Linking is one of the greatest ways to drive marketing and sales, but there are many different types of links and different practices used to market with links. We will take a look at mobile deep linking in this article, to demonstrate how valuable this practice can be for ecommerce sales.
What is Mobile Deep Linking?
To understand what it means to increase sales using linking on your mobile devices, let’s take a deep dive into what it means to deep link on mobile, and how that particular marketing practice can increase sales from mobile users.
Definition of Mobile Deep Linking
Mobile deep linking is best described as the process of creating a direct link to a specific screen or content within a mobile app, rather than merely linking to the app’s homepage. Deep linking is the process of linking to relevant content within a website rather than linking to the homepage. Mobile deep linking is the same basic idea, but pertaining to apps and mobile app users rather than web sites.
Importance of Mobile Deep Linking in Ecommerce Sales
Mobile deep linking is an invaluable tool to a mobile marketer. This type of linking can enhance user experience by guiding customers directly to a preferred product or promotion. App developers and marketers alike can increase conversion rates and drive sales for ecommerce businesses that rely on mobile apps to further their businesses and sales targets. Deep Links are important when linking to apps from different marketing channels because they can detect and open the app if it’s already installed. For example, a regular link to the Amazon app from a Facebook ad will send the shopper to the Amazon website login which hurts conversion while an app deep link opens to the right screen in the app.
The 5 Main Types of Mobile Deep Linking
Mobile deep linking as a whole can help with retention rates in mobile apps. 5 main mobile deep linking techniques are typically used to direct users to specific products and promotions.
App-to-app linking is a useful technique because it helps users seamlessly navigate between different apps. This type of deep link improves user experience by reducing the need to switch between multiple apps to search for products or services on an app. This solution is a boon for marketing efforts because it gives users another easy way to hop back and forth between different apps.
URL schemes can be used to identify different resources and actions in an app. Essentially what this means is that, using URL schemes, you can help apps communicate effectively and share data in a way that is considered user-friendly. Universal linking is usually recommended over URL schemes, but schemes can be useful in some context to drive users to a specific piece of content.
Custom URL schemes and universal links
Using both custom URL schemes and universal links can best facilitate app integration. By enabling a deep link and providing a fallback mechanism (the universal link), older devices can still make use of the URI, as can users who do not yet have an app installed.
Deferred Deep Linking
Deferred deep linking is a deep linking solution that enhances user experience through directing users to specific, relevant in-app content, even if the app is not yet installed. This type of deep link helps encourage app installations and increase engagement. Deferred deep links are best for people in the app onboarding process, for those who are being invited to enjoy the app experience, and those for whom a seamless experience is vital.
Contextual linking improves user experience by providing both personalized and relevant in-app content. The app experience is significantly improved when using contextual linking, because it decides upon content according to specific context, such as a user’s location, their preferences, or previous interactions had with the app, software, or company.
Further Reading: How To Build An Ecommerce Website: A Step-by-Step Guide
How Mobile Deep Linking Helps Improve Customer Experience
We’ve covered the most common types of deep links to use to improve app experience. Now, let’s take a look at how using deep linking actually helps improve a customer’s experience while using an app.
Seamless User Experience
Mobile deep linking has the ability to make the transition from one app to another smooth and pleasant. Deep links can also help create more personalized app experiences for app users. When combined, mobile deep links deliver a personalized experience that will have people coming back for more, and will help app users derive the best possible benefit from a storefront or brand’s app version of their store.
App Onboarding and Retention
With deep links directing users to a specific place, users can expect to hop immediately to relevant in-app content, rather than having to sift through several different pages of sales, products, and promotions they do not want. Improving app experience means lower app abandonment rates and increases in user satisfaction. From allowing users to leap from preferred product to their shopping cart, to making sure users are pleased enough with their experience to keep using an app, focusing on relevant content can often be the perfect solution for apps that are regularly abandoned.
Ideal User Flow and User Engagement
Deep links help drive ideal user flow because it allows developers to divert access to specific features and app content while encouraging interaction with the app. Poor user experience is often chalked up to malfunctioning apps and poorly designed navigation of those apps; smooth user experience is much easier to come by when you are able to help direct the flow of active users.
Why Mobile Deep Linking is Important to Ecommerce
Mobile deep linking is not only important for user engagement and positive reviews in the app store; it is also valuable for ecommerce and bringing in prospective customers. It does this in the following ways:
Increasing Conversion Rates
By directing users to product listings and categories, you can simplify the shopping cart process and make users feel better about their shopping experience with your company. Customer journeys are made better and easier by using app links, and prospective customers can more easily select products and check out when they have direct links to those products or services.
User Acquisition and Activation
Marketers can leverage social media posts and marketing channels using mobile deep links. How is this accomplished? Social media is an excellent way to target prospective customers and provide direct links to a specific product or even a product category. By using social posts to provide mobile deep links, brands may witness increases in user acquisition and activation. Also if you’re doing social media ads to ecommerce apps including links to open the Amazon App from Facebook and Instagram, remember to always use an app deep link.
Further Reading: Instagram for Ecommerce: An 8 Step Guide to Making Sales on the Gram
Enhancing App Visibility and Discoverability
Mobile deep linking enhances visibility and discoverability by using app indexing and search engine optimization (SEO). Mobile deep links also make use of app store optimization, whether from the Google Play store or Apple’s app store, to help it easier to find the app through search.
Further Reading: The 13 Best Ecommerce Marketplaces for Online Marketing
How to Start Using Deep Linking Today
It is all fine and well to say that deep linking is useful, but how do you apply deep linking to your own business? I’ve rounded up some of the best ways to start using deep linking in your own ecommerce business today.
DTC Brands Can More Easily Send People to Amazon and Other Ecommerce Marketplaces to Track and Grow Sales
Mobile app developers would do well to send people to specific products or app pages directly from social media campaigns, in order to drive more visits and sales and measure or track those sales through social. When you are able to track sales, you can more easily determine search intent, and what pages are most effective ad fueling sales within e-commerce apps.
Amazon affiliates may find deep linking a killer tactic to drive their amazon sales, as linking directly within the Amazon app from an Instagram story or other social media post provides a simple and easy way to find themselves in their cart and checking out in fewer than 5 clicks.
Further Reading: 13 Free eCommerce Platforms to Launch Your Store on in 2024
Influencers and Affiliates Can Leverage Mobile Deep Linking to Increase Commissions
Mobile deep linking can also increase commissions for those who are affiliates with companies, like Amazon. Deep links are a key component of affiliate marketing commissions, as they allow social media users to reach a wide audience, with the ease of a few simple clicks. They increase app discoverability, which makes it easy to make a purchase; after all, it can be challenging to see an item, pore over different versions of that item, and ultimately add that item to your cart. Users can go directly from a Facebook group post, an Instagram story, or another social post to a pair of shoes, a mug, or any number of other products and provide an ecommerce store owner with a commission.
Recommended Tool for Mobile Deep Linking: URLgenius
Knowing the why and the what are only two parts of the equation. To learn how to effectively create a positive mobile experience, it is important to utilize the proper tool for mobile deep linking. URLgenius is a powerful tactic to ensure that your mobile deep links are performing as hoped.
What is URLgenius?
URLgenius is a top deep link generator for marketers. URLgenius offers cloud-based solutions to enable codeless app linking for mobile platforms to drive user acquisition. URLgenius is the first platform of its kind not to collect personal information (non-PII), and the platform also creates a QR code with every app deep link which can be used to open apps to the select screenz from various marketing channels, including social profiles and product pages, making finding promotions and products for potential users a breeze.
Features of URLgenius
The most impressive features of URLgenius include the following:
- Cloud-Based App Deep Linking
- Deferred Deep Links
- Codeless Linking
- QR Code Creation
URLgenius Mobile Deep Linking Features for Marketers
URLgenius’ greatest feature is its ability to deliver custom links without having a host of coding or technical expertise from which to pull. Generating mobile app links that open an app to any screen (an Instagram profile, perhaps, or an Amazon product page) saves time and simplifies app link generation for marketers, even without an IT background.
The immediate deployment feature from URLgenius allows marketers to create and distribute uniform resource identifiers (URIs) without any delays. Marketers can expect to create links with the ability to open an app and bypass the mobile website login. This is a powerful tool when linking from Facebook, Instagram, and other social apps for both mobile and desktop users.
You are also able to generate QR codes to develop deep link URLs, as they have become essential to open apps to profiles or product pages and to direct non-app users to boost app installations and become app users. Whether they are developing a QR code or creating an Android app link, marketers are able to maintain full control over link settings, including setting fallback options (universal links versus custom schemes) to achieve campaign goals.
To gain insights on incoming links, users need only open the URLgenius dashboard and view trends and reports. UTM parameters can also be used to import data into your app for analysis, which will help gauge the efficacy of including URLgenius in your marketing campaigns.
Further Reading: 13 Ways to Use AI in Ecommerce in 2023 (with Tools Recommendations)
From transforming inactive users to active users, to changing your link format to generate more traffic to your app, to improving your activation rate for new app downloads, deep app links can be enormously helpful tools to increase traffic and engagement for a company’s site. Although the browser version of sites are useful to link to, mobile deep linking is a whole new ballgame for app marketers. A user-friendly tool to help develop links with access to features like codeless linking and QR code creation can help improve the app onboarding experience for new customers and dramatically improve the app experience of new customers. URLgenius is an invaluable tool to accomplish just that.
Do you have any experience using URLgenius? Let us know in the comments!
Hero photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash
This is a post contributed from one of my marketing partners.
Mobile Deep Linking FAQs
Mobile deep linking is essentially a way to link directly to specific content within a mobile app rather than its homepag. This is achieved through the use of a unique URL that can identify not only the app itself, but also the specific page or screen within the app that the link should direct to.
A mobile deep link, in particular, is used to route a user directly to a specific piece of content within an app. One example of a mobile deep link is the link that redirects you to a specific episode of a podcast within the Spotify app. Rather than taking you to the app’s homepage or landing page, the link bypasses all other screens and takes you directly to the content you want to access.
Deep linking is a powerful tool used in the world of online marketing and advertising. One particularly effective example of deep linking is within the travel industry, whereby users can be directed to a specific hotel or holiday package within an app, rather than simply being directed to the home page. This not only improves the user experience, but can also increase conversions and ultimately drive revenue.
Deep linking on Android refers to the ability to link directly to a specific piece of content within an app, rather than just to the app’s home screen. This enables users to easily navigate to the exact information that they are looking for, without having to manually navigate through various app screens. With the increasing popularity of mobile apps, implementing deep linking has become a crucial aspect of improving the user experience.
For businesses, deep linking can increase customer engagement and app retention by directing users to specific content within the app. This can be particularly advantageous for e-commerce businesses, as deep linking allows customers to quickly reach product pages and complete purchases with fewer clicks. For users, deep linking offers a seamless experience by directing them directly to the relevant content within the app, rather than requiring them to navigate through menus and screens to find what they are looking for.