Mobile apps present a huge opportunity to drive consumers into brick-and-mortar stores, according to a new study, but many retailers are failing to take advantage and consumers are unsatisfied.
Only 31 percent of consumers currently use mobile apps in retail stores, but 41 percent of consumers say they would like to if the apps improved the in-store experience, according to Apadmi. That illustrates just how far retailers have to go to raise their performance to consumers’ standards.
“Our research found that a massive 97 percent of Brits with a smartphone take it with them when they go shopping,” said Apadmi CEO Nick Black. “It’s time that retailers realised that consumers actually want digital channels, and specifically mobile, to complement the experience they have in-store, and not see stores disappear altogether.”
According to the report’s findings, consumers are well aware of what mobile apps can provide to their experience. Twenty-nine percent of shoppers surveyed said they would be “happy” to share behavioral and contextual information in exchange for in-store incentives and promotions.
But only a fraction of consumers are enjoying these experiences right now. The rest are searching for something better.
Addressing A Retail Deficiency
From the looks of Apadmi’s retail research, consumers aren’t asking for the moon. In many cases, they’re simply asking for retailers to build mobile apps that leverage the technology’s basic attributes.
That means building a mobile app that is easy-to-use, efficient, and designed with features that improve the in-store experience. Seventy-one percent of consumers said they would stop using slow and unresponsive apps, and 43 percent said they would be more likely download retail apps if they provided a better alternative to browsing and buying products.
Yet despite the unique attributes of mobile app technology, only 17 percent said those apps offer a better experience than retail websites. Retailers can’t survive by allowing this glaring gap to persist: While mobile apps may not be engines of retail sales on their own, they have numerous applications in the brick-and-mortar retail space, such as connecting to assisted selling technology, enhancing personalization through recommendations and promotions, enabling access to inventory, and maintaining customer profiles.
None of these are space-age solutions — consumers know mobile apps are capable of providing these services, and they’re waiting for retailers to get on board. If they grow impatient, the solution is simple: They’ll do their shopping online.
Or they’ll find a competitor that knows how to build a mobile app.
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