How to Drive Mobile Conversions: 2019 Predictions from the Branch + Criteo Webinar

Last week, we hosted a joint webinar with Criteo, a leading provider of advertising solutions for consumer marketing. Our topic: Key marketing takeaways from 2018 and the future of mobile in 2019. It was an exciting session, filled with candid commentary and deep insights you’ll likely find helpful.

During the webinar, we covered the three big challenges mobile marketers faced in 2018, solutions that helped, and three trends to prepare for in 2019.


1. Fragmentation is the most pressing issue in the industry

User journeys have become more complex, and in turn created big challenges for marketers in 2018. Establishing seamless cross-channel and cross-platform experiences – particularly from web or mobile web to app – and then accurately attributing the results of those experiences is now essential to digital success. As illustrated below, marketers need to manage a bewildering number of variables along the many paths from first impression to conversion.

Mobile industry fragmentation


We found that users who don’t experience seamless transitions between mobile web and native apps have a 67% lower app install rate on average. Let’s put that experience in context: If you encourage a user to go to your app, but they are dropped into your mobile website, they’ll often bounce without a purchase, rendering worthless the investment made to attract that user in the first place.

Branch data also shows 30% of conversions are attributed to the wrong source due to cross-channel data fragmentation. As marketing teams manage more channels, it’s becoming more challenging than ever to determine which channels, platforms, and campaigns drove the highest conversions.

This is an incredibly important challenge to solve heading into 2019, as cross-platform users are exceptionally valuable: Branch’s 2018 Industry Report found cross-platform users spend 2.2x more and have a 10% higher retention rate than their single-platform counterparts.

Marketers that adapt their product and marketing plans to provide users with seamless cross-platform experiences will achieve lower acquisition costs, higher user engagement and retention, and improved ROI. In addition, finding accurate attribution providers will be critical. In a world of data and KPIs, if the impact of each channel can’t be measured accurately, determining effective marketing spend will be next to impossible.


2. Most users abandon apps after just 7 days

Another key theme of 2018: A brand’s relationship with its users doesn’t end with an install. According to Criteo, only 11% of app users remain active after their first 7 days, a startlingly low success rate given the high cost of user acquisition.

App retention drop-off


Historically, app advertising has focused on driving downloads quickly, and at the lowest possible costs. But that approach has a sizable impact on the install quality and requires marketers to consider re-engagement as a priority for their app strategy.

Another key takeaway from the webinar: As user acquisition is 5x more expensive than retention, it’s critical that marketers investing in UA campaigns also invest strategically in re-engagement campaigns. Since uninstalls can happen so quickly, UA and app retention campaigns need to be run simultaneously. This ensures users are re-engaged within the first week of download and results in much higher retention rates.

Example: If you notice that your users stop using your app as frequently after the third day, try a re-engagement campaign via paid ads or emails with a small offer that incentivizes them to return to your app. Checkout 51 had great success with this re-engagement strategy, and saw click-to-open rates increase from 50% to 93% in just one month.


3. “Mobile” includes both mobile web and native apps

More brands are investing in mobile marketing, but it’s important to remember the mobile channel includes mobile web and native apps, which have vastly different user behavior. As we head into 2019, mobile marketers must work across their in-house teams to create strategies that ensure the mobile web and the native app are working in harmony to drive the most revenue and results.

Global conversion funnel by channel


For brands, mobile web users simply aren’t as valuable as native app users. As an example, mobile web users browse less and add fewer products to their shopping baskets than native app users. In addition, app users convert to final purchase at 3x the rate of their mobile web counterparts. As a result, marketers are faced with a challenge: They must seamlessly and easily drive users into their apps, or risk losing those conversions.

Looking ahead to 2019, marketers must create a mobile web to app strategy that encourages mobile web users to download their app and convert. One way to do this: Drive users via deep linking from all channels (email, social, mobile web, and even desktop-to-app) to create a user experience that is contextual and gets users to the right in-app content or product so they can convert quickly and easily.


3 key takeaways for 2019

There are three major takeaways for 2019 that mobile marketers and their teams will want to prioritize to drive user acquisition, retention, and ROI.

  1. Catering to cross-platform users is not an option. Cross-platform is here to stay and if your brand isn’t responding to and encouraging these users to install, convert, and re-engage, you’re leaving money on the table.
  2. User acquisition doesn’t end with the install. Retention and re-engagement strategies will be critical for brands to make sure their investment in user acquisition pays off. Bottom line: It isn’t cheap to acquire users, so it’s incredibly worthwhile to test and iterate on campaigns that retain and re-engage them.
  3. The right partners will separate the successful brands from the strugglers. In a mobile-first era, you’re no longer just competing against the next big company in your industry. You’re competing against mobile-first companies like Uber and Amazon, who provide best-in-class app experiences that drive frictionless conversion. That means you need tech partners who are providing insights quickly that you can act on to drive results.

To view the full discussion on how to drive mobile conversions from Branch and Criteo, the webinar recording is available here. Ready to find out how Branch can help your app achieve new levels of growth? Contact our sales team to find out more.