The mobile app that shocked a school bag retailer by generating 11% of their turnover

It’s hard to imagine someone downloading a mobile app just to buy a school bag. Was it hard to convince your company to invest in an app?

Even I was a bit skeptical in the beginning. Everyone was. But Asymbo’s costs were so reasonable, that we decided to go for it. We launched the app in August 2016, and at the same time also started selling our products in Germany through Amazon, which I had more confidence in back then. But after six months, my assumptions were turned on their head – the app had generated more sales than Amazon. I recently met with a web design expert, and even he couldn’t believe that the app was such a success.

I heard that apps encourage repeat sales, how’s that working out for you?

Customers usually buy school bags every two years. However, having more children in the family increases the likelihood of purchasing annually. Even though it’s not a frequently purchased item, customers didn’t view the downloading and installation of the app as a hassle. Our survey proved, beyond a doubt, that one of the main reasons customers downloaded the app was the convenience it offered when making a purchase.

[us_testimonial author=”Libor Chaloupka” company=”Marketing director of Topgal” img=”7498″]Based on our research, we found that the main reason people download the application is the user friendly interface and a better user experience with the check out process.[/us_testimonial]

How does the mobile app fare against other sales channels?

Six months after its launch, the app has contributed 11% to our overall online sales turnover. More importantly, the share continues to grow.  The average purchase value is approximately the same on all channels, perhaps a bit lower on the app due to the 150 CZK discount we offer for first purchase over 1000 CZK. I must admit that, as a marketer, the 10% conversion rate really makes me happy. It’s unbelievable.

Where does this 11% increase come from? Are customers simply moving from one channel to another?

Customers use the mobile website because it’s convenient, and a proportion of them have migrated towards the use of apps, so you’d think that as the app’s usage increased, the conversion rate of the mobile website would decrease. However, the app makes almost the same turnover as the mobile website. If it were a case of migration, the conversion rate on the mobile website would go down by about half. But the fact is, there’s a slight increase in the total mobile conversion rate after the launch of the app. I think it is safe to say it is not just ‘a flow from one channel to another’. Thanks to the app there’s an increase in actual overall ‘inflow’.

Integrating an app with an e-shop sounds like a complicated process. How long did it take?

The technical part of the integration was actually rather easy. It took about a month from the time we signed the contract to the time we published the app. Although the speed and effectiveness of Asymbo was a major factor, the fact that we run the e-shop on our own platform played a key role.

How long did it take to see return on investment from your mobile app?

Do I have to reply? [Smiles] We launched the app in August, during our peak sales season. We started seeing returns in about two weeks.

How did you promote the app?

We’re currently preparing a wider promotional campaign. In the meantime we’ve mainly advertised it to website visitors. We have a small smart-banner which offering a discount for the first purchase via the app over 1000 CZK. Clicking on the banner leads you straight to the app store.

Obviously, you follow the customer reviews of the Topgal app. What reactions do you receive from customers?

We reviewed customer satisfaction levels in February by sending a push notification with a brief questionnaire to app users. By the way, push notifications are an excellent way to get quick feedback from customers. We were able to evaluate their responses the very same day. Twelve percent of all app users filled out the questionnaire, most of which we received within an hour of sending out the notifications. If I were to summarise the results in one finding, 96.9% of customers would recommend the app to people they know.

What motivates customers to download the mobile app? Is it the discount on the first purchase?

The discount is not the decisive factor. Most customers downloaded the app because they love the Topgal brand (43.2%) followed by the convenience of shopping (42.1%). The incentive offered by the discount was the third reason (36.8%). Curiosity also played a part in some of the downloads (17.9%).

Reasons for downloading Topgal mobile app

Respondents had the option to choose more than one answer.


Source: Asymbo

Proportion of new and existing customers in Topgal App


    Source: Asymbo

    Has the mobile app helped you get new clients, or are your existing customers the only ones using it?

    Most of the customers using the app came from our existing clientbase, who buy from our e-shop or at our retail outlets. However, for about one-fifth (17.7%) of the app users, it was their first contact with our e-shop. And I’m happy to say that the results were positive as they completed their purchases.

    Do you intend to promote your app further afield? What are your future plans?

    Obviously, our main focus is on promoting the Czech app. As far as other markets are concerned, we recently launched a Slovak and Polish version. I am curious to see how they perform. Perhaps we’ll be able to have an interesting interview about that soon.

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