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Awards Preview: Most Effective Smartphone App

Tim Maytom

Effective_Mobile_Marketing_Awards (120)The 2014 Effective Mobile Marketing Awards Ceremony takes place just over a month from now on 27 November in London. Every day between now and then, we’ll be previewing the finalists in each of the 26 categories. Today, we're shining the spotlight on the nominees for Most Effective Smartphone App. There are 11 contenders in this category, let’s take a closer look at each.

Asda – Asda Recipes
Asda's mobile team undertook a great deal of research in early 2014 to understand what families wanted from their weekly shopping experience and how Asda could best make life easier. The results pointed towards integrating Asda's fledgling recipes website with its existing eCommerce app.

The resulting feature enables users to browse and search hundreds of recipes tested by Asda, and add ingredients directly to online baskets or shopping lists. The feature has seen fantastic adoption by customers, and received excellent feedback from users.

Plastic Mobile – Beyond The Rack
The Beyond The Rack app aimed to revitalise its mobile business, which was significantly under-performing compared to its desktop site, with 42 per cent of customers bouncing from the site and conversion rates less than a third that of the desktop site.

Plastic Mobile's plan for the app focused on making shopping a social event, with sharable content enabling users to recommend and pin favourite merchandise. It also incorporated a digital wallet into the mobile app, allowing users to store multiple shipping addresses and payment options while allowing for 3-tap checkout. The new app has had over half a million downloads so far, and seen huge increases in sales, engagement and daily repeat usage.

Canal & River Trust – Readymade #WaterwayDays
The Readymade #WaterwayDays app was created in the hope of attracting families to visit the UK's canals and rivers, providing them with fun and practical information about the fantastic waterside destinations that were right on their doorsteps.

Working in partnership with app develop Attido, the app enables parents to search their local area for places to visit, and contains information needed to plan a day out, such as car parking facilities, nearby attractions and places to eat. The app saw an uplift in both awareness of the Canal & River Trust, and a 233 per cent increase, year-on-year, in visits to canals during August.

Hotels.com
Hotels.com was an early adopter of mobile, but in 2014 was looking to renew its app, with a focus on acquisition and engagement. Research showed that 70 per cent of hotels.com orders are made for the same day, so making last minute booking easier was also a major objective.

Among the new features added in 2014 are 'Deal of the day' and 'Deals for Tonight only', which use current location to feature hotels nearby the user. The app also added additional currency options, and integrated TripAdvisor reviews into hotel information. As a result, the company saw downloads more than double, and a wealth of positive customer feedback.

Mothercare and NN4M The Mothercare Android App
Following the success of its iOS app last year, Mothercare hoped to see a similar outcome from an Android offering. Rather than simply porting over the iPhone version, the company made sure to create an app with Android principles at the forefront.

As with the iPhone version, the app is more than just an mCommerce portal, offering a pregnancy week-by-week guide, lists of essentials in preparation for both birth and infant care, a baby name list and even contraction counter. The app has seen over 70,000 downloads to date, with strong engagement and conversion stats and an average four-star rating on the Google Play Store.

OMD UK and Livity NSPCC and ChildLine Zipit!
With 60 per cent of young people having been asked for a sexual image or video, the NSPCC and ChildLine Zipit! app aims to provide teenagers with the tools to deal with 'sexting' and educate them on issues of online safety.

The app taps into popular meme culture to enable teenagers to put the brakes on uncomfortable conversations, while also ensuring they had easy access to ChildLine's services. The app has had over 50,000 downloads, been mentioned on Newsnight and in the House of Lords, and has resulted in a 150 per cent year-on-year increase in contacts to ChildLine from teenagers with questions and problems related to sexting.

Isbank IsCep Banking App
IsCep is Turkey's first and most comprehensive mobile banking app, supporting iOS, Android and Windows Phone and with both retail and corporate banking users. In addition to supporting a wide variety of transactions including money transfers, foreign currency purchase and loan applications, the app includes innovative features such as cash withdrawal via QR code.

Within the last 12 months, IsCep reached 1.1m unique users, a year-on-year growth of 155 per cent, and now has an equal channel share to Isbank's physical branches.

Greggs and Eagle Eye Greggs Rewards
With the Greggs Rewards app, Greggs digital team aimed to create a loyalty and rewards app that would deliver an enhanced customer experience. Enabling customers to access rewards and offering a digital wallet service, it also functions as a management tool, providing the company with valuable insight that informs business-wide decisions and campaigns.

With over 25,000 downloads and an average load value of £11 placed into the digital wallet, the app has provided consumers with a quick, convenient way to pay and has incentivised repeat purchases, contributing to strong mid-year sales for Greggs.

Tesco and Engine Creative Tesco Discover AR Platform
The Tesco Discover AR app and publishing platform aims to deliver an enriched experience to consumers while providing higher levels of engagement with the brand. The platform enables brands to promote their products to Tesco consumers through enhanced packaging, printed material and in store gamification.

The app has gathered a growing and active user base of around 200,000 users in under a year, and has averaged 16 interactions per user, with campaign dwell time averaging at three minutes. Tesco Magazine is now the UK's biggest circulation magazine to include AR content in every issue.

Future Workshops The Open Championship
2014 marked the first time phones were allowed on the course during the Open Championship, transforming the app into an invaluable companion for attendees, providing vital information and exclusive content through beacons. For golf fans watching at home, the app includes a timeline of events, interactive course guides, live streaming video and scoreboards.

During the tournament, the app was the #2 free app in the UK and US iTunes Stores, with over 3,000 users at the tournament, and 300,000 users following from elsewhere, who averaged 35 page views each day, and provided glowing feedback.

CHS and Subway Subcard
The new Subway Subcard app delivers an enhanced way to engage with the restaurant's loyalty program to customers across Europe, enabling consumers to collect and redeem points, checking balances and available rewards, find nearby stores and provide feedback to the company.

This version of the app has seen 1.2m downloads, and significant increases in repeat usage, with app users visiting Subway branches three times more frequently than physical loyalty card-using customers.

The Effective Mobile Marketing Awards Ceremony takes place in London on 27 November. You can book your place here. To get involved with the Awards as a Partner, contact [email protected]