I’ll be the first to say it out loud: The app store is becoming more and more irrelevant.
Research shows that most people simply aren’t downloading apps to their smart phones. Combine the fact that over 1,000 apps are being published every single day on the iOS app store, together with our extremely limited attention span, self-standing native mobile apps are becoming less and less of a viable business.. Especially in the retail space.
The reason for that is pretty simple: context.
So where is everyone if not on native apps? Our increasing daily screen time is being spent on a shrinking number of platforms. Snapchat recently surpassed Twitter in terms of daily usage and Facebook is shattering all records in terms of its users’ screen time. Take a look around your office. If your team members aren’t on Facebook, they’re on Slack.
Brands are realizing that users aren’t going to engage nearly as often with them unless they are within context of what they are doing in any case.
The NFL and Twitter recently announced a partnership to stream Thursday Night NFL games within the social network. Why? Context.
The NFL and Twitter recently announced a partnership to stream Thursday Night NFL games within the social network. Why? Here is what Roger Goodell, the NFL Commissioner had to say: “Twitter is where live events unfold. There is a massive amount of NFL-related conversation happening on Twitter during our games.”
Context. The NFL recognized that there are more fans on Twitter talking football during Thursday Night Games than there are watching the game on TV. So bring the NFL to them.
The Facebook “buy” button. The Facebook Messenger “payment” button. The Pinterest “buy” button. The “Order Uber” functionality in Microsoft Calendar. It’s only a matter of time when you’ll be able to order office supplies directly from Staples on the Slack app store.
Commerce is coming to the users instead of users coming to it. Why? Because a consumer taking action requires a trigger – a reason to act. When a user is offered a service within the context of that trigger, then it becomes a seamless and natural experience. Scheduling a meeting in your calendar? Order an Uber. Reading a recipe online? Add the ingredients to your shopping list and purchase them with a single click.
The same is true for gifting. As we created our gifting solutions we identified the key triggers for sending a gift. One instance is Pinterest, where a consumer discovers something that her friend shared and might like to have, so it triggers that user to buy the item for her friend as a gift.
The number-one trigger for gift-giving has always been an invitation to an event. After RSVP’ing to an invite for an event, the most natural next step is to send a thoughtful gift. That is why we partnered with Evite, the world leader in digital invitations, to offer seamless gifting directly inside their invitations.
It’s becoming harder and harder to convince users to stop what they are doing, come to another platform and make a purchase. The question becomes how do we bring commerce to them as part of their natural online journey.
Contextual marketing will be key in the future of online commerce. It’s becoming harder and harder to convince users to stop what they are doing, come to another platform and make a purchase. Retail needs to make a shift toward being within that context, and not fighting to get consumers’ attention to come only to their specific site or store. As users spend more and more time on fewer but very specific platforms, the question becomes how do we bring commerce to them as part of their natural online journey.