Marian Bucher

Marian Bucher, OTTO’s Sr App Growth Manager, discusses how the shopping app uses preloads and retention strategies to keep it top of mind with German consumers.

Marian Bucher
Sr App Growth Manager
How Innovation Drives OTTO To New Heights

Comscore reported that 67% of consumers “rarely or never” install new apps. That’s more than 2 out of 3 users! What do you think about this? If you believe this is true and that there are sources of friction that impedes people from installing apps — where do you think this friction comes from?

I definitely think it’s true. The biggest reason is that everyone has a favorite set-up for their smartphones and it’s hard to get people to change it. Once people have the apps they use for certain needs regularly, they don’t switch easily.

I believe that there a lot of different reasons for friction, such as:

  • Misleading ads
  • A poorly designed app store page
  • Poor brand and messaging alignment between ad, app store, and app
  • A poor internet connection (try to download an app on the ICE — the German “Intercity-Express” train!)

One might consider Instant Apps, playable ads, being seen in Top Charts, and rich notifications all as examples of solutions that reduce friction. What solutions have you used that have been most effective in helping remove friction?

For OTTO, one of the best ways we have found to reduce friction is through apps preloaded on carrier & OEM devices. Onboarding has proven to be the right context to find new users. It helps that in Germany most people know and trust the OTTO brand and what we do. Being a known brand makes it easier to get noticed on the phone. The other thing that we do is to ensure that the messaging on the app is consistent with our brand and advertising. If people see a messaging difference in the app, they lose trust and won’t continue to use the app.

Put on your futurist hat: what new innovations do you feel would be most helpful in removing friction or simplifying discovery?

We’ve looked to focus our innovations to keep people coming back to the OTTO app — as one major risk is people will stop using it. A few things we’ve done:

  1. Redesigned the storefront of our app so that the experience is always evolving & personalized
  2. Developed features that try to increase retention rate, e.g. so called “Flash Deals” on our Android app.
  3. Created a huge variety of app only promotions where we use vouchers that are only valid in the app and not in our web shop. Further, in some cases we did special campaigns like an “appvent calendar”.
  4. App retention marketing, e.g. set-up of a sophisticated app retargeting strategy or contextual push notifications

In general, the idea is to give people special benefits to keep using the app.

Another research report recently found that the number of apps a person installs per quarter declines over time — by 40% after 10 years of using smartphones. What does this trend of declining app install rates by years of phone usage mean to app marketers?

For OTTO, it really means that we have to focus strongly on retention. For instance, we have been able to gain users through pre-installs by letting our brand name work for us. But that also means we need to continue to keep providing a really great user experience. The biggest risk we run is losing customers to a poor experience — and like any business expert will tell you, it’s more expensive to find new customers than to keep your existing ones.

OTTO is a customer of Digital Turbine and our products.

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The biggest risk is losing customers to poor experience…. So our innovation focuses on retention.
Marian Bucher
Sr App Growth Manager