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How To Ace Mobile Customer Engagement – Real-life Examples, Strategies and Best Practices

The year was 2016. 

Instagram, a fast-growing photo-sharing app, just crossed 500 million monthly active users (MAUs).

Snapchat, another popular social app, was offering tough competition to Instagram with the help of Snapchat Stories – a unique feature allowing users to share images and videos that would disappear after 24 hours.

The highlight of this feature was that users could share funny, quirky, or awkward moments of their lives for a limited duration.

Instagram lacked this key feature, which meant that it was missing out on a crucial aspect of customer engagement. Since users were only sharing the most polished content and highlights on the app, Instagram did not offer the spontaneity and raw charm that Snapchat brought to social sharing. 

This impacted the sharing frequency of Instagram, which was crucial for its growth and longevity. Recognizing that users wanted to share the more fun moments of their lives, Instagram launched Instagram Stories in late 2016. 

What followed was a significant shift in the social media industry. 

Within six months of its launch, Instagram Stories was being used by more than 150 million users, which, coincidentally, was close to the total number of users using Snapchat. 

Today, Instagram Stories alone is used by more than 900 million users every day. Compare that with Snapchat’s 406 million daily active users and you get a pretty clear picture of who won that mini showdown in 2016.

A key reason for Instagram’s win was that it not only launched this new feature but also tried to improve the way people engaged with it. 

For example, instead of asking users to view Stories on a different screen, Instagram displayed them right at the top of their feed. Also, with Instagram Stories, you could hold the screen to pause a story, while Snapchat displayed each story for a specified amount of time.

In the end, Instagram was able to grow exponentially due to its ability to understand and improve customer engagement for mobile users.    

Feature Image How To Ace Mobile Customer Engagement Real Life Examples Strategies And Best Practices 1

Understanding mobile customer engagement

The key to any successful business is building a relationship with your audience. 

Engaging with your users, trying to understand their preferences, and optimizing their experience on your app or website – are all ways to improve customer engagement and boost retention.

Even when we speak about mobile users, customer engagement plays a crucial role in the longevity and growth of your business.

But, customer engagement isn’t just limited to a select few sections of your app or mobile website. 

Illustration on customer engagement

Today, customers interact with your brand at several other touchpoints like live chat, email, SMS, push notifications, and social media. You need to create a consistent experience across all of these channels, while also finding new ways to engage with your customers on each of them.

For example, let’s say you wish to improve customer engagement for your eCommerce brand. To do so, you would first have to identify the channels where customers are more likely to interact with your brand. 

One of these channels is the live chat feature available on your mobile app. Even though this feature is designed to quickly address customer queries, you notice that not a lot of them are using it.

Instead, many users prefer the live chat feature available on WhatsApp. Upon further analysis, you discover that the number of queries resolved on WhatsApp is also much higher.

So, based on this crucial insight, you can optimize the live chat feature on WhatsApp and work on improving customer experience on this channel.  

This also shows the importance of engaging with your customers on the channels that they find most convenient. 

Effective strategies to increase mobile customer engagement

Now, that we’ve seen how an effective engagement strategy can improve mobile customer experience, the next crucial step is to find what works for your business and implement it. 

So, let’s look at some key strategies that you can adopt to improve customer engagement in your business.  

1. Leverage the power of social media

Let’s get the obvious one out of the way. 

When we speak of mobile customer engagement, social media is probably the first thing that pops up in your head. And, given the impact and potential it has, you should definitely establish your brand’s presence on platforms like Instagram, Twitter (X), LinkedIn, and Facebook. 

More importantly, you must build a unique voice and showcase your brand’s personality so customers enjoy interacting with you on these social media platforms. 

Here are a few simple ideas to improve customer engagement on social media:

6 Tips To Boost Customer Engagement
Improve customer engagement on social media

Apart from increasing customer engagement, these ideas can also effectively improve recall value, customer loyalty, and customer retention.    

One of the key touchpoints of customer engagement is the checkout or the final stage of a customer’s buying journey. 

However, the average cart abandonment rate for mobile users is 85.65% – the highest across all types of devices.

So, optimizing customer experience at this stage of the conversion funnel is extremely important, and one of the strategies you can use here is integrating discount vouchers or offers with the available payment methods. 

Illustration on going Fully Digital For Payemets
Image source: Thales

To begin with, you must identify the digital wallets or banking services that are commonly used by your customers. The next step is to integrate discounts or special offers with these payment methods, giving users an added incentive to complete a purchase. 

While this adds a layer of convenience to the payment process, it also rewards users for the effort they are making. Providing exclusive discounts, loyalty points, or cashback through popular payment methods is a great way to simplify the payment process, encourage repeat business, and most importantly, boost customer engagement. 

3. Make customer support more accessible with WhatsApp Business

As we saw in an example from one of the above sections, WhatsApp can be a great tool to help and assist your customers.

Since users appreciate the ease of communicating via chat, you can easily use WhatsApp Business for this very purpose. 

Through this channel, you can set up quick response times, automate common queries, and offer personalized support to a majority of your customers. 

Instead of navigating through emails and calls, customers can just send a quick text and get instant responses to their queries. 

This approach makes it super easy for customers to interact with your brand and allows you to build personalized experiences for every user.  

4. Use Augmented Reality (AR) features

Another mobile customer engagement strategy that is not widely discussed is the use of Augmented Reality (AR). 

While this strategy is mostly helpful for eCommerce apps, other industries have also started offering this feature for their users. 

Augmented Reality (AR) for your eCommerce business
Use Augmented Reality (AR) for your eCommerce business

In simple terms, Augmented Reality is a feature that allows users to virtually try products before making a purchase decision. 

This is particularly effective in industries like fashion or furniture. Let’s suppose you manage an eCommerce app where users can buy or sell furniture. 

In this case, you can develop an Augmented Reality (AR) feature within your app that lets customers visualize how a sofa would look in their living room. 

You can even offer guided assistance to users by answering common queries about warranty, service, and delivery. This not only enhances the shopping experience but also reduces the chances of returns, as users can make more informed decisions. 

All of these factors can together improve customer engagement and can positively impact sales and revenue.

5. Voice search optimization

As of 2023, more than 1 billion voice searches are done every month through mobiles and voice search devices. And this is projected to grow exponentially in the coming years. 

This is enough reason to include voice search in your mobile customer engagement roadmap. Just like SEO, you can start by identifying the top keywords associated with your brand and use them to build the foundation of your voice search initiative. 

Provide concise relevant answers for commonly asked queries and optimize them consistently. You can also tailor your voice search capability to match local language queries. 

Once this is done, you should improve the visibility of this feature while also prompting common questions or keywords that customers generally use on your app or mobile website. 

This is a great way to improve customer engagement on mobile as it again offers a sense of comfort and convenience to your users. 

6. Optimize your emails for mobile users

While email marketing is a great way to engage your customers, a lot of brands tend to overlook the importance of optimizing email campaigns for mobile users. 

Apart from creating visually appealing email campaigns, you must ensure that the content and designs are optimized for every type of device. Use concise, compelling subject lines to grab attention and personalize these interactions as much as possible. 

Retail Brand Illustration

For example, a retail brand can send mobile-friendly emails with clear calls-to-action, showcasing new arrivals or exclusive mobile-only discounts to drive engagement.

These were some of the top mobile customer engagement strategies you can implement to improve the quality of interactions, build strong relationships, and boost the overall growth of your organization.  

Mobile customer engagement best practices

Before you begin implementing these game-changing strategies, there are a few best practices that you must follow to boost customer engagement and ensure long-term success. 

1. Humanize your communication

One of the most important aspects of any customer engagement strategy is the quality of interactions that you provide on your app or mobile website.

Customers prefer interactions that have a human touch, 

So, instead of some generic messages, consider using the names of customer service agents or support representatives in your notifications. This creates a sense of connection, making users feel like they’re engaging with real people. 

Having this kind of humanized communication helps build trust and creates a stronger emotional bond with users, contributing to long-term loyalty.

2. Reward users for their participation

Since you want users to engage with you on different channels, rewarding them when they do it only makes sense. 

Other than typical loyalty programs, you should consider introducing gamified elements within your app or through mobile campaigns. 

This could involve challenges, quizzes, or interactive features that reward users for participation.

Not only does this improve customer experience, but it also incentivizes them to stay engaged, resulting in a sense of achievement and satisfaction.

3. Use insights about user behavior to optimize experiences

One of the best ways to improve mobile customer engagement and boost user satisfaction is behavioral analytics.

Tools like VWO Insights allow you to track and analyze user behavior with powerful features like heatmaps, session recordings, scrollmaps, and so on. 

Using these features, you can identify roadblocks or friction areas that are impacting customer engagement. Moreover, they also offer nuanced insights into customer behavior, based on which you can optimize customer experience.  

4. Ask for feedback without interrupting user experience

One of the best ways to improve customer experience is through user feedback. 

Listening to your customers, understanding their grievances, and identifying friction points in their journey are steps that can help in improving customer engagement on mobile.

However, you must also ensure that the process of collecting feedback from customers does not hamper their experience. 

Instead of bombarding users with feedback requests, you should try to include smart, contextual feedback mechanisms within the mobile experience. 

For example, when a user completes a purchase or books a free trial on your app, you can include a non-intrusive pop-up survey asking them to rate their experience. This type of interaction feels more natural and has a better chance of engaging the users.

Similarly, you can set up different feedback mechanisms to gather valuable insights without disrupting the user experience, while also collecting actionable data for growth and improvement.

5. Optimize your app for offline accessibility

A key aspect of customer engagement that often goes unnoticed is offline accessibility. 

There might be times when a customer might face internet connectivity issues. Here, you must ensure that your mobile app remains functional even when users are offline. 

While it may not be possible to make the entire app accessible, you can allow users to access certain features, content, or functionalities without an internet connection. 

This enhances the usability of your app in various scenarios and ensures that customers have a seamless experience, showcasing your commitment to user convenience.

Real-life examples of customer engagement

Let’s look at some interesting examples of brands that improved customer engagement for mobile users. 

1. An eCommerce brand selling wedding shoes achieved a 200% increase in mobile conversions

Elegant Steps, a UK-based eCommerce specializing in wedding shoes, wanted to optimize their website for mobile users. To do so, they first had to analyze customer behavior on the desktop and mobile versions.

It was observed that the mobile website had a very low conversion rate of 0.6% as compared to 2% on the desktop website. To fix this, the team at Elegant Steps used VWO’s heatmaps and scrollmaps to closely study customer behavior.

They wanted to identify critical areas of engagement that would need optimization. This is what they discovered:

  • The Shop By Brand section on the home page hardly received any clicks
  • Key details like ‘Free Shipping’ and ‘30-day Return Policy’ did not appear prominently on the mobile website  
  • The text that appeared on the main home page image was the same color as the background, which impacted readability 

Based on these key insights, the team worked on optimizing the home page for mobile users and tried to rectify these issues. To know whether this new version was better, the team conducted an A/B test for mobile visitors.

Control And Variation Vwo

Here, the original version of the website (control) was shown to a certain set of visitors, while the rest were shown the new version (variation). 

After a month of running this test, it was observed that the mobile conversion rate increased by 200%, while the bounce rate dropped by almost 50%.

This was a huge win for the team as they successfully improved customer engagement and delivered an experience that matched audience expectations.     

2. An OTT platform increased subscription trials by improving customer engagement

BluTV is a leading subscription-based, over-the-top (OTT) service in Turkey. The platform offers a wide range of content for different types of users. 

The company wanted to increase the number of active users and get more people to sign up for a paid subscription trial. However, the team noticed that the conversion rate for mobile visitors was quite below their website average.

Upon further research and analysis, the team realized that the existing home page was more suitable for active users rather than new visitors. To solve this issue, they completely revamped the mobile home page. 

Here are some key areas of customer engagement that the team wanted to fix:

  • Help users focus on important elements by removing distractions and unnecessary elements
  • Suggest popular content that users may want to watch
  • Add an FAQs section at the end to proactively offer solutions to commonly asked queries 

The team created a new home page design (variation) that addressed all of these issues and ran a split URL test against the original design (control).

Control And Variation - Blu Tv

The test continued for 19 days and included close to 90k visitors. The new, alternative mobile home page variation increased the conversion rate by over 42%.

3. A company that creates physical obstacle courses registered a 9% increase in session value

Tough Mudder creates mud and obstacle courses that are designed to test the endurance, strength, and stamina of individuals. 

The company wanted to improve the enrolment process on its mobile website, which is why it decided to partner with VWO and altima°, an eCommerce agency.

Tough Mudder's website

Based on their research and analysis, the team hypothesized that crucial information like the event location and date appeared too far down the fold. 

Also, other unnecessary page elements were possibly distracting the users, preventing them from engaging with the website. The team then created multiple versions of the page where all of these issues were addressed and more focus was given to key elements. 

For example, the header copy was changed to only focus on the listed events.

Toughmudder website redesigned

The event list was redesigned to feature the events prominently, while important details like date and location were given more focus.

Also, they added an urgency message to encourage interested users to enroll quickly as the events approached their deadlines. 

Toughmudder ran a multivariate test with VWO

In the end, the team ran a multivariate test that included the original version along with 3 other variations. 

After 4 weeks, Variation 2 emerged as the clear winner. This variation included an urgency message along with a header copy and a redesigned event list.

It produced a session value uplift of 9% and combined with further testing and optimization, the team was able to register a 33% uplift in session value.   

Final thoughts on mobile customer engagement

As we saw in the above examples, improving mobile customer engagement results in various other benefits for the business. 

With the right approach and mindset, you can combine these learnings with the other best practices to build a strong customer engagement strategy for your mobile users. 

By going beyond the conventional approaches, you not only differentiate your brand but also build a more meaningful and lasting connection with your audience. 

Sign up for a product tour of VWO Insights for Mobile Apps and get free 90-day access to analyze customer behavior, identify conversion roadblocks, and build an optimized experience for your mobile app users.


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