by Devika Girish, who works in marketing with MobStac
Going by the number of success stories around retail apps, there is evidently a lot to lose out on if brands are to shunt away apps. The key to success here lies in identifying the retailer’s target group of users, creating apps that work well for them, and continually refining and reinventing mobile experiences to profitably retain those users. However, it doesn’t make sense to create a mobile app if a retailer has just started off with the retail business. App development should ideally come into the picture after a retailer have got a customerbase to cater to. Many retailers struggle to take a call on whether they should create an app of their own or tap into an existing platform.A retailer need to consider the retailer’s target audience and brand while choosing between them. Here are two points that will help a retailer design and implement a retail app in the most effective way possible.
1. Platform apps are a safe bet when a retailer doesn’t have consistent customer connexions
Launching a branded app isn’t always the best solution for retailers. a retailer could instead partner with other platform-based apps to access and engage their existing single-app audience.
For example, instead of launching a branded rewards app, a retailer can easily use Perka, or Rewardjunkie, apps that allow customers to claim special offers, discounts and rewards and tap into the retailer’s potential users there.
With most of these platforms already having an established user base, it is highly likely that these apps already exist on the smartphones of the retailer’s target audience.
2. If the retailer’s app already has a lot of downloads, then it will make sense to continue using it
The retailer can use his ore her own retail app to strengthen the relationship with existing loyal customers by rewarding them for repeat business.
However, with the setting in of app fatigue, there’s a good chance users will simply neglect the retailer’s app and eventually remove it from their phone altogether if the retailer does not offer multiple value propositions.
Here are a few ways retailers can adapt their apps to changing consumer behaviour in order to ensure their shoppers’ repeat visits.
1. Enable mobile point-of-sale
According to a recent Consulting Digital Shopping Behavior survey conducted by Cisco, 73 per cent of shoppers said that long waiting lines are one of the most dreaded experiences when it comes to a shopping experience.
By equipping the retailer’s sales staff with a mobile point-of-sale, a retailer can enable them to process payments fast and quick, even before the customer changes his mind.
2. Focus on loyalty and value added offerings
Apps often offer a great opportunity for brands to engage with their consumers.
Today most retailers, however, are passionately using mobile applications, more to push promotions at consumers than to maintain a strong relationship with them.
Such apps are more likely to turn away customers.
To connect better with the retailer’s customers a retailer need to offer loyalty perks and value.
3. Improve in-store experience
Today’s tech-savvy customers are more informed and look for a convenient, efficient and engaging in-store experience – one that allows them to combine the convenience of an online shopping experience with the primary advantages of shopping in person.
Thus, a retailer must ensure that he or she has taken into account what is right for the retailer’s brand and the retailer’s target audience.
That’s before going ahead with a branded app or a platform app to generate traffic for the retailer’s next advertising campaign.
Are there any other features that will help retailers build brand loyalty and customer engagement?
Let us know via the comments below.
Devika Girish is in-charge of marketing Content creation at MobStac, a mobile platform company enabling location-aware apps for content and commerce. Its Beaconstac suite enables businesses to deliver superior customer experiences through the use of iBeacons for engagement, messaging, and analytics. The company was founded in 2009 and has offices in Bangalore and New York. Devika writes about everything related to mobile for businesses that enable marketers achieve their goals.