segment the users based on their geographic, demographic, interests, and past purchase history. Then tailor the customers’ shopping experience, customize the product advice, and create unique experiences. They’ll value your concern, and that naturally builds trust. 

For example, Purplle, an eCommerce company, has its D2C brands under its house. It recommends personalized products based on skin types.

Purplle personalization - App Retention Strategies for Retail and D2C
Source: Purplle

#3 Implement Push and In-app Notifications

Notifications are one of the best ways to capture the user’s attention. Even when the user is not actively using the mobile app, push notifications help to give timely & relevant information to users. In most cases, users opt-in to receive these messages as they don’t want to miss out on exciting deals and offers. 

Use Push and in-app communication mediums to send relevant, promotional, and transactional updates. It is an efficient way to drive customers to your app and retain them. 

For example, Nykaa is an Indian e-commerce cosmetic company that sells beauty, wellness, and fashion products across websites, mobile apps, and 100+ offline stores. Nykaa has a strong push and in-app notification game that it leverages to engage and retain customers.

Nykaa push notification image - App Retention Strategies for Retail and D2C
Source: Nykaa

#4 Leverage gamification for better engagement

D2C and retail brands can differentiate themselves and engage users by implementing a gamification strategy. Users feel driven when playing games and get a good “exhilaration.” 

Incorporating gamification elements like quizzes, trivia, badges, and spinning the wheel into an app encourages users to interact with the app. These gaming elements make the app experience enjoyable and rewarding. Thus, users feel happy to spend more time with the app.

As gaming activities are widely shared on social media, you can encourage users to share gaming experiences with their networks.

For example, furniture giant IKEA uses gamification to bridge the gap between the excitement of physically browsing through various designed retail stores and the ease of making an online purchase.

IKEA gamification image - App Retention Strategies for Retail and D2C
Source: IKEA

#5 Create loyalty programs to boost engagement

Brand loyalty programs, also known as customer retention program, is an efficient strategy to boost user engagement.

Online shoppers are likely to look for the best deals and discounts. Create a loyalty program to attract these users and encourage them to return to your app. With the customer loyalty program, you can give people reasons to stay with your business over the long run. 

Loyal customers are more likely to make repeat purchases and recommend your app through word-of-mouth marketing.

For example,  Pampers, a leading global provider of baby and toddler products, launched a loyalty program app, ” Pampers club,” in 2017 to maintain its brand loyalty. By purchasing pamper products, app users can earn loyalty points that can be redeemed on their subsequent purchases.

Pampers rewards image - App Retention Strategies for Retail and D2C
Source: Pampers

#6 Collect customer feedback and act on it

Customer feedbacks are the best ways to understand the users’ concerns and the app’s performance. Surveys and opinion polls are great feedback tools to consider while collecting user insights.

The team can address issues and boost customer happiness by analyzing the feedback responses. When you include users’ feedback, your product will continue to advance and provide a better user experience. Customers who believe their opinions are valued will feel more invested and engage with the app.

Conclusion

The most valuable resource for an app is its existing users. They are already familiar with your company, your products, and your level of customer service.

Rather than focusing on acquiring new users, it is best to engage the current users. Implement the above strategies with the help of a customer engagement platform to boost your app engagement and improve the user experience.

The Upshot.ai Advantage

Upshot.ai is an omnichannel, user engagement, and gamification platform that helps digital product owners and marketers improve product adoption and conversions.

With Upshot.ai, banks, Insurance, and FinTech firms can enhance their digital experiences with pre-built gamification features. It can provide personalized insights, actionable recommendations, and contextual nudges designed to deepen its relationship with its users. Book a demo of the most comprehensive user engagement and gamification platform to achieve your digital product goals. Join our communities for more insights, guides, and best practices that keep you updated with proven strategies and tips to supercharge your campaigns.

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