Case Study

Close5 is a new way to buy & sell locally with safety top of mind.

7.8X

links shared

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Summary

Close5 (an eBay company) is a local selling app that makes transactions safe, simple, and fun. To improve users’ transition from mobile web to native app, Close5 implemented a mobile smart banner backed by a Branch link. By linking new users to content that they are interested in, Close5 users who get deep linked through a smart banner share much more than regular users, crossing the “viral boundary.”

Goals

  • Drive users from mobile web to their native app
  • Increase sales by creating a simple user experience
  • Deliver meaningful content to users immediately after install

Approach

  • Implemented a mobile smart banner powered by Branch deferred deep links
  • Display mobile smart banner when user is viewing a product on mobile web
  • Take new app users directly to the content they were viewing on mobile web

Results

Average links shared per user

  • Installed through Branch smart banner: 1.34 links shared
  • Other users: 0.17 links shared

A broken ecosystem

Close5 promotes themselves as a simple local selling app but the transition from their mobile website to the native app was complicated. Without a link from their mobile website to their app, it was almost impossible to drive web users to the app.

Users who found an interesting product online had to search again for the item when they downloaded the app. Close5 wanted to drive people to their native app but users lost interest when they had to go through the process of installing, creating an account, and then not even seeing what they had already been looking at on the mobile web.

Deep linked mobile smart banners

A deep linked mobile smart banner appears on Close5’s mobile web page for any item and advertises Close5’s app. When clicked, the deep link inside the banner either takes an existing user to the app or a new user to the appropriate app store. Whether the user is opening the app for their first or millionth time, they see the same content they were viewing on mobile web when they enter the app. Though the process of matching the mobile web user to the app installer is complicated, the end result is a simple experience for the user.

A simpler user experience

With Close5, the user completes registration and is taken directly to the content that they were looking at even though they are new to the app. The user is immediately hooked on the app because they are viewing content that is meaningful. By creating an experience where a user sees the same content immediately after install, Close5 users who install from a smart banner share on average 1.34 links, crossing the viral boundary of sharing with more than 1 link per user.

Discovering content on mobile web and continuing search in native app

With Close5, the user completes registration and is taken directly to the content that they were looking at even though they are new to the app. The user is immediately hooked on the app because they are viewing content that is meaningful. By creating an experience where a user sees the same content immediately after install, Close5 users who install from a smart banner share on average 1.34 links, crossing the viral boundary of sharing with more than 1 link per user.

Starting on Close5’s mobile website, users can discover content that they are interested in purchasing. When they click on a product, a mobile smart banner (with a Branch deferred deep link) appears. If clicked, the link in this banner directs existing users to the in-app content and new users to the app store. After new users complete a quick registration, they will be directed to the exact same content in the app.

A crucial business tool

Driving users from mobile websites to native apps with a deeplinked mobile smart banner eliminates – at the minimum – four actions the user has to make to reach the content they desire (clicking on the search bar, typing in their search, clicking search, and clicking on the content from the results). For a company like Close5 that needs to sell products to drive revenue, allowing users to skip these steps is essential.

User flow without Branch links

User flow with Branch links

With Branch deep links, the process of getting users from mobile web content to the same content in a native app is much simpler.

Conclusion

Branch deep links allow context about the user (in this case the product they were viewing) to be passed to the Android and iOS app - even through install - creating a frictionless and meaningful first experience with the app. Close5's simple and smooth user experience results in a dramatic increase in Close5 links shared, and helps Close5 get more users engaged with their app.