By Raviteja Dodda, CEO and Co-Founder, MoEngage
The momentum in vacation spending has picked up and marketers need to capture it before it exceeds them. Besides retailers, banks and credit companies must also benefit from rising consumer spending; with the follies comes a demand for financing options.
In India, credit companies (including banks) are seeing a significant increase in installation and use of apps during the holiday season, starting with Dussehra until the new year. There is a massive spike during Diwali when consumers upgrade their homes with gadgets or furniture, send money home, or go on vacation.
As with retailers, banks and fintechs need to set themselves apart with their consumer engagement strategies. Banks can communicate with their customers at the most basic level by sending real-time updates via SMS or email. But most of them rely heavily on information-driven engagement and App Store Optimization (ASO), powerful tools to drive app discovery and app store conversions.
When banks and fintech companies embark on cutting-edge strategies such as obtaining insight into consumer history, preferences, and an ideal channel mix, that’s only the first half of the story. battle won. They have to reach the other half at the bottom of the funnel, thereby gaining successful customers.
In banking terms, you have to make sure that the app shows up when consumers start looking for loans and make sure that credit is available when the demand is there. With so many elements at stake, it is indeed a difficult marketing exercise. Finance companies and banks come under additional pressure when demand for credit increases. They need to control the quality of risk while making the most of the opportunity.
Applications must ensure greater visibility
Of course, there is a method to this madness. The right time to optimize the App Store is one month before the start of the holiday period. Data analysts can also check and learn from the app’s performance in the previous year. Seasonal keyword optimization or adding seasonally specific base terms helps in successful searches.
Most businesses use unique app store designs and messages that match the “season” to meet these changing preferences. The app can be found more easily by simply changing the keyword strategy to accommodate changing search queries. Marketers must also adapt to the context of the end of the year holidays and play on the specific marketing tools that Apple and Google are putting in place. They have to guess how long it will take to update the app.
Some Steps to Successfully Optimize Application Conversion Rates
● Create a calendar or integrate the events into the existing marketing calendar. For example, banks and fintechs in India will mark October through December in their calendars.
● Coordinate with the development team and prepare test ideas in advance because if the test is not executed on time, it is difficult to expect results.
● Make the app relevant to the season and put it in an easily understandable context. For example, when FREO, India’s first neo-credit bank, crossed over 15 million installs, the company added a small ribbon to the app. This improved the trust factor and conversions improved dramatically. If the same can be done for the holiday season, the application will be clearly visible on the Play Store.
Research has shown that apps benefit from a 15-20% increase in App Store conversion rates by getting the right seasonality. With seasonally appropriate designs, navigation becomes easier, grabs the attention of customers, and entices visitors to click on the product page and view the in-app vacation functionality.
However, this high engagement will be short-lived if the remaining designs do not match the theme of the season and there are no unique seasonal additions to the app. If, for example, a banking app talks about interest-free credit and doesn’t give any details on its product pages, there’s a good chance it will get a negative rating.
● Testing is essential because it involves looking at changes made by competitors and how to improve. This includes strategizing and planning the segment of traffic sources to test and minimize spending.
● On the marketing side, the personalization of the experience is very important. Communication, in particular, plays an important role. FREO says that while it doesn’t push its customers to take out credit right away, it constantly monitors its customers’ spending. Based on this understanding, they segment clients into different cohorts and risk profiles. It also helps analyze the type of push required to convert each customer.
FREO, for example, found that many of her clients were comfortable reading their messages in vernacular languages, after which she translated her app into seven languages. They translated all the campaigns and updates on the Play Store in the selected languages. This type of consistency makes it possible to communicate directly to consumers the exact amount they have available or to alert them to the expiration date of the EMI.
All the steps mentioned above can only be achieved through a thorough analysis of customer data.
Data plays the main role
To achieve data-driven marketing and engagement for the holiday season, marketers need to analyze the raw data and segment the base. They can use different filters and look at the same issues with different goals. This is when ideas emerge that can help build a successful campaign.
Several data analysts spent time with raw data and studied consumer behavior by calling customers on a zoom call, which unlocked some information to capture the customer’s “aha” moment. The data team should also perform propensity modeling and focus on high propensity segments versus low propensity segments.
Access to Google or Apple app stores for eyeballs
Showing up on the Google App Store or Apple Store is the ultimate sales booster, but there’s a lack of clarity on the framework to feature on those platforms for privacy reasons. Nonetheless, there are some essential guidelines for appearing on these major platforms, not just for the holiday season, but any time of the year. What’s more, what is essential is having excellent reviews and ratings.
Key trends for the upcoming 2021 holiday season
This year will be more difficult than 2020 because the Covid is more worrying in some places and less in some, while in 2020 it was a kind of level playing field. Based on regional targeting, marketers need to localize their campaigns, leveraging seasonality and expectations. So, different countries have different expectations when it comes to search volumes, reviews and ratings.
The second challenge is that the App Store and the Play Store have been very active in using new tools to help sellers better engage with their audience. Depending on the market, they must find out which tool is best for them. For example, with Apple releasing with the new iOS 15, marketers may need to change their communications strategy for a market that dominates Apple. For Google Play, it’s about investing in custom store listings and monitoring metadata policy, banning keywords that involve store performance and promotion through the developer’s icon, title, or name.
This year is more difficult for the financial sector, as the demand for small loans has suddenly increased. Reports suggest consumers are considering spending on small credits, with working from home becoming the norm. So, as they say, you have to be in it to earn it, and that couldn’t be more specific for the banks and fintechs vying for customer attention this holiday season.
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