August 28, 2015

Countdown to Q4: App Deep Linking Tips for Online Retailers

Many brands and retailers go into lock-down or “code freeze” mode in Q4, pausing any development or changes to their e-commerce sites and mobile apps to help avoid any glitches as they strive to maximize sales during the holiday season.

In the run-up to Q4 code freeze, we’ll be posting a series of mobile deep linking tips that can still be implemented before October 1st or at get you prepared for a great Q1 in 2016!

These tips are designed to maximize mobile engagement, app installations and sales. Beyond sales, app deep linking can also drive social campaigns, in-store traffic and measurably increase return on ad spend (ROAS) across marketing channels. Check back weekly for the latest tip of the week!

Deep Linking Tip #1: Convert multi-channel affiliate traffic into mobile commerce sales

Affiliate Marketing and Mobile App Deep LinkingAffiliate marketing is still a major driver of sales every holiday season. The core concept has not changed much over the years; it enables a publisher to receive a commission when a consumer clicks a retailer link that results in a sale. What has changed dramatically, however, is consumer behavior. Android and iOS simply did not exist when affiliate marketing was invented and the rise of the smartphone was only nascent (remember flip phones?).

Affiliate links still appear in all marketing channels including publisher emails, search results and social marketing campaigns. When a user clicks on a promotion for their favorite brand, affiliate links should check to see if the brand app is installed on the device and then proceed to that product or offer page within the app. Sending customers to a mobile website by default could significantly and negatively impact conversion.

This project can be tricky since affiliate links are typically managed through a 3rd party affiliate network or agency and since the link will typically stop at the affiliate site first. There are ways of creating affiliate deep links at scale such as dedicating and inserting an affiliate subdomain into the clickstream that can handle app detection and route users into the app according to rules set by marketing.

At a minimum, brands can create web page smart banners for iOS and Android so that traffic coming in from affiliate links can get into the app (and make sure their web session data comes along for the ride so affiliate gets credit for the sale!).

If you are a publisher or advertiser looking for a way to increase conversion during the holiday season, this important change can get you a step ahead of the competition. Contact us for more information.


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