If you find that you’re using your mobile phone more often to manage email and banking, take photos, and shop online, you’re not alone. Trending up sharply every year, 85% of Americans now own a mobile phone. Mobile commerce is growing, with 79% of smartphone users purchasing online. Live sales streaming contributes to the “m-commerce” boom, with $35 billion in U.S. online sales forecasted by 2024.
Live selling to a dedicated app enables retailers to capitalize on mobile commerce while avoiding restrictions imposed by social media algorithms. Using a dedicated app also enables retailers to have more control over the content they create.
How Social Media Algorithms Manage Content
Many retailers live stream on social media, and some rely on social media exclusively to launch their businesses or expand their reach to new audiences. However, social media channels are evolving as their audience sizes increase. These platforms increasingly rely on algorithms to cater content to users’ preferences. Algorithms are artificially intelligent systems that place content ranked by what the platforms determine to be most important in their members’ feeds.
The algorithms rely on machine learning to make decisions about how visible certain content should be, and their constantly changing rules can impact sales and engagement for retailers. The result of actions taken by algorithms can seem arbitrary and leave retailers wondering why their posts aren’t being seen by their audiences, and how they can get more exposure.
A Branded Mobile App Can Increase Your Reach and Boost Sales
Branded mobile apps are useful for retailers to differentiate their businesses and capture customers’ undivided attention. Mobile apps can be customized to match a retailer’s branding and, because there’s no competition for audience attention, an app can tip the scales in your favor. Customers who use branded mobile apps are 220% more likely to make repeat purchases.
Here are a few ways for retailers to keep customers engaged with their branded mobile apps:
- Live video streams
- Social interaction
- Push notifications
Until recently, a branded mobile app required custom software development to design and program it for the most widely used mobile phone operating systems: Apple iOS and Android. Developing an app for two different systems can be costly and time-consuming, from initial creation and testing, to deploying, and then updating and maintaining. Additional add-ons, plugins, and customizations to integrate with specific e-commerce and CRM platforms can require additional cost and time.
CommentSold offers a free mobile app with the Business plan. Retailers can custom-brand their shoppable app with their logo and colors to match their unique business identities and live stream videos directly to their customers.
The mobile app includes these features:
- Push Notifications announce new products, sales, and promotions directly to customers.
- Stream Live Video from the app, where shoppers can make purchases from live streams without leaving the video.
- Create Collections automatically by tagging products and to customize navigation.
- Demonstrate how products fit and function by uploading Fit Videos.
- Enable your audience to Shop the Look by showing multiple products in one video to create a complete look.
- Create Excitement by showing viewers when customers purchase, comment, or favorite in the app.
- Access Analytics to view sales revenue per minute of live sales streaming video and other detailed reporting about the success of your live sales.
- Multichannel Live Selling enables retailers to stream live sales from the app simultaneously to their e-commerce store, Facebook Pages and Facebook Groups.
- Directly integrated with the centralized inventory and fulfillment tools in your CommentSold dashboard
Algorithm-Friendly Live Selling
App store algorithms are important to consider because they control your app’s visibility where customers are searching for and discovering them: in the Apple App Store and Google Play. Like Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is key for websites, App Store Optimization (ASO) is vital for mobile apps.
Here are some ways retailers can increase app store visibility for their apps:
- Relevant app name, title, and keywords
Think about what your customers are searching for and use relevant keywords in the app title, description, and subtitle. Don’t change the title once your app begins to rank in searches.
- Number of downloads and user ratings
As an app is downloaded, it also ranks for the total number of downloads, and user ratings and reviews. If users leave comments in the Apple App Store or Google Play, it’s important to respond to them because proactive responses show retailers’ responsiveness.
Retailers can increase the number of app downloads by notifying their customers and prospects about the app via email and social media channels, and through paid advertising. It also helps to incentivize downloads with promotions, offers, deals, and discounts.
Live Selling App Features Enhance and Increase Customer Engagement
A mobile app is included with CommentSold Business plan. In addition to customizable branding, push notifications, and multichannel live selling features, the app also offers this expanded functionality:
- Shoppers can view, add products to their cart and make purchases without leaving the live stream.
- Shoppers can like and comment on products during live streams and interact directly with the host, who can ask and answer viewers’ questions.
- Pre-recorded videos that retailers post to social media are also featured in the app.
- For online retailers who are already live selling, enabling the live stream on the app is as easy as clicking a button for a new channel.
- The app automatically attaches segments of live sales to the products that were featured in the live sale.
- App customers can shop from previous live sales.
- Link social videos to items in the app.
With the sharp growth of mobile commerce and social selling, retailers have also increased branded mobile app usage. Using a branded app enables retailers to reach customers directly and keep them engaged with personalized content without having to compete with other businesses for their attention.
Another benefit is that branded mobile apps don’t require retailers to keep up with ever-changing social media algorithms and their restrictions.
Rather than creating a dedicated mobile app from scratch, retailers can live stream from an app powered by CommentSold that’s ready to custom brand and use. A ready-to-use branded app is a quick way to start live selling, capitalize on mobile commerce, and build a sense of community with highly engaged audiences who become repeat customers.