People often ask us why we created Apptile, and the truth is there are many reasons.
For me specifically, I see Apptile as the natural progression for the last 15 years of my career. Before Apptile, I helped establish four different ecommerce brands, including Livspace, a home interior and renovation brand that our team grew from scratch to over $100 million in sales per year. Each of these companies taught me something, the most important lesson being that e-commerce brands need to be leading examples of what’s possible when it comes to engaging with customers.
Recently, I got the exciting opportunity to be a guest on the DTC Podcast. In that conversation, I shared a lot of the “why” behind Apptile, as well as my thoughts on where the ecommerce industry is headed. Here are some of my perspectives.
Regardless of the size of your ecommerce business or what category you’re in, you’re likely selling to two types of people: tourists and locals. Tourists are the consumers that shop at your brand once, and then move on to other things. Locals are the ones that come back and keep buying your products. They feel like they have a relationship with your brand and that your products fill a specific need or want for them. Investing in retaining your locals is what can help take your business to the next level.
While I was at Livspace, our team realized that we were catering almost exclusively to tourists. Since we were selling furniture and home items that don’t get replaced that often, customers would go a long time between purchases. We had a business that operated efficiently and was a trusted brand, but if we wanted to grow our profits, we needed to find a way to increase our repeat purchase rate — so that’s what we did. We knew that we had hundreds of thousands of people visiting our site every day, so we created an additional portfolio of products and services that got them to return between major purchases. It was this shift that powered the growth of the company, and one that signaled how vital customer retention is as a business strategy.
To really understand their retention potential, brands need to take stock of how they’re generating new sales. What is the repeat purchase rate and how does it compare to the leaders in their industry? Is there something that can be done to improve that metric? That’s what will ultimately determine which brands have staying power.
The last decade has seen a massive shift away from desktop to mobile. On average, people spend over three hours on their mobile devices every day, using their phones for everything from booking a car and attending a video conference, to ordering groceries and restocking their skin care products. Through this shift, consumers have set a standard for the types of sophisticated experiences they expect from their apps. If a brand’s mobile app isn’t as seamless as Amazon’s — the gold standard for fostering conversion and loyalty — then it’s not considered premium.
As such, when it comes to launching a mobile app for an ecommerce brand, there are a few must haves:
Ultimately, a mobile app is the best possible channel for fostering retention. Your brand literally takes up space on the customers’ device, and there are extensive opportunities to leverage data to entice consumers to return.
At Apptile, we want to make it easier than ever for ecommerce brands to apply Amazon-level tactics to inspire and retain their customers, and our platform facilitates that. Our customers often spend as little as a week conceptualizing, building, and launching their apps — significantly accelerating the path to growth.
We help ecommerce brands take segmentation further than ever, personalizing experiences not just based on purchasing behavior, but on browsing activities and the customer journeys the brand designs. This means that when the app is loaded, it can make recommendations using anticipatory design. It’s this type of data-rich approach that helps customers feel seen and encourages them to come back.
We also ensure that our customers are creating custom experiences that truly reflect their brand. Most app platforms use the same app outline where users can turn features on or off depending on their needs. This means that you could be offering the same exact app experience as hundreds of other brands. And while that may be efficient as an approach, what we wanted to do was offer customers apps that were as powerful as the ones crafted by the leaders in their industry. We wanted to empower our customers to create dynamic, almost magical experiences — and they are.