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Is Your Ecommerce App Sticky Enough?

Subharun Mukherjee 18+ years of experience leading product strategy, Go-To-Market (GTM), new market entry, value-based sales, analyst relations, and customer experience programs. Expertise in Financial Services, eCommerce, on-demand services, and the SaaS industry.
Is Your Ecommerce App Sticky Enough?

Many things in life are better off not being sticky—but your ecommerce app isn’t one of them. In fact, for a successful ecommerce app, it’s all about upping the stickiness to maximize engagement and boost revenue.
Stickiness is the ability of an app to both engage and retain customers. It’s determined by the loyalty of customers, and whether they return to make repeat purchases. Ultimately, stickiness is indicative of how successful an app is at providing users with a meaningful and enjoyable experience.
According to our Ecommerce App Engagement Benchmark Report, the average stickiness rate for ecommerce apps is only 17%.
This means that less than one-fifth of active users consistently return to engage in or use the application.
Let’s look at key factors that contribute to app stickiness and how this impacts growth, loyalty, and business revenue.

Why Is It Important for an Ecommerce App to Be Sticky?

It’s often said that it costs five times more to acquire new customers than to retain existing ones. Sounds compelling—until you do some digging and find out those stats are based on legacy business models and research that’s more than a decade old. Today’s businesses operate very differently. They have access to predictive analytics, advanced machine learning, AI, more savvy business models, and insight into customer experiences.
As such, while it’s still critical to retain existing customers, the current focus is on delivering value and connecting with customers both now and in the future. In other words, customer lifetime value (CLV) and the investment needed to optimize this metric. For instance, personalization can increase consumer spending by a whopping 500%. Essentially, this means that your ecommerce app stickiness has massive potential to increase revenue for your business.
When customers find value in your offering they’ll do more than just return, they’ll likely become loyal followers—and brand advocates. By nurturing a loyal customer base, you don’t only save on customer acquisition costs. You also get free marketing as users recommend your brand to friends and family via word-of-mouth or over social media. That’s a double win for your business.
Furthermore, loyal customers are less interested in the competition, preferring to return to their source of value (you) for advice, information, and the products they need and love. Having an effective stickiness strategy enables you to identify, track, and sell more to those customers most likely to turn into long-term sources of revenue.

Best Practices to Improve Ecommerce App Stickiness

Although the specific features and characteristics that are best for an ecommerce app depend on your target audience, user demographics, and industry, the following best practices will enhance app stickiness for any use case.

Define the Problem and Solve It

Products and services only appeal to buyers because they solve a customer pain point. To be successful, your ecommerce app should provide a clear solution to your user’s problem. For example, it may help cut shopping time, reduce grocery bills, or minimize meal prep for busy families. Whatever you’re offering, the solution needs to be immediately apparent. This extends to design principles and across platforms.
Adding features because they’re nice ideas instead of serving a clear and necessary purpose is a waste of development resources. It can also confuse users.
Amazon shopping example

The Amazon Shopping App app’s page highlights exactly what it is for through eye-catching snapshots of its features aimed at addressing common customer pain points.

Optimize UX

Use design principles to map your customer journey. If your app is difficult to navigate and complicated to use, it’s creating a problem rather than solving one. Ensure that the design is based on proven outcomes, appeals to customers, and offers an intuitive user experience (UX) without distracting from the solution you’re offering.

Simplify New User Onboarding

Onboarding should always be as quick and effortless as possible. If you ask for too much information or have too many steps in the sign-up process, users will become frustrated and simply delete the app.
Remember that you need to earn a user’s trust before requesting their personal information. Let onboarding procedures set the tone for your relationship. This includes giving customers options to fast-track the process and allowing them to supply more information and/or set up their profile in their own time. Further, it’s always beneficial to be transparent about how you’ll protect their information and what it will be used for.
Onboarding should offer a quick, clear, step-by-step process. It’s an opportunity to showcase the value your app will provide and present a high-level overview of the main features.
Read more in our whitepaper: The Art of Onboarding Mobile App Users
Ebay app onboarding example

The Ebay app onboards users by summarizing the app’s features and including a sign-up prompt.

Leverage Data for Personalization

In today’s competitive marketplace, you don’t get a second chance. If your app doesn’t meet users’ needs, they’ll quickly turn to one that does. Customers want to feel like you built an app specifically to meet their needs—that you “get” them and understand their problems.
Your ecommerce app power users are a valuable resource for customer data. By tracking demographics and how customers engage with certain features, it’s possible to pinpoint what keeps them coming back. Then, with relevant analytics and customer feedback, you can improve customer retention through personalized offers and on-point push notifications.
These insights are also key to strategic future app development, including innovative features and what to highlight for new audiences.

Get Sticky With CleverTap

Improving app stickiness requires continuous and accurate customer behavior insights. CleverTap’s comprehensive platform helps you show customers exactly what they want, when they need it, via tools that analyze user behavior and preferences.
Download our free Ecommerce App Engagement Benchmark Report to see how your app’s stickiness and conversion metrics compare to industry standards.

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Posted on April 27, 2023