App designer WillowTree surveyed smartphone users and found that 50% of them found less than half of the brand apps they installed to be useful. 22% of them deleted over half of the brand apps they downloaded. The same survey revealed what consumers want from these apps; 60% want exclusive access to sales, loyalty programs, entry to special events, limited edition products and more.
To be a success, these apps must provide a reason for consumers to do business with a company over and over again. For example, the Regal Cinemas app offers a loyalty program for repeat customers, allows users to purchase movie tickets directly from the app, sends out notifications about new movies, and offers contests and tickets to free movie screenings based on users’ past purchases. The Regal Cinemas app has over 9 million users.
Panera Bread is another company that has a very successful brand app. It has been downloaded five million times and 1.5 million people use the app each month to place orders, tally loyalty rewards, and keep track on a delivery. Panera expects to ring up $250 million in business through its mobile app during 2018. Pharmacy chain Walgreen’s also has content designed to keep users coming back. Features include daily pill reminders, discount coupons, notifications when a refill is due, the ability to chat with a pharmacist, and rewards points for those who do activities including track walking, cycling, weight management, and more. 50 million downloads of the app have been made, and the app has fiver million monthly active users.
Brand apps are an important tool that companies can use to drive consumers to them. But not only does the app have to provide enough discounts or special promotions to get consumers to visit often, the layout of the app must look good. Developing a brand app requires a serious financial investment, especially because mobile shoppers are the fastest growing category in retail.