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Fastcoworks Created for and commissioned by Adobe
Fastcoworks Created for and commissioned by Adobe
How Deep Linking Makes Shoppers Feel At Home With Your Brand

Most marketers use deep linking to drive app downloads, plain and simple. But these days that’s not enough, Jessie Morris told the marketers gathered at Adobe Summit in Las Vegas last week. Morris, the mobile program manager for outdoor retailer REI, advised them to do more than simply send consumers to the App Store.

"As the user, I want to know what’s in it for me," she said.

A more effective approach, Morris explained, is creating a feeling of comfort.

Last year, REI began distributing deep links through various channels to understand how customers were engaging with its app and why.

"From a targeting perspective, we look at time of day, day of week, when are people really engaging," Morris said. "Then we focus our paid placements on those times of day and demographics."

What they found surprised them.

Generally speaking, deep linking is a way for marketers to drive users from a website or email to their native app, presumably for a better customer experience. Here’s how it works: Mobile users click a link in paid or earned media. Instead of going to the brand’s site, they’re switched from a browser to a pre-determined view in the brand’s app.

What REI learned is that it could blur the lines between its e-commerce site and its app with a few well-placed deep links. The result: an even more frictionless buying experience.

Say you begin a product search on a mobile browser. Clicking on the result (for Android users) triggers a choice: to open the app in the native app or in the browser. Crucially, Morris said, it allows you to remember your choice for future shopping.

"What we really like about this is that it’s native, and as an Android user, you expect to see things in that way," she said. "It’s not foreign. It gives people the ability to say, ‘This is how I want my REI experience to be, now and always.’"

This article was created for and commissioned by Adobe, and the views expressed are their own.