You see an ad on your smartphone for half-priced hotel rooms. But, after clicking, you find out you need to download the HotelTonight.com app first — and then you have to try to find the same bargain within the app.
That’s a “broken customer experience,” CEO and cofounder Oren Kaniel of mobile apps measurement firm AppsFlyer told VentureBeat.
To fix that, his San Francisco-based company is announcing OneLink, a service that creates a single “smart link” for sites, emails, or iOS/Android apps.
More importantly, it will redirect a user to the app in the Apple or Android app store if one is needed after clicking the link. And, once the app has been installed and opened, it will enable the publisher/developer to immediately display the content you were looking for when you first clicked on the link.
For example, if you click a OneLink in an ad for the half-priced hotel rooms, you’re automatically redirected to the HotelTonight.com app in the relevant app store; when you install and open the app, the hotel room sale info shows up on the first screen you see.
The information on that first screen can be displayed because the advertiser or app developer uses the reference information embedded in the link to determine which ad you clicked.
Advertisers can “start to understand that an app install is only one step in the funnel,” Kaniel said, referring to salespeople’s metaphor for the narrowing path a user takes from many interests, to an ad in one interest, to a sale. In this case, the “sale” might be the installation of an app, since that installation means HotelTonight.com or whoever now has a new user. And it might lead to an actual sale of, say, a hotel room.
This contrasts to the current role of the app install as a kind of restart, where the user has to start again to find the information they wanted all along.
“There are many deep linking solutions out there,” he told us, “but they didn’t have one component — attribution.” Attribution, he said, means the link “knows where the user came from, [plus] we can provide keywords to the application.”
OneLinks can be generated on AppsFlyer’s site, where a dashboard tracks the user’s path. That service and the accompanying analytics are free. The company will make its money from app installs.