How mobile apps are changing the Retail industry

Realm Digital 26 April 2019

With the continued surge of online sales over recent years and an estimated 1.92 billion people set to make digital purchases in 2019, online retailers continue putting dents in the profits of their brick-and-mortar counterparts.

While retailers have prided themselves on a seamless in-store customer experience, the focus is shifting to an equally harmonious online experience. This shift has placed a greater emphasis on the use of mobile devices, and we explore some of the ways that mobile apps are changing the retail industry.

Historically, mobile apps have been dominated by the gaming and entertainment industries, but Retail is refusing to be left behind. It is estimated that 70% of brands are adapting their business to the rise in mobile usage. The phrase “There’s an app for that!” was trademarked by Apple back in 2010, and rightfully so. With the migration from feature to smartphones, we’ve seen a rise in mobile apps for nearly every function under the sun.

While mobile apps in the retail industry may be on the adoption curve, there’s no reason your e-commerce offering shouldn’t extend to mobile, and now is the best time for it.

Why are mobile apps so effective?

Apps can easily make use of features that are on the device; features like the camera, Bluetooth and GPS. Mobile apps have also automated a lot of processes, specifically when it comes to checkout and payments. Being able to scan your credit with your phone’s camera, instead of having to key in numbers has made it a lot more convenient.

Quicker loading time
Apps load a lot quicker than their desktop counterparts. Users are able to access their preferred store with a tap, as opposed to having to open the browser, typing in the URL and waiting for the page to load.

E-commerce has revolutionised the way we shop. Prior to the surge, a trip to the store could potentially be an all-day event. From finding parking to standing in a queue waiting to pay, to unnecessary purchases (that infamous sweets aisle at the checkout). Online shopping means you could avoid all of that and instead remain in the comfort of your home.

Mobile apps are making online shopping even more convenient. A single tap takes you to an entire store’s product offering. A scroll up, and a swipe to the left or right, and your item is on its way to your door!

How to make it work for you

Mobile coupons are a quick and effective way to entice customers to buy. According to recent research, it was discovered that 71% of respondents made a purchase via a mobile app when coupons or discounts were available. Mobile coupons have the power to positively influence the buyer’s journey. They’re quick and easy to create, making them a cost-effective option.

Using mobile apps as a marketing channel is another way to drive sales, and grow your subscriber database for future marketing campaigns. Another way to drive your promotions is by making use of location-based targeting through push notifications.

Apps are a great alternative to mobile websites and can take your e-commerce offering to the next level. Are you interested in talking about mobile apps for your business?