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Data dump: The importance of a retail app

  • Technology
  • May 16, 2017
  • The Register team
Data dump: The importance of a retail app

As smartphones and the convenience of apps grow in popularity, it is important for a business to use that platform properly to target consumers. But what is behind a good mobile app?

In 2015, app sales increased to USD$59.86 billion from $35.48 billion in 2014, an increase of 68.7 percent, per a new study. And 303 of the world’s top 500 retailers now have an app.

But what separates a good retail app from a bad one? And why are some retailers making more money off mobile apps than others?

Ecommerce and brick and mortar retailers use customer data to individualise customer experiences, by using each platform you make sure your consumers are targeted at both sides.

Your standing in the retail apps economy isn’t just impacted by your own operational decisions. It’s impacted by competitive markets and how your app weights up.

So what makes a good shopping app?

The 2016 retail app sales leaders were based on ratings, user reviews, the quality of the mobile app and how easy it was to use.

The analytics were carried out by Applause Mobile Sentiment Analysis, a subscription-based SaaS tool that continuously crawls app store star ratings and user reviews and measures on a 100-point scale how users perceive the quality of mobile apps.

The graph shows that out of the company apps surveyed, the highest rated (Groupon), came from a combinations of good ratings, sales, and ease of use through both Android and IOS platforms.

More shoppers are using retailer’s mobile apps, even while they are shopping in the store. The graph below which is a result of a survey carried out by Apptentive.

The study found that that 51 percent of mobile app users use them while shopping in-store. The reasons for doing so varied from redeeming discounts to searching for products, but all illustrate an important intersection between the digital and physical shopping experiences.

Many argue that apps are unnecessary for retailers because customers simply don’t want them. It’s not that customers don’t want apps; they just don’t want apps that don’t add any value.

Successful retail shopping apps can include:

1)    In-store considerations: This includes pointing out instore sales.

2)    Loyalty:  Mobile apps are allowing retailers to improve their loyalty programs for customers and better measure performance.

3)    Push Notifications: Push notifications allow retailers to send specific marketing messages to shoppers and measure the effectiveness of campaigns

Retail app success depends on a number of variables, but at its core is providing a product that adds value.

Customers want an app that will enhance their shopping experience, add convenience, and reward them for their loyalty to your brand.

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