Mobile App Success Story: How AliExpress Did It

There is a general question which rises from human behavior nowadays: Are we controlling our smartphones or those small gadgets are controlling our lives? It remains a mystery but we will see today how a business can grow due to its mobile sector. And for this purpose we will take a closer look at AliExpress app. We will observe how a retail website was transformed into a successful mobile experience because its owners focused their attention on customers’ needs to make their purchases from any place, in an easy way using their favorite devices.

Brilliant Idea

AliExpress is part of a Chinese giant, Alibaba Group. Following the latest trends in the industry, the site owners decided in 2011 to launch their mobile app improving the entire process of shopping for both parts, the ones who sell and the persons who buy. Understanding the difference between desktop and mobile and adapting their services for the small screens of phones was the smartest move they could possible do. AliExpress team members were aware that the mobile app was used by valuable customers which continued to come back to the app every time they needed new products. This is the reason why they used all the information acquired for attracting the clients who were using the mobile site and to convince them to download the app.

Image Source: https://m.aliexpress.com/

How AliExpress Did It?

Apparently it is a short path from mobile site to mobile app but let’s see what stages are involved in the entire journey by analyzing the strategy used for marketing AliExpress.

A/B Testing

It is important that every app owner to be certain about any elements added into his creation and this was the plan for AliExpress from the beginning. Removing all the doubts helped everybody to have a pleasant experience when making their purchases. In a case study about AliExpress published on Think With Google the authors describe the methods used for enhancing the way customers are managing the mobile app and among other techniques, A/B testing is used to “verify assumptions”. We also have for you a list with the best practices and the most efficient tools for A / B testing.

Localization

For a company that conquered the international market due to its mobile app it is mandatory to make sure that absolutely all its customers receive the information in their native languages. For this reason the app was localized and provides the same quality for different languages such as English, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Turkish, Bahasa Indonesian, Thai, Italian, German, French, Hebrew, Korean, Polish, Dutch, Arabic, Vietnamese, Japanese and Ukrainian. Besides that, customers can make their purchases using the most suitable currency like Euros, US Dollars, Canadian Dollars, Australian Dollars, Japanese Yen, British Sterling, Russian Rubles and Swedish Krona. If your app is accessed by many foreign users you need to invest all your efforts into localization for helping them to complete their activities in an easy way.

Referrals

As we already mentioned before, the mobile site is used more by the new clients who want to test their options before downloading the app. AliExpress app is a place for loyal customers, the ones that frequently shop using these services. Taking that into account, the owners try to convince those valuable users to share the app on social networks promising various incentives for future purchases if they tell their friends to install the app. In case you want to understand more about how referral programs work don’t hesitate to read our article, Building In — App Referral Program: Get Organic Downloads For Almost No Cost!.

Emerging Markets

In App Annie’s The App Economy Forecast you can discover a lot of interesting details about the predictions for the future of mobile apps, especially for Chinese market. Moreover, you have the proof of the massive success of the entire Alibaba Group due to mobile industry in the report called Alibaba Group Announces March Quarter 2017 And Full Fiscal Year 2017 Results. You will say: How hard is for a Chinese retailer to succeed on its own market? We can’t tell, but it is a sure fact that China isn’t the only place where AliExpress managed to win a lot of users. After being sure about their triumph in America, the team behind AliExpress conquered other emerging markets like Indonesia, Brazil and Russia, admitting that mobile expansion is the root of these results.

Featured By App Stores

The chicken and egg dilemma is available also for mobile apps. Which method brings more customers? Managing a successful application or the case when that application is featured by the big app stores? Everybody knows the new section of Google Play Store where editors select the best apps and games for users to find them easier. When Google announced on the official blog about Android Excellence, at the end of the article was listed the first group for this section. The first one chosen as Android Excellence App was AliExpress. Therefore, when you have a great app which is acquired by a lot of users, having your name on the lists published on Google Play Store and Apple App Store provides a lot more opportunities for new customers to reach your app.

Bonus Tip: Fighting Fraud

For retail empire, when dealing with a lot of data from your customers it is very hard to keep all the information under control and far from the fraudulent attacks. This is why AliExpress has a specific page on the official website where there are listed some common case studies along with valuable advices for users to stay away from obscure attempts of bad persons to steal their money. Not only that but the company recommends clients to keep their information safe and if they encounter any problem it is better to ask for help and to contact the support team immediately. In case you own an app where you ask users for personal information it is crucial to make everything you can to protect the data received.

Final Thoughts

We discussed today about the methods that have the power to convert an app into a growth engine for any company. One of the most important takeaways from this article is to keep your eyes on the new trends and to discover in which way they can transform your business into a real success providing a pleasant experience for your customers.