August 17, 2015

App Deep Linking: Retailers Are Navigating a Complex Web Browser Jungle

Deep linking to mobile apps has become a hot topic for retailers leading up to the holiday season as consumer behavior continues to evolve toward mobile devices. We’ve all seen the studies – consumers are using mobile devices now more than ever to find deals, compare prices, access coupons and build shopping lists. In a recent back-to-school survey by Rubicon Project, for example, it was found that half of parents surveyed spent more time on their mobile devices than watching TV and 36% of all parents had made purchases directly from their mobile phone in the last month.

Deep linking refers to the ability to check if a mobile app is present on the user’s device and then proceed to open the app instead of sending the user to the corresponding mobile website. Sending loyal app users to a mobile website by default and asking them to login treats them like a new customer at best. At worst, it creates a missed opportunity for engagement and revenue.

Surprisingly, in our own recent analysis of the IR Mobile 500, only three retailers had developed an app deep linking capability for either iOS and\or Android. Forward thinking companies like REI, have recognized the need for a unified deep linking approach and have learned how implementing a strategic solution can also generate valuable insights about consumer behavior and multi-channel marketing campaigns.

Navigating the Web Browser Jungle

One of the biggest roadblocks to implementing an app deep linking strategy is the number of browsers across platforms, devices and applications. The following table outlines capabilities and limitations across platforms and browser types. Solving for one browser type will ignore the other use cases delivering a vastly inconsistent customer experience. Developing solutions for each browser via platform or application specific SDKs and APIs can also become resource intensive and difficult to maintain over time.


Intelligent Routing: Less Development, More Automation

Brands, retailers and agencies need complete control over the customer experience while not creating dependencies on individual browsers or use cases. Omni-channel or multi-channel campaigns that include display advertising, search marketing, email and affiliate all stand to benefit from a single, unified, automated deep linking strategy.

URLgenius overcomes individual browser limitations by offering a single platform for Android and iOS deep linking that automates the routing of customers to the right “in-app” page if the app is present or to the mobile website. Marketers are empowered with the ability to create, control and maintain these deep linking clickstreams using simple campaign routing rules such as landing page destination without the need for platform specific SDK or API integration. Real-time insights let marketing teams know how to change course when content or a campaign isn’t working.

Retailers don’t need to navigate the complex web browser jungle on their own. If you’re a brand, retailer or agency and need help solving for app deep linking across platforms, browsers and applications contact us.

There’s still time to implement a solution before the Q4 holiday season!


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