A year in review - 5 things we learnt in 2023

It's been another fruitful year for Apadmi.

Learnings in loyalty, optimisation success, new client acquisitions and award wins, exciting investment and above all, more relentless growth for mobile.

We took a moment to reflect and collate what we've learnt in 2023 that's not only worth sharing here, but will also help to maintain momentum in 2024.

Here are five thoughts...

1. Mobile is stronger than ever

Mobile is not the only channel, but it does continue to dominate. The fact that there are more mobile connections than people in the UK is one of many staggering stats to support this. Smartphones are as relevant as ever, as supported by the major announcements from both Google and Apple this year.

Google had a number of treats in store - one of our favourites was the ability to customise your Google Play Store listing for inactive users to tempt lapsed customers back in. There were also new ways to boost discovery in the app store - crucial for that all important app optimisation work.

Our Maximising Mobile event also revealed that leading brands were not slowing up when it came to investing in their mobile strategies. We learnt that brands across Retail, Financial Services, Utilities and Telco are all seeing the value in taking advantage of mobile.

Maximising Mobile panel image

Mobile Product Owner of the Decathlon app, Jéssica Llarena said: “Our app is the answer to customer trends. At first this was to enhance in-store experience, but it has become a mobile ecommerce experience to be with the customer all the time. And we are seeing the benefits of that.”

2. Optimisation cannot be an afterthought for successful digital products

Brands are understandably eager to get to market early with their digital products and be the ‘first past the post’. While there’s merit in moving quickly, it cannot be at the expense of planning your optimisation strategy. Leave your promotional and monitoring activity by the wayside, and long-term visibility will suffer.

Our App Store Optimisation work with the likes of Domino’s, Co-op, SailGP and Charles Stanley has allowed us to better understand user needs through effective community management, boosted impressions by using tools such as In-App Events and drive downloads with Custom Product Pages.

We also continue to see the benefit in optimising your app’s position by making a big splash about new features or functionalities using Apple and Google’s tools.

Co-op Live Blog - In app events and custom product page images

We worked with Co-op to announce its app’s new functionality - to be the first in line for tickets to Co-op Live events. By amplifying Co-op’s message and the app’s exciting new functionality, we were able to optimise the app and improve its visibility.

3. Investing in loyalty is a huge priority

In April, we took to the main stage at the Retail Tech Show to explore how creating shopping habits can increase customer loyalty and drive revenue.

Apadmi Retail Tech Show 2023

While customer acquisition is always a priority, it must be supported by investment in retention and the channel best-suited to support that is mobile. It’s important to be present and deliver a great experience on the devices we hold dearest to us.

“We have our most loyal and best customers in the app,” Product Lead at John Lewis, Adrian Evans explained at our technology discussion earlier this year. “About 50 percent of the total app base is the top two most valuable segments for us.”

This isn’t limited to retail either. Financial Services are also feeling the benefits of  making mobile experiences as easy as possible with a real focus on onboarding.

To further understand the future of loyalty, Apadmi has conducted a survey with major brands to understand how digital platforms are being to support loyalty and where the potential lies. We’ll be publishing the report in the New Year, as well as  discussing the results with a panel of experts at our February event.

4. Winning starts with your people

The sea of awards evenings means many businesses can now claim to be award-winning and it’s great to get recognition for good work. Apadmi has added to its trophy cabinet this year, but there’s one piece of silverware of which we are particularly proud.

As a people-first business, we are always striving to champion our colleagues, offer personal development and training, while offering a wide range of activities, sports and wellbeing initiatives to support their physical and mental health.

We were thrilled therefore to be included in the Top 100 Sunday Times Best Places to Work 2023, reminding us that we can only win as a business when our people are winning as teams, and as individuals.

Apadmi’s CEO Garry Partington said: “This is a brilliant testament to the work our teams have put in to ensure we don’t lose sight of the importance of our people, even during our period of rapid growth.”

5. Partnerships, clients, events… 

The final takeaway for 2023 is that you need good partners, great clients and whenever possible, try to bring people together.

This year, staying true to our value of being ‘good people’, we’ve partnered with two organisations using technology for good. Our new partnership with Pennies will help widen the reach of the fintech charity which focuses on advancing the micro-donation movement. 

Little Lives Promo Image | Christmas Campaign 2023

Meanwhile, we’ve partnered with children’s charity Little Lives UK which is working to make a positive impact for disadvantaged children by driving tech donations for devices to be reused in schools and youth organisations. Find out how to donate your old technology here.

Of course, we couldn’t do any of this without having fantastic clients to collaborate with, and some amazing brands have been added to that list this year across retail and telecommunications. More to come on that in 2024!

We’ve also benefited hugely from bringing brands, experts and organisations together from the wider tech community for valuable discussions and conversations at our Apami events.

From looking to the future with TalkTalk, Domino’s, Bardando’s and TV’s own Tom Cheesewright, to learning how to stay afloat in a sea of data with Co-op, HACE and Kellogg’s, there was no shortage of insights on offer.

And as we look forward to more of the same next year, we’ve already got a packed schedule of events kicking off with a look at how to future proof your tech strategy with eBay, The Range and Auto Trader in January. You can reserve your spot here.

In the meantime, Merry Christmas and here’s to a happy and prosperous 2024.

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