American Marketer


Implementing Facebook Analytics for Apps into a retailer’s mobile app strategy

March 17, 2017

Marc Biel is CEO of Shopgate Marc Biel is CEO of Shopgate


By Marc Biel

With more than 50 percent of retail traffic and 34 percent of ecommerce purchasing coming from mobile (eMarketer), it is clear that implementing a full-cycle mobile strategy is no longer an “if” decision for retailers, but a “when.”

For those just starting out, it can be an intimidating challenge, but one ripe with opportunities for growth and innovation.

Marketers suddenly have an entirely new sales channel that requires its own marketing initiatives.

Most face some initial challenges as they work to acquire application installs, improve user experiences and checkout flow, keep consumers incentivized, and measure performance and attribution.

Addressing these problems can be as simple as implementing a comprehensive analytics and marketing solution, such as Facebook Analytics for Apps.

The key to effectively using this tool requires retailers to truly delve into every component of the solution to connect all data points and maximize the reach of a mobile app.

Ninety percent of Facebook’s active daily users access Facebook through mobile (thenextweb), making it an ideal platform to capture new app users.

Key factors to focus on when implementing Facebook Analytics for Apps into a retailer’s mobile app strategy include:

Typically, the data collected is defined by the user activity that app marketers choose to track. This app activity is referred to as an App Event. For even better insights, add parameters to these events.

For example, for “View Product,” marketers can add “Product Type,” “Product ID,” or “Value,” and use this information to re-target users with personalized messaging throughout the app.

Once the app events are defined, marketers can start working to better optimize the retailer’s app performance by looking at the full purchase funnel to identify where users may be having challenges within the app or why they are abandoning their cart.

For example, maybe the retailer’s current category flow is confusing, or it is asking for too much information during registration or checkout.

One way to help users pass seamlessly through the checkout process is by offering social login options through the app, allowing users to connect an existing account to skip the manual entry process.

Analytics for Apps, for example, allows retailers to offer Facebook Login within their app for easy registration. It works with retailer’s existing account system, so they can still offer a standard registration, guest registration or other social connect options.

To develop an audience, there needs to be a clear understanding of the desired target audience.

Facebook Analytics for Apps allows for clearer insights on a particular app’s user base, and also a deeper dive into certain segments of their users to answer key questions about behavior.

This segmented user analysis will answer the questions: who is my ideal customer, and what do they care about?

Once equipped with this information, app marketers can focus efforts on customer acquisition and re-engagement, maximizing efficiency with data-fueled relevancy. Keep in mind that every user is different.

Marketers find that new customers typically cost five times more than current customers.

The probability of selling to a returning customer is 60 percent to 70 percent, compared to 5 percent to 20 percent for a new one.

Facebook Analytics for Apps lets app marketers group consumers who have completed a set of events during a specific time period, such as viewing a product page and purchasing.

By comparing these time periods, they can examine if certain changes affected overall retention or engagement.

Additionally, retailers can maximize retention by connecting with current app users through Facebook push and in-app messages.

In fact, apps that use push notifications see up to seven times higher engagement rates than apps that do not use push.

In-app messages are received directly in the app and can be displayed using rich media and creating a deeper connection with the customer.

BY LEVERAGING the capabilities of Facebook Analytics for Apps, app marketers can work to tackle some of their biggest challenges.

Whether they are segmenting users based on the products they have viewed, re-engaging a long lost app user, or providing customers with one-click login, leveraging Facebook’s massive user base and data collection can serve as a secret weapon that will benefit the retailer for the long run.

Marc Biel is CEO of Shopgate, Austin, TX. Reach him at