How to acquire downloads and loyalty sign-ups for mall apps

October 20, 2021
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Downloads and loyalty sign-ups are the bread and butter of having a mall app, when looking at impact and success.

When malls digitalize, it can be a hit or miss in terms of whether they manage to get their visitors on board - but if two similar malls both digitalize, why can they end up having vastly different results, one having massive success and the other not seeing any real difference?

This naturally depends on what sort of digital solution the mall is using and whether it fits its needs as a shopping mall and is easy to use for the visitors. But, what can be almost as important as choosing the right platform though is making the right decisions and choices with it.

At Emplate, one of our main focuses is ensuring that our customers that are using us to help them digitalize are set up for success by knowing how to acquire downloads and have a great loyalty program that leads to sign-ups.

In this article, we’ll run you through some of the points and tips that we share with the malls using Emplate on success with downloads and the loyalty program of mall apps.

A mall apps' success is built on its users.

When talking about how to acquire downloads and loyalty sign ups, there is no end all answer to what one aspect you should look at and do to achieve success, sadly. However, there are some key initiatives that you can make for your mall to help secure success for you consumer app:

A key focus area, when you want to have a successful mall app with loads of downloads, is making sure that you’re off to a great start with a successful launch. This is because it often times helps set the pace of your continuous journey forward. Luckily, a successful launch is not that difficult to achieve with some clear direction and focus – when we’re working with a mall on launching their digital platform, we tell them that in order to have a successful launch, what they need to do is focus their efforts on three core activities:

The three core focus areas for a successful launch.

In this article, we will mainly look into prizes and offers and how to acquire users (if you want to read more about engaging tenants, read this article)

In terms of the marketing efforts, the most efficient channels, from our experience, is usually: Paid online ads, in mall and own channels. And, using the right message is important – a vague “download the app, collect points and redeem prizes” is nowhere as impactful as a concrete call to action, like “Download the app and get a free…”.

We recently wrote a case study on how Rosengårdcentret had an amazing launch of their mall app (read it here) and one of the main reasons for this was a mix of being well prepared and great marketing, resulting in them acquiring a large amount of users from the start. In the example below pulled from the case study, you can see it enticed customers to download the mall app:

“Download a donut and get our app for free(or wait… is it the other way around?)" - Digital display ad used as part of the campaign created by STEP for Rosengårdcentret.

The launch was a massive success and so is the continuous running of the app, with new downloads and sign-ups coming in at a great pace – which leads to another thing, which is a way to ensure downloads and sign-ups constantly, even after launch:

Who doesn’t love feeling special? We all do and your visitors are no different.

Rewards and prizes are that little something that you can have in your mall app that can make your visitors download your mall app, increase their loyalty and visit frequency all while they get to feel cared for. Rewards are what makes the world go round, or well, at least a loyalty program and therefore they’re a core part of ensuring that your visitors are invested.

There are different types of prizes, namely: welcome prizes, free, cash or percentage based discount and purchase necessary. When we’re talking about getting app downloads, welcome prizes are by far the most efficient way to do so, if you use them correctly in your social media and in-mall marketing strategy.

Just like prizes can differ in type, they can also differ in what they offer – like: food and beverages, experiences and services, products or consumer goods, gift cards, etc. When considering welcome prizes to acquire new users for your app, something like a food and beverage prize is extremely popular. That is because they have a high level of crave-ability so to speak and tap into that immediate desire and satisfaction in the short span between seeing it to downloading the app and getting the snack, all while being a low-cost prize to hand out.

Treats as a prize tap directly into our need for instant desire and satisfaction.

While welcome prizes are great for getting downloads, they only work, as the name suggest, to get new people to join the app. And, while that is great, the other types of prizes are an important part of a loyalty program to keep your users coming back again and again.

Striking the right balance in terms of types and amount of prizes will always be an individual manner – however, there are some key guidelines that we at Emplate suggest to the malls we work with to stick to. That is:

Prizes can also be used to create cool campaigns, which can create buzz and content for social media platforms, etc.

Some great examples of this so far has been:

- Chocolate being given away for mall app users at Valentine’s Day.

- The possibility for users to spend their loyalty points on supporting local sports clubs.

- Vending machines where you could draw a free water from when using the app.

- Cranes where you could try your luck at something like winning a gift card by using the app.

Summing up:

In this article, we’ve had a look at how to acquire downloads and loyalty sign-ups. And, while it can be concluded that a key part of acquiring downloads and loyalty sign-ups is having a great loyalty system in the app with rewards for the customers, it can also be concluded that the types of rewards offered plays a pivotal role for the success of a mall app.

As a whole, a good mix of the different types of rewards is optimal, as it means there’s something all the different types of customers. But, when speaking about launch especially, the most impactful type of reward is often the welcome reward in the form of a small in-mall treat in return for an app download. And, when we talk about marketing efforts to get customers interested in your mall app, the most effective marketing campaign is therefore a concrete call to action, such as “Download the app and get a free…”.

Hopefully, this has given you some idea of how to successfully start your digital adventure and given you a better understanding of what motivates visitors to download a consumer app.

If you’re interested in learning more about how having a mall app can benefit your mall, book a demo below.

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