Leading ecommerce retailers are using Sponsored Data to boost app installs, dwell time, and sales. By making apps free to use on the mobile network, these retailers are delivering high value to their customers before they even make a purchase.
How do you perceive value? How do you figure out whether something you have or want holds sufficient value for you to retain or acquire it? These are not easy questions to answer. The ways in which humans perceive value are subtle and complex, and have been the focus of numerous psychological studies — many driven by the need of retailers and manufacturers to sell more products to consumers.
For ecommerce retailers, increasingly reliant on smartphone apps to engage customers and generate sales, the need to provide value is about much more than product pricing. Value must be visible throughout the entire app experience, because the competition to get an app on the smartphone in the first place is itself is so intense.
Research from the likes of Forrester and Nielsen has shown that the vast majority of smartphone users regularly open only a very small number of non-native apps, with social media and messaging services from some of the world’s most powerful companies chief among them.
(Those powerful companies also dominate the digital advertising environment, taking money from brands whose apps they are competing with. But more about that later.)
Ecommerce apps must compete hard first to get on the device and then to engage the user, drive sales, and retain custom. Ensuring that the user perceives value from the outset is essential, which is why some of the most innovative ecommerce retailers in Latin America joined forces with Datami and its partner MUV, advertisement agency specialized in mobile marketing, to make Sponsored Data a key element of their customer engagement activity.
These apps, including Magazine Luiza, Casas Bahia, Netshoes, and Natura, have used Sponsored Data to pay for all of the mobile network data used when consumers are browsing through their apps. For the consumer, depending on the sponsored data implementation and which audience it targeted, app usage on the mobile network can be entirely free of charge.
This is highly attractive to smartphone users. In Brazil, mobile operators have reported, at least 42% of mobile subscribers run out of mobile data each month. Offering sponsored data allows brands to show customers they understand that mobile data is a highly valued resource which should be reserved for the most important apps, content, and services. And it ensures that those brands’ apps are more likely to be used freely, even by customers who are closely monitoring their own data usage.
The results have been emphatic, with Sponsored Data proving highly effective in a number of ways:
Driving Downloads — Every app download puts a retailer’s entire stock and customer experience in permanent reach of the consumer’s fingertips. Advertising an app as being data free, or as having sponsored data enabled can dramatically increase downloads.
Mercado Livre promoted sponsored data in its app and boosted new installs by 37%, Sponsored data was seen to be cheaper and more effective than traditional advertising campaigns.
Increasing App Engagement — Apps which incur no mobile data fees are used more often and for longer periods by smartphone users. Like toll-free numbers, or free shipping, Sponsored Data provides real value which drives engagement.
On average Datami sees app engagement increase by 31% within three months of Sponsored Data introduction, when measuring session volume, session length and DAU/MAU KPIs.
Boosting Conversion Rates and More — By creating more browsers and more engagement, sponsored data helps apps increase sales.
Netshoes’ in-app conversion rate has increased by an incredible 60% since the introduction of Sponsored Data and Netshoes made free navigation a part of their brand.
Freedom, Convenience and Removal of Friction — By removing the fear of running out of mobile data, sponsored data creates the ultimate peace of mind to connect and engage at anytime.
Casas Bahia realized that sponsored data would create a new level of convenience allowing users to freely browse, shop and buy anytime on-line and then pick up at the store.
Sponsored Data drives a range of key improvements because it is at the heart of the entire app experience, and can be used to respond to — and encourage — specific app user behaviors. Unlike platforms including Google and Facebook, which continue to show consumers adverts for products they have already purchased, Sponsored Data can be deployed in conjunction with an app’s own customer intelligence.
An app might be data free for one month after download, and then require the customer to sign up to a mailing list, or make a purchase, or maintain a certain level of app engagement in order to retain the high value benefit of Sponsored Data. It could be reserved for high spending, or top tier customers. It can be associated with any segment of app users, or any type of app behavior. This is a level of sophistication that traditional digital advertising and engagement solutions simply cannot offer.
The perception of value is a key consideration at several key points in consumers’ decision-making processes. By using sponsored data, ecommerce companies ensure their apps are intrinsically valuable from the very first consumer touchpoint and onwards throughout the customer relationship. Even Google have realized the potential of sponsored data, as the sponsored apps in the Play store have recently become a new category (Navegue Gratis) making it easy for consumers to find valuable app that don’t use their mobile data. In an intensely competitive market, Sponsored Data is proving to be an extremely powerful means of consumer engagement.