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The merchant app space is growing and the idea of them using apps to improve customer service and day-to-day management though applications is becoming more and more mainstream. Developing the right solution to simplify merchants’ lives can bring significant success, but getting the app in front of merchants can be a daunting task.

Over 6,000 apps are put into Google’s Play Store every day, many of which are attractive and convenient. It’s easy for an app to get without a solid promotion and marketing plan in place, which will ultimately affect the success of the app, regardless of its usefulness. Developing the right marketing strategy and differentiating your sales channels is crucial to ensure any sales targets are met. In this first instalment of the ‘How to create a marketing strategy for merchant apps’ blog series, we’ve put together a list of things to consider that will make your app stand out and achieve the right reception by merchants. Below are some of the creative tactics you should consider investing in:

1 .Get your story straight

To start, write down the app’s feature list and description. Start by listing every little thing that can be done with the app and what makes it special. Focus on how it will improve the merchant experience and the main differentiators from other apps. Use this list of qualities to create a short, powerful description of what your app is for and why a merchant should download it. This shouldn’t be more than two paragraphs. Focus on the experience, the benefits for the merchant, and what makes your app unique. Likewise, create a strapline and tagline. Every app store or app marketplace will ask you to have these details ready. These should be composed of a few powerful words that hit on the primary benefit. Make sure these descriptions are not written in overly technical language – to determine whether it’s easy to understand, show it to someone non-technical, outside your industry. Someone like an older relative is perfect. Not every merchant is tech savvy. You should never expect them to understand the terminology and acronyms you use to represent the technology. If your grandma can understand your descriptions without any further explanation, you’ve done a great job. Don’t forget to keep the description updated – how else are people going to know about any new features in your app.

2. Create a PR kit

Preparing a PR kit will help you determine what branding and marketing collateral you need to develop to enhance the sales process your app. While you may have the best solution out there, it’s important to invest in good communication tools to ensure it looks appealing, connects with customers, and sparks interest. The PR kit should have:
  • An app summary guide (description and feature list)
  • A quick overview of your company and the app strapline
  • Screenshots
  • Design collateral (icon, logo, banner)
  • A one-page description of the app and its benefits.
These should reflect your brand, mission and values. As the maxim goes, ‘You only make a first impression once.’  With so much choice out there, your information needs to be informative and snappy – most people spend a very short amount of time analysing whether an app is right for them, so make sure you quickly spark interest with everything you do and say.

3. Create a promotional video

According to a HubSpot Research, 54% of people say they would like to see video content from businesses and brands . This means it is important to invest time in creating a promotion video and you shouldn’t underestimate its power. At the same time, it doesn’t need to be a Hollywood production. Although investing in a quality video is worth considering if you have the funds, a low budget shouldn’t deter you. This article from Marketing Week has some great tips on how to create a brand video without breaking the bank. These are just some of the ways to ensure customers understand your proposition and it sparks interest. Many merchants are still reluctant to use apps in their daily lives, so when creating any of these products, ensure they are not too technical and easily understandable for people from a variety of backgrounds. In a few weeks, we’ll release How to create a marketing strategy for merchant apps – Part 2, with more marketing strategies to consider when marketing to merchants. Make sure you check back in for that. In the meantime, if you want to get your app in front of millions of merchants, register with and learn more about what it takes to become an AEVI Partner.
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