How to increase your app user base with an in-app only shopping offer

With Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday behind us, the 2017 holiday shopping season is now officially underway.

For the record, Black Friday 2017 was one for the record books for retailers.

Not to be outdone, Cyber Monday 2017 was also a banner day for mobile sales, which is just one more indicator in how accustomed people are to using their smartphones for just about everything.

Play “Let’s Make a Deal” with your Users

Like many of the ad campaigns by Best Buy, Target, and other retailers, some shopping promotions in our customers’ apps have also captured our attention lately.

Be careful at Black Friday.

Use your app to offer shopping deals and the new users will come running like a Black Friday crowd. (Virtually of course.)

The Colorado State Alumni Association got it started with an in-app discount card that benefits its members when shopping at the campus bookstore.

Up next is the Oklahoma State Alumni Association.

We recently noticed an “App Offer” tile that leads to a discount at the official Oklahoma State store.

The sequence looks something like this:

Users tap the App Offer tile

Users sign in and tap the App Offer tile.

A description of the offer includes a special discount code of APP

Users read about the offer and collect their discount code (APP).

Users shop and use the discount code at checkout.

Users shop and use the discount code at checkout.

A Notable Notification

The promotion looks simple enough at a glance. However, the way it was put together is of note as it benefited members, the campus bookstore and the alumni association.

For starters, the discount was promoted with a notification.

While it was sent to anyone who had downloaded the app, the discount was available only to users who actually sign in.

Users shop and use the discount code at checkout.

Who could resist this notification? Tap, tap, tap!

The results

This relatively simple promotion clearly had an impact on driving engagement with the app.

As you can see from this screen shot in the association’s administrator reports, the day of the notification (Nov 12) shows a spike of more than 100 new users.

This benefits the OSU Alumni Association by building a larger installed user base it can reach with future promotions and news in the app.

In addition, the App Offer special was successful for the university store, generating nearly 40 sales with the “APP” code and a bargain for members who saved about $1,000 total when purchasing their Cowboy gear.


The promotion resulted in several more users actually signing into the app

“We’re always looking for benefits and content we can feature first on our mobile app to drive downloads and registrations,” said Chase Carter, Director of Communications and Marketing at the Oklahoma State University Alumni Association. “This promotion was a great way to promote both as well as sales to our campus bookstore.”

Expand your mobile strategy today

As shown in this example, even simple promotions can drive user engagement and adoption with your app.

If you have an idea for your app or would like suggestions, please don’t hesitate to contact us to help you expand your mobile strategy.