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Mobile Marketing

How to Personalize Your Shopping App

Berkem Peker
November 15, 2022

People today expect personalization across all of their experiences, including when they shop online. This extends to eCommerce apps, in which users want to encounter an experience that's uniquely theirs. When users open up a shopping app, they expect the mobile eCommerce experience to be seamless and efficient.

In this guide to shopping app personalization, we'll go over some of the many ways you can create a fully personalized in-app experience that resonates with users. In turn, you'll be able to more effectively attract and retain users by offering them the ideal shopping app.

Why You Need Personalization for a Shopping App

Man accessing app on smartphone

Personalization is critical for eCommerce apps for several reasons. The first is that people today anticipate a personalized online shopping experience over more generic ones, particularly with the ever-increasing personalization of Amazon and other major eComm platforms. Consider the fact that 91% of consumers are more likely to purchase from brands that provide relevant product recommendations and offers. In addition, 67% of consumers believe it's important for brands to automatically modify content based on users' actions in real-time. 

Also, you'll make your users feel more valued with a personalized experience that truly speaks to them and their preferences. This further improves their shopping experience as they become even more eager to engage with your brand and buy your products. Subsequently, customers who feel as though a brand values them are more likely to convert and become loyal.

With the help of personalized marketing, you can also more effectively retain users who might otherwise neglect to return to your app. Through relevant product recommendations and a generally unique experience for each user, you'll give people a clear incentive to keep coming back.

These and other reasons make personalization for shopping apps an integral component if you want to succeed.

The Specific Benefits of App Personalization

Couple doing online shopping

If you're still not sure whether you need to fully personalize the user experience in your app, there are some clear benefits that come with a personalized experience.

Increased Awareness

As you work to personalize your app, you can better determine what users want and don't want to experience in the app. You'll be able to collect data about user behavior or ask users to gauge their preferred experience. 

Based on the data you collect about users, you can then increase user awareness and continue to engage with users over time. This will help prevent users from simply forgetting about your app and moving on.

Improved Customer Experience

If you want to optimize the customer experience in your shopping app, offering personalization is key. People don't care to see generic product recommendations that don't apply to them, while they're far more likely to connect with apps that make relevant offers and recommendations. A personalized experience gives users the impression that you actually care about what your users prefer. It also helps save time as they can easily locate products that appeal to them without the need to go on a hunt for them within the app.

More Retention

With so many shopping apps available to users, you need to give users a reason to use yours. What makes you different from the millions of competing apps out there? One of the answers to that can be app personalization. If you personalize users' experiences each time they use your app, they'll be more inclined to return to it after a single use. People want to see relevant product recommendations, personalized interfaces, and offers that speak to them over more generic app experiences. If you can harness the power of personalization in your app, you'll encourage more people to stay with you over less personalizing competitors.


Increased In-App Purchases

People are far more likely to purchase within an eCommerce app with a personalized offer or discount, along with relevant product recommendations. Sending personalized promos and offers also shows that you value your users, further driving them to do business with you. 

Higher Conversions and Overall Engagement

One of the benefits of personalization is the way it can change the feeling that people have when engaging with your app. Oftentimes, people feel as though they're simply engaging with software and an entity when using an app. However, through personalization and certain unique personal touches such as addressing users by name, you'll make users feel more like they're communicating with a person. This gives them the sense that they're interacting with another human as opposed to a faceless app, which will lead them to engage more frequently and eagerly. 

Better Brand Loyalty

Personalized user experiences within an app also drive brand loyalty as you meet the needs of each user. Using personalization, you'll give users a better overall impression of your brand and make them more likely to turn to you for repeat purchases. As such, increased user loyalty will lead to a higher customer lifetime value (CLV), with people more likely to make multiple purchases, regularly engage with your app, recommend the app to friends and family, and generally engage with it. This will help maximize the return on investment (ROI) of your personalization mobile marketing efforts.

Tips for Personalizing Your Shopping App

Businesswoman checking shopping apps on smartphone

If you want to personalize your eCommerce app and stand apart from competing apps in the same category, the following are some tips to create the ideal personalized experience.

Segment Users

One of the first steps is to segment your users into different audiences. While your first instinct might be to target as many people as possible, you should start by segmenting this collective audience into subgroups based on different demographics. You can segment users based on their location, devices, the number of purchases they make, and the amount of time they spend on the app. Through this level of segmentation, you can deliver more personalized messaging and more to users according to their preferences and attributes.

Create an Efficient Onboarding Experience

The fact is that 25% of app users abandon an app after one use. This stat alone shows the need for a great onboarding experience that keeps users on long after their initial download. If users enjoy the app in the first few days of use, they're more likely to continue using it, and this goes for eCommerce apps.

You can develop an appealing onboarding experience in your app by taking a few key steps, including:

  • Asking users for their names and addressing them by name for the rest of the onboarding experience
  • Providing new users with discounts or free trials of premium versions for the first few days.
  • Encouraging users to continue using the app during the onboarding process.
  • Avoiding asking for more personal details such as phone numbers unless it's required.

When onboarding new users, carefully decide how much information you want to present regarding your app and how users can interact with it. Overloading users with information is more likely to turn them away. You can test to see how balanced the onboarding experience is and make any necessary changes.

Use Personalized Push Notifications

Push notifications remain one of the best ways to connect with users, provided you use them the right way. Make sure the push notifications you send to users offer some kind of value that entices them to reopen the app. For example, you can send push notifications to users that recommend products based on their interests or order history. You may also want to consider sending the occasional promo code or another form of discount. 

You can also segment push notifications to send the right message at the right time. For instance, if an older user hasn't opened the app within a certain amount of time, you can send a discount code to get them to come back. You can also send push notifications to remind users to complete their purchases if they have items in their shopping cart.

Email Marketing

In addition to push notifications, you can use personalized email marketing to supplement these efforts. Through emails, you can send more personalized product recommendations, shopping cart abandonment reminders, updates about your app experience or newly added products, and much more. This can help you reach people who may not receive or respond to push notifications. 

Publish In-App Stories

Another way to connect with users in an exciting and very personal way is to develop and push personalized in-app stories. These include personalized messaging and visuals that establish an even better relationship with users in your app. As an example, you can develop an interactive story that presents users with a series of relevant product recommendations, including images of the products and a button that encourages customers to "buy now." 

If you want to find out more about what stories can do to maximize your app's personalization, learn about Storyly's unique capabilities and features

Integrate Location-Based Marketing

One of the most popular means of personalizing an app is through location-based marketing. For eCommerce apps, you can use localization in a few different ways. For example, you may be able to make locally relevant product recommendations based on the products that people within each user's area purchase most often. Additionally, if you have physical retail locations, you can guide users to the nearest store based on where the user is located.

Personalize the App's Home Screen

When opening your app, users should encounter a personalized interface from the start. With the help of in-app stories, personalized product views, and other items, you can encourage users to jump right into the app from the start. This will also help guide users to their next purchase when they may otherwise be uncertain about where to begin their in-app journey. Supplemented with clear navigation, a personalized home screen will give users the perfect gateway into your app with each use.

Engage With Your Audience to Find Out What They Want

You can also find out from your audience what they specifically want to see in your app when it comes to personalization. By connecting with users through in-app surveys, via social media, or on other platforms, you can directly ask what kind of experience your audience wants to see. Also, Storyly Stories provide you with a wide range of interactive stickers that you can use to create polls and quizzes to collect first-party, user sentiment data. In addition to giving you more ideas to personalize your app even further, this will make your users feel even more valued as you ask for their input. This, in turn, can lead to more loyalty among your user base.

Allow for Social Media Integration

Social media integration is one of the most reliable ways to engage with users. It not only simplifies the login process by allowing users to set up an account using an existing social media account, but it can also enable you to collect relevant data from social media to personalize the app experience. Doing this will make it easier than ever for users to engage while making it easier than ever for you to optimize the app for each user.

Test Personalization Efforts

Regardless of the type of personalization you want to implement in your app, be sure to conduct plenty of tests. Testing your personalization efforts consistently will help optimize the user experience until it's as perfect as it can get. For instance, you can run two in-app story versions, each with a different element changed such as the text or image. Based on how users engage with each story, you can figure out which performs the best and which you need to drop or modify. This is known as A/B split testing and it's a foundational element of almost any successful marketing campaign.

Drive Results With Personalization in Your Shopping App

By offering your users a one-of-a-kind shopping experience in your eCommerce app, you'll be able to stand out from competitors and get the results you want from your mobile marketing efforts. By using personalized push notifications, location-based marketing, email marketing, in-app stories, and more, you'll discover the value of connecting more personally with audiences.

If you would like to learn more about how Storyly's in-app stories can optimize the user experience for your shopping app, get started with Storyly today or request a demo to see how our dashboard works.

Berkem Peker

Berkem is master of none, jack of all trades. Happens to be a Growth Strategist at Storyly. Knows/writes about growth frameworks and user behavior.

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