April 24, 2024

Why in-app engagement is crucial for B2C brands

A rundown on why the growth playbooks of using channels like push, etc which drove growth for B2C brands in the 2010s has run its course.

Aditya Bhattacharyya

A quick rundown on why the growth playbooks of using channels like push, etc which drove growth for B2C brands in the 2010s has run its course. And why this decade will see a rise of in-app engagement strategies.

Traditional channels like push, email and SMS are oversaturated

Over the last decade, B2C companies have used push notifications, SMS and emails to bring users back to their apps 📲, and these tactics have seen great success in increasing retention rates, repeat purchases, etc.

But now, with every app resorting to these channels, they’ve become overly saturated.

An average consumer receives 46 push notifications in a day. Consumers are bombarded with marketing messages 📣, and it can be challenging to cut through the noise. No wonder the effectiveness of these channels has nosedived 📉 in the last decade.

While we don't see push, email, SMS go away completely anytime soon, growth and marketing functions will need to rely on new ways to reach their users, drive growth and monetization.

Best-in-class B2C brands use in-app engagement to reach users on their own terms

The best mobile apps have already shown us what the new growth playbook will look like. Engage your users on their own terms, when they're using your app.

Google Pay uses tooltips to educate new users

Google Pay knows that a new user will be activated much faster if they make a payment to their contacts via a search, or by scanning a QR code. They make sure a new user is aware of how to use those 2 features with tooltips.

Google Pay uses tooltips to activate new users
Google Pay uses tooltips to activate new users

MakeMyTrip drives conversions from on-the-fence users

MakeMyTrip shows on-the-fence users offers and coupons in real-time ⏱. These in-app messages will be targeted only towards those users who’ve visited the checkout page, perhaps multiple times, and yet haven’t made a purchase.

As soon as they return to the homepage for the 2nd or 3rd time, MakeMyTrip nudges them with an offer 📲.

The “Use coupon” CTA takes users back on their booking journey with another subtle nudge in the "Offers" section to enter the code and avail the discount.

This increases conversion rates 📈, by specifically targeting those users who’re on the fence.

MakeMyTrip drives conversions with real-time conversions

Zomato introduces ZPL through a PiP video

If you’ve recently opened the Zomato 🍔 app, you must have seen the engaging ZPL video playing in the background. With ZPL, users can place bets on specific outcomes of IPL matches, such as who will win, the number of 4s to be hit, the number of no-balls bowled, etc.

To introduce users to ZPL, Zomato created an engaging video 📽 that was shared with its user base. While the video is playing, users still have access to the screen and can move it around, expand it, or dismiss it as they please.

Zomato PiP video

The PiP video appears on one side of the screen. It works because:

  1. It is non-intrusive: You can move it around, go about your order on the side and it can continue playing in the background
  2. It's an engaging format: Video by default proves to be one of the more interesting mediums of communication, if done well.

The key to making in-app engagement campaigns work

A great engagement experience within the app like the examples shown above combines multiple elements:

  1. The right UI pattern matched to the brand’s design theme to give users a native experience
  2. A user segmentation engine to target the right users with the right message at the right time (even a delay of 2 seconds means the user is on another page, or has dropped of entirely)
  3. Impact analysis on key metrics to understand whether the in-app campaign drove the right results
  4. Guardrails to protect user experience

Challenges in running in-app engagement campaigns today

Engineering bandwidth is scarce

Not just engineering but tens of thousands of hours of design and product can end up as a sheer waste trying to build one-off UI patterns like tooltips.

Long wait cycles for app releases

Every new experiment to drive feature adoption, monetization or activation takes 2 weeks to build, another 2 weeks to make the app release, and another month or so to analyse results meticulously to understand whether the experiment succeeded or failed.

Building ancillary capabilities like user segmentation and guardrails to protect user experience

While the UI pattern is one thing, B2C brands need to also build the user segmentation engine and put in place the necessary guardrail conditions to protect user experience.

At Plotline, we’re building an in-app engagement platform to help B2C companies activate, retain and monetize their users

We strongly believe that the next level of growth for consumer internet companies will be driven by real-time in-app user engagement 🔁.

Consumer companies will experiment with UI overlays or fully native embeds to carry out personalized onboarding, give out real-time offers and selective introduction to new features as soon as a segment of users takes a particular action inside their app.

A customer story of 80% higher monetization with in-app engagement!

In 2023, Jar, like almost every other consumer app is under pressure to drive higher revenues - not just users. This boils down to understanding how to improve monetization from existing users. In a bid to improve monetization, the team launched “GoldX”. GoldX plays a critical role for Jar because it increases revenue per user.

Jar used Plotline’s Spotlight to introduce this feature.

Jar's spotlight feature provided by Plotline
Jar's spotlight feature provided by Plotline

Comparing between control and target cohorts, Jar saw that users who saw the spotlight completed the gold lease action at a 80% higher rate.

“We’ve seen 10X ROI on our investment in Plotline. Our new feature, GoldX, saw almost 80% higher adoption among users that saw the Spotlight versus those who didn’t. We're now actively running 10+ in-app campaigns to improve multiple funnels.” - Utkarsh Garg, Head of Growth, Jar

Read the full case study here.

If you're interested in learning more about how in-app engagement can help you drive activation, retention and monetization metrics, book a demo with us.

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