Fortifying In-App Messaging with Payments

Just about every expert in the FinTech industry predicts that smartphones will soon become the key shopping device for consumers worldwide. With mobile apps already constituting a key shopping platform, retailers are constantly searching for new and innovative ways to promote their wares effectively on this channel.

One method leveraged by online merchants to draw mobile users into their apps is the use of push notifications. These targeted messages aim to reconnect with customers who have used the app in the past and tempt them to resume shopping. Many experts consider these notifications to be more effective than mobile ads, which have a way of popping up obtrusively when you least want to see them.

Another tool used to engage smartphone shoppers is in-app messaging, a method of communicating with the user while he or she is already inside the app. In-app messaging is particularly effective because it is both data-driven and personalized. This means it can respond in real time to the user’s activity within the app; for example, it might suggest the next step in the shopping journey, propose new purchases based on previous behavior, or offer a reward for taking a specific action.

Boost In-App Messaging with In-App Payments

Targeted in-app messaging enables merchants to “nudge” the shopper towards the final transaction stage. While this is undoubtedly a step in the right direction, the customized mobile user’s experience cannot be allowed to stop there. To achieve conversions, in-app messaging must segue seamlessly into the payment stage.

However, integrating immediate payments into the in-app messaging experience is no easy feat.  There are many considerations to take into account, including:

Localized In-App Payments Worldwide
Mobile apps are used by a wide range of audiences worldwide. In-app messaging enables the merchant to make special offers relating to local holidays or events in different countries. For example, a mobile app offering a package deal to Venice might use in-app messaging to offer free entry to a special festival or event. However, to encourage the conversion, the appeal of timely localized offers must be further enhanced by enabling regional payment methods that keep the app user in his or her comfort zone.

Personalized In-App Content with Personalized In-App Payments
Effective in-app messaging is based on data gleaned about each consumer’s buying habits and shopping behavior, and personalization is no less critical when it comes to the payment experience. By analyzing past transaction records, the merchant can see which payment methods were used in earlier purchases and offer the same options in the ensuing transactions. A shopper who feels secure and comfortable during the payment process will be motivated to repeat the experience and become a regular customer.

Mobile Wallets for Streamlined In-App Payments
Mobile wallets, which are an integral part of many mobile apps, make payments easier than ever before. The implementation of a mobile payment method for in-app payments is fast and easy for the end user. Once the wallet information is submitted, the in-app shopper can put the desired items in his or her shopping cart and complete payment without needing to enter credit card details or fill out checkout forms in the future. The shopping and payment experiences are integrated smoothly, thereby preventing hesitation or possible abandonment.

Using In-App Messaging to Engage Customers across Channels
In-app messaging can help engage customers across a brand’s various shopping channels. This can be achieved by setting up a cross-platform promotion or contest and launching it through an in-app message. For example, an in-app message might offer a special incentive to visit your website, follow you on social media, or visit your physical store. By appealing to customers across channels, merchants can generate greater loyalty and provide more avenues for communication.

Shortening the Funnel Leads to High Conversion Rates
When applied at key stages of the shopping experience, targeted in-app messaging can significantly shorten app funnels. In-app messaging campaigns based on accumulated data from former customer journeys can streamline the process and lead directly to the desired conversion. Merchants can analyze these campaigns to see where users are dropping off, and tweak the messaging accordingly.

This structured journey shortens the app funnel and rapidly leads the user to the check-out page, enabling transaction completion without obstructions on the way.

Sharing Messaging through Social Media
In-app messaging can be embedded with social CTAs that encourage users to share in-app content, invite friends to the app, or contribute opinions and reviews. This helps to expose apps to new audiences, grow the brand’s social reach, and encourage users to interact with the app.

Various social media channels are already experimenting with Buy buttons. Once this form of payment becomes more mainstream, app users will be able make purchases in real time, thereby increasing conversions and impulse buys.

Harnessing Mobile Apps to Increase Sales

Mobile apps are a major shopping channel in almost every country worldwide. The intrepid merchant who uses this platform to create targeted messaging can shorten sales funnels, increase conversions and simplify payments, ultimately inspiring brand loyalty in both veteran and new customers.

Oren Levy is the CEO of Zooz.

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