Doubling marketing-driven mobile app traffic with deep links and QR codes

Albertsons customer success story featured image


increase in marketing-driven app traffic


MAU increase


App visitors from QR codes


  • Albertsons needed to accelerate app adoption across millions of customers.
  • Other QR code tools they tried did not provide the user experience or the analytics to run a successful QR code campaign — driving customers to the most optimal mobile experience: app or web.
  • After putting AppsFlyer’s QR codes on every customer receipt across 15+ grocery brands, AppsFlyer attribution proved that the campaign had brought over one million users to Albertsons’ apps in just two months.


In 1939, Joe Albertson took $5,000 he saved and $7,500 he borrowed from his wife’s aunt to open the first Albertsons store in Boise, Idaho. Today, Albertsons operates 2,276 grocery stores across 34 states in the U.S. With $72 billion in revenue in 2021, the Fortune 500 ranks Albertsons as the 52nd largest company in the U.S.

Operating 24 different grocery store brands, Albertsons uses AppsFlyer to measure marketing performance for 30 iOS and Android apps. In each brand’s app, shoppers can redeem digital coupons, order groceries to be delivered or picked up in-store, and find new recipe ideas. 


The marketing technology team at Albertsons is challenged with migrating a massive customer base from an entirely offline shopping experience to a partially online one via their mobile app. 

In addition to moving from paper to digital coupons that are cheaper to produce and easier to personalize, Albertsons has invested heavily in their apps to take advantage of the online grocery ordering trend that has exploded since the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Albertsons team tried taking advantage of another trend that took off during COVID-19 by testing QR codes in-store and on receipts to push shoppers to their app. 

Although their first QR code campaigns successfully generated user scans, the previous QR code solutions they used didn’t provide the in-app performance data to justify the campaigns. 

Additionally, their previous QR code solutions could only direct users to an Albertsons mobile web page where the user had to either enter their login credentials or click a link to the app store. 

On top of creating a disjointed journey to app, Albertsons found that many returning shoppers abandoned their websites after failing to remember their login info. According to the FIDO Alliance, 58% of online consumers abandon shopping carts due to log-in frustrations.

Even if users who scanned the QR code made it to the app and ordered groceries, these QR code tools were unable to attribute in-app activity such as a purchase back to the QR code scan. Therefore, the Albertsons team did not have the data to demonstrate success or make optimizations for their initial QR code campaigns. 


AppsFlyer’s QR code solution, on the other hand, provided the analytics and the user experience Albertsons needed to run an effective campaign.

AppsFlyer’s QR codes leverage advanced deep linking technology that routes new users to the appropriate app store and existing users directly to the appropriate app, allowing users to bypass the suboptimal mobile web experience. 

When routing users directly to the app, AppFlyer deep linking immediately takes users to the specific page within the app, with relevant content based on the marketing activities the user engaged with. 

Additionally, these QR codes enable full in-app attribution within AppsFlyer’s measurement platform. This means marketers can see the real-time impact of each QR code campaign by looking at app installs, return visits, purchases, revenue, and any other in-app conversion impacted by the campaign.  

After testing this ability to prove out performance, the Albertsons team had the confidence to run their largest QR code campaign to date. AppsFlyer’s QR codes were placed at the bottom of every customer receipt across 2,000+ stores and 20+ brands. 

The goal of the campaign was to get shoppers to play a limited-time game in the Albertsons apps called “flavor adventure” — where users could win coupons, discover recipes, and enter various sweepstakes. 

Users were also given more opportunities to play the game each time they ordered groceries through the app, creating a gamified shopping experience.


We had an AppsFlyer QR code put on every Albertsons receipt, and that became our most successful QR code campaign ever.

Ryan Lee, Senior Product Manager

After two months of running the campaign, AppsFlyer’s QR codes had generated over 1.2 million app visitors: 100k+ new users and 1.1M+ returning users. 

During this time, the QR code campaign was responsible for 53% of all non-organic app visitors, and by the end of the 2nd month, their total MAU (monthly active users) had increased by 12% across Albertson’s 20+ apps.  

AppsFlyer QR codes have been a gold mine for us. We’re now planning to put them in more places including in-store signs and shopping carts.

Ryan Lee, Senior Product Manager

AppsFlyer QR codes provide their customers with a simple way to merge Albertsons’ mobile offerings into their shopping journey.  They have been placing them in more places including in-store signs, shopping carts, POS, and digital ads.

After the results of this campaign were shared internally, the Albertsons marketing technology team began receiving an influx of requests from other teams to access AppsFlyer’s data, and the demand for more such campaigns grew shortly after. 

QR codes have become a key tool in linking mobile products to enhance the customer shopping experience. Albertsons continues to explore innovative ways to leverage this technology.

Albertsons is now investing in more low-cost, high-impact owned media campaigns that drive users to their apps such as SMS, mobile website banners, email, and in-store marketing content — all leveraging AppsFlyer deep linking technology. 

We more than doubled our mobile app traffic using AppsFlyer QR codes and deep links.

Ryan Lee, Senior Product Manager

Looking ahead

For years, Albertsons has shared coupons and other promotions with its millions of shoppers through regular email marketing campaigns that drive users to their websites. 

To take advantage of the superior user experience and engagement seen in Albertsons apps, the team is planning to change all coupon links within their emails to drive to their mobile app instead of web, using AppsFlyer’s deep links.

Albertsons uses Adobe Campaign to execute their email campaigns and plans to start using AppsFlyer’s integration with Adobe Campaign to route users from email to the appropriate Albertsons app or app store on mobile and the appropriate website on desktop. 

In addition, AppsFlyer’s integration with Adobe pushes in-app attribution data back to Adobe Campaign and Adobe Analytics. By integrating with AppsFlyer, Adobe Campaign and Adobe Analytics will be able to show how email campaigns impact app installs and in-app conversions — instead of being limited to just email open and email link click metrics.

With coupons representing 70% of clicks from Albertsons emails, the marketing technology team sees a massive opportunity to migrate more customers to in-app coupon redemption and to multiply their non-organic mobile app traffic once again.  

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