6 essential elements of Mobile Marketing for e-commerce apps

Siddharth barman

July 8, 2016

Whether you’re a late entrant in the e-commerce app business or have been around for a few years, before putting your money on mobile marketing, it’s important to understand the nuances of a good marketing plan. At a time where e-commerce apps are struggling to efficiently engage their users, it’s high time for them to revisit their mobile marketing strategy.

1. Evaluate your ROI

Return on Investment (ROI) is quite the decisive metric for mobile marketers and rightly so. While selecting the media sources or publisher channels, it is important to measure your ROI. This involves constantly monitoring your marketing spends and allocating your budget in such a way that you get the best possible ROI on it. Mobile app attribution data comes a long way in serving this cause for marketers as it provides them with the full picture of all organic and paid sources of installs. Further, it also helps pin-point the best channels to put your money in. Evaluating the performance of your publishers or channels will save you from burning your valuable money.


Whether it is about generating leads or increasing sales, measuring ROI is a must-do for marketers.

2. Take cues from A/B testing

Another important facet of a sound mobile marketing strategy is going with A/B testing or split-run testing. By running A/B testing for ad creatives or mailer campaigns, marketers can make data-driven decisions on how to proceed with future campaigns that drive user acquisition.


In the case of e-commerce apps, this also applies to optimising the conversion funnels within mobile apps by way of trying out new layouts, display images, calls to action, etc.  All these aspects go a long way in enhancing the user-experience and facilitating transactions.  

Bucket tests also help in creating a highly targeted experience for marketers. At a time where most customers aren’t happy about being flooded with promotional messages about products or services not relevant to them, A/B testing can be immensely useful. By offering a whole set of parameters to marketers for mobile user-targeting based on geography, mobile device, operating system, language, and other behavioural attributes of users, A/B testing facilitates specific targeting in the most efficient manner. This enables marketers to run campaigns for specific user segments and reach out to the relevant audiences with information of their interest.

3. Greater conversions with deep linking

So, remember the last time you clicked on an Amazon mobile ad that said ‘Flat 20% off on home furniture’ and it sent you to the Amazon app’s login page?

Did that motivate you to buy? Umm No.

We all know what went wrong there. As a user, you clicked on that ad because you were specifically looking for a discount on home decor and instead of landing up on the exact page with the relevant offers, all you could see were the instructions to login via Facebook or Google.

This is almost like pushing an enthusiastic shopper almost ten steps behind.

Deep Linking is the solution to this problem. It helps marketers to redirect targeted or retargeted users to specific landing pages based on their preferences and thereby, influence them to make purchases. This is an extremely advantageous mobile marketing tactic for e-commerce apps.

Since micro-moments are precious and consumers have a very short attention span, it is important to minimise the number of steps involved during a user’s first click (action) and closing the transaction. With the use of deep-linking, users can be easily redirected to the page with the content or offers of their choice and greater conversions can be realised.

At present, the scale of deep linking is missing in the mobile app ecosystem as compared to that of websites. However, it is possible to land the users onto specific app pages. That is something mobile marketers should really consider while promoting e-commerce apps.

4. Use Retargeting Ads

Retargeting Ads are extremely vital in today’s mobile marketing scenario, especially in the case of e-commerce apps. It is a great way of reaching out to inactive users as well as target highly active users with ads on products or offers that interest them. To run a retargeting ad or campaign, it is important for marketers to firstly create different user segments based on the past in-app activities and behavioural attributes of users. Then, all these user segments can be targeted with offers specifically meant for each individual segment.

(Read: How to run a successful retargeting mobile campaign?)

In the context of e-commerce apps, marketers can easily build multiple user-segments based on user actions like product search, items added to cart, their favourite products, etc. For example, if Flipkart wants to reach out to its users who have abandoned their cart, it can show them retargeting ads displaying items they had added on their carts on previous purchases.

On the other hand, if a particular set of users are highly active on Flipkart’s ‘Mobile Shopping’ category, these users can be retargeted about the latest mobile phone launch offers or discount deals. This is definitely influence these users to make purchases on the Flipkart app.

Majority of the e-commerce app users are millennials and most of them see retargeted Ads as helpful reminders.

Millennials appreciate personalised ads

According to the “Marketing Personalization Preferences of Shoppers Worldwide” study by AgilOne conducted in US & UK, consumers from the 25-34 years age-group liked a customised approach to marketing campaigns.


Here’s what a study by Bizrate Insights on retargeted ad behaviour amongst men & women revealed.


5.    Don’t neglect Google Search

Search engine optimization (SEO) and cost-per-click (CPC) form a core part of a good mobile marketing strategy. How you go about handling your SEO will have a direct impact on the visibility of your content
in user search results. So, marketers should pay attention to the SEO aspect of their marketing plan to better their customer conversions.

Given the importance of search on mobile, mobile marketers need to efficiently use Google AdWords to bid on the relevant keywords of their target market.  

Mastering mobile SEM can have many benefits for your business. Due to its strong targeting strengths, mobile marketers can run SEM ads and target users based on their phone’s location services. Apart from that, mobile SEM ensures cost-effective for marketers as mobile CPCs for the same keywords are lower than desktop CPCs. With the given rise in the share of mobile and tablet clicks, marketers can leverage the lower costs of mobile CPCs. This is particularly great for small businesses with budget constraints.

Also, the response rate of users on mobile is quicker. Mobile search is known to be highly intent driven. There are more chances of users taking action after searching for any product or service on mobile.


6. Create the buzz with Social media

Needless to say, social media marketing can do wonders for e-commerce apps. Having a detailed profile or page on popular social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others is a must. In order to engage your users, it is important that you keep posting fresh and interesting content around your products. Get the word out about your latest offers or in-app features through well targeted social campaigns, blogs or appealing infographics.  

When it comes to reaching out to relevant audiences, nothing beats the specific user-targeting strengths of Facebook. It allows you to accurately target your users based on their age, gender, location, language and other behavioural attributes. So, e-commerce apps can post various Facebook Ads for different sets of users and expect to get the maximum user clicks on them. Marketers can try out various ad formats depending on what they want to highlight.

Facebook’s carousel ad format is quite popular amongst marketers for e-commerce products.



This format lets you promote your products by creating a visual story-telling experience with a series of carousel cards. Marketers can use this format to showcase specific products or packages available on e-commerce apps.

Not just that.

Facebook provides marketers with in-depth analytics for their campaigns to easily track what works and what doesn’t.

Other than Facebook, Instagram (which is also acquired by Facebook) has also become a very promising social media platform for digital marketers. One of the main reasons for this is that most of the target users of e-commerce apps are very active on Instagram and they’re using it to look up the latest products on fashion & beauty, home-decor, etc.

With the launch of Instagram Ads, more and more e-commerce apps are advertising their products and services on Instagram. So, whenever Myntra plans its latest summer or winter sales, users are most likely going to see an ad on Instagram. Such is the reach of social media today!

Other than the above mentioned points, it is important for e-commerce apps to get their users to sign up on their app. Once that is done, even if some users are inactive or uninstall the app, they can be easily tracked  and retargeted with relevant ads through email campaigns, push messages, etc.


Are you looking for mobile marketing solutions for your e-commerce app?

Connect with the relevant audience & optimise your business prospects. Drop me a line at neelanjana@affle.com to explore strategic marketing solutions for your app using Affle’s MAAS platform.


Mobile Marketing

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