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Amazon Prime Day’s mobile trifecta of app downloads, promotional volume, loyalty

On Amazon Prime Day this year, the ecommerce retailer’s mobile application drove twice as many orders from Prime members as last year and saw more than one million customers use the app for the first time, underscoring the synergy between apps, loyalty and promotions.

Overall, orders were up more than 60 percent worldwide and more than 50 percent in the United States on Prime Day. With Prime members checking in throughout the day to find limited-time offers, mobile was once again a popular engagement platform for the promotion.

“Apps are the most effective digital channel a retailer has available to maximize the potential of their loyalty program and promotions,” said David Kovacs, vice president of business development at GPShopper. “The overlap of ‘customers who will download my app’ and ‘customers who will join my loyalty program’ is tremendous.

“Loyalty programs inform promotions in powerful ways and an app is the most immediate way to promote the right offer at the right time in the right place,” he said.

“Push notifications get eight times the click through rate of email and geo-fenced push gets 30 times click through rate making apps the best way to get personalized messages and promotions out to customers.”

Mobile synergy
Despite a few performance issues on Prime Day, a long list of metrics from Amazon reveal that the promotion was a success for the retailer, driving sales for its own devices and content and as well as for promoted products overall.

However, the event did not appear to deliver the same boost across the ecommerce market that it did last year. HookLogic reports that retailers saw a 13 percent rise in traffic on Prime Day compared to a typical day, which pales in comparison to the 75 percent spike that was seen last year.

While other retailers also saw sales rise on Tuesday, Prime Day may not develop into an industry-wide event as many avoided heavily promoting special offers out of a reluctance to support a holiday commemorating Amazon’s birthday.

For other retailers, one of the key takeaways from Prime Day is the importance of finding the synergy between their app, loyalty program and promotional activity.

“For two years running, and this year especially with twice the mobile app order volume, Amazon created its very own retail holiday by leveraging the synergy between successful mobile functionality, brand loyalty, and the reach of effective promotion,” said Chris Mason, CEO of Branding Brand.

“Consumers enjoy using a retailer’s mobile app, like Amazon’s, when it offers seamless purchasing functionality, and the excitement of loyalty programs and sales alerts,” he said. “Customers are more likely to download a retailer’s app to get something that carries value in return.”

App downloads
Branding Brand’s recent App Consumer Survey found that 71 percent of users download shopping apps to earn loyalty or rewards points while 63 percent of consumers want sales alert push notifications from retail apps.

With retailers looking for ways to drive app downloads and repeat visits, Prime Day offers a strong example of how well offers and deals work for apps.

“We see that offers drive downloads and engagement with mobile apps,” said Mischa St. Amand, director of marketing at CodeBroker.

“By providing welcome offers for app downloads, we’ve seen significant incremental app downloads,” she said. “By providing mobile coupons in the app, we’ve seen significant engagement growth for our customers.

“It’s a simple formula – incorporate relevant offers into your app, make deals easy to find, and create personalized coupons that are relevant to your customers.”

Deeper experiences
Amazon’s results on Prime Day also underscore the need to keep the content in apps fresh and relevant. Retailers should also use push notifications and message inboxes to promote new content.

Retailers also need to offer a seamless browse, buy and checkout process.

“Customers who download a retailers app are looking for a deeper experience with a favorite brand, in addition to just optimized commerce and brands need to deliver an engaging and personalized experience that their best customers won’t get on the Web,” GPShopper’s Mr. Kovacs said.

“If done properly retailers will be rewarded with three to four times the visit frequency and two to three times the conversion rates of their mobile Web sites,” he said.