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Why your eCommerce empire needs an app in 2023 (a real life, recent case study)

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, as an eCommerce brand, marketer or founder, you’ll know that your most profitable customers are extremely expensive to replace.

That good-ol’ “customer lifetime value” stat is not one to be scoffed at. Conversion Rate Optimisation only stands up to the test when the traffic conversions you’re trying to optimise are actually high quality traffic. 

Otherwise, you’re throwing a lot of money into a gigantic hole and kind of hoping for the best. 

Once you have a loyal following of die-hard fan & best friend customers, though, the world of optimisation is your proverbial oyster. 

Our partner, client and friends at P&Co are a great example of a brand with a serious following. From their organic social media alone, they pull in an audience of almost 500,000 loyal fans. That number is no joke. 

You know that age old question, “what do you buy for Christmas for the person who already has everything?” That's a similar question to what we were asking when we were looking at optimising P&Co’s community and growth at the end of another remarkable year this year. 

We decided to do two things, one was to introduce a loyalty program (read the full story here). And, the second was to develop what we already knew must be an industry-leading app. You don’t launch an eCommerce brand for a group with a cult following like P&Co without knowing that you need to hit the mark, first time. 

Our biggest challenge? Time. Setting a launch date for the app – all before Black Friday & Christmas leaving us about 6 weeks to get the full job done.

We do love a challenge. 

This was our non-exhaustive list of key features the app had to have:

  • Full eCommerce app that uses Shopify's checkout and product data allowing us to learn even more about trends, customer behaviour and best sellers and feed better information, faster to our marketing team. 
  • We have two stores on Shopify but could only have one app - so both of the stores had to be combined for one mobile experience. Our solution was to implement a location preferences feature in the onboarding process to allow the app to store and redirect users to the relevant checkout. 
  • Loyalty program had to be a key feature and embedded into the app - our recently developed Loyalty Lion program had to be implemented into the app to ensure the most loyal customers could capitalise and were rewarded by using and purchasing through the app. It was a custom integration that even simply by logging in through the app loyalty program users would benefit to encourage engaged users to shop through this platform giving us all of that extra data and opportunity to build an even better, longer-lasting relationship. 
  • We knew we’d a separate CMS would be extra work in the short-term, but would pay off big time in data and relationship-building capabilities over the long term. So we built it out from scratch to auto-populate the app and add a custom push notification interface that includes segmentation – so we could send our app users the most personalised messages.

That’s a short-list of the work we got up to. So it’s no surprise that in just 30 days post launch, we were already reaping the rewards. 

Just look at some of the numbers. In just 30 days and 3626 downloads later… 

  • The app currently has a 68% conversion rate from its app store listing (average app store conversion rates are around 30%)
  • 63% of all downloads have opted into push notifications which means we have a new direct way of communicating key messages right to the hands of our most loyal customers. The power of this stat alone has the potential to bring huge, steady growth in both brand recognition and direct sales.
  • The average order value is 22% higher on the app compared to the online store, meaning people are really enjoying shopping there. 
  • Add to cart rate on the app is 22%, compared with 6.82% on the online store in the same period. There’s no doubt that mobile shopping is just all-around better for everyone when it happens on an app. 
  • 72% of all app downloads are users who have signed in or created an account which means we’re retaining more data and information which will give us better opportunities to build relationships with those people over time.
  • The conversion rate for the app in the last 30 days is 8.89% (on the online store is 2.21% and averages are around the 1.5-3% mark on mobile sites as a whole).

In this case, the data really does speak for itself. 

We probably don’t need to say anymore but just in case you’re not convinced, here are the top 5 reasons your eCommerce brand needs an app in 2023 based on this case study and many more:

  1. Less competition – you don’t need to compete against the Google-Meta-verse for air time.
  2. More & better data means deeper connection with customers.
  3. Higher conversion rates – 80%+ of shoppers buy using a mobile device, you make it that much easier to hit “buy now” and “add to cart” when the interface is custom designed for those devices.
  4. Push notifications means you stay top of mind to your most loyal fans.
  5. Reward loyal buyers with better loyalty schemes by shopping on the app – even better relationship building capabilities for longer-term, better relationships with your people.


If you’re convinced an app is the way to go for your brand this year, reach out for a chat to see how we can help you.

Megan Chauhan


Megan Chauhan

Senior Website Account Manager