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How to get your customers to use your app – and why it’s worth it

How to get your customers to use your app – and why it’s worth it

We all know that for businesses to survive in this ever-changing world they need to embrace digital. But it’s one thing to embrace it and another to actually maximise on all that it can offer.

Take mobile apps for example. If a customer can self-serve, then this can massively reduce costs plus there isn’t the danger of a mistake being made over the phone by the telesales person. And perhaps more significantly, mobile apps have been proven to lead to increased basket value with a recent HIM report finding that “the average wholesale app order is 18% higher in value than web”. It therefore clearly makes sense for any wholesaler to offer this as a channel.

However, it’s not enough just to have it as an offering, you need to get your customers to start using it. And whilst some customers will jump at the chance to have the convenience of 24/7 ordering at their fingertips, others may need help in changing their well-established buying habits.

We’ve been helping wholesalers do just that since we launched the industry’s first ordering app for Bestway back in 2014 and we’ve learned a thing or two about how best to do this. Here are our top tips on how to get customers using your app and thus increasing their spend.

1. Tell people about it

It sounds obvious but many wholesalers rely on their customers finding out about the app rather than actively telling them about this. It goes without saying that you should be putting up posters in your depots, highlighting it in all promotional materials and getting your telesales people to talk about it, but we’ve found that one of the most effective ways of telling customers about an app is via text message. They receive the text message on their phone and can then simply click a link that takes them to the relevant app store or web link to download the app there and then. These text message campaigns can be easily managed through our Beam platform, with one wholesaler who used this method seeing their downloads increase by 230%.

2. Incentivise download

It’s a simple tactic but it really works. And there are different ways to incentivise customers so you can choose something that will work for your business. It could be that if they download the app they get a free credit, free first delivery, or it could simply be that you offer app exclusive deals. Any of these tactics can be really effective at capturing customers’ attention and pushing them to download the app.

3. Run in-app promotions

We’ve had customers use these really successfully to drive up app downloads and subsequent app usage. One client who ran a such a campaign saw an increase in average basket value smash through the £2,000 barrier putting it way ahead of an industry average of just over £1,200. And their total app transaction value increased by a massive 123%. These campaigns tend to be a mix of push notifications (in-app messages) and in-app advertising and the really smart thing here is that you can get suppliers to contribute to these by featuring their brands and deals.

4. Content really is king.

It’s critical that your product file is clear of errors and that big selling products have images. This can be done in-house or with organisations such as Brandbank. You can also supplement this data you have with services such as Erudus which gives you a much richer data set and vital nutritional and dietary information.

5. Maximise cross-sell opportunities

Apps offer the perfect vehicle for cross-selling products. Through our Beam platform, as customers are searching for products, you can also show them related products that they might not have thought to have bought in depot or over the phone. It also allows you to push NPD and special deals all which help drive up basket value.

What’s clear to us through our years of experience, is that you get back what you put in. If you actively encourage your customers to use the app and make the most of the opportunities the tech offers, then you will reap the rewards.

For more information about how RNF can help you maximise the digital opportunity, get in touch for a chat with our founder and MD Rob here.