Research October 31, 2016

Flash of Genius: Mobile Personalization

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Mobile now surpasses desktop for time spent on digital devices, and consumers continually expect a more personalized mobile site and app experience.

For brands with a mobile app, personalization is no brainer. Personalized features inherent to the mobile phone, like camera integration and geolocation, can be easily integrated. Innovative personalization can also help brand apps break through the clutter of crowded app stores.

Across the 106 brands benchmarked in L2’s Data & Targeting Intelligence Report, apps with a clear investment in personalization received more reviews and higher ratings than their more generic colleagues.

This is evident across sectors. Walgreens, the top reviewed Big Box app, seamlessly integrates its rewards program and enables in-store mobile payment, while Hilton, the top reviewed travel app, features keyless room entry and local weather, events, and concierge services. Sephora continues to dominate the beauty space, most recently launching in-app virtual tutorials that use the camera to demonstrate tutorial instructions directly on the user’s face.

Yet, 60 percent of consumers use no more than two retail apps regularly, making the app ecosystem tough to crack.

For brands looking for mobile site inspiration, Olay is best in class. In August, the brand launched a Skin Advisor on their mobile site. The tool analyzes the user’s photo, identifies skin issues by facial region, and recommends products for each problem area.

In a sea of virtual try-on beauty apps, dominated by brands like Sephora, L’Oreal Paris, and Urban Decay, Olay’s investment in its mobile site — not an app — stands out.

Apps dominate mobile time spent, but sites dominate mobile traffic, and in a winner-take-all app ecosystem, many brands can learn from Olay’s approach.

If built and implemented correctly, mobile site personalization tools can be just as seamless as those in mobile apps, and should be considered by brands who have yet to establish a dominant presence on the App store.

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Taylor Malmsheimer Associate Director, Client Strategy, L2

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