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5 App Examples with the Best Personalized Experience

Deniz Taşyürek
November 28, 2022

Mobile app personalization is crucial for developers, mobile marketers, and product managers to succeed with their apps. By offering a personalized experience, apps can attract and engage new users, ultimately leading to increased user retention and in-app sales as users become more loyal. By collecting and using data to engineer the user experience for each individual, people feel as though the brand truly understands them, and they’ll be more inclined to make a purchase if the product is in line with what they want.

If you’re wondering how you can develop a personalized app experience, there are many leading brands out there that are leading the frontline when it comes to personalization. To give you a better idea of what kinds of personalized experiences you can provide your users, the following are some of the best mobile app personalization examples to consider.  These companies have taken their apps to the next level with the ability to effectively cater to each user in some of the most effective ways.

1. Spotify

Spotify has changed the way people stream music in ways that other apps like Pandora have not quite been able to achieve. Spotify gains a deep understanding of its users to deliver a fully personalized experience that continues to leave its users impressed and engaged.

One of the specific ways in which Spotify continues to satisfy users is by using data about the kinds of music people listen to in order to offer suggestions that match the user’s interests. For example, Spotify delivers a new “Discover Weekly” playlist to each user with previously unheard music every week, which aligns with the listener’s favorite genres. In the process, Spotify keeps users coming back to it on a regular basis by giving them the perfect platform to discover new music continually.

The Only You Campaign

Spotify has delivered yet another one of the best mobile app personalization examples with its Only You campaign in 2021. Through this campaign, Spotify releases a majority of its features and content with some degree of personalization, including #SpotifyWrapped and others.

Image Source: Spotify

Each user sees content tailored specifically to them regarding their favorite music and new artists they may enjoy. They also see it in full-screen mode in the form of highly engaging in-app stories, enabling users to share them as Instagram stories. Storyly can also help achieve this by creating personalized wrap-ups for users, with the added ability for them to share these stories on social media.

The Only You campaign is data-driven in a way that gives users the ideal personalization experience without feeling like the app is violating their privacy. For instance, users might see lists of some of the artists they’ve listened to most, along with commentary content such as “Only you would listen to [artist] after [another musically unrelated artist].” This amuses users while giving them the sense that the app understands what they’re all about.

Through their Only You campaign and others, Spotify continues to showcase its leadership regarding app personalization on both mobile and desktop platforms.

2. Duolingo

Another app that offers a uniquely personalized mobile experience is Duolingo, a leading language-learning app. Duolingo knows that users tend to get distracted and side-tracked when learning a new language, which is why it uses gamification to keep users consistently engaged. Subsequently, users feel like they’re making progress as they learn, which builds loyalty as they use the app on a regular basis.

Image Source: Riseapps

Through gamification and an intuitive experience, Duolingo gives users control by providing immediate feedback that motivates them to keep completing various tasks and improving their skills. Additionally, the app actively encourages users to keep going with motivational text and progress bars. Then, as users progress, they have the chance to earn achievements that give users a sense of accomplishment that further pushes them. Finally, Duolingo keeps track of people’s usage streaks, congratulating them on using the app for a certain number of days in a row. Breaking this streak by missing a day causes the count to restart for them, which is another reason why users are encouraged to keep using the app.

When learning a language, Duolingo also keeps track of how users are performing, encouraging them to practice certain problem areas. This feature entices users to keep correcting certain mistakes and continuing to get better. In addition, the app also invites users to revisit previous lessons to refresh their memory. As users move through the different levels and tiers, they’ll begin to feel as though they’re truly learning.

Using all of these and other tactics, Duolingo has essentially revolutionized the language-learning process for its mobile and desktop users.

3. Airbnb

Airbnb is an online platform bringing people who want to rent their houses for a period together with people looking for a place to stay while traveling. With a website and mobile app, it operates as a marketplace. Users search for a home by filtering the options based on location, check-in and check-out dates, or accommodational preferences. They also enjoy various travel tips and a sea of touristic suggestions. And this is the point at which the magic of personalization happens.

Image Source: Appedus

The platform uses machine learning to update its suggestions to users for each trip. They collect data by including every click a user makes on the platform and every second a user spends on a specific screen. Based on these learnings, they customize the experience for users.

This entire process helps ensure that people get accustomed to the app and find options best suited to their needs. It also opens the gateway for future goals that further keep the user engaged and coming back.

The brand has promised its customers the feeling of belonging for years with the slogan “belong anywhere” until they changed it into “travel like a human.” So, personalization becomes useful to strengthen this promise by proving users with the right suggestions.


4. Amazon

One of the best mobile app personalization examples in the eCommerce industry is Amazon, which is so successful in large part because of its personalization capabilities. Users of the desktop website and mobile app alike can enjoy a completely personalized shopping experience that’s uniquely their own. Essentially, customers often feel as if Amazon transforms into their own personal store, with everything they want and need right upfront based on their interests and order history. These are known as “smart recommendations.”

Image Source: Tamebay

Amazon’s home screen will display items based on each user’s shopping trends, which could include previous searches and product views in addition to past orders. Amazon also allows customers to access an “Interesting Finds” page that recommends certain products based on things the customer has either “liked” or purchased in the past. To further enhance this feature, users often curate these “Interesting Finds” pages, which reassures customers that they have a say in what’s currently trending based on what they actually like.

Amazon also offers customers a fully personalized checkout process that helps ensure they complete their orders and don’t abandon their cart. Users can save several shipping addresses and payment methods on the platform and autofill text fields with those choices upon checkout. Amazon also enables customers to quickly buy items with a one-click purchase option, further streamlining the buying process.

5. TurboTax

In the financial department, TurboTax remains one of the best tools to use when filing taxes online for Americans. Most people find the process of filing taxes much more complicated than it should be, which is where TurboTax comes in to help simplify and personalize the process. Whether using the desktop or app version of TurboTax, you can get everything you need in a single program.

During the onboarding process, TurboTax learns about the user through various inputs. For example, the app will recommend the appropriate tax solution based on certain factors such as homeownership, children or dependents, employment status, and more. It can then gauge the user’s financial situation based on whether the user is employed, has accrued bank account interest, needs to cover tuition, and other factors.

Image Source: Appcues

Once a user has already filed taxes through TurboTax, the app will then recommend ways to improve next year’s outcome based on the kind of goal the user wants to achieve. Potential goals here include whether the user wants a bigger paycheck, a bigger refund, or a balance between the two. Users can also set reminders through the app to come back and plan for the next year at a later date. The app also enables users to get personalized tax tips based on the users’ current or future life changes, such as moving, getting a raise, or getting a new job.

With all of these intuitive features, TurboTax maintains a base of loyal users who can conveniently manage their finances and file taxes from any location at any time.

Use Personalization to Fuel Your App's Success

As these personalized experience examples show, personalization goes a long way in connecting with users and keeping them loyal. If you’re not using personalization for your app, this will only hold your app back as you try to appeal to today’s audiences.

To learn more about the value of personalization for mobile apps, check out our blog “Mobile App Personalization: The Future of User Experience.” You’ll see why personalization is so crucial to building a strong relationship with users

Deniz Taşyürek

Content & Brand Marketing Strategist at Storyly. Writes about mobile user behavior, user engagement, and retention. A genuine Potterhead. She also loves succulents, cats, and aerial yoga.

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