When the economy shifts, consumers turn to rewards to save as much money as they can. This includes using apps that provide them with cashback opportunities and discounts. With a potential economic downturn looming, rewards apps are on the rise. In fact, by 2024, the global cashback industry is expected to be worth more than $200 billion a year.
Below, we take a deeper look at the top rewards apps and review how to retarget rewards apps based on current economic trends.
Top Rewards Apps
By downloads, the top three rewards apps in 2021 were Fetch Rewards, Upside and Groupon. Top app Fetch grew the most last year by a large margin. The grocery savings app drove 13.6 million downloads in 2021, more than double the next most-downloaded app: Upside.
The Fetch Rewards app has become increasingly popular as an app for consumers to save on groceries. It enables users to scan grocery receipts and earn rewards points that are redeemable for gift cards.
Since 2017, the app has grown steadily. In particular, during the pandemic, the app has seen expansive growth, with monthly peaks of over a million downloads in the face of looming economic uncertainty.
The Upside app provides cash-back offers to consumers from grocery stores, restaurants and — perhaps most notably — gas stations.
Since Q2 2021, the app has grown exponentially — likely as a reflection of rising gas prices and inflation. As of April 2022, the app had generated close to 2 million monthly downloads.
With Groupon, users can purchase vouchers or coupons for a wide range of services and products. After signing up, users receive daily or weekly notifications with special offers, customized to their preferences, location, and transaction history.
While the brand started as a website that was once the darling of cashback rewards, since 2018, it has seen its number of active customers drop by nearly half. Despite the usual year-end trend towards holiday deals, Groupon saw the lowest active user base in Q4 2021 since 2011.
Additionally, growth has slowed for the discount app. In December 2021 the app barely generated 400,000 downloads. This is a steep decline from its peak in March 2019 when the app drove well over 2.5 million downloads in a month.
Groupon’s slip in active users and downloads has affected its revenue. At the end of 2021, Groupon recorded global revenues of about $153 million. As noted by Statista, a considerable amount of this revenue was generated through its mobile app, with approximately 5.8 million Groupon app downloads generated in 2021.
Retargeting for Rewards Apps
Rewards apps are growing and there’s ample opportunity to retain that growth with retargeted mobile ad campaigns. Especially for historically popular rewards apps struggling to maintain their market share like Groupon — investing in retargeting is not just smart but necessary. Here are our best practices for successfully retargeting your rewards app.
Retargeting Rewards App Tip #1: Customized Offers
Keep customers informed and engaged by serving relevant ads that help deliver a supreme user experience. This means segmenting your most engaged or highest-paying customers and undertaking cohort analysis to understand what their preferences are. From there, retarget them based on their preferences with new offers and personalized discounts.
Retargeting Rewards App Tip #2: Seasonal Promotions
While current economic trends indicate a desire for discounts throughout the year, historically, the end of year holiday season has been the most popular time for discounts. As shown in Groupon’s quarterly earnings graph from 2009 to 2022 — Q4 is a time when consumers are more likely to purchase using rewards apps. To capitalize on this seasonal trend, retargeted campaigns should maximize the end of year shopping season. Include messaging and graphics that promote holiday deals and savings opportunities.
Retargeting Rewards App Tip #3: Gamification
Incentivize users to keep coming back to your app by implementing gamification elements like points and achievements. This might include serving ads to segments based on how many more points they need to reach a certain reward. Incorporate messaging that creates a sense of urgency: “Only 1 more purchase until your reward! Make a purchase today.” Get creative with how you organize your rewards system to increase loyalty. This might be offering free products with a certain amount of accumulated points or creating a tiered reward system for collected points.
Retargeting Rewards App Tip #4: All Apps Can Benefit from Rewards
For apps that aren’t in the cashback category, implementing a reward or loyalty program is an impactful way to increase retention. More than 80% of US customers are more loyal to brands when they participate in dedicated rewards programs. Furthermore, 70% of shoppers are more likely to participate in a loyalty program if they can easily access loyalty cards and rewards from their mobile phone. Here are some simple ways to implement rewards in your app’s retention strategy.
- Purchase targets: Create limited time offers that reward customers for spending a certain amount or purchasing a certain number of items. Rewards could be X% off their next purchase or a free gift.
- Recommendation rewards: Offer users a discount or gift in return for every new customer they bring you. This is a great way to grow your app with referrals and keep users coming back with offers.
- Points: As mentioned above, implementing a points system is a great way to incentivize engagement. You can let users earn points for certain actions like viewing an advertisement video or sharing content about your app on their social networks.
Takeaways on Retargeting Your Rewards App
With a potential economic downturn looming, rewards apps are on the rise. In fact, by 2024, the global cashback industry is expected to be worth more than $200 billion a year.
- Currently, the top rewards apps by downloads are Fetch Rewards, Upside and Groupon.
- All apps have enjoyed steady growth the past few years. Groupon, in particular, has lost much market share despite its continued dominance in the discount rewards space. Apps like Groupon can better retain their growth using retargeted campaigns.
- Retargeting for rewards apps:
- Customized offers: segment your most engaged or highest-paying customers and retarget them with relevant offers and personalized discounts.
- Seasonal promotions: Retargeted campaigns should maximize the end of year shopping season. Include messaging and graphics that promote holiday deals and savings opportunities.
- Gamification: Incentivize users to keep coming back to your app by implementing gamification elements like points and achievements.
Retarget your app using rewards
Get support retargeting your rewards apps from our team of growth experts. Reach out to us to discuss how we can help you reach your app’s retention goals.