The Three E’s of Mobile Retention

mobile commerce retention

Mobile apps are the most valuable way to communicate and engage with your loyal customers. However, underlying that value is the idea of retention, which can make all the difference when determining the long-term value of your app. Obviously, onboarding new users is an important factor of increasing the reach of your mobile presence, but retention is where you will see the greatest benefit in terms of recurring income. So how can you ensure that you maximize mobile retention and continue to engage your customers that have already downloaded your app?


Excitement will keep your customers checking your app regularly, always eager to see what you have in store. Fortunately, it is not too difficult to consistently provide this experience. Customers who download your app are often looking for nothing more than an optimized version of your mobile site. They want to have one-click access to your store and a convenient browsing and buying experience. If you can deliver above and beyond this threshold they will be suitably intrigued. Try adding mobile-specific content to your app or sending messages that appeal to your audience in particular to regularly keep things interesting!


Customers are more likely to return to an app that they have a vested stake in. Though it may seem counter-intuitive, by enlisting customers to promote or share your app for you they feel that they are in some small way a part of the team or community, and will be much more likely to engage with your app in the future. Of course, this also provides the benefit of adding more app users to the fold! Consider incentivizing this promotion with deals or freebies that provide substantial value to these users who help build your tribe.


At the end of the day, the best way to engage with customers through your mobile commerce app is through some good old fashioned deals and promotions. And by “good old fashioned” I do of course mean “innovative and enticing”. Offering a small percentage off of your products won’t cut it. To really make your app interesting, consider offering significant discounts on products that appeal to a mobile audience, offering free samples, providing BOGO deals, etc. The better they are, the more likely that your customers will look forward to hearing from you and checking your app regularly!

These three tips will help you retain your customers and grow your app to provide tremendous value over time. Now it’s your turn to give us some info! What sort of retention strategies do you use to engage with your mobile customers?

Small Messages, Big Ideas


In one of our recent video blog posts Apptive co-founder Jason Jaynes discussed some push notification strategies. One of his main points was keeping the message concise so customers could receive a great amount of value from a small amount of data. It occurred to me that some people might struggle with the idea of creating incredibly dense messages. Any career writer will tell you that writing short, value-laden material is often much more challenging than writing lengthy or even technical documents. Therefore, I propose that often the most effective use of direct messages is as a supplement within a larger context of understanding, rather than as a standalone piece of material.

Context is, of course, everything when it comes to using a push notification as a “seed” message. However, the good news is that most all businesses already have excellent context in place. Remember, a mobile app is often best used to reach loyal customers who likely already have some idea of what you’re about. Therefore, they likely have a good idea of your other products, services or outreach channels that you can leverage to maximize the value of short messages.

For example, if you are a venue that commonly features bands from a specific genre, you can use a message to alert members of a specific upcoming group that caters to that genre’s specific fanbase. Since they already have a good idea of the genre and your location, you don’t have to explain the band’s background, the type of music they play, or even the specifics of your location. Just a short message triggers all of the knowledge that your customers have about your venue and the music they are interested in hearing.

That example is pretty direct, but there are lots of ways to send messages that don’t require extensive word-smithing to generate interest and thus profits and an excited mobile community for you.