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Mobile App Personalization: The Future of User Experience

Deniz Tasyürek
Oct 21, 2021
min read

A growing number of people want to see personalized experiences with nearly every digital interaction. With so many aspects of digital marketing using AI and other developments to provide personalization, it’s understandably what consumers have come to expect. Today, 72% of consumers will only engage with personalized messages, making personalization crucial in getting any audience’s attention. It’s also worth noting that personalization is not only great for customers, but it’s equally beneficial for marketers. According to Google, 89% of marketers in the U.S. found that personalized apps and websites led to increased revenue.

Ultimately, mobile app personalization is vital if you want to connect with consumers and experience true growth. However, you may be wondering what exactly goes into mobile personalization and what it can do for your business. The following is a complete guide to mobile app personalization to help you realize the importance of delivering a truly personalized app experience to users.

What Is Mobile Personalization? How Is It Different from Customization or Segmentation?

Mobile personalization entails using data that’s specific to each user to provide marketers with detailed insights into user behavior and preferences. Marketers can then use this data to develop high-quality personalized messaging and experiences through mobile apps and websites. Some of the data that goes into app personalization could include demographics, life stages, interests, behaviors, time, and location. In the process, advertisers can more easily develop strong relationships with users, making them feel as though they’re valued people as opposed to simply users.

It’s important to understand the difference between personalization and customization or segmentation, as there’s potentially much more that goes into personalization.

Personalization vs. Customization

The key difference between personalization and customization depends on the individual who creates the tailored experience. Generally, personalization requires a business or developer to create or alter items for customers based on the data collected from them. Meanwhile, customization involves the customer making the changes themselves based on their personal preferences.

Specifically, the difference here is implicit vs. explicit focus, with personalization being implicit or implied, meaning that companies can make changes to deliverables based on the customer’s implied preferences. Customization is explicit, i.e. users explicitly express what they want when making choices that influence their experience.

Personalization vs. Segmentation

When thinking about the differences between personalization and segmentation, it’s all about the focus. Marketers use segmentation to identify specific types of audiences based on demographics, psychographics, location, behaviors, and technology usage. Through mobile app user segmentation, marketers can make sure that they deliver relevant marketing materials to different groups of customers to achieve optimal results.

Personalization, on the other hand, is more customer-centric, focusing closely on specific customers within each segment. Personalization requires the company to provide an experience that’s custom-tailored based on that particular customer’s needs or problems. This entails understanding each customer and delivering an experience based on their individual intent, which can change with each interaction they have with a brand. In short, personalization involves companies learning as much as they can about individual customers to provide the best possible experience for them.

Why Is It Important to Deliver a Personalized Experience?

There are a couple of key reasons why you should deliver a personalized app experience to users like any other business.

The first reason is that customers expect mobile personalization today. In fact, one Accenture survey found that 91% of consumers are more likely to favor brands that provide personalized experiences with relevant recommendations and offers. This also goes for app users who want a completely personalized app experience whenever they use their mobile devices. Customers are now used to getting exactly what they want with their digital experiences and brand interactions, and this is only going to continue in the future.

The second reason why mobile app personalization is critical is that it’s good for business. Establishing a strong personal connection with mobile users can make customers more loyal, which ultimately leads to increased app usage and sales. Personalization can help make sure that all collected data goes toward developing the ideal user experience, which will go a long way in keeping users coming back to you.

Benefits of App Personalization

App personalization comes with several benefits that make it worth implementing. Some of these benefits include:

Increased User Retention

In attracting and retaining users, you need to think about what sets your app apart from the millions of others vying for their attention. Keep in mind that most people abandon apps after initial use, making it necessary to leave a solid first impression for first-time users. If you want to show why your app is the best option, app personalization is crucial. Personalized apps will provide a uniquely personal experience that keeps users invested, with pertinent recommendations, offers, and discounts driving people to continue using your app on a regular basis.

More In-App Purchases

When users encounter more personalized messages, offers, and recommendations, along with tailored discounts, they’re far more likely to buy an in-app item. People are more inclined to make a purchase, often on impulse, if they feel the item is just what they want or need.

For example, to boost  in-app purchases for an eCommerce app, try segmenting users who added items to their cart, but ultimately abandoned the buying process. You can then send personalized  push notifications to these users to remind them to return, or you could push other offers that may entice them to come back for future purchases. You could also use personalized in-app stories to speak more directly to users and encourage them to return. People will be much more receptive to these messages if they feel as though those messages are truly speaking to them.

A Better Overall Customer Experience

Most users won’t find an app that offers impersonal product recommendations or experiences to be particularly compelling. App users want to see services and products that apply specifically to them in a fully personalized app experience. If it appears as though the app actually learns about them based on their inputs and previous purchases, users will be more content with their in-app experience.

More and more people want to enjoy a uniquely tailored app experience, with ideal levels of convenience and efficiency. In turn, customers will feel like you have a good understanding of them as people as opposed to consumers, which keeps them returning.

Increased Awareness

You can boost app awareness by determining what your users specifically enjoy about your app. What is it about your app that attracts people to it, and what are some areas that could benefit from improvement? To answer these questions, collect and analyze user data and figure out how they interact with your app. You could even ask these questions directly to users in the form of a quick survey, which you can even offer a reward for completing, such as an entry to win a certain prize.

Using the information you’ve collected about your users, you can then work to send out relevant notifications to users that cover certain events, updates, and other information that audiences want to see. However, you’ll want to avoid sending out too many notifications, as there’s a fine line between engaging users and merely annoying them, much like with ad frequency. One way to avert this is to use in-app stories, which entice users by allowing them to have some fun, discover products and services in a full-screen mode, and enjoy certain interactive features.

Storyly offers a great way to boost awareness and connect with customers through personalized stories. Using Storyly, you can address people by their names in story content and display relevant stories to users based on their in-app behavior. This can go a long way in raising awareness and engaging users.

More Loyal Users

Through mobile app personalization, you’ll significantly boost brand loyalty among users. Customer loyalty comes with many benefits that go beyond repeat sales. For example, loyal customers are likely to recommend your app to friends and family, or even virtual strangers on social media. They’ll also engage with your app frequently, and they’re more likely to leave a positive review for your app on app stores. Increased loyalty contributes to increased revenue that further fuels your app’s growth.

Higher Levels of Engagement and Conversion Rates

Part of what keeps people coming back to apps that offer a personalized app experience is the illusion of human interaction. People using apps that make personal recommendations and offers feel more like they’re connecting with a person on the other side. They may be consciously aware that this isn’t the case, but it will still feel like it is and that the app developers  truly care about the user experience. As a result, they’ll continue to engage with your app if it seems like you’re giving them precisely what they want. This increased engagement will also lead to more leads and sales, improving your bottom line.


To enable your app to flourish and establish a strong connection with users, mobile app personalization is vital. If you’re not already using this strategy, you’re missing out on the opportunity to impress and engage users, which would help boost sales and user loyalty. Implementing personalized app experiences will set you apart and make sure you stand apart from the many competitors that remain impersonal.

Are you looking for some great app personalization examples? Check out this article: “5 App Examples with the Best Personalized Experience.

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Deniz Tasyürek

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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