August 4, 2014

Research: As many as 95 percent of Top 50 Retailers Lack Deeplink Support in their Mobile Apps

New research from Pure Oxygen Labs reveals a stunning lack of deeplink support across the top 50 retailers’[1] mobile apps. Deeplinks, like those created by URLgenius and others, make it easy to send people directly into an app – be it a standard social media app like Facebook or Twitter, or a custom app from a retailer. Today, over 70%[2] of the top retailers have invested in apps as a way to drive more traffic, engagement and conversions.

Pure Oxygen Labs’ findings show:

  • 82% of top retailers lack deeplink support in their iOS app
  • 95% lack support in their Android app

As of June 2014, only Etsy, Jack Threads and Groupon have deeplink support for both iOS and Android versions of their respective apps.

Company Deeplink Support for
iOS App
Deeplink Support for
Android App
Amazon No No
Walmart Yes No
Groupon Yes Yes
Gilt No No
RueLaLa No No
Overstock No No
Costco No No
OfficeDepot No No
Staples No No
Best Buy No No
Macy’s Yes No
Abercrombie No No
Sears No No
Walgreens No No
Crate Barrel No No
Home Depot No No
Target Yes No
Victoria’s Secret No No
Barnes Noble Yes No
Kohls No No
Etsy Yes Yes
Gap No No
Nordstrom No x
Newegg No No
Dell No x
Tory Burch No No
Zulily No No
Belk No No
Jack Threads Yes Yes
Grainger No No
Express No No
1800 Flowers No No
GameStop Yes No
Lowe’s No No
Office Max No No
Autozone No No
North Face No No
American Eagle No No
H&M No No
Dick’s Sporting No No
Cabela’s No No
B&H Photo No No
Colony Brands No No
Bloomingdale No No
Urban Outfitter No No
REI Yes No

A Convincing Case for Deeplink Support in Your App

  • Deeplinks pay off – Just how important is deeplink support to the bottom line? Today’s consumer is increasingly mobile. Walmart’s VP Digital says “customers who have our app make twice as many trips to Walmart and spend 40% more.” To make in-app purchasing easier — at minimum — mobile web pages found by mobile searchers should deeplink directly into the corresponding page inside the app.


  • Deeper Experiences – It’s important to think beyond transaction. A seamless mobile customer experience can go a long way toward driving loyalty and repeat purchases. With a deeplink framework in place, all of those emails soliciting customers for reviews could link directly to a review page inside the app where customers are already signed in. This is a much better experience than sending people to a mobile site where they are treated like anonymous non-customers.


  • Deep-dive and SEO-ify – Once deeplink support is enabled in app, retailers can deeplink from any media (email, ads, website, affiliates). This is also a requirement to take advantage of Facebook Applinks to enhance your FB ads, and Google’s app indexing for mobile organic search.The evolution of deeplinks is following a similar pattern to the days before SEO, when retailers had dynamic websites that were unindexable by Google. Back then, many brands forced consumers to visit the homepage and then navigate to the product they wanted. It took some time for retailers to realize every page was an entry point. Today, most brands are repeating same mistake with apps. Forcing customers to open the app home page and re-navigate to find products in the app is a frustrating experience – and one that is unnecessary given the prevalence of deeplinking tools like URLgenius and others. Think of deeplinks as a new form of structural SEO. Just as exposing deep pages to Google drove discovery and sales at lower cost, deeplink frameworks enable app users to find and discover products without friction. In other words, every app page is an entry point.

A Deluge of Deeplinking Experience
Retailers should define a deeplink strategy that address all of the opportunities mentioned above. First, decide what app content stakeholder groups may want to link customers into. Second, make sure those app pages have distinct URL addresses. Finally, deploy deeplink technology that can gracefully perform the app detection and routing for iOS and or Android customers.

Need help defining or implementing your deeplink strategy? Get in touch

[1] Top 50 retailers with mobile apps are ranked according to Internet Retailer 2014 data.


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