One of the many things the biggest names in e-commerce have in common is that their customers are loyal fans. This isn’t a coincidence, they have worked hard to build community across social, paid ads, their website, and even now in their mobile app. So, how can you build a community in an app? We’ve taken a look at the data and can tell you the easiest way is by building trust.
Community building for e-commerce brands
For the past 15 years, the easiest way of connecting with your customers has been through social media. But as we all know it’s more expensive than ever to share content with the audience you’ve built on these channels. That’s why it’s more important than ever to have a free and direct path to them. So while it’s important to continue to build your brand online, it’s even more important that you build trust and loyalty during the checkout process. This is why it’s so important to have both a social and in-app community strategy.
If you have a mobile app, community building is a powerful way of retaining customers. There are a lot of different ways to build a community from your app; you can share user-generated content (UGC), create customer groups and clubs, and even offer loyalty and rewards programs.
Another tool for improving customer retention for your e-commerce store is excellent customer service through in-app support.
Trust building through in-app support
In-app support is a great way to be available to your customers and provide help in real-time. You can also deploy a response bot with 24/7 availability. This would ensure you don’t lose valuable customers because their concerns went unheard during the checkout process.
In-app support helps to garner customer loyalty and establish a connection with your support team and in turn, your brand.
Remember what customer care was like back in the day? You would first have to find a customer care number. Then, after being shuffled around among different customer support agents, you would be put on hold for quite a while. In-app support solves that problem by providing an interface where customers can be heard at all times. With this tool, their issues or queries can be resolved almost instantly.
The additional benefit of having in-app support is that it provides a great opportunity for you to ask your customers for reviews and feedback. Being a business, you would know how important feedback can be.
So, it is safe to say that excellent customer support leads to better relationships with your customers, better goodwill in the market, and therefore customers with a high lifetime value.
With a loyal customer base, you can give special support to customers who have shown their trust in your brand again and again. Memberships that come with special privileges are a great way to put loyalty and reward schemes in place.
You can allow your customers to either buy memberships, subscriptions, and access to clubs and high-value content. Or, you could even award them to customers who have earned points based on how much they spent on your app.
How do I set up customer support for my store’s app?
You can use different platforms and integrations to enable this feature. Plobal Apps uses WhatsApp, Intercom, Facebook, and Gorgias to integrate an in-app support feature for the apps we develop for you. These are platforms most users are familiar and comfortable with. At the first sign of a complicated user interface, customers may choose to opt-out of your app and choose a different one instead. Therefore, user interface affects customer retention to quite an extent.
Having excellent in-app support will give customers a great user experience. If one customer has a great experience with your app, they will recommend it to people within their circle. And, isn’t that what community building is all about?
An article by Omniconvert shows the average retention rate for eCommerce at 30% in April 2021.
Community building with in-app purchasing
For a mobile app, there are different ways to bring in more revenue through community building. And, being a mobile app builder, we believe that it is important to consider the option of monetizing your app. This is where in-app purchasing comes in.
In-app purchasing is where customers are given the option to purchase additional features after they’ve downloaded and started using your app. For e-commerce apps, subscriptions, memberships, points, clubs to join, and exclusive content access, are some examples you can give your customers at an extra cost. It is the key to locking customers down.
A good example of in-app purchasing is Evolve Nation, which is partnered with Plobal Apps. The brand uses in-app purchases to allow restricted content only to be viewed by members who have subscribed to a certain plan on their app.
Four different types of In-app purchases:
- One-time purchases that customers can benefit from, and will have to purchase again in order to benefit from them another time, are called consumables. Lives and coins in games are good examples of consumable in-app purchases.
- Purchases that come with a non-expiry date, i.e., consumers can benefit from them as long as they use your app, are called non-consumables. Most e-commerce apps have in-app purchases of this type.
- Subscription-based purchases which the user, upon accepting, will be required to pay on a regular basis for that particular service or feature are known as auto-renewable subscriptions. The user may choose to cancel it later.
- Subscriptions to a service or feature over a period of time, which will have an expiry date, are known as non-renewable subscriptions.
How in-app purchases help with community building and scaling revenue
A study done by Markinblog shows that 65% of a company’s revenue comes from existing and loyal customers. These existing customers spend 67% more than new customers. Therefore, it is just as important to focus on existing customers as it is to focus on getting new ones.
Community building goes a long way in retaining these loyal customers. And, customer retention will, in turn, implement revenue growth for your business.
Handing out memberships of your store, through in-app purchases, to customers garners a certain sense of loyalty and belonging. Club memberships and subscriptions lend exclusivity to your app.
Community members can recommend and invite others to join these brand communities. Not just in their own circles, but new prospective customers will be reached through reviews and feedback. So, not only will this help with increasing revenue through customer retention, but this will also gain new customers.
Need help building customer loyalty?
If you partner with Plobal Apps to build your mobile app, we will have all of this covered. All you will need to do is answer these questions:
- What is your primary intent? If it is community building, what do you want your purchases to be for?
- What will the type of purchase be? (One-time payments, subscriptions, etc.).
- Are these purchases necessary for the usage of your app or are they optional?
- How do you plan on getting users to make these purchases?
Plobal Apps understands the importance of community building. Which is why we have a team of experts that will guide you throughout the mobile commerce journey and help you keep your customers coming back, time and time again.
Want to learn some more tips and tricks for building a community for your e-commerce brand? Click the button below to set up a chat with our mobile commerce experts to get a tailored community building and customer retention strategy for free.