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3 easy ways to get shoppers to download your shopping mall app

10/23/18 8:51 AM by Nikolaj Dahlgaard

One of the most important questions before and after you have launched a shopping mall app is:

How do I get customers to download the app?

To get customers to download and use any app requires hard work.

Take Zalando as an example. They use all their channels to make customers aware of the possibilities in their app.

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Google Ads

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Facebook banner

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Social Ads

Every day we help shopping malls get customers to download their app, and we see two major reasons why customers haven't downloaded it yet.

1. Customers don't know it exists (which by far is the most prominent reason)

2. The app doesn't offer the right value, and therefore customers stop using the app without recommending it to others.

In this article, I give you our 3 most impact full tactics for getting customers to download your app.

If you would like to know how you create an app that customers will love to download, and the 3 functions that most customers use. Click here to read: What shopping malls can learn from JD Sports app universe. 

The three strategies are:

1. Facebook advertising and social commercials

2. Tenant competitions

3. In-store advertising


Facebook advertising and social commercials

Customers spend more than 1 hour a day on social media - especially Facebook. Therefore Facebook Ads is an easy way to get customers to download your app.

You may think it will be expensive to use paid Ads to get customers to download the app.

You can argue so, but the purpose of your app is to be able to communicate directly with the customer and thereby inspire them to visit your mall more often.

Therefore customers that use the app are worth more than those who doesn't.

Another bonus is that when customers have downloaded the app you don't need to spend the same money on advertising to reach them. You can focus on inspiring them with inspirational content in the app.

Therefore you need to see getting app downloads via Facebook Ads as a long-term investment, just like the collecting of email subscribers.

I have elaborated further on this approach to Facebook advertising in an earlier article. You can find it here.

In the next chapter, I will show you how we used Facebook Ads to get customers to download a shopping mall app.

Competitions make customers download your app

We have tried many different messages and creatives, and a message that always turns out to be a success is when customers can participate in a competition.

Competitions are fun, and therefore does customers like them.

In this example, herningCentret runs a competition Ad where customers can win 200 DDK (27€) when downloading the app. 

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Article recommendations:

In another article, we looked through 50 Ad accounts from leading shopping malls. Here we found the mistake that most shopping malls make, and we give recommendations on how to advertise to customers that haven't been to your mall for a while, and those who already follow your Facebook page. Click here to read: The #1 mistake shopping malls make with Facebook Ads

Tenant competitions

Your tenants are one of your mall’s greatest resources, and to engage them during the launch or during a time-limited download campaign is an effective tactic.

A good case is the app launch at the Danish mall Ro's torv.

Here we launched a competition where the tenant that provided the most downloads would get a free luxury dinner for the whole personnel as the first prize.

A few weeks before the launch we invited the tenants for a meeting where we informed them about the new app, and also the competition. Here the tenants also had the possibility to ask questions.

A week before the competition tenants would get a poster and several stickers with QR codes that customers could scan and then download the app. Every time a customer scanned the QR code the tenant would get a point.

QR code app competition

This competition resulted in a massive engagement from the tenants, who promoted the app to customers entering the store, posted it on their social media and in newsletters to get as many customers as possible to download the app.

At the end of the release day, the app was among the most downloaded in Denmark.

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In-store advertising

Another effective way to make your customers aware of your app is to set up stand posters in your mall. Especially on spots where customers stand still for a time; in the elevator, at the playground, and at the reception as examples.

Customers are already spending time at your mall, and it's so easy convince them to try your app if they will get points for a loyalty program.

By offering them this possibility you entertain them for a moment, and we see that this creates a good supplement to your other marketing initiatives.

Here's, an example of a poster explaining the Danish mall Storcenter Nord’s app. The poster tells that the customer will get 10 points for the loyalty program from downloading the app, and another 10 for being in the mall.

Poster showing a girl with an Emplate app

Final give away

I now hope you have got some good inspiration for ways to market your mall app. A mall that have great success using Facebook Ads to convert customers to app users are the danish mall herningCentret. We have been writing a case study that shows exactly how they did it, and you can download it below.

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Nikolaj Dahlgaard

Written by Nikolaj Dahlgaard

Co-founder of Emplate. Business Development Engineer who likes to travel and see new places.